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Spinelli prospect (Spinelli quarry), Glastonbury, Hartford Co., Connecticut, USAi
Regional Level Types
Spinelli prospect (Spinelli quarry)Prospect
Glastonbury- not defined -
Hartford Co.County
ConnecticutState
USACountry

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Key
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84):
41° 41' North , 72° 33' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal):
Locality type:
Nearest Settlements:
PlacePopulationDistance
Glastonbury Center7,387 (2017)4.6km
Glastonbury31,876 (2017)5.8km
Terramuggus1,025 (2017)8.5km
Wethersfield26,668 (2017)9.2km
Lake Pocotopaug3,436 (2017)10.0km


The locality is frequently reported as being in the South or East Glastonbury sections of the town of Glastonbury, but it is basically located in East Glastonbury. The late Richard Schooner in his private publication (1980) said it was north of Buck's Corner in East Glastonbury. It is located on private property near homes and permission is needed to access the prospect, which is now closed.

It is a small prospect in a granite pegmatite, about 40 meters long, 4.6 meters wide and 0.3 to 4.6 meters deep. It was first worked probably for feldspar in 1912. It was idle until 1932-4, when it was owned by Vito Spinelli, and was worked for the recovery of samarskite at the behest of Wilbur Foye of then Wesleyan College. Foye was looking for a radioactive mineral in sufficient quantity for reliable radioisotope dating of pegmatites. Somewhere between "a few" and "fifty" pounds of samarskite was mined from a shallow trench in the westernmost end of the pegmatite. Richard Schooner (1980) in his unpublished manuscript says that hundreds of pounds were marketed in the 1930s, however, this amount cannot be verified. The radiogenic dates based on samarskite from Spinelli appear in the landmark paper by Nier et al. (1941) and in later studies in the 1950s and 1960s. Some of it was also sent to Harvard and the USGS for composition analysis and determination of atomic weights of radiogenic lead isotopes (such as for lead-206).

With permission from the owner granted to Anthony J. Albini, specimen mining took place from April 2008 to June 2013. Recovery of additional samarskite from the trench worked in 1932-4 is described in Davis and Nicolescu (2011) and A. J. Albini, privately published (2013) and Albini & Moritz (2013). The samarskite and accompanying columbite-(Fe) occurs in a medium-grained microcline perthite-albite-quartz-muscovite zone at the west end of the pegmatite. The microcline and albite are typically stained brick red near the samarskite and columbite crystals by what appears to be hematite and have partially altered. Large monazite-(Ce) crystals have also been found in early 2012 by Anthony J. Albini and Raymond Meyers. Specimen recovery ended when no more gamma-ray scintillometer readings were obtained and the pegmatite dips too far under the adjacent gneiss for further work. Subsequently, the trench has been filled in and there is nothing further to see or collect. The owners kindly ask to be left in peace.

Accessory minerals magnetite and garnet occur scarcely at the eastern end of the pegmatite, where most of the feldspar prospecting took place. These dumps have been thoroughly checked with scintillometers and nothing radioactive was found.

Select Mineral List Type

Standard Detailed Strunz Dana Chemical Elements

Mineral List


15 valid minerals. 2 erroneous literature entries.

Detailed Mineral List:

Albite
Formula: Na(AlSi3O8)
Habit: anhedral grains
Colour: white, also stained maroon
Reference: Davis, Fred E. and Stefan Nicolescu. (2011): Samarskite Rediscovered at the Spinelli Prospect, Glastonbury, Connecticut. Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History: 52(1):135-152.
Albite var: Cleavelandite
Formula: Na(AlSi3O8)
Description: Reference was generically discussing cleavelandite as a late-stage mineral in pegmatites. Conducted analyses of "early-stage" minerals microcline and muscovite from Spinelli and contains no specific reference to cleavelandite mineral from Spinelli. Recent collecting there has turned up no trace of cleavelandite.
Reference: Brookins, D.G., Fairbairn, H.W., Hurley, P.M., and Pinson, W.H. (1969): Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 22, 157-168.
Almandine
Formula: Fe2+3Al2(SiO4)3
Habit: trapezohedral
Colour: reddish
Description: small grains, typically a few mm across, in the lower part of the pegmatite away from the samarskite zone.
Reference: Van King specimen; Davis, Fred E. and Stefan Nicolescu. (2011): Samarskite Rediscovered at the Spinelli Prospect, Glastonbury, Connecticut. Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History: 52(1):135-152.
Annite
Formula: KFe2+3(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Habit: anhedral grains
Reference: Davis, Fred E. and Stefan Nicolescu. (2011): Samarskite Rediscovered at the Spinelli Prospect, Glastonbury, Connecticut. Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History: 52(1):135-152.
Autunite
Formula: Ca(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 11H2O
Reference: Fred Davis specimen
Columbite-(Fe)
Formula: Fe2+Nb2O6
Habit: crudely prismatic
Colour: black
Description: crude crystals with dull luster typically associated with or grown up against samarskite-(Y) crystals. In aggregates to about 8 cm, tiny euhedral crystals rare. Duller luster of the coarse, uneven fracture surface differentiates it from samarskite.
Reference: Davis, Fred E. and Stefan Nicolescu. (2011): Samarskite Rediscovered at the Spinelli Prospect, Glastonbury, Connecticut. Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History: 52(1):135-152; Albini, A.J. and Moritz, H. (2013), Collecting samarskite at the historic Spinelli prospect, Glastonbury, Hartford County, Connecticut. The 40th Rochester Mineralogical Symposium, Contributed Papers in Specimen Mineralogy, 8.
Fluorapatite
Formula: Ca5(PO4)3F
Habit: anhedral
Fluorescence: yellow
Description: grains less than 1mm
Reference: Davis, Fred E. and Stefan Nicolescu. (2011): Samarskite Rediscovered at the Spinelli Prospect, Glastonbury, Connecticut. Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History: 52(1):135-152.
Hematite ?
Formula: Fe2O3
Colour: maroon
Description: Red to maroon coatings on feldspars near samarskite and columbite crystals. Qualitative testing suggests hematite.
Reference: Albini, A.J. and Moritz, H. (2013) Collecting samarskite at the historic Spinelli prospect, Glastonbury, Hartford County, Connecticut. The 40th Rochester Mineralogical Symposium, Contributed Papers in Specimen Mineralogy, 8.
Ishikawaite
Formula: U4+Fe2+Nb2O8
Description: Although ishikawaite has been found at some former samarskite-(Y) localities, all analyses of Spinelli Prospect specimens show they are consistent with samarskite-(Y).
Reference: Hanson, S. L., Jarnot, B. M., Falster, A. U., Simmons, W. B., Nizamoff, J. W.: (2003) "Nb-Ta-Ti Oxide Minerals from Two Pegmatites of the Middletown Area, Connecticut," abstract in "Contributed Papers in Specimen Mineralogy, Part 2, 30th Rochester Mineralogical Symposium", Rocks & Minerals, Vol. 79, No. 4, p. 255.
Magnetite
Formula: Fe2+Fe3+2O4
Habit: anhedral
Colour: black
Description: from the lower portion of the pegmatite away from the samarskite zone, easily distinguished by attraction to magnet.
Reference: Harold Moritz collection; - Davis, Fred E. and Stefan Nicolescu. (2011): Samarskite Rediscovered at the Spinelli Prospect, Glastonbury, Connecticut. Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History: 52(1):135-152.
Microcline
Formula: K(AlSi3O8)
Habit: anhedral, rarely subhedral
Colour: white, pale pink to red
Fluorescence: red
Description: good crystals very uncommon, up to 8 cm, mostly massive, can be brick red, perhaps due to hematite from iron leached from associated colmubite-(Fe) and samarskite-(Y) crystals
Reference: Januzzi, 1976. Mineral Localities of CT and Southeastern NY State; USGS Prof Paper 255; Rocks & Minerals (1995) 70:396-409; - Davis, Fred E. and Stefan Nicolescu. (2011): Samarskite Rediscovered at the Spinelli Prospect, Glastonbury, Connecticut. Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History: 52(1):135-152.
Monazite-(Ce)
Formula: Ce(PO4)
Habit: subhedral, blocky
Colour: brown-red
Description: Recent collecting aided by ionizing radiation detectors (May 2012) has turned up an approximately 15-cm-long, subhedral crystal weighing around 4 kg and a few other smaller crystals to 8 cm. These are the first crystals found in the pegmatite since 1933 and may be the largest from Connecticut.
Reference: Albini, A.J. and Moritz, H. (2013), Collecting samarskite at the historic Spinelli prospect, Glastonbury, Hartford County, Connecticut. The 40th Rochester Mineralogical Symposium, Contributed Papers in Specimen Mineralogy, 8; Anthony Albini collection.
Muscovite
Formula: KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Habit: anhedral
Colour: greenish to silvery
Description: scattered crystals not well formed, but up to 15 cm or so across.
Reference: Davis, Fred E. and Stefan Nicolescu. (2011): Samarskite Rediscovered at the Spinelli Prospect, Glastonbury, Connecticut. Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History: 52(1):135-152.
Quartz
Formula: SiO2
Habit: anhedral
Colour: grey to black
Description: mostly in "a quartz core, at least 2 feet thick" (Cameron et al 1954) and as anhedral grains in other zones.
Reference: Cameron, E., et al., (1954), Pegmatite Investigations 1942-45 New England, U. S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 255; Davis, Fred E. and Stefan Nicolescu. (2011): Samarskite Rediscovered at the Spinelli Prospect, Glastonbury, Connecticut. Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History: 52(1):135-152.
Quartz var: Smoky Quartz
Formula: SiO2
Habit: anhedral grains and masses
Colour: gray to black
Reference: Albini, A.J. and Moritz, H. (2013), Collecting samarskite at the historic Spinelli prospect, Glastonbury, Hartford County, Connecticut. The 40th Rochester Mineralogical Symposium, Contributed Papers in Specimen Mineralogy, 8.
Samarskite-(Y)
Formula: YFe3+Nb2O8
Habit: radiating to subparallel prismatic groups with dome terminations
Colour: black
Description: Crystals usually in aggregates (up to 15 cm) typically well terminated but very brittle and easily damaged due to incipient fractures and metamict nature. Fractures conchoidally with lustrous, pitch-black surface. Commonly associated with columbite-(Fe) that has a duller luster especially on the fracture face. Coated with clays from altered surrounding feldspars that are reddish colored, and thin muscovite, both can be removed with micro-blasting using soft abrasive.
Reference: Davis, Fred E. and Stefan Nicolescu. (2011): Samarskite Rediscovered at the Spinelli Prospect, Glastonbury, Connecticut. Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History: 52(1):135-152; Rocks & Min.: 62:413; Wells, R. C., 1937, Analyses of Rocks and Minerals from the Laboratory of the United States Geological Survey 1914-36, U. S. Geological Survey Bulletin 878; Hanson, S. L., Jarnot, B. M., Falster, A. U., Simmons, W. B., Nizamoff, J. W., 2003, Nb-Ta-Ti oxide minerals from two pegmatites of the Middletown area, Connecticut, Rochester Mineralogical Symposium Abstracts, pp. 11-12; USGS Prof Paper 255; Albini, A.J. and Moritz, H. (2013), Collecting samarskite at the historic Spinelli prospect, Glastonbury, Hartford County, Connecticut. The 40th Rochester Mineralogical Symposium, Contributed Papers in Specimen Mineralogy, 8.
Schorl
Formula: Na(Fe2+3)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
Description: Noted historically but no crystals found during 2008-2013 specimen mining.
Reference: Van King; USGS Prof Paper 255; Rocks & Minerals (1995) 70:396-409
Zircon
Formula: Zr(SiO4)
Habit: tiny subhedral fragment
Description: a 60 micron fragment in fluorapatite
Reference: Davis, Fred E. and Stefan Nicolescu. (2011): Samarskite Rediscovered at the Spinelli Prospect, Glastonbury, Connecticut. Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History 52:(1):135-152.

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 4 - Oxides and Hydroxides
Columbite-(Fe)4.DB.35Fe2+Nb2O6
Hematite ?4.CB.05Fe2O3
Ishikawaite ?4.DB.25U4+Fe2+Nb2O8
Magnetite4.BB.05Fe2+Fe3+2O4
Quartz4.DA.05SiO2
var: Smoky Quartz4.DA.05SiO2
Samarskite-(Y)4.DB.25YFe3+Nb2O8
Group 8 - Phosphates, Arsenates and Vanadates
Autunite8.EB.05Ca(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 11H2O
Fluorapatite8.BN.05Ca5(PO4)3F
Monazite-(Ce)8.AD.50Ce(PO4)
Group 9 - Silicates
Albite9.FA.35Na(AlSi3O8)
var: Cleavelandite ?9.FA.35Na(AlSi3O8)
Almandine9.AD.25Fe2+3Al2(SiO4)3
Annite9.EC.20KFe2+3(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Microcline9.FA.30K(AlSi3O8)
Muscovite9.EC.15KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Schorl9.CK.05Na(Fe2+3)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
Zircon9.AD.30Zr(SiO4)

List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification

Group 4 - SIMPLE OXIDES
A2X3
Hematite ?4.3.1.2Fe2O3
Group 7 - MULTIPLE OXIDES
AB2X4
Magnetite7.2.2.3Fe2+Fe3+2O4
Group 8 - MULTIPLE OXIDES CONTAINING NIOBIUM,TANTALUM OR TITANIUM
ABO4
Ishikawaite ?8.1.4.1U4+Fe2+Nb2O8
Samarskite-(Y)8.1.11.1YFe3+Nb2O8
AB2O6
Columbite-(Fe)8.3.2.2Fe2+Nb2O6
Group 38 - ANHYDROUS NORMAL PHOSPHATES, ARSENATES, AND VANADATES
AXO4
Monazite-(Ce)38.4.3.1Ce(PO4)
Group 40 - HYDRATED NORMAL PHOSPHATES,ARSENATES AND VANADATES
AB2(XO4)2·xH2O, containing (UO2)2+
Autunite40.2a.1.1Ca(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 11H2O
Group 41 - ANHYDROUS PHOSPHATES, ETC.CONTAINING HYDROXYL OR HALOGEN
A5(XO4)3Zq
Fluorapatite41.8.1.1Ca5(PO4)3F
Group 51 - NESOSILICATES Insular SiO4 Groups Only
Insular SiO4 Groups Only with cations in [6] and >[6] coordination
Almandine51.4.3a.2Fe2+3Al2(SiO4)3
Insular SiO4 Groups Only with cations in >[6] coordination
Zircon51.5.2.1Zr(SiO4)
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
Annite71.2.2b.3KFe2+3(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
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)
Unclassified Minerals, Mixtures, etc.
Albite
var: Cleavelandite ?
-Na(AlSi3O8)
Quartz
var: Smoky Quartz
-SiO2

List of minerals for each chemical element

HHydrogen
H AutuniteCa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 11H2O
H SchorlNa(Fe32+)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
H AnniteKFe32+(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
H MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
BBoron
B SchorlNa(Fe32+)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
OOxygen
O Samarskite-(Y)YFe3+Nb2O8
O Monazite-(Ce)Ce(PO4)
O Columbite-(Fe)Fe2+Nb2O6
O AlmandineFe32+Al2(SiO4)3
O AutuniteCa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 11H2O
O MicroclineK(AlSi3O8)
O SchorlNa(Fe32+)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
O MagnetiteFe2+Fe23+O4
O FluorapatiteCa5(PO4)3F
O ZirconZr(SiO4)
O AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
O AnniteKFe32+(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
O MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
O QuartzSiO2
O Quartz (var: Smoky Quartz)SiO2
O HematiteFe2O3
O IshikawaiteU4+Fe2+Nb2O8
O Albite (var: Cleavelandite)Na(AlSi3O8)
FFluorine
F FluorapatiteCa5(PO4)3F
NaSodium
Na SchorlNa(Fe32+)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
Na AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
Na Albite (var: Cleavelandite)Na(AlSi3O8)
AlAluminium
Al AlmandineFe32+Al2(SiO4)3
Al MicroclineK(AlSi3O8)
Al SchorlNa(Fe32+)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
Al AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
Al AnniteKFe32+(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Al MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Al Albite (var: Cleavelandite)Na(AlSi3O8)
SiSilicon
Si AlmandineFe32+Al2(SiO4)3
Si MicroclineK(AlSi3O8)
Si SchorlNa(Fe32+)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
Si ZirconZr(SiO4)
Si AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
Si AnniteKFe32+(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Si MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Si QuartzSiO2
Si Quartz (var: Smoky Quartz)SiO2
Si Albite (var: Cleavelandite)Na(AlSi3O8)
PPhosphorus
P Monazite-(Ce)Ce(PO4)
P AutuniteCa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 11H2O
P FluorapatiteCa5(PO4)3F
KPotassium
K MicroclineK(AlSi3O8)
K AnniteKFe32+(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
K MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
CaCalcium
Ca AutuniteCa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 11H2O
Ca FluorapatiteCa5(PO4)3F
FeIron
Fe Samarskite-(Y)YFe3+Nb2O8
Fe Columbite-(Fe)Fe2+Nb2O6
Fe AlmandineFe32+Al2(SiO4)3
Fe SchorlNa(Fe32+)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
Fe MagnetiteFe2+Fe23+O4
Fe AnniteKFe32+(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Fe HematiteFe2O3
Fe IshikawaiteU4+Fe2+Nb2O8
YYttrium
Y Samarskite-(Y)YFe3+Nb2O8
ZrZirconium
Zr ZirconZr(SiO4)
NbNiobium
Nb Samarskite-(Y)YFe3+Nb2O8
Nb Columbite-(Fe)Fe2+Nb2O6
Nb IshikawaiteU4+Fe2+Nb2O8
CeCerium
Ce Monazite-(Ce)Ce(PO4)
UUranium
U AutuniteCa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 11H2O
U IshikawaiteU4+Fe2+Nb2O8

References

Sort by

Year (asc) Year (desc) Author (A-Z) Author (Z-A)
Nier, A. O., R.W. Thompson and B.F. Murphey. (1941): The Isotopic Measurement of Geologic Time, III. Physical Review 60:112-116.
Palache, C., Berman, H. & Frondel, C. (1944): The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume I: Elements, Sulfides, Sulfosalts, Oxides. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York. 7th edition, revised and enlarged, 834, p.: 799.
Cameron, Eugene N., Larrabee David M., McNair, Andrew H., Page, James T., Stewart, Glenn W., and Shainin, Vincent E. (1954): Pegmatite Investigations 1942-45 New England; USGS Professional Paper 255.
Schooner, Richard. (1958): The Mineralogy of the Portland-East Hampton-Middletown-Haddam Area in Connecticut (With a few notes on Glastonbury and Marlborough). Published by Richard Schooner; Ralph Lieser of Pappy’s Beryl Shop, East Hampton; and Howard Pate of Fluorescent House, Branford, Connecticut.
Stugard, Frederick, Jr. (1958): Pegmatites of the Middletown Area, Connecticut. USGS Bulletin 1042-Q.
Schooner, Richard. (1961): The Mineralogy of Connecticut. Fluorescent House, Branford, Connecticut.
Brookins, D.G., Fairbairn, H.W., Hurley, P.M., and Pinson, W.H. (1969): A Rb-Sr Geochronologic Study of the Pegmatites of the Middletown Area, Connecticut). Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 22, 157-168.
Schooner, Richard (1980): The Mineralogy of Central Connecticut, privately published.
Francis, Carl A. (1987): Minerals of the Topsham, Maine, Pegmatite District. Rocks & Minerals: 62(6): 413.
Weber, Marcelle H. and Earle C. Sullivan. (1995): Connecticut Mineral Locality Index. Rocks & Minerals (Connecticut Issue): 70(6): 398.
Hanson, S. L., Jarnot, B. M., Falster, A. U., Simmons, W. B., Nizamoff, J. W. (2003): Nb-Ta-Ti Oxide Minerals from Two Pegmatites of the Middletown Area, Connecticut, abstract in Contributed Papers in Specimen Mineralogy, Part 2, 30th Rochester Mineralogical Symposium. Rocks & Minerals: 79(4): 255.
Davis, Fred E. and Stefan Nicolescu. (2011): Samarskite Rediscovered at the Spinelli Prospect, Glastonbury, Connecticut. Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History: 52(1):135-152.
Albini, Anthony J.(2013): A 5-Year Field Investigation of the Spinelli Quarry, privately published, March 2013.
Albini, Anthony J. and Harold Moritz. (2013): Collecting Samarskite at the Historic Spinelli prospect, Glastonbury, Hartford County, Connecticut. The 40th Rochester Mineralogical Symposium, Contributed Papers in Specimen Mineralogy: 8.

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