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Collected With Your Dirty Hands

Posted by Matt Courville  
Erik Vercammen February 22, 2019 08:43PM
The unknown dark mineral may be mottramite.
Rolf Luetcke February 25, 2019 07:52PM

These are two pieces of chalcedony-jasper collected in Dry Canyon, Cochise County, Arizona. The interesting thing here is one time collecting there my wife Mary found an arrowhead made from this material and an abundance of the material was in the same canyon. This was a bit unusual since just about all the arrowheads we have found over the years were not made of material found in the same canyon. Unfortunately she gave the arrowhead to a child not long after she had found it. I had looked for it the other day and she said she had given it away. She had found it and has always been very generous with her finds toward kids.
Just thought the little story was of interest and I am sure there are a number of people who collect arrowheads on mindat.
Dale Foster March 27, 2019 08:08AM
A hand specimen of quartz matrix with Fluorite crystals, found on the 26th March 2019 at the Wheal Buller Mine site:

On the reverse of the piece this was noted when a little of the red mud was scraped off:

After careful cleaning this was revealed:

Considering this specimen was hauled out of the mine as waste, then thrown onto the burrows where it has sat for over 100 years, it is a remarkably good specimen.

View of whole specimen after cleaning:

Smaller crystals in near perfect condition deeper in the vug:

The main 10 mm crystal:

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/29/2019 06:47AM by Dale Foster.
Andrew Debnam April 23, 2019 11:00PM
Nice Fluorite Dale. As spring is here I have been tasked with cleaning out the garage. This find from the Cobalt area happened to ready for freshen up. Now it is in the house.

Native silver with Cobalt arsenide and some fine pale green Tremolite crystals. 11cm 546 grams

Dale Foster April 24, 2019 06:35AM
Nice little rich Cassiterite specimen collected on the morning of Easter Sunday 2019, from dumps on the Wheal Vincent section of the Wheal Lushington / West Wheal Towan group of mines:

The same specimen following a good clean:
Jobe Giles April 24, 2019 11:55PM
Some new perspectives on old finds.
BBC Mine, El dorado County, CA.
Self collected 2016-2018

Chris Rayburn May 20, 2019 10:47PM
What better use of a cold, soggy day than to photograph some new finds? This is a sculptural, deep green, octahedral fluorite cluster from a vein near the Last Chance Mine, Gila Fluorspar District, Grant County, New Mexico, collected in mid-April. 5 x 6 x 11 cm; largest crystals are 3.5 cm on edge.

Jobe Giles May 21, 2019 01:41AM
Quartz with Chlorite, Muscovite, and clay inclusions on 2x2” block for scale.

Chlorite included Quartz on 2x2” block for scale.

Quartz with Hematite, Rutile, and unknown red inclusions.

Collected in different localities in El Dorado co. CA
Jobe Giles May 21, 2019 05:06AM

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/21/2019 05:10AM by Jobe Giles.
Jobe Giles May 21, 2019 05:23AM
This plate is 13” from point to point and 6” wide. The smoky quartz crystal is 4” long. This plate has black tourmaline, Muscovite, microcline and another feldspar of unknown species. This unknown feldspar is a blue green color. The blue green feldspar grew over the graphic granite in the pocket wall.

Scott Rider May 21, 2019 07:22PM
Here are some Hartsel baryte found on a club trip last weekend. I think we all got a ton of crystals of varying qualities. I haven't upwrapped my best but here are some of my favorites that I have cleaned thus far. Please excuse my garbage photos, my phone camera is a joke and I am awaiting a new, better camera since someone stole my good camera last year...

6x4 cm, does have interesting color zoning:

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/21/2019 07:28PM by Scott Rider.
Scott Rider May 21, 2019 07:25PM
These 2 specimens were cleaned with only water and a toothbrush. No soap or acids thankfully were needed to clean them. In fact, most of the smaller to medium size XL's I found had very little crusts, just a bunch of dirt!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/21/2019 07:25PM by Scott Rider.
Kevin Conroy May 21, 2019 07:54PM
Nice finds Scott! Were they laying loose on the surface, or did you let them sit in the sun to turn blue?
Scott Rider May 21, 2019 08:16PM
Thanks Kevin. No, these were dug from about 3-4 feet into the soil. And because of that, we were all questioning how the heck some of them came out really blue... I found a couple that were much more blue than the images in this topic. I'll post those later.

One theory was that they were on top of the ground, turned blue, and then were bulldozed into the piles that lay today... I just can't see how they stayed in decent condition while being bulldozed into a pile... I haven't looked into the history of this deposit myself, but I was told that in the 1940's the US government bulldozed this area to get to the baryte for the war effort...

I did see layers of what looked like it was part of a tailing pile. First there is a tannish layer, which hosts some baryte. Then there are darker red and brown zones (with rounded glacial rock) that, for the most part, are devoid of baryte. Then under that layer is iron oxide colored dirt (red and yellow), that holds the best of the baryte... And finally, a black soot/soil layer (full of river/glacial rock), that is supposedly not part of the bulldozing. I did not dig deeper than the black soil zone so I can't attest if there are baryte specimens in or under that layer... But I was told by an experienced digger who said he did dig below that layer and believes it is part of the original hill. However, some of the best pieces I found were on the borders of the layers.

In addition, I found quite a few that were purely white in the same zone, and I have put those in the sun and they are turning blue. So, honestly, I have no idea how these two were blue and NOT exposed to the sun. Perhaps they were blue in-situ all along...

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/21/2019 08:23PM by Scott Rider.
Scott Rider May 21, 2019 08:29PM
A couple more. The first one is a cool bi-color floater, and the 2nd is a fat, thick crystal with some white zones on the termination. The thicker they get, the darker and more saturated the color can be!!! And some come out bi-color, with blue and yellow zoning. In those specimens, it appears that the blue is a phantom and the yellow color was the last to deposit. I haven't seen a yellow with blue outer zoning. Only blue cores!!

Then there are some that have white layers on the terminations. Those are more tabular in shape, but I found them up to 4 inches!!

Jobe Giles May 21, 2019 09:09PM
Scott, those a great! Must have been a fun dig!
Scott Rider May 21, 2019 09:19PM
Thanks Jobe!! Your digs look quite productive! I have to get out to that area, as I am more accustomed to pegmatite prospecting.

It was definitely a fun dig, as I haven't been in that area before! Its a cool place too, albeit the wind was a little annoying, especially after a 9 hour dig!! The wind almost knocked me down, as I was really tired and the wind was quite gusty toward the end of the day as a storm was coming into the area.
Jobe Giles May 21, 2019 11:14PM
That’s nuts! It does get blowing out there! Always makes the experience more memorable.
Jobe Giles May 21, 2019 11:20PM
Check these out from a recent dig. My understanding is that hematite balls are “rare”. 1”crystal...

Scott Rider May 21, 2019 11:25PM
Indeed! But from what I heard from the guy who has dug there dozens of times, it never stops!! Its on a hill that isn't steep, in the middle of a valley that is always windy! So I guess I shouldn't be surprised it was windy up there. But there is one major advantage to winds -- that it blows all the dust away from when I am mucking out the hole! Makes it easier to breath! : )
Jobe Giles May 21, 2019 11:30PM
This one is mounted on a 1x1” block.

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