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Giles Elbaite pegmatite (Moriarty's Claim), Spargoville, Coolgardie Shire, Western Australia, Australia
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Giles Elbaite pegmatite, Spargoville, Coolgardie Shire, Western Australia, Australia
Also known as Moriarty's Claim. In 1938, local prospector A. S. Giles (who discovered the nearby world-class ferrocolumbite crystals at Giles pegmatite), took his wife out for a days prospecting. After parking the car in the scrub, he told his wife to wait for him (as you do) for his return at the end of the day. Later, and presumably bored with this, she stepped out of the car and straight onto a pile of gem green tourmaline. Mr Giles was in for a surprise when he returned.

In 1963, the three Moriarty brothers from Kalgoorlie decided to try and rediscover the location, which they achieved after a two week search. They excavated the area from where the original surface material had come from between 1963 and 1966. They recovered green, pink and watermelon elbaite, considered some of the finest specimens ever discovered in Western Australia. Some are now housed in the Western Australian Museum.

The site is a few kilometres south of Giles ferrocolumbite pegmatite. Unfortunately the area has seen extensive nickel exploration with tracks and exploration trenches everywhere. Even with good directions it took me five hours to find the location. The turn off is 6.9 kilometres south of the Nepean Road intersection, on the west side of the highway, marked with sheet metal fence posts. Travel 1.9 kilometres west, then 1.72 kilometres south along another track, and the site is 50 metres east of the track.

The pegmatite is similar to assymetrical zoned pegmatites of southern California. It is 200 metres long and 1-2 metres thick. The wall zone on one side is aplite, whereas the other side is course grained microcline-albite-quartz. The centre area is a mixture of cleavelandite, quartz, elbaite and fine grained lepidolite. The pegmatite has been a popular spot for local rockhunting clubs, and almost nothing remains that could be collected.

Mineral List

var: Chalcedony

9 entries listed. 8 valid minerals.

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Payette, F. and Klemm, L. (2011): Gem-quality green and blue tourmaline from a Coolgardie pegmatite, Western Australia. The Australian Gemmologist (2011):25: 171-175.

Jacobson, M., Calderwood, M., Grguric, B. (2007): Pegmatites of Western Australia (2007)

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