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Touchenite or Riebeckite?

Christopher Carlucci May 16, 2010 11:37PM
A while back I posted a topic on a strange NJ rock that very little is known about called " Touchenite." It was understood that the rock known as Touchenite is actually RIEBECKITE or Silicified Croc, thanks to Mindat users!. However the Touchenite that I have found looks much different than Riebeckite photos I've seen online. I posted some pictures of a potato sized chunk I recently dug out of NJ. Any comments or info would be great. Also sorry for the low-grade photos. This rock really sparkles blue,gold,velvet in the sun.
open | download - touch1.jpg (94.3 KB)
open | download - touch2.jpg (124.6 KB)
open | download - t3.jpg (117.7 KB)
Don Saathoff May 17, 2010 02:10AM
Hello certainly looks like riebeckite to me - one of my favorite minerals under the polarizing microscope!.....I have no idea what silicified croc is, however.....enlighten me?

Don S.
Andrew G. Christy May 17, 2010 05:06AM
Silicified crocidolite = fibrous variety of riebeckite, replaced by quartz
Don Saathoff May 17, 2010 07:06PM
AAAHHHHH.....silicified crocIDOLITE.....can you tell, I don't text!!.......

Don S.
Eric Stanchich May 24, 2010 05:43PM

This is a gorgeous specimen!!

I have spent many a day in the creekbeds.....searching for Carnelian and Touchenite.

In my experiences......I have never heard anyone ever mention Riebeckite.

Touchenite and Carnelian are both Quartz. From what I know, the glimmer in Touchonite is from Quartz altering it's chemical composition over time via being submersed in water or water soaked grey/green clay.

Please let me know if you specimen is for sale?


Eric Stanchich.
Rock Currier May 25, 2010 12:56PM
I finally discovered that if you can get to the right creek bed your searching can be several hundred times more productive than if you try and beat to death old heavily collection and really never really productive areas near your home.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
David Bernstein May 25, 2010 02:10PM
I was in this creek with my son the other day(we live five minutes down the road) and there was someone downstream who was there for the first time. He was asking what could be found besides the obvious Carnellian. I mentioned I had once found an Amethyst point. He proceeded to find one. I then mentioned Chert. He proceeded to find a piece as big as a baseball. I debated shutting up at that point but I mentioned Touchenite/Riebeckite. He then found a chunk of fibrous material that reminded me of picrolite.

AJ then said-Dad don't forget to tell him about the arrowhead. We left before he could find one.
Christopher Carlucci May 27, 2010 01:35AM
Thanks so much to every one for there comments and info about the Touchenite/Riebeckite. I'm still not sold on what this stuff is, maybe Kryptonite? I just haven't found a photographic match. Im sure it is Riebeckite but if anyone has a photo of Riebeckite with blue,green and gold fibers please post. I have to post some more of my finds soon, I just don't have the time. Eric Stanchich you can e mail me at for a possible sale or trade. I would be glad to talk with you. I hear that this stuff cuts and polishes really nice. Also what you said about the Quartz being colored by the clay makes sense too.
To David, That was a funny story! You found an Amethyst arrowhead? I heard of Carnelian arrowheads before. I found a bunch of arrowheads back there but not Carnelian or Amethyst. I think the ultimate would be a Touchenite arrowhead. I found Opal back there too with fire in it. also I think Touchenite looks more like picrolite than Riebeckite as well. Thanks.
David Bernstein May 27, 2010 03:46AM

No, no,not an Amethyst arrowhead, just an Amethyst crystal point. Regular arrowhead. You never know what you will fish out of that brook.
Christopher Carlucci May 28, 2010 01:45AM
Me again.. Here are some more photos of my findings at carnelian creek NJ. Check out the Opal. Its a peice of Amethyst with Opal inside it. More photos to comw.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/30/2010 01:43AM by Christopher Carlucci.
open | download - opal1.jpg (89 KB)
open | download - opal2.jpg (102.8 KB)
open | download - arrowhead.jpg (118.8 KB)
Christopher Carlucci May 28, 2010 01:51AM
open | download - touchenite1.jpg (202.8 KB)
open | download - carnelian.jpg (89 KB)
open | download - Riebeckite.jpg (127.5 KB)
Christopher Carlucci May 28, 2010 01:56AM
And some more...
open | download - car2.jpg (132.8 KB)
open | download - white.jpg (86.6 KB)
open | download - hh.jpg (139.7 KB)
Anonymous User June 16, 2011 08:13PM
Hey Chris, I had a friend point out this thread to me. I have some of this material that a friend of mine gave me and has traded with me before in the past. Some with gold some with blue. He always spelled it Tueschenite, as have I, but good to see it might be spelled differently amongst those in the know. From the info I have gleaned it only comes from a few streams in New Jersey. My buddy pete collects carnelian and Tueschenite/touchenite at the same location. Here is a link to a thread he posted on another site. There is another thread he did with more info somewhere on the site that I need to find
For some reason I think he had mentioned crocidolite before but don't quote me on that
The first batch I ever got was one piece that I had cabbed. He has since sent me better material with the great blue and some better gold but it's all still in rough form except for these two cabbed pieces from the first piece I ever got. Sorry about bad pic..took this back when I was a noob with camera years ago

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/16/2011 08:17PM by Jason Barrett.
Alfredo Petrov June 16, 2011 08:33PM
"Tueschenite" and "touchenite" seem to be misspellings, the correct version perhaps being TOUCHONITE, as Mindat's page on the topic says it was named after "Leon Touchon, tavern and convenience store owner in Warren Township, New Jersey". Nevertheless, Mindat also says touchonite is synonymous with carnelian, which may be wrong, as I've only ever heard the term used by local collectors for the chatoyant material, not the carnelian.

I've not seen any analyses of the chatoyant material, but it looks very much like the blue chatoyant South Africa material which turned out to be riebeckite and quartz fibers in parallel growth (not "silicified crocidolite" or quartz pseudomorphs after riebeckite, as had been previously thought). Anyone want to sacrifice a rice-grain-sized fragment for X-ray diffraction?

Anyway, professional mineralogists don't get at all excited by local names for varieties of varieties of minerals, so don't anyone expect the International Mineralogical Association to promulgate an edict from on high defining this material - Won't ever happen, so the locals can just fight among themselves about how to define it :(

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/16/2011 08:36PM by Alfredo Petrov.
Steven Kuitems June 17, 2011 12:21AM
Congrats Alfredo!!
You are the one to get it CORRECT!!
Leon Touchon had a gas station/service station near the brook in Warren, NJ and besides the carnelian the riebeckite included agate/carnelian was found in moderate abundance near his station and the locals here in NJ have called it "Touchonite" for at least 60+ years. A local varietal name to be sure! Some specimens are chatoyant with a deep blue color others are golden and some are mixed blue/golden. Some still have the riebeckite intact and present on the surface, some are nearly complete replacements with agate and the golden is most likely from the high iron content of the host rock (basalt fissures and pockets). One of the key field identifiers of this material is the presence of negative casts of almost cubic calcite crystals on the intact outer surfaces of the carnelian, while only a few of the "Touchonite" pieces actually have this feature. One can easily find quartz points up to almost two inches. Yes a few carnelian arrowheads have been found (saw one at the NJESA show in Franklin,NJ) and some of the small carnelian nodules have some opal (usually white) lining internal openings. The old-timers found red and white banded carnelian and the rare stalactitic forms.
Congrats on your new finds!!
Anonymous User June 17, 2011 01:32AM
Well it sure is refreshing to finally get some good answers on this material. Thanks alfredo and steven
Kurt A. Wehmann August 25, 2015 07:14PM
Jason Baskin at The Gem Vault in Flemington, N.J. can tell you more about Riebeckite. He has cut and polished the stuff. I on the other hand grew up in Berkeley Hts, N.J. where Carnelian is much more common. Teueschenite and Carnelian occur together in Glacial Till Deposits further west in Watchung and Warren N.J.
D. Peck August 25, 2015 08:39PM
I lived for 40+ years about a mile from the site. And, Chris, I never found any pieces of "Touchonite" that came close to being as good as yours. The stream is on the maps as Sterling Brook (not Carnelian Brook) and it is well inside Warren, NJ (by better than a mile) and is not in Sterling, a village in Passaic Twp. that us often and mistakenly cited as the site. (pun intended) Alfredo and Steve are right on. BTW the gas station is gone. It is now Rolf's Restaurant.

Don Peck
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