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Agates in Sicily?
  
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alanbartlett




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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2018 10:35    Post subject: Agates in Sicily?  

Hi all - I'm an avid collector of agates, mainly from Scotland, but am visiting Sicily later in May and wonder if anybody can point me in the right direction to find some there?

I suspect a river bed is the most likely and, as I'm a bit old for climbing, etc. probably the easiest - any pointers would be most appreciated!
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James
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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2018 10:52    Post subject: Re: Agates in Sicily  

Sorry Alan, not my area - but I do look for agates in Scotland (Fife mainly)
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alanbartlett




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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2018 10:59    Post subject: Re: Agates in Sicily  

That's interesting - I tend to stick to the west coast - Dunure, Troy Bay, etc. This is largely due to work frequently taking me up to Larkhall and Glasgow areas - not very often on the other side.

Perhaps someone else will have some ideas.
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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2018 11:09    Post subject: Re: Agates in Sicily  

Dirillo river may be a good start? Sort of the type locality. But get some local advice.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirillo
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marco campos-venuti




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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2018 11:16    Post subject: Re: Agates in Sicily  

Bad News Alan, no agates in Sicily!!!
Despite the tradition wants that the name agate comes from the old name of the Drillo River, a small creek passing near Etna Volcano, there was probably a big historical misunderstanding and no agates have ever been found there. And Sant'Agata is the saint protector of Catania!
The only silicated material found in the island is a famous brecciated jasper, near the town of Giuliana, Agrigento. It is found in red, yellow and green, but the most popular red, called Diaspro Fiorito, is quite depleted and most of the available material is today yellow.
You can find it in the river and in the southern beaches as pebbles, or in situ in nodule beds near Giuliana. There is a good article in the journal Lapis.
The brecciated material has some chalcedony veins inside, but without any banding so it is quite unlikely that the Sicilian jasper has given the name to the agates.
Undoubtedly a mystery!
Have a nice trip!!
Marco
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alanbartlett




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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2018 12:07    Post subject: Re: Agates in Sicily  

A mystery indeed - and explains why I've never found a trace in numerous visits! The jasper I know about and have a few pieces. Will try and track down the article you mention.

Many thanks for your time - and I'll have a lovely time whatever!
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Riccardo Modanesi




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PostPosted: Apr 26, 2018 11:49    Post subject: Re: Agates in Sicily  

Hi to everbody!
Marco is right: the only minerals found in Sicily so far are sulphur, aragonite, celestine and some baryte. Among silex there is a significant amount of obsidiane close to the Etna volcano and in the small volcanic island surrounding Sicily. There is also a town called Sant'Agata Militello, close to Messina. But... nothing to do with agates!
Greetings from Italy by Riccardo.

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Hi! I'm a collector of minerals since 1973 and a gemmologist. On Summer I always visit mines and quarries all over Europe looking for minerals! Ok, there is time to tell you much much more! Greetings from Italy by Riccardo.
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Gagat Minerals




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PostPosted: Apr 26, 2018 12:54    Post subject: Re: Agates in Sicily?  

Riccardo Modanesi wrote:
... the only minerals found in Sicily so far are sulphur, aragonite, celestine and some baryte..


- amount of limestones in Sicily suggest, that not to find Calcite specimens will be truly mastership in blindness but also if you take a look on the topic "The Natural History Museum of Milan, Italy" - nice Gypsum and Halite crystals are on display,
regards

P.S. Etna - and whats about zeolites???
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Riccardo Modanesi




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PostPosted: Apr 27, 2018 13:00    Post subject: Re: Agates in Sicily?  

Hi to everybody!
Yes, Gagat, you are right: calcite and gypsum are very common in the sulphur deposits in Sicily! And Sicily is one of the most important territory in Italy for the production of salt! Sicilian aragonite is fluorescent at the long-wave UV-light, it takes a nice pink colour!
Greetings from Italy by Riccardo.
P.S. the mineralogical exposition at the Natural History Museum in Milan is temporarily closed because of frequent temporary expositions about various subjects (quakes, volcanoes etc.).


Gagat Minerals wrote:
Riccardo Modanesi wrote:
... the only minerals found in Sicily so far are sulphur, aragonite, celestine and some baryte..


- amount of limestones in Sicily suggest, that not to find Calcite specimens will be truly mastership in blindness but also if you take a look on the topic "The Natural History Museum of Milan, Italy" - nice Gypsum and Halite crystals are on display,
regards

P.S. Etna - and whats about zeolites???

_________________
Hi! I'm a collector of minerals since 1973 and a gemmologist. On Summer I always visit mines and quarries all over Europe looking for minerals! Ok, there is time to tell you much much more! Greetings from Italy by Riccardo.
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Pete Modreski
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PostPosted: Apr 27, 2018 13:28    Post subject: Re: Agates in Sicily  

What an interesting series of stories! Just shows us, how much one can necessarily trust "supposedly reliable sources"... like Pliny and Theophrastus, no less!


marco campos-venuti wrote:
Bad News Alan, no agates in Sicily!!!
Despite the tradition wants that the name agate comes from the old name of the Drillo River, a small creek passing near Etna Volcano, there was probably a big historical misunderstanding and no agates have ever been found there. And Sant'Agata is the saint protector of Catania!
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