Cork boy discovers rare Quartz

Written by on 5th June 2024

Cork boy is first person in 150 years to find rare piece of quartz

Ben O’Driscoll, aged seven, from Mallow, has been officially recognised by the National Museum of Ireland as the first person in 150 years to find a piece of cotterite quartz — the world’s rarest form of quartz — anywhere on Earth.

First discovered in 1875 in Mallow, cotterite is so rare that it is only ever been found here in Ireland, specifically in just one limestone quarry in the Mallow area and up to recently, there were less then 40 cotterite specimens held around the world, all coming from this one limestone vein in north Cork.

Growing up, Ben had heard his grandfather talk about this rare mineral and had seen photographs of it, so Ben knew he had found something special when he went into a field next to his garden and saw something shiny sticking up in the freshly ploughed field. Thinking it might be cotterite, Ben’s mother contacted the National Museum of Ireland who invited the family to bring the specimen to Dublin where it was indeed confirmed.

“It was my favourite day ever” Ben said, who has since received a certificate and the privilege of having the specimen he found named the Ben O’Driscoll cotterite.


photo credit: Irish Examiner

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