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Field CollectingCollected by your dirty hands -- Volume III

27th Nov 2019 18:56 UTCScott Rider

I wanted to start this thread before the other Volume II thread gets so big I can't load it on my phone.  In fact, its become a pain to access that last volume due to the number of images and my crappy TMobile data service takes forever to load all of them..

Anyway, here is an excerpt of the last volume, for the "rules."

Please feel free to post anything you have collected in the field, location shots, in-situ photos, before and after shots of crystals, and anything that you are proud/happy with no matter if it's a mineral only a collector could love;);) There are lots of these I defend to my wife from my collection! Have fun!!

My first contribution is:  Calcite.  This is a very complex calcite cluster that formed on rudimentary brown drusy calcite (some have white tips).  The cluster is composed of highly modified rhombic shapes, you can see some were trying to form nail head shapes (which is very common in this location). 

27th Nov 2019 18:57 UTCScott Rider

Another angle on the first specimen.  These are really hard to photograph.  The contrasts seem to much for the iPhone...  But this angle gives you an ieda of who these shapes form from the simple rhomb.  

Otero County, Colorado.  FOV approximately 5 cm.

27th Nov 2019 19:01 UTCScott Rider

Here is another morphology that the calcite specimens form in this location, the nail head form, that stacks creating what some call "Pagoda" structures.  

This particular image shows how many of the specimens look like before the etching process.  This one was only rinsed getting some of the dirt out of the way.  As you can see there is a LOT of "caliche" or limestone like coating that is very hard.  HCL seems to remove most of the crust, but it damages the calcite making them appear melted.  I have found a technique that retains the calcite and removes most of the caliche.  Albeit, the caliche just kills the luster, CLR seems to work quite well at least when it comes to removing the caliche and retaining some of the luster.  

They do come out with a "velvet" or matte luster unfortunately.  But its better than keeping the caliche on them...

27th Nov 2019 19:06 UTCScott Rider

Here is that same dirty specimen cleaned up.  This is about as far as I go to get them clean.  Any further and you risk destroying the sharp crystals.  HCL would have given it a waxy unnatural look.  I found one specimen that was on top of the soil, that had natural etching or removal of the caliche just from weathering and it looked just like this one.

About 17 cm wide, largest crystal is about 2 cm.

27th Nov 2019 19:09 UTCScott Rider

Close up of the larger specimen.  It is really hard to get an image of this.  I shouldn't have been so lazy and used my photo tent, perhaps I shall later on.  This is the 2 cm crystal, you can see the striations from etching off the caliche.  Some of the "pure" specimens, of which I found very little, that had NO etching does have glassier looking surfaces, much smoother.  

27th Nov 2019 19:11 UTCScott Rider

Last image of the larger calcite XLs...

My next goal is to dig to the deeper concretions that these are found. There are many super hard, "closed" concretions I noticed on my last trip there, perhaps there are pieces that have NO caliche, and thus would be much better in quality. I am going this weekend, Otero County was saved from the massive blizzard that hit Denver.  I'll try to see if I can find an un-weathered concretion.

27th Nov 2019 19:29 UTCScott Rider

The last image really shows of how gemmy these crystals are, as the etched surfaces hide the clarity a bit. But you can see the darker brown calcite shadows through the larger white crystals.

27th Nov 2019 19:33 UTCMatt Ciranni

what is "CLR" as you mentioned?
I have been storing a calcite specimen much like yours that is in desparate need of removing the caliche deposit (that will not come off with water) but I haven't been able to figure out how to do it.  When I do...I might even post it on this thread because under the "gunk" lies a really nice specimen of honey-colored dogtooth crystals.

27th Nov 2019 19:41 UTCScott Rider

It is Calcium Lime and Rust remover, and its literally called CLR on the container.  It is found via Walmart and other grocery stores in my area here in Parker, Colorado.  It does effervesces so you can see it eating away the lime (and probably calcite).  But its slow and it appears to retain the calcite's sharp crystallization.  

Do a google search, this new forum is pissing me off, I cannot paste a stinking link for some reason...  Anyway, its literally called CLR.  Try Amazon, they have the stuff.  Just type in CLR cleaner.  Its inexpensive.

Just note that I have not done a lot of experimenting with this solution.  My first batch was 1 part CLR and 10 parts water.  Took a while to clean. Then I tried 1 to 5 parts, and its faster but not so much that the calcite is dissolving away.  And I have a couple specimens that are not cleaning very easily.  The coatings on those are darker brown in color, so perhaps oxalic acid can remove that (probably organic origin for the darker "caliche"). 

28th Nov 2019 12:48 UTCChris Rayburn

Nice calcites Scott.  A quick reply--calcite and oxalic acid don't mix.  They form calcium oxalate, which can coat specimens with an insoluble crust.  Go with hydrochloric or phosphoric acid.

28th Nov 2019 18:16 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

This one has a little story to go with the species.  I have been collecting at the Last Chance Mine in Courtland Arizona since the beginning of the 1970's and over all those years I have tested hundreds of blue with dilute HCL to see if I might have a linarite.   All the pieces fizzed and were azurite.   That is until this morning.  I had stored some ? pieces in my shed for years and got to the flat that had this piece in it.   I took off a tiny part of the blue crystal part and tested with acid expecting fizz and to my great surprise and amazement, I finally found a linarite.   It had been one I collected on one of my visits to the mine but had never taken the time to really check out.
Associated minerals are the light blue and nearly white in the reflection chalcoalumite in spheres under the light blue allophane.  Photo is 4mm field of view.
This is one I collected but the year I found it I never put on the specimens I put away.

28th Nov 2019 19:24 UTCJobe Giles

Man, I wish there could be pages to these threads rather than one continuous thread... I love the calcites and linartie! Great contributions, I hit this pocket that had great tourmaline and probably the most blue albite I think we have ever recovered from a tourmaline pocket. This stuff is just amazing to me. Granted, it’s just Albite...

28th Nov 2019 19:26 UTCJobe Giles

Love the etched microcline too. 

29th Nov 2019 02:15 UTCScott Rider

Those are interesting pieces Jobe. I find a lot of etched and altered microcline in the various Piles Peak batholith pegmatites like Devils Head or Lake George.  Seems Lake George has less if it though but it depends where you dig. You never know what you’ll find in them pegs!!

Rolfe, these calcite specimens are from an older find. It’s amazing how you can go back to older finds and discover new stuff. I almost gave up because of the caliche on them. Glad I didn’t give up on them as they are coming out very nicely. 

29th Nov 2019 03:29 UTCJobe Giles

Scott, these Albite of this color owe their color to the same mechanisms as amazonite. This is some of the more vivid blue material that I’ve found. There was lots in the pocket with euhedral schorl crystals up to 5” long. Has been longer but weathering has had its effect.

30th Nov 2019 04:52 UTCDavid K. Joyce Expert

Collected some nice minerals at Gibson Road East, near Tory Hill, Ontario a few weeks ago, including titanite on microcline. This specimen is about 12cm tall. 
David K. Joyce

30th Nov 2019 04:55 UTCDavid K. Joyce Expert

Here is another specimen from Gibson Road East, near Tory Hill. This crystal is small, perhaps 1.5cm but nice! Collected with R. McDougall, G. Thompson and T. Collett to recover these and others.
David K. Joyce

30th Nov 2019 05:08 UTCDana Slaughter

Love that second titanite!

30th Nov 2019 12:14 UTCChris Rayburn

Both of those are beauties David!  I love the sharp contrast between the titanite and microcline.

30th Nov 2019 15:17 UTCJobe Giles

Wow love those titanites! I would love to find some that size! Do you ever see titanite make patterns like this in graphic granite or is this more common to garnet? I’ve not found any well formed crystals to be able to tell and I haven’t sent any off for testing. 

30th Nov 2019 15:18 UTCJobe Giles

Small titanite on Albite from the same location as the above material, it’s about 4mm wide. 

2nd Dec 2019 20:27 UTCJobe Giles

Schorl, Smoky Quartz, Albite, and Microcline. 

2nd Dec 2019 20:38 UTCJobe Giles

A nice and damage free healed smoky quartz from the same pocket as the blue albite above. There is a cavity in the termination that has several schorl needles within it. 

2nd Dec 2019 23:03 UTCJohannes Swarts

Hi Dave, Jobe,

Those are beautiful titanites!!!


3rd Dec 2019 22:39 UTCJeff Collens

Just a small quartz cluster from an undisclosed location in Ontario, Canada. Self collected earlier this year. 

4th Dec 2019 04:07 UTCJobe Giles

That’s a cool one! Reminds me of the growth inhibited quartz I find down in CA in limestone deposits.

4th Dec 2019 21:41 UTCAlexander Westin

Super nice specimens, thanks for sharing everyone! thought I would post one of my findings from this summer, green and pink/purple Tourmalines. (Varuträsk mine, Västerbotten, Sweden)

4th Dec 2019 21:44 UTCAlexander Westin

A close up on the big one in the back, it goes all the way to the bottom of the matrix, about 9-10 cm.

4th Dec 2019 21:46 UTCAlexander Westin

A shot from the other side of the specimen. could use some more cleanup :)
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