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Giant Cluster of four Iceland spar crystals up to 2,6 x 2 x 1,8 m

Photo Source : Zhaochang, S. (1994) see literature


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Calcite - Calcit - Calcite - Calcita

Asia : China : SW - Guizhou : Giant Iceland Spar (Calcite) Crystals in the Hejiawan Mountain Land

Coordinates : 28°21'N , 112°20'E (estimated) : Hejiawan, Jianxi, Guizhou, China

Giant and perfectly idiomorphic crystal clusters of transparent iceland spar type calcite occur in the Hejiawan mountain land in southwestern Guizhou, China. The crystals were discovered since 1990 in a karstified limestone area.

Large "geodes" up to 60 m long occur in the otherwise barren limestone, which are filled with crystals of iceland spar calcite up to 25 tons or a dimension of 3 x 2 x 1,5 m. Apart from some single crystals most crystals occur as distinctive clusters of three or more indivdual crystals, forming giant crystal aggregates.

Detailed investigations show, that the calcite crystals are a product of hydrothermal activity by low shallow seated and low temperature thermal fluids.


We have to apologize for the bad quality of the images, but thats how they appear in the original publication. If you know of better photos of this fascinating locality, please let us know.



The Hejiawan Iceland spar in a nutshell :

Mineralogy :

Iceland Spar calcite

Crystal Size :

The largest crystal reaches 25 tons, which equals a dimension of roughly 3 x 2 x 1,5 m.

Geology & Formation

Several decameter large "geodes" in karstified limestone, which are filled with giant calcite crystal clusters of perfect idiomorphism. The crystals have been formed by low temperature hydrothermal fluids.

Current status :

Apparently actively mined / quarried since 1990. Protection needed

Remarks :

More information needed




Other notable & famous calcite occurences :

- More information about giant Iceland spar occurences can be found here (New Mexiko, USA), here (Helgustadir, Iceland) and here (Garibaldi mine, Australia)

- Another remarkable Iceland spar deposit with crystals up to 0,7 x 0,5 cm occur in basalt from Nizhnyaya, Krasnoyarsk kray Siberia, GUS.

- Sharp yellow scalenohedral crystals up to 1 m occur with galena and sphalerite in the famous Tri State District, Oklahoma / Missouri / Kansas, USA.

- For more information about calcite pseudomorphs after giant ikaite crystals and crystal aggregates please look here and here.

- Large to giant crystals of calcite up to 1 x 1 m size from metamorphic marbles have been reported from Sterlingbush, New York, USA.

- As calcite is one of the most common minerals, there are certainly other remarkable giant crystal occurences not listed here.



Single crystal of iceland spar, Hejiawan

Photo source : Zhaochang, S. (1994) see literature below


Schematic sketch of a large geode containing iceland spar crystals, Hejiawan

Photo source : Zhaochang, S. (1994) see literature below



Resources and relevant weblinks :

For more information on the mineral calcite please look at, Webmineral and the german Mineralienatlas.

There is a fairly extensive publication about the occurence in chinese language with a short english summary :

ZHAOCHANG, S. (1994): Gigantic and Supergigantic Crystal Clusters of Iceland-Spar Calcite, Mechanism of Formation; in : Carsologica Sinica, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 383 - 394




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