Camping Giessen im Binntal, Wallis
Camping Giessen im Binntal, Wallis
Camping Giessen im Binntal, Wallis
Camping Giessen im Binntal, Wallis
Camping Giessen im Binntal, Wallis

The Joy of Gemstones

The "Binntälli" (little valley of Binn) as it is affectionately called by the locals has for hundreds of years a magnet for academics, researchers, and rock collectors. Documents in the community archives dated 1609 and 1714 attest to this fact.

K. Jost wrote a history of history of Binntal in 1946, which includes: "Binn – the valley of crystals – was not named as such because of the rocky, narrow gateway that forms the entrance, nor because it was particularly rocky. No, this name stems from the crystals which are peculiar to Binntal…

…Crystals and passes aren’t merely two words for residents and guests; over the course of the last two centuries they have come to be central ideas intimately connected with the development and renown of the valley."

The Lengenbach mine was reopened in 1958, and has been in continuous operation ever since. It is one of the ten richest mineral deposits in the world. Its fame is thanks not only to the fascinating contrast of blood-red Realgarkristalle on snow-white Dolomite, but especially the much less common Arsen-Sulfosalzen such as Hatchit, Imhofit and Edenharterit, to mention a few. Finds have included a variety of semi-precious gemstones such as Adula, aragonite, barytes, Chrysokoll, lodestone, pyrite and many more.

For mineralogists the valley of Binn is one of the most famous in the world due to the multitude of gems and their fine crystallization. Gems from Binntal fill not only entire departments in big museums of metropolises like Paris, London and Berlin, but also the showcases of many private collectors. These local museums host especially interesting collections of the treasures of Binntal:

Further Information for Excursions, Polishing courses, Sales, etc.

Picture captions from above:

  • band of Dolomite in Wyssi; A. Gorsatt
  • Aquamarine with copper; A. Gorsatt
  • Quartz from Halsensee; S. Weiss
  • Octahedrite from Mittlenberg; S. Weiss


By the way:
It needn't always be real gemstones – fun soaps in crystal and amethyst shapes (among many others) can be found at

Last update: 29.03.2016