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Identity HelpThe weirdest rock Ive ever collected...

12th Aug 2019 11:14 BSTMr lobo

Hello.  I am an avid rock hound and I found this very, very peculiar specimen, and have had zero luck even beginning to identify it.  I was directed here so maybe you all can help me?  Some background;

I collected it on the surface, about twenty mines from some olivine/pyrope deposit areas in the four corners, very near or at what I am hoping to be a diamond bearing kimberlite duct.  It is solid, and seems to be made mostly of shale or bentonite clay but I'm probably wrong even about that.  The base rock is silky smooth and has a sort of fuzzy texture and is probably a concretion or nodule of sorts though what kind baffles me.  Three things grow out of it.  One is some sort of metal, one is beautiful, clear and gemmy botryoidal red something or other that looks maybe like rhodochrosite?  Then there are clear crystals that are hard as hell but not diamond :(  a dunk in muriatic acid had zero effect except for to leave a white powder film on the Grey areas, which came off instantly when handled.  The whole thing looks almost greasy.  It is absolutely unlike anything I have ever seen, and certainly bears zero resemblance at all to anything in the area, but the arroyo where I collected it is remote enough that there is zero change it was brought there by anybody.  It was found the day following pretty major flash flooding, near the entrance to a sandstone box canyon, and had clearly just been unearthed and briefly transported by the waters.  Any help whatsoever would be greatly appreciated, as it immediately has become my favorite find in a lifetime of collecting.  It is hypnotizing.  It is pretty much the exact size and shape of a human heart, aorta and ventricles and all.  Thanks in advance-


12th Aug 2019 11:15 BSTMr lobo

Some additional photos

12th Aug 2019 11:16 BSTMr lobo

So bizarre... 

12th Aug 2019 11:18 BSTMr lobo

The "backside".  I just don't even...

12th Aug 2019 11:19 BSTMr lobo

Thanks again

12th Aug 2019 12:31 BSTFranz Bernhard Expert

This very much looks like some sort of gypsum breccia, the red material could be some kind of chalcedony vein filling
Franz Bernhard

12th Aug 2019 19:15 BSTMr lobo

Would make sense as there are large selenite crystals laying on the surface common in the area.  The surrounding rocks mostly are some sort of blue sandstone or copper substrate and that "African turquoise" blue jasper.  This thing just seems so out of place there, or anywhere.  It's definitely the highlight of my collection now. 

12th Aug 2019 19:50 BSTMatthew Droppleman

What’s the locality?

12th Aug 2019 21:10 BSTMr lobo

Four corners area, in New Mexico.  The Nacimiento formation plaueau, about ten miles south of the Colorado border and maybe forty or fifty miles east of the arizona border, just south of a heavy silver and amethyst mining region.   Probably about 6200-6500' elevation.  The plateau gets water-logged and starts to develop these horrible pockets of thick clay and quicksand and then every few years at the edge of it, a sinkhole opens up and water spills out through some box canyons into the Animas river.  When it happens, I try and get to them immediately after to see what's been unearthed.  This one is probably from about thirty meters under the surface as that's how far down into the sinkhole canyon I found it.  I was collecting this blue jasper when I stumbled across the oddity. 

13th Aug 2019 04:04 BSTPaul Brandes Manager

Don't forget that you're also in the area of the San Juan volcanic field, as well as dealing with the Mancos Shale, so there could be some very odd interactions going on there.

My guess (and just that, a guess) is some sort of weird septarian nodule filled with.........

14th Aug 2019 03:30 BSTMr lobo

So, paul, if it's a septarian nodule, does that mean it may be worthwhile to slice it in half and see what's inside?  I hate to cut I to something so unique and I am afraid that the saw will vibrate and break off the red botryoids... Or is there a way I might stabilize it first?  Or someone trustworthy I could send it to perhaps better equipped to do it? 

13th Aug 2019 17:33 BSTScott Rider

Paul is probably right.  Your image sure looks like the "cores" I find when digging through septarian nodules in Book Cliffs area, which is also part of the mancos shale formation.  They can be ball shaped and sometimes the cracks around it crystallize and when they break apart they look very similar to your "ball" of mystery... 

Chalcedony is a good candidate as red chalcedony has been known in the area (see the jasper pseudomorphs of baryte and fossil shells -- see below:

13th Aug 2019 17:39 BSTScott Rider

Forgot to ask, can you provide closer images of the "blue jasper."  It looks like chrysocolla coatings on rock to me but they sure are cool looking!

13th Aug 2019 21:57 BSTMr lobo

Oh yeah I have gobs of the stuff.  If only it were grows in little nodules in the blue sandstone.  I've found some nearly the size of bowling balls. Ive been told it is blue jasper, variscite, variquoise, turquoise, African turquoise lol... The jasper seemed most probable to me. 

13th Aug 2019 21:58 BSTMr lobo

Some nodules in the substrate

13th Aug 2019 22:00 BSTMr lobo

A very large nodule cracked open

13th Aug 2019 22:02 BSTMr lobo

Here's one i just now broke open.  It's definitely not a coating of any sort.  The color is always consistent through the nodule. 

13th Aug 2019 22:04 BSTMr lobo

Here's a nodule that I roughly polished up to 400 or maybe 600

14th Aug 2019 19:16 BSTScott Rider

Very interesting finds you have there!!  It almost reminds me of shattuckite or planchite...   Thanks for sharing!

16th Aug 2019 06:52 BSTMr lobo

Lol so are you saying that blue jasper isn't a thing? 

20th Aug 2019 22:58 BSTScott Rider

I didn't say that blue jasper isn't a thing...  I just put the quotation marks as I don't think you have blue jasper.  It looks more like copper oxides and jasper is a variety of Quartz.  What you have looks like chrysocolla to me but who knows unless you test the specimens to be sure.  
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