Physics and Chemistry of Minerals

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 193–202 | Cite as

New data on “kerolite–pimelite” series and the colouring agent of Szklary chrysoprase, Poland

  • Zdeňka ČermákováEmail author
  • David Hradil
  • Petr Bezdička
  • Janka Hradilová
Original Paper


Green clay and chrysoprase samples from the Ni-laterite deposit in Szklary, Poland, were studied by X-ray diffraction (XRD), electron microprobe analysis (EMPA), Raman, infrared and UV–VIS–NIR absorption spectroscopies. The clay samples proved to be Ni-rich “kerolite” and “pimelite”, and as these minerals are currently discredited, their nature was studied in more detail by high-temperature X-ray diffraction and thermal analysis coupled with mass spectrometry. These methods showed that “kerolite” and “pimelite” contain interlayer water, i.e. they differ from the non-hydrated talc–willemseite mineral series. Subsequently, the XRD and EMPA analyses of Szklary chrysoprase indicated that chrysoprase’s colouring agent is “pimelite”, which was further corroborated by Raman and UV–VIS–NIR spectroscopies. In addition, the Szklary chrysoprase, which has been quarried since the Middle Ages and used in jewellery and wall decorations (e.g. in the Prague Cathedral), was described from the gemmological point of view.


Pimelite Interlayer water Chrysoprase Colourant X-ray diffraction Thermal analysis 



The authors would like to express their thanks to Monika Palkovská (Institute of Inorganic Chemistry of the CAS) for the performance of the thermal analysis, Irena Matulková (Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague) for her help during Raman spectroscopic measurements and Zuzana Korbelová (Geological Institute of the CAS) for the EMPA analyses. The authors are also grateful to Jaroslava Jabůrková (Geological Institute of the CAS), who cut and polished the chrysoprase cabochons. Vlasta Vašutová and Veronika Kohútová (Academy of Fine Arts in Prague) are acknowledged for their versatile cooperation. This research was supported by the Czech Science Foundation, project no. 14-22984S and by Institutional Budgets of Research Institutions (RVO 61388980 and 60461446).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zdeňka Čermáková
    • 1
    Email author
  • David Hradil
    • 1
    • 2
  • Petr Bezdička
    • 1
  • Janka Hradilová
    • 2
  1. 1.ALMA LaboratoryInstitute of Inorganic Chemistry of the CAS, v.v.i.ŘežCzech Republic
  2. 2.ALMA LaboratoryAcademy of Fine Arts in PraguePrague 7Czech Republic

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