Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 700

Corsi 700, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 700  
Name and quarry location: Verde di Corsica, smaragdite, from near Orezza, Monte San Petrone, Haute-Corse, Corsica, France  
Geological description: Metagabbro, the diopside and actinolite-tremolite both coloured bright green by trace chromium.  
Comments: Corsican 'smaragdite' (an old form of the name emerald) is a rather precious decorative rock that has been used, generally in small pieces and veneers, for many centuries. It was employed for example in the decoration of the tombs of the Medici family in Florence. Giraud (1989) gives a full geological account of this stone and points out that the grey plagioclase is altered to a mixture of pumpellyite and lawsonite, two uncommon silicate minerals. Of Corsi's three samples (700-702), this is a particularly fine example.  
References: Giraud (1989); Price (2007) 196  
Further information:

Corsi's classification: Class 11. Green Corsican marbles  
Corsi's text: 167.1 Verde di Corsica semplice. Trovasi nell'isola di Corsica, e precisamente nella montagna di S. Pietro di Rostino presso Orezza.  

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