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Crocoite Cleaning SIO

Posted by Adam Berluti  
Adam Berluti January 14, 2012 04:51PM
Can I clean this crocoite in SIO without ruining it? Or if i removed the brown coating, would take away from the specimen?

open | download - IMG_9041.JPG (121.5 KB)
open | download - IMG_9042.JPG (128.8 KB)
Ralph Bottrill January 14, 2012 10:00PM
Adam, crocoite is fairly resistant to such chemicals, but they may attack the matrix and you can end up with a lot of loose crystals. But they can work well on some specimens with ferromanganese staining on the crocoite crystals with a solid matrix.

Bart Cannon January 15, 2012 01:54AM
The successful cleaning of Tasmanian crocoite catapaulted Ken Roberts from Tucson Desert Inn hotel dealer to Main Show dealer.

Maybe it was 1980.

Whenever it was, the Tucson Show Committee held tight reins, very high dealer standards, compliance with strict rules, and a fair amount of cronyism to get onto the main floor. They had secret service agents inspecting hotel dealer rooms for scoflaws who were in the main show, but selling secretly to the public before the main show. Penalty ---- expulsion from the main show.

Earlier in whatever year it was, Ken bought a large lot of watermelon to football sized lumps of crocoite bearing iron and manganese oxides.

I'm sure he bought them for practically nothing.

He found a way to clean them, and his Desert Inn room glass shelves were jam packed with what looked like angry red quilled porcupines.

The next year he was in the main show. He always had a great eye for specimens, but it took this event to draw special attention to it.

He confided to me that part of the secret was hydroflouric acid. It's been 32 years or so. I don't think he'll be mad at me for revealing this. Or any madder at me than he usually is. Having Ken mad at you is a high honor, by the way, and there is usually a hidden smile.

Bart Cannon January 15, 2012 04:13AM
Upon further reflection, I think that a substantial amount of the crud on the crocoites was probably amorphous boehmite, gibbsite and diaspore.
Rock Currier January 15, 2012 05:16AM
Bart, don't worry about it, ken is mad at everyone most of the time.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
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