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TITLE: Pegmatites

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Treasure troves of mineral diversity, the mineral deposits known as pegmatites are famous for yielding gemstones, giant crystals, and more than 300 kinds of minerals. When huge masses of molten rock cool beneath the Earth's surface, the last portion to solidify forms a pegmatite deposit. Pegmatites concentrate rare elements such as boron, beryllium, and lithium—giving rise to many unusual minerals.

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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Mineral Sciences website Credits