Fantasy Rock from the Ilimaussaq Complex, Greenland - Tugtupite and its bretheren

The nickname “Fantasy Rock” encompasses a group of rocks found on the Taseq Slope in the Ilimaussaq Complex, Greenland and only in this one locality within the complex. A typical Fantasy Rock usually consists of four basic minerals: tugtupite, sodalite, chkalovite, and they are always the most color-rich pieces from this exotic, remote locale.

Broad areas of blue fluorescing analcime with exquisite tugtupite eyes surrounding white fluorescing chkalovite. Areas of green fluorescence are instances of radiating natrolite. Orange fluorescence is sodalite. This piece is pure color - I try to photograph everything as if it were mounted in a display cabinet with the lights a foot or so away. Up close to the light this piece screams color.

We discovered the area where Fantasy Rocks are found in the summer of 2004, but really did not mine it until 2005. It is found high on the slope and requires a very long hike up to reach the deposit. Blasting is required to get pieces out of the veins, and then the day’s find must be backpacked out - a 2+ hour hike to the valley floor, over really rugged terrain, with a backpack filled with rocks. It’s amazing no one busted a leg in our ten years of tours. There are many varieties of Fantasy Rock found in this deposit, and each one has its own character.

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