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Topaz Mountain Gem Mine (Matucat Road deposits), Park Co., Colorado, USAi
Regional Level Types
Topaz Mountain Gem Mine (Matucat Road deposits)Mine
Park Co.County
ColoradoState
USACountry

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Key
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84):
39° 6' 11'' North , 105° 23' 34'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal):
Locality type:
Age:
990 to 970 Ma
Geologic Time:
Nearest Settlements:
PlacePopulationDistance
Florissant104 (2011)19.6km
Westcreek129 (2011)20.5km
Divide127 (2011)27.1km
Woodland Park7,222 (2017)31.4km
Midland156 (2011)33.8km


Topaz Mountain Gem Mine

by Bob Carnein

Located at 39 degrees 6.345 minutes N, 105 degrees 23.591 minutes W, the Topaz Mountain Gem mine can be reached from Lake George, Park County, Colorado by following Park County Road 77 north for about 7 miles from where it intersects US Route 24; then turning right (northeast) onto Forest Service Road 211 (Matakat, aka Matukat, Matucat, Road) and driving approximately 2.5 miles to the entrance gate (on the north side of Matakat Road, just past the cattle guard). The locality occupies 2 Forest Service placer claims owned by Glacier Peak Mining, LLC, which is operated by Joseph L. Dorris and his family. COLLECTING IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED except when Mr. Dorris is present, and requires purchase of a bag of gem gravel. For detailed directions, conditions, and dates, go to http://pinnacle5minerals.com/GlacierPeakWeb/Visits/TopazVisits.htm.

The Topaz Mountain Gem mine is located in the Tarryall Mountains, a rugged, forested area that includes parts of Pike National Forest and the Lost Creek Wilderness. Starting in about 1990, Walt Rubeck, of Colorado Springs, located and developed 2 placer mining claims and set up a small, seasonal business that included a museum and store. Visitors could purchase buckets of topaz gravel that they could then screen on-site. Walt Rubeck died in the spring of 2005, at which time Joe Dorris took over the property.

Topaz occurs in the Tarryall Mountains in miarolitic cavities in pegmatites, in colluvial deposits, and in colluvial/alluvial deposits produced by glacial meltwater (Michalski, 1986). At the Topaz Mountain Gem mine, topaz occurs in 2 types of deposits. First, it forms well rounded "cutters" in small seams of deeper gravel that was deposited between large boulders. Second, it occurs in "pristine", sharply terminated crystals in poorly sorted granite colluvium. Both types probably originated in the rugged outcrops of 970- to 990-million-year-old potassium-rich granite that occur to the east and northwest of the mine. These outcrops are a part of the Redskin stock, a late intrusive phase of the Pikes Peak batholith. Topaz occurrences are concentrated along the contact between the Pikes Peak Granite and the Redskin stock.

Topaz crystals to over 6 cm and over 800 carats have been found at the locality. Typically, they exhibit lustrous, etched "chisel point" terminations that are coated by muscovite flakes or are pitted where muscovite flakes once occurred. More than 50 percent are colorless; 20 percent are pale "ice blue", and 20 percent are pinkish orange ("champagne" or "sherry"). Viewed down the c-axis, many exhibit a champagne colored "hourglass" shape. The blue color is stable, but the champagne color often fades in sunlight. Other colors are rare. Phenakite and schorl inclusions may be present; the writer has also observed unidentified inclusions of a dark green micaceous mineral and a black bladed mineral.

Other minerals at this locality include rare, euhedral zircon crystals (Joe Dorris, personal communication, 2012), common smoky quartz (some with phenakite or needly schorl crystals attached), milky quartz, microcline, albite, goethite, ferrocolumbite, and altered biotite.

Select Mineral List Type

Standard Detailed Strunz Dana Chemical Elements

Mineral List


12 valid minerals.

Detailed Mineral List:

Albite
Formula: Na(AlSi3O8)
Reference: Dorris, J.L., Topaz Mountain Gem mine, 2007 mining update (the summer of the gremlins continues): Mineral News, vol. 23, no. 10;
Columbite-(Fe)
Formula: Fe2+Nb2O6
Reference: Dorris, J.L., Topaz Mountain Gem mine, 2007 mining update (the summer of the gremlins continues): Mineral News, vol. 23, no. 10;
Fluorite
Formula: CaF2
Reference: Dorris, J.L., Topaz Mountain Gem mine, 2007 mining update (the summer of the gremlins continues): Mineral News, vol. 23, no. 10;
Goethite
Formula: α-Fe3+O(OH)
Reference: Dorris, J.L., Topaz Mountain Gem mine, 2007 mining update (the summer of the gremlins continues): Mineral News, vol. 23, no. 10;
Hematite
Formula: Fe2O3
Reference: Dorris, J.L., Topaz Mountain Gem mine, 2007 mining update (the summer of the gremlins continues): Mineral News, vol. 23, no. 10;
Microcline
Formula: K(AlSi3O8)
Reference: Dorris, J.L., Topaz Mountain Gem mine, 2007 mining update (the summer of the gremlins continues): Mineral News, vol. 23, no. 10;
Muscovite
Formula: KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Reference: Dorris, J.L., Topaz Mountain Gem mine, 2007 mining update (the summer of the gremlins continues): Mineral News, vol. 23, no. 10;
Phenakite
Formula: Be2SiO4
Reference: Dorris, J.L., Topaz Mountain Gem mine, 2007 mining update (the summer of the gremlins continues): Mineral News, vol. 23, no. 10;
Quartz
Formula: SiO2
Reference: Dorris, J.L., Topaz Mountain Gem mine, 2007 mining update (the summer of the gremlins continues): Mineral News, vol. 23, no. 10;
Schorl
Formula: Na(Fe2+3)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
Reference: Dorris, J.L., Topaz Mountain Gem mine, 2007 mining update (the summer of the gremlins continues): Mineral News, vol. 23, no. 10;
Topaz
Formula: Al2(SiO4)(F,OH)2
Reference: Minerals of Colorado (1997) E.B. Eckel
Zircon
Formula: Zr(SiO4)
Reference: Dorris, J.L., Topaz Mountain Gem mine, 2007 mining update (the summer of the gremlins continues): Mineral News, vol. 23, no. 10;

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 3 - Halides
Fluorite3.AB.25CaF2
Group 4 - Oxides and Hydroxides
Columbite-(Fe)4.DB.35Fe2+Nb2O6
Goethite4.00.α-Fe3+O(OH)
Hematite4.CB.05Fe2O3
Quartz4.DA.05SiO2
Group 9 - Silicates
Albite9.FA.35Na(AlSi3O8)
Microcline9.FA.30K(AlSi3O8)
Muscovite9.EC.15KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Phenakite9.AA.05Be2SiO4
Schorl9.CK.05Na(Fe2+3)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
Topaz9.AF.35Al2(SiO4)(F,OH)2
Zircon9.AD.30Zr(SiO4)

List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification

Group 4 - SIMPLE OXIDES
A2X3
Hematite4.3.1.2Fe2O3
Group 6 - HYDROXIDES AND OXIDES CONTAINING HYDROXYL
XO(OH)
Goethite6.1.1.2α-Fe3+O(OH)
Group 8 - MULTIPLE OXIDES CONTAINING NIOBIUM,TANTALUM OR TITANIUM
AB2O6
Columbite-(Fe)8.3.2.2Fe2+Nb2O6
Group 9 - NORMAL HALIDES
AX2
Fluorite9.2.1.1CaF2
Group 51 - NESOSILICATES Insular SiO4 Groups Only
Insular SiO4 Groups Only with cations in [4] coordination
Phenakite51.1.1.1Be2SiO4
Insular SiO4 Groups Only with cations in >[6] coordination
Zircon51.5.2.1Zr(SiO4)
Group 52 - NESOSILICATES Insular SiO4 Groups and O,OH,F,H2O
Insular SiO4 Groups and O, OH, F, and H2O with cations in [6] coordination only
Topaz52.3.1.1Al2(SiO4)(F,OH)2
Group 61 - CYCLOSILICATES Six-Membered Rings
Six-Membered Rings with borate groups
Schorl61.3.1.10Na(Fe2+3)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
Group 71 - PHYLLOSILICATES Sheets of Six-Membered Rings
Sheets of 6-membered rings with 2:1 layers
Muscovite71.2.2a.1KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Group 75 - TECTOSILICATES Si Tetrahedral Frameworks
Si Tetrahedral Frameworks - SiO2 with [4] coordinated Si
Quartz75.1.3.1SiO2
Group 76 - TECTOSILICATES Al-Si Framework
Al-Si Framework with Al-Si frameworks
Albite76.1.3.1Na(AlSi3O8)
Microcline76.1.1.5K(AlSi3O8)

List of minerals for each chemical element

HHydrogen
H TopazAl2(SiO4)(F,OH)2
H Goethiteα-Fe3+O(OH)
H MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
H SchorlNa(Fe32+)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
BeBeryllium
Be PhenakiteBe2SiO4
BBoron
B SchorlNa(Fe32+)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
OOxygen
O TopazAl2(SiO4)(F,OH)2
O AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
O Columbite-(Fe)Fe2+Nb2O6
O Goethiteα-Fe3+O(OH)
O HematiteFe2O3
O MicroclineK(AlSi3O8)
O MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
O QuartzSiO2
O PhenakiteBe2SiO4
O SchorlNa(Fe32+)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
O ZirconZr(SiO4)
FFluorine
F TopazAl2(SiO4)(F,OH)2
F FluoriteCaF2
NaSodium
Na AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
Na SchorlNa(Fe32+)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
AlAluminium
Al TopazAl2(SiO4)(F,OH)2
Al AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
Al MicroclineK(AlSi3O8)
Al MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Al SchorlNa(Fe32+)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
SiSilicon
Si TopazAl2(SiO4)(F,OH)2
Si AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
Si MicroclineK(AlSi3O8)
Si MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Si QuartzSiO2
Si PhenakiteBe2SiO4
Si SchorlNa(Fe32+)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
Si ZirconZr(SiO4)
KPotassium
K MicroclineK(AlSi3O8)
K MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
CaCalcium
Ca FluoriteCaF2
FeIron
Fe Columbite-(Fe)Fe2+Nb2O6
Fe Goethiteα-Fe3+O(OH)
Fe HematiteFe2O3
Fe SchorlNa(Fe32+)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
ZrZirconium
Zr ZirconZr(SiO4)
NbNiobium
Nb Columbite-(Fe)Fe2+Nb2O6

References

Sort by

Year (asc) Year (desc) Author (A-Z) Author (Z-A) In-text Citation No.
Muntyan, B.L., and J.R. Muntyan (1985) Minerals of the Pikes Peak Granite: Mineralogical Record: 16(3): 217-230.
Michalski, T.C. (1986) Topaz in the Pikes Peak batholith, in P.J. Modreski, editor, Colorado pegmatites--abstracts, short papers, and field guides from the Colorado Pegmatite Symposium, May 30-June 2, 1986: Denver, Colorado Chapter Friends of Mineralogy, p. 72-76.
Dorris, J.L. (2006) Topaz Mountain Gem mine, mining season, 2006, accessed 8/4/12 at www.pinnacle5minerals.com
Dorris, J.L., (2007) Topaz Mountain Gem mine, 2007 mining update (the summer of the gremlins continues): Mineral News: 23(10).

External Links

http://pinnacle5minerals.com/GlacierPeakWeb/Visits/TopazVisits.htm (arranging to visit the Topaz Mountain Gem mine)


Other Regions, Features and Areas containg this locality

North America
North America PlateTectonic Plate

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