Main Menu Site

The Purpose of this Project

as formulated by CHARLES PALACHE in 1932*.


"How large can crystals grow? What teacher of mineralogy but has been asked this question many times. He would probably reply that there is no limit but if he tried to tell of the biggest that had been found he would find it difficult to give an exact answer.

This is not an idle question. Large crystals of any substance imply not only abundance of their constituents but extraordinary concentration at one place and unusual constancy of conditions during long periods. The minerals that are often found in large crystals are at least in part composed of the less common elements so that the problem of concentration in time and place is doubly interesting and difficult. How do they support their own weight during growth and how maintain form and outline? Why is there such a varying maximum of size in different mineral species?

Whatever their interest and significance, large crystals would be more intelligible if we had more exact data as to their actual limits of size. I have myself made a very few observations of actual dimensions of crystal giants and would like to collect others. Will not every reader of this magazine supply such data as he possesses? I will make it a welcome duty to collate and publish the information. The more various the range of minerals included may prove to be the more valuable will be the information. Each case should carry with it such data as are available as to the place and kind of deposit where it was found."


There is no much need to add more words to his statement.

* = PALACHE, Ch. (1932) : The largest crystal in : Amer. Min, Vol. 17, pages 362 - 363