Also available in our shop the perpetual calendar with a selection of the photograph and signature of the most important italian mineralogists here shown
In this section we present the profile of 15 Italian mineralogists who gave a significant contribution to the development of mineral science.
These scientists have been recognized with the attribution of a mineral name.
This work is translated with permission from a presentation of Dr. M.Tomalino (2007)

ARTINI, Ettore
Milano, 1866-1922

Ettore Artini studies in Padova and Florence, where he graduates in Science in1887, when he was only 21. He becomes assistant in the Mining Institute of the University of Pavia where he remains until1893.
In 1911 he teaches Mineralogy at the Milano Technical School meanwhile he is appointed director of the mineralogy section of the Museum of Natural History of Milano.
He has written two very interesting technical books on Mineralogy and Geology, also very popular as field guides

Mineral : Artinite, (1902)
Mg2(CO3)(OH2) • 3H2O Carbonate, Basic Hydrated
Sprays and crusts of acicular crystals; spherical or flattened aggregates of radiating fibers;
fibrous veinlets
Book : I Minerali (1914)

Casalpusterlengo (MI), 1892 Padova, 1970

Angelo Bianchi gets a degree in Science at the Pavia University in 1915 and immediately devotes himself to Mineralogy, thus becoming assistano of Professor Luigi Brugnatelli. In1923 he is appointed professor of Mineralogy at the University of Padoa where he will stay till the end of his career. In 1932 he gets the Royal Award for mineralogy at the Accademia dei Lincei. From 1947 to 1964 he is director of the C.N.R. petrography and geology section.

Mineral : Bianchite, (1930)
(Zn,Fe)(SO4) • 6H2O
Crystalline crusts
Book : Mineralogia (1925)

BOMBICCI Porta, Luigi
Siena, 1833 Bologna, 1903

Luigi Bombicci belongs to the Pisa school of Giuseppe Meneghini and starting from 1860 until his death, he is in charge of the mineralogy section of the University of Bologna. He has the responsibility of the Mineralogical Museum of the same University, where are kept very precious specimens of the Aldrovandi (1600) collection. He has many varied interests and throught hard work is a teacher, lecturer, field collector and cataloguer of Minerals. He published more than 200 papers.

Mineral : Bombiccite now Hartite (1869)

Tiny crystals; lamellar aggregates; coatings
Book : Corso di Mineralogia (1862)

Sairano (PV), 1859 Pavia, 1928

Luigi Brugnatelli gets a degree in Chemistry at the Pavia University, where he begins his career, like his father, grandfather and grand-grand father. (This is perhaps unique: a four generation chemist family in the same University). After two years experience in the laboratory of Professor Groth in Munich and short periods at the University of Rome and Turin, he becomes professor of Mineralogy Chemistry at the Pavia University. His scientific papers are directed to the study of optical crystallography of natural and syntetic compounds. He describes for the frst time the mineral specie that will be called Artinite.

Mineral : Brugnatellite, (1909)
Mg6Fe(CO3)(OH)13 • 4H2O
Massive, foliated or lamellar
Book : Lezioni di Mineralogia (1926)

Caiazzo (NA), 1790 Napoli, 1829

Nicola Covelli worked in Paris, dedicating himself to the studies of Natural Sciences. When he returns in the University of Naples, he studies the mineralogy of Vesuvius and Monte Somma. He is involved in many interesting studies, but as a consequence of his short and difficult life, he could conclude only very few. He is the first Italian scholar to use the Reflective Goniometer to measure crystal structure. To him the famous french mineralogist Beudant will name the mineral Covellite, discovered in the Vesuvius.

Mineral : Covellite

Crystals thin tabularhexagonal plates; massive, foliated

Book : Prodromo della Mineralogia Vesuviana(1826)

Pisa, 1839-1902

Antonio D’Achiardi gets the degree in Natural Sciences at the Pisa University where he becomes assistant in Chemistry after two years. He loses one eye and he interrupts the research work, becoming a professor of Geology at the Pavia University and of Mineralogy at the Pisa University in 1874. His main specialist area is mineralogy of Tuscany.


Mineral : Dachiardite
(Ca,Na2,K2)5Al10Si38O96 · 25H2O
Crystals prismatic, twinned on {110}
Book : Mineralogia della Toscana (1872)

Venezia, 1875 Roma, 1942

Federico Millosevich gets the degree in Natural Sciences in Rome, becoming the assistant of Professor Struver and in 1906 is appointed to the mineralogy class of Sassari (Sardinia). In 1909 teaches Mineralogy in Florence and then in Rome, where he will succed the great Struver, also in the direction of the Mineralogical Museum.. His main field of work are the crystallographic studies of minerals of Sardinia, Piedmont, Lazio and Elba Island. He will also be involved in geological studies of mineral resources of Italy and its Colonies.

Mineral : Millosevichite (1913)
Book : I 5000 Minerali Elbani del Museo di Firenze

Padova, 1811 Pisa, 1889

After receiving his degree in Science at Padua University, he migrates to Pisa, where he is in charge of Mineralogy and Geology. After 1874 he is president of the Geological Comitee, rector of the University, senator and member of several Academies. His scientific work is directed to the Geology of Tuscany, Sardinia, Lombardy and Central Appenine.

Mineral : Meneghinite
Crystals slender prismatic, striated along elongation; massive, fibrous to compact
Book : Studi geologici della Sardegna (1875)

MERCALLI, Giuseppe
Milano, 1850 Napoli, 1914

Mercalli is a priest from 1872 but is totally devoted to scientific studies, becoming first professor of Mineralogy and Geology at the Catania University and then professor Vulanology and Sismology at Naples University.He works with the Stoppani giving basic contributions to the studies of volcanic and sysmic events of Italy. In 1911 he is appointed director of the Vesuvius Observatory.

Mineral : Mercallite (1935)
Crystals tabular, minute, form stalactites
Book : Vulcani e fenomeni vulcanici in Italia (1883)

Brindisi, 1759 Pozzuoli, 1846

Monticelli is Benidectine Monk, professor of ethic in1792, and is appointed professor of Chemistry at the Naples University in 1808. He becomes secretary of the Science Academy of Naples. He sudes the Geology and the Mineralogy of Vesuvius and Campi Flegrei. He gathers an significant mineral collection and donates some specimens to the Paris Museum, He eventully sells 2000 minerals from Vesuvius to the British Museum, leaving the rest to the Naples Musuem.

Mineral : Monticellite (1831)
Crystals prismatic; massive, granular; disseminated grains
Book : Prodromo della Mineralogia Vesuviana

SELLA, Quintino
Mosso (BI), 1827 Biella, 1884

Sella is an engineer and he follows, as student of the Royal Mine Corp, the lessons at the Ecolè des Mines in Paris, becoming assistant of the famous French Mineralogists Dufrenoy and Senarmont. He becomes professor of Mineralogy at the Engineer Application School of Turin, and director of the Museum. He works as scientist only from 1855 to 1861 and then he is involved in Political Hystory of Italy. He gives important contributions to the development and diffusion of crystallography in Italy

Mineral : Sellaite (1868)
Crystals stubby prismatic to acicular; fibrous aggregates
Book : Lezioni di cristallografia (1861)

Corneliano d'Alba (CN), 1807 Torino, 1878

He studies at the Pharmacy University of Turin, then follows the lessons of Professor Borson and then he studies at the Ecolè des Mines in Paris with Brongniart, Thenard, Beudant and, very important for his friendship, with Elia de Beaumont. After his return to Turin, in 1828, he becomes Professor of Mineralogy and Director of the Museum in 1832. He is a field collector and many specimens went to increase the collection of the Museum. He has a vast knowledge of the mineralogy and geology of the Alps and prepares a full geology map of Savoy, Piedmont and Ligury.

Mineral : Sismondine now Chloroitoid
Crystals tabular, pseudohexagonal, rare; massive, foliated, thin scales or plates
Book : Carta geologica delle Alpi (1862)

SPADA De Medici, Lavinio
Macerata, 1801 Firenze, 1864

Of noble family, mineralogy enthusiast, but also poet and culturally advanced man, he writes poems extimated by Monti and Leopardi. He gets his degree at the Pisa University and after a diplomatic and military career in Rome, he retires to dedicate himself entirely to Natural Sciences.
He gathers an important collection of 12000 mineral specimens that was eventually purchased by Pope Pius IX to form the base of the University Mineralogical Museum of Rome.

Mineral : Spadaite (1843)
MgSiO2(OH)2 · H2O
Massive, dense, indistinctly platy or columnar, microscopically
Book : Note di Mineralogia (1841)

SPEZIA, Giorgio
Piedimulera (NO), 1842 Torino, 1912

He gets his degree in Engineering Sciences at the Torino School, where he begins his scientific career in the Mineralogical Museum. In 1871 lives in Germany to continue the studies in Chemistry and Geology and then returns in Turin as preofessor of Mineralogy, aiming to restructure the collections of the Museum in a more modern way. He studies the minerals of Sulphur deposits in Sicily and the mechanims of mineral formation and he pioneers the construction of the equipment to produce syntetic quartz.

Mineral : Speziaite now Ferrohorneblende (1914)
Crystals long to short prismatic; massive, compact, granular, columnar, bladed or fibrous
Book : Cristallogenesi del quarzo (1881)

STRUVER, Giovanni
Braunschweig, 1827 Roma, 1915

Struver gets the degree in Mathematic and Natural Science in Germany, Gottingen. He arrives in Turin, invited by Q.Sella to be assistant of Mineralogy. Since 1873 until his death, he is professor of Mineralogy and Director of the Museum at the Rome University. The museum, under his direction, becomes one of the most important of Europe. His scientific work is directed toward the crystallographc study of minerals, that he illustrates with beautiful geometric drawings.

Mineral : Struverite (1907)
Dipyramidal, prismatic crystals, to several cm, with striated prism faces
Book: Storia illustrata del Regno minerale (1872)

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