Epidote, an abundant rock-forming mineral found in metamorphic rocks, nearly always appears in green, although it may vary in shade and tone. Under a microscope of polarized light, however, it exhibits strong pleochroism, that is, it shows different colors when observed at different angles. The thin section (a laboratory preparation of a mineral or rock sample for use with a polarizing microscope) in the picture displays strong yellow colours, beautiful tones of pink and purple, and light and dark shades of blue.
This photography under a microscope was taken by mineralogist Gunnar Ries. He comments, “I took this picture in 1996 from a unakite sampled in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, near the town of Rerik, during a field trip. The thin section was one of the first I ever made!”
Although Epidote can be found worldwide, including in Pakistan, China, and across Africa, it is particularly prevalent in the Austrian Alps, where it appears in the form of distinctly large, sharp, and lustrous crystals. Epitode is often seen on display at mineral conventions, with the finest pieces – featuring delicate and elongated crystals – being highly treasured by collectors.
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