Think Pink: Think Thulite

A roughly triangular chunk of rock covered with bubblegum-pink splotches.  They sparkle slightly against the contrasting blue background.

Photo by David J. Eicher,

It’s pretty hard not to notice that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Everything is awash in pink here, even the fountains.  So, I thought I would highlight an interesting pink mineral.  Thulite is a a pink variety of zoisite, a crystal, and it’s pink because it contains manganese.  Thulite is named after Thule, which was the ancient name for Norway (or sometimes when talking about far-off places in general, like when Virgil wrote about “Ultima Thule”).  It is most often found in Norway, Scandinavia, and sometimes North Carolina.  Susan G. Komen estimates that 232,030 cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year, so now that you’ve read this, go do your breast self-exam!

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