What is lapis lazuli corridor


The mineral collections of the “Imperial and Royal Museum of Physics and Natural History”, known under the name “Specola” (observatory), founded in 1775 by Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo, were relocated to their current headquarters in 1880. The museum has more than 45,000 specimens, which in addition to the splendid main collection with pieces from all over the world includes an extraordinary collection of worked stones from the possession of the Medici as well as a collection of minerals from the island of Elba, which is unrivaled anywhere in the world in terms of completeness. with over 6,000 copies.

The most impressive pieces include a topaz weighing 151 kg (the second largest in the world) and from Minas Gerais in Brazil, as well as the enormous specimens of Brazilian pegmatite rocks such as the dark tinted quartz weighing 180 kg, the orthoclase weighing 60 kg and the Aquarmarin of 98 kg.

The rock samples of the Covellina and Azurites from Sardinia, which can be admired next to the large chunks of Sicilian sulfur, are extraordinarily beautiful. In the area of ​​rock collections from the island of Elba, the magnificent tourmaline specimens stand out, which testify to the mineralogical paradise of this island until the 19th century.

The worked pieces from the Medicean collection, which are made up of finely worked cups, goblets, and tobacco boxes, including the jasper and jade goblets engraved with LAURMED (Lorenzo il Magnifico), the vase in the shape of a gondola made of hyalite quartz, are of historical as well as aesthetic value and the lapis lazuli goblet, a work by G. Miseroni.

In addition, numerous cut stones such as citrine quartz, dark-tinted quartz, zircons, garnets and emeralds. The collection of meteorites is modest in number (less than 100 pieces) but of considerable value; Of these, the meteorite that fell from the sky on June 16, 1794 in the area of ​​Siena, as well as those that fell on Mount Milone (near Macerata) on May 8, 1846, is particularly significant.

The creation of a series of didactic showcases with definitions of terms such as rock, mineral, genesis (rock formation) and the nature of the minerals is already well advanced.