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Sicily, Italy

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Name(s) in local language(s): Sicilia, Italia
 
It is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Sicily along with surrounding minor archipelagos (Aegadian Islands, Aeolian Islands, and Pelagic Islands) and islands (Ustica and Pantelleria) forms an autonomous region of Italy, officially referred to as Sicilian Region (Regione Siciliana).

Sicily has a roughly triangular shape, which earned it the name “Trinacria”, and its inland territory is mostly hilly. To the east, it is separated from mainland Italy (Calabria) by the Strait of Messina. Along the northern coast, mountain ranges of Madonie, Nebrodi, and Peloritani represent an extention of mainland Apennines.

Volcanoes highly characterise the landscape of eastern Sicily and some of its surrounding islands. Plio-Quaternary volcanic rocks form the northern portion of the Hyblaean Plateau (south-east Sicily) and the cone of Mount Etna, which dominates over the eastern coast. Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe and it currenlty stands 3229 m heigh, although this varies with summit eruptions. The Etna volcanic complex covers an area of 1190 km2 with a basal circumference of 140 km. The Aeolian Islands are a volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily, named after the demigod of the winds Aeolus, including the active volcanoes of Stromboli and Vulcano. Volcanic islands are also Ustica (67 km north-west of Palermo), Linosa (one of the Pelagic Islands, 160 km south of Sicily), and Pantelleria (110 km SW of Sicily).

The sulphur mines in the neighbourhood of Agrigento (formerly Girgenti), Enna (formerly Castrogiovanni), and Caltanissetta, which constituted the world’s leading sulphur-producting area through the 19th century, have declined continuously over the course of the 20th century. Sulphur mining definitely ceased in the late 1970s.

Sicilian amber, also known by the variety name of simetite (for the main locality, the mouth of the Simeto River to the south of Catania city), is worthy of particular consideration. To date, the exact locations of the primary deposits of simetite are still unknown, although according to Ferrara (1805) and later authors (Fiore,1996; Zilli, 1997; Leoni, 2011) they would be located in the central sector ot the island. Amber has been found in alluvial soils in the neighbourhood of the Erean Mts (Monti Erei): to the east, in the territories of Enna (Castrogiovanni), Assoro (Asaro), Agira (San Filippo d’Agirò), Raddusa, Centuripe (Centorbi), Leonforte, Sperlinga, and Nicosia, drained by Dittaino and Sperlinga-Salso (also known as Salso Cimarosa or Sugara) rivers, tributaries of the Simeto hydrographic basin; to the west, in the territories of Caltanissetta and Enna (Castrogiovanni) near Capodarso, drained by Salso or Imera meridionale; to the south, in the area drained by Gela River. Transported towards the sea and washed up, especially after autumn or winter storms that agitated the seabeds, amber pieces have therefore been recovered from shallow waters and beaches near the mouth of the rivers Simeto (Catania), Salso or Imera meridionale (Licata), and Gela (Gela town, until 1927 Terranova di Sicilia). Other finds are known along the beaches of Scicli, Pozzallo, and Ispica (Spaccaforno) in Ragusa province (until 1927 Modica district, Siracusa province) (Ferrara, 1805; Jervis, 1881; and other authors).
Sicilian amber is known in a range of colours varying from yellow to orange to red to almost black. Fluorescence varies from blue to green to violet. According to Helm (Helm & Conwentz, 1887), the different colours in amber could be due to its sulphur content, originated from percolation of sulphate-rich waters. In fact, he observed that the higher the sulphur content is, the darker is colour (he measured a sulphur content of 0.42 wt.% in honey-yellow Baltic amber, 0.52 wt.% in light red Sicilian amber, 0.67 in dark red Sicilian amber, and 2.46 wt.% in blackish Sicilian amber). Also the specific gravity is higher in the blackish variety (1.125 g/cm3) than in the orange and red varieties (1.056-1.068 g/cm3). A recent study on the simetite specimens preserved in the L. Bombicci Mineralogical Museum, University of Bologna, has shown that most of them are coated with a sulphur-rich film (Zilli, 1997). Studies on inclusions in Sicilian amber are extremely rare; Goeppert (1879) identified a vegetal inclusion of Laurus Gemellariana in a simetite specimen presently preserved in the G. Gemellaro Geological Museum, University of Palermo.

Mineral List

Mineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities
Acanthite
Acmonidesite (TL)
Adranosite-(Al) (TL)
Adranosite-(Fe) (TL)
Aegirine
Aegirine-augite
Aenigmatite
Aiolosite (TL)
Albite
var: Andesine
var: Oligoclase
'Albite-Anorthite Series'
Allophane
'Alum Group'
Aluminocoquimbite (TL)
Aluminopyracmonite (TL)
Alum-(K)
Alunite
Alunogen
'Amber'
'var: Simetite'
Analcime (TL)
'Anemousite'
Anhydrite
Ankerite
Anorthite
var: Bytownite

var: Labradorite
'Anorthoclase' (FRL)
'Apatite'
Aphthitalite
Aragonite
Arfvedsonite
Argesite (TL)
Arsenolite
Arsenopyrite
Atacamite
Aubertite
Augite
var: Fassaite
var: Titanian Augite
Avogadrite
Azurite
Balićžunićite (TL)
Barberiite (TL)
Baryte
Bassanite
'Biotite'
Bischofite
Bismoclite
Bismuthinite
'Bitumen'
Blödite
Boulangerite
Bournonite
Boussingaultite
Brontesite (TL)
Calcite
Campostriniite (TL)
Cannizzarite (TL)
Carnallite
Celestine
'Chabazite
var: Phacolite'

Chabazite-Ca
Chabazite-K
Chabazite-Na (TL)
Chalcanthite
Chalcopyrite
Challacolloite
'Chrysolite'
Clinometaborite (TL)
'Clinopyroxene Subgroup'
Copiapite
Coquimbite
Cordierite
Cossaite (TL)
Cotunnite
Covellite
Crandallite
Creedite
Cristobalite
D'Ansite-(Fe) (TL)
Demartinite (TL)
Demicheleite-(Br) (TL)
Demicheleite-(Cl) (TL)
Demicheleite-(I) (TL)
Dickite
Digenite
Diopside
var: Chromian Diopside
Dolomite
Enstatite
'Enstatite-Ferrosilite Series'
Epistilbite
Erythrosiderite
Faujasite-Na
'Faujasite Subgroup'
Fayalite
'Feldspar Group'
Ferrinatrite
'Ferro-eckermannite'
'Ferrohortonolite'
Ferrosilite
Fluorapatite
Fluorite
Fluoro-edenite (TL)
Fluorophlogopite (TL)
Fluoro-richterite
Forsterite
Galena
var: Selenian Galena
Galenobismutite
'Garnet'
Gearksutite
Gersdorffite
'Gismondine'
'Glass'
Glauberite
'Gmelinite'
Gmelinite-Ca
Gmelinite-Na
Godovikovite
Goethite
Gold
Gonnardite
Gypsum
var: Selenite
Halite
Halotrichite
Hauerite
Hedenbergite
Hematite
Hephaistosite (TL)
Hercynite
var: Picotite

Heyrovskýite
Hieratite (TL)
'Hornblende'
Hydrobasaluminite
'Hydrophilite'
Hydroxyapophyllite-(K)
Hydroxylapatite
var: Carbonate-rich Hydroxylapatite
'Hypersthene'
Ilmenite
Iron
var: Kamacite
Jamesonite
Jarosite
Kaersutite
Kainite
Kaliborite
Kalinite
Kaolinite
'Keramohalite'
'K Feldspar'
Kieserite
Kirkiite
Knasibfite (TL)
Kogarkoite
Krausite
Kremersite
Lafossaite (TL)
Larderellite
Leguernite (TL)
Leonite
Leucite
Lillianite
'Limonite'
Lucabindiite (TL)
Magnesioaubertite (TL)
Magnesioferrite
Magnetite
var: Titaniferous Magnetite
Malachite
'Manganese Oxides'
Marcasite
Mascagnite
Melanophlogite (TL)
Melanterite
var: Cuprian Melanterite
Mendozite
Mesolite
Metaborite
Metavoltine
'Meteoritic Iron'
'Mica Group'
Microcline
Millosevichite (TL)
Mirabilite
Molysite
Montgomeryite
Mozgovaite (TL)
Muscovite
Natrite
Natroalunite
Natrolite
Natron
Nepheline
Niter
'Obsidian'
'Olivine'
Opal
Panichiite (TL)
Pentlandite
Pertlikite
'Phillipsite'
Phillipsite-Ca
Phillipsite-K
Phillipsite-Na (TL)
Pickeringite
Picromerite
Polyhalite
Pseudobrookite
'Pseudocotunnite'
'Pumice'
Pyracmonite (TL)
Pyrite
Pyrolusite
Pyromorphite
'Pyroxene Group'
Pyrrhotite
Quartz
var: Agate
var: Chalcedony
var: Jasper
Ranciéite
Realgar
Rhönite
Rosickýite
Salammoniac
Sanidine
Santite
Sassolite
Selenium
Sellaite
'Siderazot' (FRL)
Siderite
Sideronatrite
Sillimanite
Sodium-Calcium Amphibole Subgroup
Sphalerite
Spinel
var: Chromspinel
Steropesite (TL)
Stromeyerite
'Sulfurite'
'var: Arsensulfurite'
Sulphur
var: Selenian Sulphur
Sulphur-β (TL)
Sylvite
Symplesite
Tacharanite
Taenite
Tamarugite
Taranakite
Tellurium
Tenorite
Tetrahedrite
Thaumasite
Thénardite
Therasiaite (TL)
Thermessaite (TL)
Thermessaite-(NH4) (TL)
Thomsonite-Ca
Tobermorite
Tridymite
Trona
Tschermigite
Vivianite
Vlodavetsite
Voltaite
Vonsenite
Vurroite (TL)
'Wittite'
Wurtzite
'Xiphonite'
Yavapaiite
Zaherite
'Zamboninite (of Starraba)'
Zircon


288 entries listed. 219 valid minerals. 42 (TL) - type locality of valid minerals. 2 (FRL) - first recorded locality of unapproved mineral/variety/etc.

Localities in this Region


The above list contains all mineral locality references listed on mindat.org. This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in mindat.org without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.

References

- Ferrara F. (1805): Sopra l’Ambra Siciliana. In: Memorie sopra il Lago Naftia nella Sicilia Meridionale, sopra l'Ambra Siciliana, sopra il Mele Ibleo e la città d'Ibla Megara, sopra Nasso e Callipoli. Reale Stamperia, Palermo, 73-159.
- Goeppert H.R. (1879): Sull’ambra di Sicilia e sugli oggetti in essa rinchiusi. Atti R. Accad. Naz. Lincei, Memorie classe sci. fis. mat. nat., 276, serie 3, 3, 56-62.
- Lasaulx (von) A. (1879): Beobachtungen in den Schwefeldistrikten von Sicilien. Neues Jahrb. Miner. Geol. Palaeont., 490-517.
- Jervis G. (1881): I tesori sotterranei dell'Italia. Vol. 3: Regioni delle Isole. Sardegna e Sicilia. Addenda ai precedenti volumi. Loescher, Torino, XXII+539 pp.
- Helm O., Conwentz H. (1887): Sull’ambra di Sicilia. Malpighia, 1, 1, 49-56.
- Bombicci L. (1889): La collezione di Ambre Siciliane posseduta dal museo di Mineralogia della R. Università di Bologna (dono del Ministero di pubblica istruzione nel 1889) e nuove considerazioni sull’origine dell’Ambra gialla. Mem. R. Accad. Sci. Istituto di Bologna, serie 4, 10, 473-486.
- Roda C. (1970): Salgemma, sali potassici e zolfo in Italia. Boll. Accad. Gioenia Sci. Nat., 10, 5, 364-378.
- Del Caldo A., Moro C., Gramaccioli C.M., Boscardin M. (1973): Guida ai minerali. Fratelli Fabbri Editori, Milano, 208 pp.
- De Michele V. (1974): Guida mineralogica d'Italia. Istituto Geografico De Agostini, Novara, 2 vol., 408 pp.
- Mariani P., Scaini G. (1978): I minerali d'Italia. Compagnia Generale Editoriale, Milano, 574 pp.
- Cavenago-Bignami Moneta S. (1980): Gemmologia. 4a edizione riveduta, aggiornata e ampliata. 3 vol. Hoepli, Milano, page 1254.
- Fiore C.E. (ed.) (1996): Dell’ambra siciliana,1639-1805. Testi di antichi autori siciliani. Edizioni Boemi, Catania, 126 pp.
- Zilli C. (1997): Studio sull’ambra siciliana (simetite) del museo di mineralogia L. Bombicci. Tesi di laurea. Università di Bologna, Facoltà di scienze matematiche, fisiche e naturali, 107 pp.
- Campostrini I., Demartin F., Gramaccioli C. M., Russo, M. (2011): Vulcano - Tre secoli di mineralogia. Associazione Micro-mineralogia Italiana, Cremona, 344 pp.
- Leoni D. (2011): Caratterizzazione del più importante materiale gemmologico italiano: l'ambra siciliana del Museo di Mineralogia della Sapienza. Tesi di laurea. Università degli Sudi di Roma “La Sapienza”, Facoltà di scienze matematiche, fisiche e naturali, 49 pp.
- Di Maggio C., Madonia G., Parise M., Vattano M. (2012): Karst of Sicily and its conservation. Journal of Cave and Karst Studies, 74, 2, 157-172.
- Pagano R., Wilson W. (2012): The Sulfur Mines of Sicily. Mineralogical Record, 43, 161-206.

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