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Fluorite, United States, Alaska to Kentucky

Posted by Rock Currier  
Don Swenson June 12, 2012 10:07PM
It appears that the steel mill was operated by the Morgan Construction Company of Worcester. This is a privately owned company so public information is difficult to obtain. However, in the mid 1920's Henry Ford employed them as consultants while building a huge (350 acres) steel production facility as part of his vertically integrated automobile organization. Along with the Pittsburgh steel mills & the Bessemer, Alabama operations I believe Worcester became "small potatoes" and could no longer compete. I have a phone number and address for Morgan Construction and plan to contact them, but who knows . . . ?
Rock Currier June 12, 2012 10:53PM

Peter has agreed to take pictures of specimens from Thomaston Dam & Stoddard. As for the history, I'm going to quote Stan Laurel: "That's another fine mess you've got me into, Ollie". The mine sent fluorite to the American Steel &

I would like to confirm exactly which mine we are talking about here.


Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Mike Polletta June 12, 2012 11:46PM
Ratty? They havent blasted there in over 50 years.. A lot of the old timers that have the quality Fluorite from Thomaston Dam dont even know theres a Mindat, or they are dead. Hopefully Harold Moritz has better specimens to put on Mindat...
Rock Currier June 13, 2012 08:53AM
That sounds like the real world I know. Back on the 70s I lived for 4 years in Westchester, New York and spent my time chasing specimens around New England when I probably should have been spending my time chasing girls. At that time I had already had ten years of collecting minerals in the Southwest including a fair amount of field work. The institutional collections of the North East were sort of my college education relating to mineral specimens. I know that a number of guys had really good specimens from Thomaston Dam, so although I regretted using the ratty ones we had, I put them in the best minerals USA, Fluorite article hoping that we could switch them out for for some decent specimens. There are some cases where I am selecting specimens for a Best Minerals article and I run across some grotty images from a locality I know little or nothing bout and wonder if that is as good as it gets or is it one of those cases like Thomaston Dam, where there really are better specimens, but no one has bothered to take decent pictures of them and upload them. At that point, all I can do is make an educated guess and trust that if I error that someone will come along and say "Hey, you screwed up by not including specimens from west Bugfug Arizona, take a look at these.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Dan Fountain June 13, 2012 12:31PM

I think I was misunderstanding the intent of the article. If the intent of the article is to show the best fluorites in the country, then specimens from Maine, with some 75 fluorite photos on Mindat; Massachusetts with 17; Michigan with 16 and Minnesota with only one (included in the span of Louisiana to Mississippi) probably wouldn't make the cut. I was thinking in terms of the best fluorite by state.

Keep up the good work. And if I ever find any better fluorites from Michigan, I'll call them to your attention.

Rock Currier June 14, 2012 05:54AM
The idea is to show the best specimens from every locality, not just by state. But for a big mineral like fluorite and quartz, the bar for what is a presentable specimen is a lot higher than for a rare mineral like zektzerite. What qualifies as a presentable specimen depends on who is writing the article. The guys who write these articles get three things out of writing them and that does not include money.

1. They get to choose what images they want to put in their articles. Most authors we are open to most suggestions from others, especially if they can make a case for the specimens they would like to see included, especially if they can come up with interesting information about the locality, the geology, history, and information about the kind of specimens the locality produced. If you think your favorite locality has been given short shrift you need to stand up and "represent"! Even if we don't want to include the specimens that are brought to our attention, we will often put their information about the locality in below the pictures, with credit given to them for their observations, though we may edit their remarks a bit or grill them for what else they may know about the locality and the specimens it produced.

2. Their name in lights. That is they get their name at the top of the article or at least as the author of the first edition.

3. They usually end up learning more about the mineral than they knew before they started the article. After you start one of these articles, you quickly come to realize that you didn't know as much about the mineral and its various localities as you thought you did.

Now if we could only figure out a way to get paid for what we do.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Don Swenson June 15, 2012 02:10PM

If most non-commercial mineral collectors stopped to figure the value of what they found versus the time spent collecting, they would realize what the rest of the world already knows: from a monetary standpoint, they're crazy. As all true collectors know, there are other rewards in life. I appreciate the enormity of the task you've undertaken and will continue to do my best to assist you (even if we sometimes get our wires crossed). Hang in there!
Mario Pauwels August 11, 2012 11:26AM
Hi Rock,

There is a duplicate picture of a Denton Mine Fluorite in the article.
For the rest, a very nice article !

Best regards,
Mario Pauwels
Rock Currier August 11, 2012 09:28PM
Thanks for letting me know about this. The duplicate image has been removed.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Rock Currier October 08, 2013 11:46AM
Mathew, that is a nice fluorite specimen. It appears to be a little chipped on its right hand corner and the specimen appears to be somewhat overexposed. At any rate, in best minerals we only use images of specimens that have been uploaded to our database.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
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