Mineralogy collections




Conservation project: Icone del museo (“Icons of the Museum”)
Some of the museum’s most popular mineral specimens – including a number of true icons of the world of mineralogy from the Gasser and Bianchi collections – are currently undergoing conservation work. The conservation process is designed to preserve the beauty of these samples, and even emphasise some of their morphological characteristics – crystalline structure, colour, clarity etc. – while leaving the natural qualities that set them apart from other samples unaffected.





University research grant project CPDA140255: Tertiary pegmatites of the Central Alps: mineralogy, geochemistry, structural characters and crystallization ages
This is the first research project funded by the university to investigate the tertiary pegmatite field of the central Alps. The project involves the collection and study of samples of accessory minerals in the pegmatites found in this area of the Alps. The samples recovered will be of great scientific importance, as well as valuable additions to the museum’s collection.

Project leader: Luciano Secco (University of Padova)
Coordinator: Alessandro Guastoni
Research team: Anna Maria Fioretti, Gorgio Pennacchioni


Characterisation of new mineral species
This project, which seeks to characterise new species of mineral that were hitherto unknown to science, has already led to the discovery, study and description of more than ten new minerals from Italy and abroad. The holotypes for these new species are kept at the University of Padova’s Museum of Mineralogy.

Project leader: Fabrizio Nestola (University of Padova)
Coordinator: Alessandro Guastoni
Research team: Paolo Gentile, Fernando Camara, Mariangela Schiazza, Luciano Secco, Federico Zorzi


Mineralogy research in the Veglia-Devero Natural Park
This collaboration between the Veglia-Devero Natural Park authorities and the “Roggiani-Bianchi” mineralogy museum in Crodo has already been running for ten years. It was set up to study rare, and potentially new, mineral species that had not previously been identified in the Park. In addition to the discovery of deveroite-(Ce), which was unknown anywhere in the world, about thirty rare species were also identified for the first time in the region. All of the samples examined have been left with the Museum of Mineralogy at the University of Padova.

Project leaders: Ivano de Negri (Devero Natural Park), Antonio Sartori (Museum of Crodo)
Coordinator: Alessandro Guastoni
Research team: Claudio Albertini, Paolo Gentile, Enzo Sartori, Vittorio Soldani


Mineralogy of pegmatites and greisen in Cuasso al Monte granophyre (Province of Varese)
This project has been set up to study the mineralogy of the pegmatite veins and mid-to-high-temperature hydrothermal features of the Permian granophyric pluton at Cuasso al Monte. As part of the project, ten or so rare mineral species have so far been identified within these formations and described scientifically. The specimens examined are now part of the collection of the University of Padova’s Museum of Mineralogy.

Project leader: Alessandro Cavallo (Bicocca University, Milan)
Coordinator: Alessandro Guastoni
Research team: Giancarlo Capitani, Paolo Gentile, Fabrizio Nestola, Luciano Secco


Chemical crystallography of minerals containing H, Li, Be and B
This ten-year project has, to date, involved chemical crystallography analysis and structural characterisation – using neutron diffraction – of a series of mineral species present in the collection of the University of Padova’s Museum of Mineralogy, and particularly of borates and silicates whose structures contain elements such as hydrogen, lithium, beryllium and boron, elements that are otherwise undetectable to electron-microscope analysis.

Project leader: Diego Gatta (University of Milan)
Coordinator: Paolo Lotti, Alessandro Guastoni
Research team: Nicola Rotiroti


The NYF pegmatites of the Vigezzo Valley
This fascinating collaborative project with the University of Brno is investigating the mineralogy, geochemistry and the origins of the NYF pegmatite (niobium, yttrium, fluorine) outcrops in the Vigezzo Valley towards the westernmost limits of the Central Alps. The project aims to sample and describe the minerals found in this particular family of intrusive igneous rocks. These rocks are rich in rare elements, such as niobium, tantalum and the rare earth elements, substances that find a wide range of civic and industrial applications.

Project leader: Alessandro Guastoni (CAM, Padova)
Coordinator: Luciano Secco
Research team: Fabrizio Nestola, Milan Novak, Giorgio Pennacchioni, Mariangela Schiazza, Radek Skoda


Minerals for storing nuclear waste
This project was set up to study minerals containing radiogenic elements, such as Thorium and Uranium, whose chaotic structure can only be imaged using a transmission electron microscope. These minerals have many possible applications, including the storage of radioactive elements found in nuclear waste.

Project leader: Giancarlo Capitani (Bicocca University, Milan)
Coordinator: Alessandro Guastoni
Research team: Paolo Gentile, Enrico Mugnaioli