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Giant beryl crystals in the Assuncao Pegmatite mine, Northern Portugal, displaying intense green colour

Photo : R. Hochleitner, Munich

Giant beryl crystals in the Nossa Senhora Assunção (Ascensao) Pegmatite

Coordinates : 40°49'N , 7°37'W : Aldeia Nova, Ferreira de Aves, Satao, Viseu District, Portugal

To see the Assunção mine on Google Earth, please click here.


- Giant beryl crystals in the Assuncao Mine, Portugal -


The Nossa Senhora Assunção Pegmatite in Northern Portugal is a typical quartz - feldspar pegmatite, which is mined primarily for feldspar. The pegmatite is famous for a variety of beryllium minerals like bertrandite, phenakite, beryl and of rare phosphate minerals like xanthoxenite, siderophyllite, zwieselite and montgomeryite. For a more detailed listing of minerals and some more photos please have a look at

The Assunção pegmatite is also famous for its giant beryl crystals, which occcur in often perfectly hexagonal crystal shapes in the quarz - feldspar matrix. They display a light green to sometimes intense green colour and may reach several meter in length. As can be seen in the photo above, the beryls are often surrounded by a black micaceous surrrounding. Apart from the beryl crystals large quartz crystal cavities are known to occur sporadically.

In 1994 a single beryl crystal of 1,20 m length was recovered from the quarry and after some years in a private mineral collection it was recently donated to the Geological Collection of the Bergakademie Freiberg, Saxony, Germany, where it is on display now.

The Assunção pegmatite in a nutshell:

Mineralogy :

Beryl crystals in feldspar - quartz matrix with numerous other, rare minerals

Maximum Crystal Size :

Several meter long beryl crystal are known to occur sporadically

Geology & Origin :


Current status :

Active feldspar / quartz quarrying operation

Remarks :

The locality probably hosts the largest beryl crystals in Europe.



Resources and relevant weblinks :

For more information on the mineral beryl please look at, Webmineral Webmineral and the german Mineralienatlas.

There appears to be not very much published information on this locality, but the large beryl crystal mentioned in the text above is on display in the Geowissenschaftliche Sammlungen, Freiberg, Germany




Giant beryl crystal in the Assunção pegmatite, reaching about 4 m length

Photo : Rui Nunes


The Asuncao pegmatite quarry, mined for industrial feldspar

Photo : Rui Nunes




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