Log InRegister
Home PageAbout MindatThe Mindat ManualHistory of MindatCopyright StatusWho We AreContact UsAdvertise on Mindat
Donate to MindatCorporate SponsorshipSponsor a PageSponsored PagesMindat AdvertisersAdvertise on Mindat
Learning CenterWhat is a mineral?The most common minerals on earthInformation for EducatorsMindat Articles
Minerals by PropertiesMinerals by ChemistryAdvanced Locality SearchRandom MineralRandom LocalitySearch by minIDLocalities Near MeSearch ArticlesSearch GlossaryMore Search Options
Search For:
Mineral Name:
Locality Name:
The Mindat ManualAdd a New PhotoRate PhotosLocality Edit ReportCoordinate Completion ReportAdd Glossary Item
Mining CompaniesStatisticsThe ElementsUsersBooks & MagazinesMineral MuseumsMineral Shows & EventsThe Mindat DirectoryDevice Settings
Photo SearchPhoto GalleriesNew Photos TodayNew Photos YesterdayMembers' Photo GalleriesPast Photo of the Day Gallery

Collected With Your Dirty Hands

Posted by Matt Courville  
Rolf Luetcke February 04, 2017 06:51PM

Wish the fish-tail twin was the 22 incher but it was 23cm only but here is the piece that was 22.5 inches, longest one we had found at this one place.
Same wash had the bent gypsum crystals I posted on another thread. Those were about a mile down from the place we found this one.
Each place along this wash seems to have different forms of the gypsum. This wash is the place I found my nicest "desert roses" also. That place is buried at the moment from dirt filtering in from the 20 foot tall wall above it. Would take a lot of work to dig out that spot.
Matt Neuzil February 04, 2017 07:05PM
Sounds like a cool spot!
Dale Foster February 06, 2017 08:32AM
Got this nice vein section from the northern contact zone of the Cligga Head granite mass yesterday afternoon:

Wall rock of metasedimentary clay-slate (killas) with a nearly three inch wide quartz vein carrying Wolframite, some Scorodite is also present a bluish green encrustations.

This specimen represents the extension of one of the greisen bordered sheeted veins where it has passed from the greisenised granite into the adjacent country rock.
Volkmar Stingl February 07, 2017 07:11PM
These uralites (actinolite/tremolite ps. after diopside) I have found within an amphibolite block on top of an avalanche in a steep gorge, opposite of the emerald deposit in the Habach valley in the Austrian Alps (Salzburg). Crystal size exceeds 2 cm. I had to carry that chunk (about 1/2 m in diameter) for 3 hours. It was too dangerous to cleave it in place due to continuing danger of avalanches. Found in early spring 1996.

Matt Courville February 07, 2017 11:56PM
Some very decent posts lately(tu)

Volkmar, your photo is ironically of something that I've been looking into the past two weeks. I believe that I collected some of this 'uralite' thinking that it was diopside. Once I did some density checks on a number of minerals to test another potential idea for a friend, I found a seemingly pyroxene mineral to have a density that was far too low. Once verified with 3 separate pieces, and careful visual examination, I think I have some. I'll check with the club next meeting to see if they agree.

Dale Foster February 13, 2017 08:22AM
Whilst visiting the Trevaunance Mine site yesterday afternoon, I spotted this freshly exposed patch of mine waste, turned up when a new cable stay was added to an electricity pole. Given it was right next to the road I thought it was worth a look as I was heading home:

Turned out to be a good call as I found three really good Cassiterite specimens in this little exposure:

Wayne Corwin February 13, 2017 11:19AM

It's ALWAYS worth taking a look (tu) ,,,,, and getting a few nice specimens ;-)
jeff yadunno February 22, 2017 01:15AM

found here: https://www.mindat.org/loc-203820.html
longest crystal is about one inch
Dale Foster March 06, 2017 12:46PM

A small plate of matrix with crystals of Cassiterite partially coating one face.

Self collected from the dumps of Marshalls Shaft, South Condurrow Mine on 5th March 2017.

Whilst there is still potential for collecting at this site, a bit of care needs to be taken as some lovely person has dilligently picked up their dog's poop in plastic bags and then flung these into the area of exposed mine waste on the dump, turning it into dog poop alley!!
Richard Gibson March 06, 2017 04:13PM
My favorite epidote, collected last October at the Calvert Mine, Montana. I was (am) afraid to trim it down more for fear the crystal would break, so the whole rock is about 17 cm across.

Matt Ciranni March 06, 2017 07:40PM
That's a really nice one. I swung through there a couple years ago, and the largest epidote I found there was only about an inch, and it wasn't as complete or well formed.
John Montgomery March 21, 2017 04:54PM
Based on SEM analysis which they examined (see child photo) and visual inspection, both Michel
Picard ( recently retired curator Canadian Museum of Nature) and Dr. Douglas Watt, mineralogist very familiar with SEM spectra, confirm this specimen to be meionite. Michel related to me that all the meionite specimens in the CMN collection were confirmed by SEM analysis and that the ratios of my specimen were in keeping with those at the museum.
My specimens were collected (Oct.2017) in a calcium rich skarn which adds to the evidence.
Rob Woodside March 22, 2017 04:53PM
nice piece!
Sean March 22, 2017 10:40PM
"My specimens were collected (Oct.2017) in a calcium rich skarn which adds to the evidence."

You collected in the future? Can I borrow your time machine?
Guy Davis (2) May 07, 2017 05:33AM
Found this smoky quartz cluster with micro schorl crystals on some of the faces somewhere in the state of Maryland today.

Matt Courville May 10, 2017 01:26PM
Nice find Guy - I've found some nice smokey quartz in the past, but they always seem to look better in person, and wet, than from photos. Since mindat is pretty strict on the photo posting, I might start adding some of my 'wet' minerals to this thread, and I hope others do as well.
Sean May 28, 2017 07:05PM
Here's one of my first mineral that I collected this year

Wayne Corwin May 28, 2017 09:04PM
What is it?
Pavel Kartashov May 28, 2017 09:21PM
Something similar to this https://www.mindat.org/photo-823145.html ;-)
Sean May 28, 2017 10:27PM
Very funny, Pavel.

Wayne, the black minerals are Spinels. The green minerals are Fosterite while the white minerals are Calcite. This speiciman is from the Parker Mine.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2017 10:28PM by Nthingu Musomba.
Chris Rayburn May 29, 2017 11:07PM
Pavel Kartashov Wrote:
> Something similar to this
> https://www.mindat.org/photo-823145.html ;-)

Thanks for a good laugh Pavel!
jeff yadunno June 15, 2017 03:39PM
i could be wrong but i believe this is some mineral coating(dolomite?) on this fossil

found at a road cut while looking for fossils

hwy11 south of Dymond, ontario

D Mike Reinke June 15, 2017 04:43PM
Try an acid or vinegar test? Looks like your probably correct, to me.
Chris Rayburn June 19, 2017 10:25PM
A couple of nice celestine on calcite specimens dug last Tuesday in Emery County, Utah on the eastern flank of the San Rafael Swell. Photos (i.e., photographer) don't do them justice. Celestine1 is 8 x 13 cm with a 4 x 4 cm celestine cluster; Celestine2 is 5.5 x 8 cm with individual celestine blades to 1.5 cm.

Jason Ferguson June 25, 2017 11:32PM
1st two are from El Dorado county CA and the 3rd is my newest addition from my hounding trip to Colorado at Devils head!

John Montgomery June 26, 2017 12:22AM
Very nice Jason
Matt Courville June 26, 2017 01:37PM
Wow Jason, I wish there was a spot near my place that had those monsters!
Wayne Corwin June 26, 2017 02:19PM
Did you only find the one nice big crystal at Devils head?
Andrew Debnam June 26, 2017 05:09PM
collected this past weekend at the Marmoraton Iron mine, garnets, Pyrite, barite and epidote-etched in HCL to expose the crystals

@Jason -nice crystals

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/26/2017 06:17PM by Andrew Debnam.
Sean June 26, 2017 09:15PM
Andrew, were you with a mineral club when you went or you went by yourself?
Andrew Debnam June 26, 2017 09:28PM
I was with the Kawartha rock and Fossil Club. I have also been with Walker mineralogical club as well. Aecon the construction company now owns the property and they are crushing and using the material from the old open pit mine for road work. The only way I know to collect there is with a club. Aecon to my knowledge does not allow entry unless it is club trip for liability and insurance reasons. They have called the police when people have attempted to enter without permission.
Dale Foster June 30, 2017 07:54AM

Specimens of Cassiterite collected from a demolished hedge line during a site investigation of a new building plot located on part of the former Wheal Montague Mine site in June 2017.

A large block had split apart and the two halves were just sitting on a rubble pile glittering in the sun. These specimens are considerably trimmed down from the large sections of the block.
Dennis Jones July 02, 2017 01:40PM
Yesterday I found several nice samples of calcite on my field trip to the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia. As you can see, my hands are indeed dirty.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/02/2017 01:50PM by Dennis Jones.
Matt Ciranni July 03, 2017 07:57PM

These are fun to dig for, especially when they have the nice three-faced terminations on them.

From the "Black Crystal Pit" somewhere in southern Idaho.
Rolf Luetcke July 03, 2017 08:22PM

One of my favorite self collected azurites from the Last Chance Mine in Cochise County Arizona. The crystals are so thin they are nearly see through.
Nice to get it home and mounted before any real damage.
Matt Courville July 03, 2017 08:43PM
From the Marmoraton Iron Mine in Ontario - This place is just a huge place to collect at, and although the garnet gets all of the attention, there are some oddities such as this calcite with what appears to be microscopic fibrous actinolite that was growing throughout the calcite.

Also a nice spider that was actively devouring a live beetle...circle of life I suppose

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 07/04/2017 01:07PM by Matt Courville.
Matt Courville July 03, 2017 08:47PM

post 2 of 2 - a better view of the odd calcite/actinolite? You can see on piece which shows better the smooth actinolite.
Jason Ferguson July 13, 2017 05:59PM
thank you!
Jason Ferguson July 13, 2017 06:01PM
Wayne Corwin Wrote:
> Jason
> Did you only find the one nice big crystal at
> Devils head?

Wayne, I did. Myself and 2 of my buddies camped for 3 days on Devil's Head while I was up there visiting. We dug 8 feet down and trenched probably 10 feet finding a string of pockets. This Crystal was only the 4th largest of what we found, sadly the other 3 larger crystals wouldn't fit in my carry on.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/13/2017 06:02PM by Jason Ferguson.
Wayne Corwin July 13, 2017 08:13PM

When the crystals don't fit in your carry on, just mail those home.
Rolf Luetcke July 20, 2017 10:58PM

Not a single specimen here but the Sulphur we collected back in the late 1970's at the Hycroft mine in Nevada. I had this stored in an old shed and ran out of room so out in our rock yard it went. A few more piles of various rocks and minerals all around, all self collected.
Andrew Debnam July 21, 2017 01:48AM
Rolf all you need is some saltpeter and charcoal for fireworks
Guy Davis (2) July 21, 2017 05:03AM
The beryl crystals weren't even nibbling at this location in Maryland, yesterday, but the smoky quartz crystals were biting hard.

The smokies at this site are usually found loose in soils exposed by mechanical weathering by nature, but I found this one by digging about 1 foot down.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/22/2017 04:30AM by Guy Davis (2).
open | download - IMG_20170719_144734472.jpg (4.62 MB)
Sean July 21, 2017 09:36PM
Here are the things that I found last weekend.


Astrophyllite? (or Aegirine) (plus, sole yellowish mineral that I don't know)

Okay, my iPhone doesn't do a good job taking pictures of small minerals. But...Sabinaite?

Before you ask, I found them in Mont St. Hilaire.

There are more pictures to come.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/21/2017 09:39PM by Nthingu Musomba.
Dale Foster July 28, 2017 07:57AM

A rich Cassiterite in 'blue peach' (tourmaline rich) matrix, self collected on the morning of the 23rd July from a small exposure of dump material lying to the west of the stamps engine house (eastern stamps) and vanner house complex of Wheal Basset Mine.
Dale Foster August 03, 2017 06:43AM

Self collected from dumps at Poldice Mine on the 30th July 2017 while out for an afternoon walk with my dog, I didn't have my collecting bag or hammers with me, only a hand lens in my pocket.

A large hand specimen showing crystalline Cassiterite to 4mm liberally sprinkled across this face of the specimen in cavities on the other faces and some minor amounts of Wolframite (in cavity towards upper right of specimen in this view) hosted in a matrix of tourmaline hornfels with chlorite.

When first found the specimen was heavily coated in dump growth iron oxides and only the small patch of Wolframite was visible, although the weight of the piece hinted at further mineralisation concealed by the muck.

It has been cleaned in oxalic acid to reveal the Cassiterite.

John Montgomery August 03, 2017 02:22PM
Sceptre quartz, new locality, Lyndhurst area. I collected this in May, 2017. Probably the first sceptre from this area.
5.5cm high

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/03/2017 02:31PM by John Montgomery.
Scott Rider August 03, 2017 11:46PM
This large 15cm smoky quartz (I have a long hand!!!) was collected a few weeks ago in Devil's Head, Colorado. It wasn't the largest crystal, but it was the only one that resembled a textbook quartz crystal. All others were oddly shaped...

This was found next to a pocket on my friend's claim that yielded numerous large crystals over a foot long. This came from a pocket that was about 6-7 feet from that large pocket (I wasn't there for that pocket). Most of the crystals were recrystallized, which isn't too unusual for pegmatite minerals.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/04/2017 05:30AM by Scott Rider.
Matt Courville August 08, 2017 03:18AM

Some brown-ish axinite and green epidote from the Malone quarries in Ontario. Not only was I fortunate enough to be invited to this 'scheduled, club only' collecting site, but the weather was finally sunny after we got some much rain here this spring and early summer. My 1st axinite as well!

Axinite F.O.V roughly 25cm, epidote 15-20cm

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/08/2017 03:20AM by Matt Courville.
Pavel Kartashov August 08, 2017 03:43AM
Nthingu, here is spinel. :-)

It is from Gon phlogopite deposit, Aldan.
Sean August 08, 2017 05:00AM
Pavel, did you find this Spinel yourself?

Just saying, 99% of my minerals were found by me.
John Montgomery August 08, 2017 01:31PM
Dimensions: 4.8 cm x 4 cm x 2.5 cm
Largest Crystal Size: 4.8 cm
Lyndhurst Ontario area

Three generations of growth on the main crystal which has a terminated "sidecar" crystal attached.The main crystal has a hematite included first generation crystal which is terminated with small quartz crystals (second generation) that appear smokey and the clear outer crystal covering three sides of the first generation crystal is third generation growth.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/08/2017 01:32PM by John Montgomery.
Pavel Kartashov August 08, 2017 01:55PM
Nthingu, yes it is. But it isn't fresh find.
Sean August 09, 2017 03:36AM
Isn't "fresh find". Are you saying that you didn't find it at some quarry (a mine nor a occurrence) and you bought this yourself?
Dale Foster August 09, 2017 06:14AM
Nthingu Musomba Wrote:
Isn't "fresh find". Are you saying that you didn't find it at some quarry (a mine nor a occurrence) and you bought this yourself?

Now, given the language issues, I would read Pavel's entire post to mean he did collect it himself, just not recently.
Phil M. Belley August 09, 2017 06:39AM
Pavel, here is spinel ;-)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/2017 06:45AM by Phil M. Belley.
John Montgomery August 09, 2017 12:21PM
Oh ya Phil, that is one big spinel...seen in person even more impressive
Pavel Kartashov August 09, 2017 03:05PM
Yes, it was collected in 2011. I don't know why, but I decided that in this thread we boast only by our fresh finds. But my last field trip took place in 2013 between two artritis attacs. Now I'm no longer a fare. :(

Hi Phil,
It is really amazing how mineralogy of these precambrian skarns are similar worldwide - the same orange calcites, diopsides, blue apatites, black spinels, brown pargasites you may to collect in Canada, Madagascar, Slyudyanka or Aldan.
When Gon deposit was in operation for its phlogopite, 10-12-cm size spinels weren't rarity here. Once I brought 6 kg complete and doubleterminated forsterite crystal from these skarns. But I haven't space in my apartment to store such large stones, so I exchanged it for 2-3 Langban's micros.
I collected 35-cm high books of phlogopite, but preserved only this one as souvenir.

Unfortunately I never met personally larger complete apatite crystal then this, but saw 30x10 cm fragments of them without terminations.

But all this was long ago in past for me.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/2017 06:51PM by Pavel Kartashov.
John Montgomery August 09, 2017 07:01PM
Yes Pavel, that IS amazing... nice specimens too .
Man,I would have liked to have seen that forsterite!!!

I believe you also have similar blue apatites to the one below... I already put this one up, but it's the best blue apatite I have collected...

John from Ontario,Canada

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/2017 07:03PM by John Montgomery.
Chris Rayburn August 11, 2017 05:27PM
Beautiful blue apatite John!

Here's a little grossular and diopside that I collected at the Pipestone Mine in Jefferson County, Montana USA last week: https://www.mindat.org/loc-69392.html Specimen is roughly 9 cm x 12 cm and was etched from calcite.

Travis Hetsler August 12, 2017 08:01PM
Not collected by my hands, but a great video of smokey quartz being extracted at a site in Raleigh, NC:

Sean August 16, 2017 12:52AM
Here's a sneak peek of a Apatite that I'll share more soon from the Seybold Mine.

Chris Rayburn August 20, 2017 10:38PM
8 x 18 cm plate of baryte crystals from the Whitehouse Campground area, Basin District, Jefferson Co., Montana: https://www.mindat.org/loc-211050.html This was heavily coated with hard, very tenacious iron oxide. I finally hit on the right combination of chemical voodoo this weekend to clean it.

John Montgomery August 20, 2017 11:14PM
Hey Chris, nice specimen. Can you reveal your cleaning recipe?
John Montgomery August 20, 2017 11:24PM
11cm schorl crystal on albite matrix with muscovite- Villeneuve Mine, Quebec
David K. Joyce August 21, 2017 12:42AM
Found some small but nice sphalerite crystals at the Flamboro Quarry yesterday. My hands didn't get too dirty since I was wearing gloves! They are not TOO amazing in the world of sphalerite but sure were fun collecting!
The complex brownish crystal is about 20mm across. The plate with little clusters is 55mm across. The gemmy clustered specimen is 45mm across.

David K. Joyce

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/21/2017 12:43AM by David K. Joyce.
Andrew Debnam August 21, 2017 01:29AM
Nice, did you find any Flourite?
David K. Joyce August 21, 2017 01:43AM
My Sister-In-Law Mary Joyce found a "screamer" fluorite. My brother brian found a fantastic large black sphalerite. I came up empty in the fluorite department! Next time!!
David K. Joyce August 21, 2017 01:48AM
Seems like it was mostly a sphalerite weekend! :)
David K Joyce
Steve Stuart August 21, 2017 03:50AM
Stilbite collected by me at Granite Mountain Quarry #1 in Little Rock, Arkansas on July 27, 2017. 2 mm HFOV.

Volkmar Stingl August 21, 2017 04:12AM
Found many years ago at the Schneeberg mine in Ridnaun, South Tyrol, Italy: Almandine in antophyllite. Size 6x3cm.

Chris Rayburn August 21, 2017 10:32AM
Hi John--nice schorl! It's great to see all these new specimens at the height of the collecting season (at least here in the northern hemisphere).

Baryte cleaning recipe:

1. Weeklong soak in soapy water with a couple of brisk scrubs
2. Overnight soak in warm (crock pot) 10% phosphoric acid
3. Two days in warm (plastic bucket with bucket heater) ammonium bifluoride / HCl solution; see https://www.mindat.org/forum.php?read,6,407651,407668#msg-407668
4. 30 min ultrasonic cleaning

I'd hoped the third step wouldn't be needed, but phosphoric alone didn't get it done. Enough has been written about the need for extreme care when using HF, but it can't be over-emphasized. I use a large fan to disperse fumes, full tyvek suit, elbow-length chemical-proof gloves and a face shield (outdoors, of course). My neighbor saw me this weekend and is convinced I'm a beekeeper.
Sean August 22, 2017 08:57PM
Here are some more pictures of the Apatites from the Seybold (Moore) Mine.

John Montgomery August 22, 2017 09:54PM
Hi Chris
Thanks for sharing that cleaning recipe... I would never have figured THAT out ...wow... I may not be brave enough to use that HF...
with kind regards
Michael C. Michayluk August 22, 2017 11:16PM
Found some decent blue hemimorphite digging in the tailings of the reclaimed Memphis Mine, Organ Mountains, Dona Ana Co., New Mexico on 8/20/2017

Matt Courville August 23, 2017 12:48PM
Nice picts everyone.

From John/Chris : 'I may not be brave enough to use that HF... ' I've used this acid before, and I personally would not use it outside of a proper laboratory with a fumehood and a 1st aid kit that contained HF burn cream.

It would be really neat to see field photos posted with the minerals if anyone has them(not to backtrack, but for future posts;)

Chris Rayburn August 23, 2017 02:05PM
Hi John and Matt

HF is definitely my cleaning option of last resort, and fortunately it's not often that it's needed ("need" being relative, I understand). I do have calcium gluconate burn cream on hand; fortunately I've never had to use it.

Agree with Matt re. field photos. They're worth the proverbial thousand words!
John Montgomery August 23, 2017 02:43PM
Chris and Matt
Ditto on the field photos...and HF :)
John Montgomery August 28, 2017 01:43PM
I collected this doubly terminated calcite cluster back in 2014 but I just noticed it has phantoms in the two main crystals...10.5cm high, largest xl 8cm
Andrew Debnam September 02, 2017 05:30PM
Crystal cluster of Actinolite-Tremolite series from Monteagle Township. Found in a vug of weathered calcite.

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

Mineral and/or Locality  
Mindat.org is an outreach project of the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Public Relations by Blytheweigh.
Copyright © mindat.org and the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy 1993-2019, except where stated. Most political location boundaries are © OpenStreetMap contributors. Mindat.org relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters.
Privacy Policy - Terms & Conditions - Contact Us Current server date and time: May 23, 2019 17:58:54
Go to top of page