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Last Updated: 22nd Nov 2016

By Giuliano Bettini

This short article is devoted to the colors.
To do this, I used photos of the minerals that are contained in my Gallery.
They (virtually all of them) are minerals that come from the area called "Monti Livornesi" or "Leghorn Hills", or from the island of Elba. Some other specimen comes from the area of Campiglia, but either way it's always in the province of Livorno.
However, to be more generic, I speak here of Colori Toscani.

First I wanted to produce a table of Complementary Colors.

From Wikipedia:
“Complementary colors are pairs of colors which, when combined, cancel each other out. This means that when combined, they produce a grey-scale color like white or black. When placed next to each other, they create the strongest contrast for those particular two colors. Due to this striking color clash, the term opposite colors is often considered more appropriate than "complementary colors".
Which pairs of colors are considered complementary depends on the color theory one uses:
In the traditional RYB color model, the complementary color pairs are red–green, yellow–purple, and blue–orange, though these pairings fail the modern definition of complementary colors, as they produce a brown color when combined.
Opponent process theory suggests that the most contrasting color pairs are red–green, and blue–yellow.”

I’ve used the complementary color pairs red–green, yellow–purple, and blue–orange.
The table which I have prepared is the following:

Tuscany colors

In it appear from the top the following minerals.

Orange, brookite from Nibbiaia.
Blue, chrysocolla from Elba.
Purple, fluorite from Campiglia.
Yellow, topazolite from Gabbro, Livorno.
Green, diopside from Romito.
Red, hematite var. red ochre, from the island of Elba.

The original photos are in my Gallery.

That done, I wanted to capture the characteristic colors, calling them "Colori Toscani", Tuscany colors.
I like to start from red, which I will call Tuscany red in analogy with the Ferrari red or the Valentino red.
Here is the Tuscany red.
From top left.
Cinnabar from Nibbiaia.
Red ochre from Rio Marina.
Red ochre from Rio Marina, coating altered pyrite crystals.
A garnet from Vallone stope, Capoliveri, Elba.

Tuscany red

NOTE: I have to say that, in the same way that there is one and only one "Ferrari red", so the only "Tuscany red" worthy to bear this name is the Red Ochre of the Elba island.
I remember reading once (it's probably a legend) that even Leonardo da Vinci had made a trip to Elba to gather ochre, as a pigment for its colors.

The Tuscany green.
Due to the fact that it’s Tuscany green, and we are talking of the Elba island, I would say that you can not miss the green Prase quartz.
Here the Tuscany green.
Diopside from Romito "the Hermit", Livorno.
Epidote from Elba.
Prase quartz from Elba.
A green mineral belonging to the Chlorite Group, from Nibbiaia.

Tuscany green

The Tuscany blue.
Minerals (from the top).
Anatase, from Calafuria, Livorno.
Chrysocolla, from the Vallone stope, Elba.
Aurichalcite from Campiglia.
Chrysocolla again, from Vallone stope, Elba.

Tuscany blue

Tuscany orange.
Brookite from Nibbiaia.
Anatase from Nibbiaia.
Realgar and orpiment, from Campiglia. Not quite orange, but orange-red.
Fluorite from Valle Giove stope, Rio Marina.

Tuscany orange

Tuscany yellow.
Sphalerite from Campo di Sasso, Bibbona.
Titanite from Romito.
Garnet, andradite var. topazolite, from Gabbro.
Monazite from San Piero in Campo, Elba.

Tuscany yellow

Tuscany pink purple.
I did not have enough color purple specimens, and then I put together the pink color with the purple color.

Minerals (from the top).
Dawsonite, from Livorno.
Anatase, from Nibbiaia.
Fluorite from Maffei Mine, Campiglia
Quartz var. amethyst, from Rio Marina, Elba.

Tuscany pink purple

I'll add the black and the white.
Tuscany white.
From left top.
Aragonite from Castiglioncello, Livorno.
Magnesite from Castiglioncello.
Orthoclase from Elba island.
Dawsonite from Valle Benedetta, Livorno.

Tuscany white

Tuscany black.
From left top.
Ilvaite from Temperino Mine, Campiglia.
Cassiterite from Elba.
Sphalerite from Falcacci stope, Elba.
Ilvaite from Rio Marina, Elba.

Tuscany black

Article has been viewed at least 2097 times.


Very nice concept and great pictures.

Walter Kellogg
24th Nov 2016 8:05pm
Giuliano, thanks for your fresh, interesting, and educating way to represent these area's minerals - and colours. I wonder if some of my Bergamo friends would be interested in creating their own version of such a display...This was a nice and cheering-up idea indeed, in the greyness and cold winter over here.

Joel Dyer
25th Nov 2016 9:12am
Hi Giuliano

What a beautiful exercise.
It's hot down here (Summer) but the article also cheered me too.
I love your close ups (just wish I could do that).

Really well done


Keith Compton
28th Nov 2016 10:14am

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