Habachtal and Knappenwand – precious stones deposits in Hohe Tauern (3-6 September, 2013)

8The first field trip organised by the SGA Student Chapter Prague in 2013 lead to the famous Alpine deposits Habachtal and Knappenwand in Austria. Habachtal emerald deposit has been known since the Roman times. This locality provides the best emeralds in Europe and it is the 7only location where emeralds of gem quality occur. The mine has been active until these days, where the Steiner family has been irregularly mining the precious stones using just a simple technology. Access to the adit collar is rather difficult requiring good physical conditions. The emerald deposit is located at the tectonic contact of ortho-gneiss and basic to ultrabasic metamorphosed rocks: amphibolite,mica schist, serpentine and talc schist. The most important emerald bearing rocks are biotite-, talc- and actinolite schists occurring at the margins of serpentine bodies. The emeralds mostly appear in the form of automorphic hexagonal columns in a size up to 4–5 cm. The emeralds can be found in the Habach valley under the adit where they are transported by water.

SGA News no. 34 

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