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Quartz and crystal: Mont Blanc’s hidden gems

Mont Blanc is known throughout the world for its quartz and crystals. These beautiful natural gems not only make Courmayeur Mont Blanc unique, they have also played a decisive role in its history and development.

Without the crystal hunters, mountaineering would never have got off the ground.

It was one of these crystal hunters, Jacques Balmat, who launched this great era. Venturing onto Mont Blanc in search of crystals with his doctor friend Michel Paccard on 8th August 1786, he discovered the key to reaching the summit.

Jacques Balmat was one of the first crystal prospectors on Mont Blanc. These intrepid crystal hunters scaled the rock walls of the <>Roof of Europe in search of the very rare spiral-shaped hyaline and smoky quartz crystals, characteristic of the Mont Blanc massif, and red fluorites, stunning examples of Alpine mineralogy.

There are almost 150 specimens on display in the Permanent Crystal Exhibition, including unusual varieties of quartz and other minerals typical of the area. 

At Punta Helbroenner the “Hans Marguerettaz” hall hosts the permanent exhibition of crystals of Mont Blanc where you can admire the jewels of our mountains. All these beautiful pieces of different sizes have been found over the years by various passionate “cristalliers” in the Mont Blanc Massif.


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