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St John's Island (Zagbargad; Zabargad; Zebirget; Seberged; Topazios), Red Sea, Egypt
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St John's Island, Red Sea, Egypt

Photo: 2006 M. Kampf
Latitude: 23°36'16"N
Longitude: 36°11'42"E
Quaternary volcanic island, 3 x 2 km in size, which is an ancient (3rd century) locality of gem peridote. The gem peridot is found in olivinite dikes with widths in the dm to m scale. These dykes consist of large platy olivine crystals ( up to 20 cm) of brown color, with some serpentine in the interstices. They have abundant open cavities which occasionally contains transparent crystals of green peridot. The large brown olivine crystals tend to become inclusion poor and green in color at the margins, ending in these cavities.

The Greco-Roman name of the island, Topazios, is believed to have given name to topaz.
Largest of a group of islands in Foul Bay; located 46 km southeast of Ras Banas.

Note: The island is part of the Elba National Park.

Presence of spinel-lherzolites with anhydrous Al-diopside pyroxenites and hydrous Cr-diopside pyroxenites layers.
In the 19th century, geologists re-explored old mines and found interesting nickel deposits, which were later mined in the Nasser era around 1960.

Mindat Articles

Peridot from St. John's / Zabargad Island by Olav Revheim

Mineral List

'Albite-Anorthite Series'
Brochantite ?
'Clinopyroxene Subgroup'
var: Peridot
var: Picotite

Kaersutite ?
var: Titaniferous Magnetite

'Orthopyroxene Subgroup'

21 entries listed. 14 valid minerals.

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-Gaius Plinius Secundus(AD77–79)Naturalis Historiae
-James Raymond Wellsted (1838): Travels in Arabia. Published by Murray in London . 508 pages
-Wilson, W. (1976): Famous Mineral Localities: Saint John's Island, Egypt. Mineralogical Record 7 (6), 310-314.
- Gübelin, E. (1980): 'Seberged, die Peridot-Insel im Roten Meer'. Lapis, 5 (11), 19-26.
- Kurat, G., Niedermayr, G. & Prinz, M. (1982): Peridot von Zabargad, Rotes Meer. Aufschluss, 33 (5), 169-182.
- Delphine Bosch (1991): Introduction d’eau de mer dans le diaper mantellique de Zabargad ( Mer Rouge) d’ après les isotopes du Sr et du Nd. C.R Acad, Sci- Paris, t.313, Sèrie II, pp 49-56
- KURAT, G., H. PALME, A. EMBEY-ISZTIN, J. TOURET, T. NTAFLOS, B. SPETTEL, F. BRANDSTÄTTER, G. DREIBUS, and M. PRINZ (1993): Petrology and geochemistry of peridotites and associated vein rocks of Zabargad Island, Red Sea, Egypt. Mineral. Petrol. 48, 309-341.
-Anne-Marie Boullier, Karima Firdaous, Franqoise Boudier(1997): Fluid circulation related to deformation in the Zabargad gneisses (Red Sea rift), Tectonophysics 279 pp 281-302
-James Harrell and Elizabeth Bloxam(2010): Egypt’s evening emeralds-Peridot mining on Zabargad Island, Minerva Volume 21 Number 6 pp18-22
-Ingrid Gjerazi and Theodoros Ntaflos(2014): Petrology of pyroxenitic vein in spinel-plagioclas lherzolites from Zabargad island, Red Sea, Egypt, Geophysical Research Abstracts Vol. 16, EGU2014-13367

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Copyright © Jolyon Ralph and Ida Chau 1993-2014. Site Map. Locality, mineral & photograph data are the copyright of the individuals who submitted them. Site hosted & developed by Jolyon Ralph. Mindat.org is an online information resource dedicated to providing free mineralogical information to all. Mindat relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters. Mindat does not offer minerals for sale. If you would like to add information to improve the quality of our database, then click here to register.
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