The western side of the island has never been exploited for its mineralssimply because in the granodiorite rocks of Monte Capanne there are hardly any. However, you can find exceptionally rare and beautiful minerals and crystals in the pegmatite strands on its slopes, shown in the most important mineral museums in the world (New York, London, Paris, Moscow etc...). Some of these minerals are:
- tourmaline, elbaite being the most famous variety. It was discovered in the last century on the Island of Elba, hence its name, and consists of very bright, prismatic crystals of different lengths whose colours go from black to transparent, and from pink to green.
- beryllium, one of Elba's most beautiful minerals. The crystals are usually prismatic or stumpy, clear like glass with colours that go from whitish to acquamarine to pink (morganite).
- orthoclase, the most common mineral in the pegmatite strands. It consists of prismatic crystals which can be columnar or tabular, and its colours go from ivory white to pink or violet. Its clarity is a beautiful contrast to the other more colourful crystals.
- quartz, has crystals that usually measure less than 3 cm. It has a prismatic shape and its colours go from transparent to whitish to smoky black. It can be found almost anywhere on the granite promontory of Monte Capanne; quartzite comes from quartz, and it is this very mineral that after years of erosion, and slowly sliding down the valley, becomes the very sand that is on the beaches of Cavoli, Seccheto and Fetovaia.
The minerals you can see in the photographs are part of the collection belonging to Sarah Sudcowsky