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»Pinolite« (ice flower magnesite)

eisblumen magnesit

Fig. 1: »Pinolite« - The resemblance to pine nuts gave this magnesite rock its name.

Photo: K. Sieber, www.makrogalerie.de

The Sunk/Hohentauern deposit in Styria (Austria) is known worldwide for a rock forming magnesite with a typical coarsely crystalline growth structure which resemble pine nuts or ice flowers in shape. Because of this special texture the rock was named »Pinolite« (pignolia = pine nut) or "ice flower magnesite". Large, bright magnesite crystals are embedded in a gray, fine-grained matrix rich in inorganic pigment.

Until 1963 the rock was mined as decorative rock and marketed under the name "Sunk" (the name of the finding place). Today it is found almost exclusively in arts and crafts objects or as tumbled stones.