A true treasure trove of mineral rocks

Earth‘s history has bequeathed to the Zillertal a true treasure trove of mineral rocks. Apart from precious metals like gold, silver, copper, and tungsten, this includes wonderfully beautiful crystals formed by numerous minerals. Popular examples are amethysts, diopsides, smoky quartzs, apatites, and iron roses. These natural gems are held dear by collectors and natural history museums alike. The “Zillertal Granat”, a garnet, has achieved international fame. It is usually found inside shist rocks and fascinates collectors and mineralogists with its vibrant color. 250 years ago, an entire industry established around this stone, beginning with individual “garnet hunters”, developing into industrial mining with the aid of hydropower. Remainders of the so-called “garnet mills” of that time can still be seen in the Stilluptal valley today. The Zillertal Granat was popular as a fashion item, primarily. As such, it has become part of the traditional attire of the region, as is still apparent to this day. However, fashions change, and thus, the famous garnet received some tough competition when the “Kaprubin” (“Cape Ruby”) – a byproduct of Southafrican diamond mining  – got introduced to the region around 1900. It was the widespread introduction of electric light though that really thwarted the demand for the precious Zillertal Granat. Because supposedly, the garnet‘s beauty could only really be appreciated in old-fashioned candle light, and nobody cared for that anymore. In recent years, mining of the garnet has been experiencing a renaissance as the fashion industry has been rediscovering this stone‘s unique, natural beauty. 

The Heard of Tyrol • Natural beauty • Chamois, Golden Eagle & Friends  • Giants of the Ice Age • RocK'n'Roll - Mineral Rocks • The Golden Mean • Agriculture and Economy  • Poachers and Smugglers  • Inklinant's - a tragic story   • Music an more

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