Irish Fluorite – New Find!!

I may be biased, but I think, given its geographical size, the little island of Ireland does punch above its weight in terms of the wonderful range of minerals that can be found here. Occasionally, however, a new find occurs that just blows me away, and without doubt, the new find of blue fluorite crystals in a quarry in County Galway, is such a find!

The specimens have been found in a working granite quarry at Shannapheasteen, in the picturesque Connemara part of the county. Apart from the beautiful colour, which ranges from light to dark blues and into violet, the crystals also display well formed ‘bevelled edges and corners, along with stunning internal colour-zoning and phantoms.

These are without doubt the finest fluorite crystals so far found on the island and, I believe, rival many international fluorite localities too!

Many of the crystals display dark cores which appear to be earlier crystallised octahedral crystals. Single crystals can be up to 3cm on edge and like the specimen above, often show nice ‘stepped’ crystal faces.

                                                                       Photo courtesy of Dr Stephen Moreton

From a geological point of view, the quarry is in the main Galway Granite with the specimens occurring in a vein associated with a fault that traverses the quarry. The fluorite crystals have formed over several pulses, showing different habits, in some cases, as stated above, earlier habits are visible as cores of the later phases. The fluorite crystals are often associated with elongated, colourless to slightly smoky quartz crystals and minor green epidote.

                                                                         Photo courtesy of Dr Stephen Moreton

This is a truly exciting find, which I’m sure will be of interest to fluorite collectors around the globe. I am therefore delighted to announce, that in association with John & Robert Lawson of Moorland Minerals, Scotland fame and Dr Stephen Moreton, who has personally contributed so much to the knowledge of Irish minerals over the years, an agreement has been reached with the quarry owners meaning that these lovely specimens will be available both through this website and at selected UK minerals shows in the coming weeks and months.

I will post regular updates as new specimens are made available and in particular watch out for fine cabinet sized specimens coming soon! and of course, feel free to get in contact if you have any queries or requests.

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