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July-August 2011

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A New Find of Topaz in the Strzegom Granites, Poland

The Strzegom granites (figs. 1, 3) are currently one of the most prolific specimen-producing localities in Europe, with more than forty active granite quarries that yield numerous pockets every year (Korber and Szuszkiewicz 2005, 2010; Praszkier and Korzekwa 2010; Praszkier and Siuda 2008, 2009). Unfortunately, the majority of the pegmatites do not contain open cavities; fewer still contain good-quality crystals, and even when they do, the pockets rarely exceed 10–20 cm in size. The largest vugs known from the Strzegom granites reach up to a few meters across, but they are only encountered every few years.

Although the Strzegom region is an area of high mining activity, it is known to most mineral collectors only as the historical “Striegau” locality, a name held over from German occupancy. This is not really surprising given the limited number of good-quality specimens from here that reach the international market. This may change, however, as the past few years have seen a run of good collecting in the Strzegom region. A number of large and interesting cavities have been discovered recently from which numerous high-quality specimens have been collected (Praszkier and Korzekwa 2010).

Tomasz Praszkier, a geologist by profession, is president of the Spirifer Geological Society, editor of Minerals newspaper, and a frequent contributor to mineralogical publications worldwide.

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