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Smokey Bear (Smoky Bear; Crystal; Bonita Crystal), Sierra Blanca, White Mountain Wilderness, Sacramento Mts, Lincoln Co., New Mexico, USAi
Regional Level Types
Smokey Bear (Smoky Bear; Crystal; Bonita Crystal)- not defined -
Sierra BlancaSierra
White Mountain WildernessWilderness Area
Sacramento MtsMountain Range
Lincoln Co.County
New MexicoState

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Location is approximate, estimate based on other nearby localities.
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 33° North , 105° West (est.)
Margin of Error:~94km
Köppen climate type:BSk : Cold semi-arid (steppe) climate


Information and mineral specimens from both localities often get mixed together, so I want to briefly address these common mix-ups. Both localities are within the boundary of the Lincoln National Forest, but Sierra Blanca is in the Sacramento Mountains while Mina Tiro Estrella is in the Capitan Mountains 30 miles to the ENE. To my knowledge only at Sierra Blanca has mineral collecting been forbidden by the Forest Service, and have smoky quartz crystals been confiscated from operations back in the 1980’s. I believe there has been a regulation of sorts against collecting here, but it is very rarely enforced. Mina Tiro Estrella has, for the majority of its existence, always been a valid claim and is still currently under claim although collecting is not permitted by the owner.

Concerning the specimens from each respective location, smoky quartz is commonly found from both places, but the similarities end there. Crystals from Mina Tiro Estrella are relatively small (singles to 7 cm, twins to 10 cm) and are generally twinned or of the tessin habit whereas the crystals from Sierra Blanca are all simple-prismatic and can get much larger (to 40 cm). Color of the Mina Tiro Estrella quartz is usually pale to medium smoky with very few dark crystals, while quartz from Sierra Blanca is usually medium to dark smoky with occasional pale crystals. Luster from both locales can be matte to brilliant, but striations on Mina Tiro Estrella specimens are much more pronounced. Japan law twins are found from Mina Tiro Estrella and not from Sierra Blanca. Very few accessory minerals are found along with the smoky quartz from Sierra Blanca, except for occasionally some white, colloform fluorite and very rarely mint-to-emerald green fluorite octahedrons. Major accessory minerals from Mina Tiro Estrella include white feldspar crystals (either albite or orthoclase), sharp, bladed crystals of black allanite, and small brownish-red titanite crystals.
[Philip Simmons 2013]

Note: "Smoky Bear" is a misnomer.

Regions containing this locality

North America PlateTectonic Plate

Select Mineral List Type

Standard Detailed Strunz Dana Chemical Elements

Mineral List

4 valid minerals.

Detailed Mineral List:

Formula: {CaCe}{Al2Fe2+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
Reference: Min Rec 22:5 pp359-366 The Smoky Bear Quartz Claims Lincoln County New Mexico
Reference: Min Rec 22:5 pp359-366 The Smoky Bear Quartz Claims Lincoln County New Mexico
Formula: Fe2(MoO4)3 · nH2O
Reference: Min Rec 22:5 pp359-366 The Smoky Bear Quartz Claims Lincoln County New Mexico
Formula: CaF2
Reference: Min Rec 22:5 pp359-366 The Smoky Bear Quartz Claims Lincoln County New Mexico
Formula: SiO2
Colour: Smoky
Reference: Min Rec 22:5 pp359-366 The Smoky Bear Quartz Claims Lincoln County New Mexico
Quartz var: Smoky Quartz
Formula: SiO2
Reference: Min Rec 22:5 pp359-366 The Smoky Bear Quartz Claims Lincoln County New Mexico

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 3 - Halides
Group 4 - Oxides and Hydroxides
var: Smoky Quartz4.DA.05SiO2
Group 7 - Sulphates, Chromates, Molybdates and Tungstates
Ferrimolybdite7.GB.30Fe2(MoO4)3 · nH2O
Group 9 - Silicates
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.

List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification

Hydrated Normal Molybdates and Tungstates
Ferrimolybdite49.2.1.1Fe2(MoO4)3 · nH2O
Group 58 - SOROSILICATES Insular, Mixed, Single, and Larger Tetrahedral Groups
Insular, Mixed, Single, and Larger Tetrahedral Groups with cations in [6] and higher coordination; single and double groups (n = 1, 2)
Group 75 - TECTOSILICATES Si Tetrahedral Frameworks
Si Tetrahedral Frameworks - SiO2 with [4] coordinated Si
Unclassified Minerals, Mixtures, etc.
var: Smoky Quartz

List of minerals for each chemical element

H Allanite-(Ce){CaCe}{Al2Fe2+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
H FerrimolybditeFe2(MoO4)3 · nH2O
O QuartzSiO2
O Quartz (var: Smoky Quartz)SiO2
O Allanite-(Ce){CaCe}{Al2Fe2+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
O FerrimolybditeFe2(MoO4)3 · nH2O
F FluoriteCaF2
Al Allanite-(Ce){CaCe}{Al2Fe2+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
Si QuartzSiO2
Si Quartz (var: Smoky Quartz)SiO2
Si Allanite-(Ce){CaCe}{Al2Fe2+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
Ca Allanite-(Ce){CaCe}{Al2Fe2+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
Ca FluoriteCaF2
Fe Allanite-(Ce){CaCe}{Al2Fe2+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
Fe FerrimolybditeFe2(MoO4)3 · nH2O
Mo FerrimolybditeFe2(MoO4)3 · nH2O
Ce Allanite-(Ce){CaCe}{Al2Fe2+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)


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Year (asc) Year (desc) Author (A-Z) Author (Z-A)
Hanson, T. and B. Thompson (1991) The Smokey Bear Quartz Claims Lincoln County, New Mexico. Mineralogical Record 22(5): 359-366.

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