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Collected With Your Dirty Hands
Posted by Matt Courville
Matt Courville May 30, 2016 04:58PMHi out there, I was hoping to start a thread on your favourite 'self-collected' minerals out in the field. I would like to include anything common, but that may also have something exceptional, exciting, and sentimental that might be conveyed. Any size, any quality, but one that you may be extremely fond of (one of many I'm sure). Feel free to include anything that may just have a generalized area described for hidden spots, as so many of the best finds are simply left un-posted for obvious reasons;)
Despite the mediocre photo here is one that I was quite happy to find, given that it was unlike any other listed at the locality:
Beryl - from The Beryl Pit, Ontario, Canada
Matt Neuzil May 30, 2016 06:23PMI had a pretty nice titanite from bear lake and a interesting corundum from logan occurence that are now out of my collection. I regret selling both.
A buena hambre no hay pan duro
Jamison K. Brizendine May 30, 2016 09:04PMFYI, there was an old thread on this subject: http://www.mindat.org/forum.php?read,6,240944,page=16
Pavel Kartashov May 30, 2016 10:11PMI found this 2.5 cm xl of Struverite on cleavelandite druse matrix occasionally on dumps of Pit#1 of Volodarsk-Volynskii http://www.mindat.org/loc-11331.html in beginning of May 1987. Before wasing after return in Moscow, I supposed that this was octahedral crystal of fluorite. All it holes were filled with reddish hematite mud, so the octahedron seems complete and compact. After washing it became clear, that this is complex twin of Struverite crystals.
V.I. Stepanov http://www.mindat.org/photo-238334.html ordered me to bring it to Fersman Mineralogical Museum and ask for it what I want. Such way I received my the first 3.5 cm crystal of plumbomicrolite.
This photo of the specimen
was made by A.A. Evseev in the showcase of FMM http://wiki.web.ru/index.php?title=%D0%A4%D0%B0%D0%B9%D0%BB:Str%C3%BCverite.jpg.
Every my visit in FMM I come to see this specimen. Probably this was the most happy of my finds. I found it as it is, without any hammer impact.
Bob Harman May 30, 2016 10:30PMI agree with Jamison. The old thread, "FAVORITE SELF-COLLECTED SPECIMENS" has been available for over 5 years with more than 10 pages chock full of neat pix of self-collected specimens. Personally I would consider merging this thread with the previous one. Just a little time spent searching on the website yeilds just what you were looking for without starting new duplicated threads that do nothing more than confuse further users. CHEERS.....BOB
Matt Courville May 31, 2016 11:53AMBob, this was simply meant to be a fun and simple gesture - why not start a whole new thread? What confusion - post in both threads if you wish, ignore one if you wish. Shooting-down someone's post without contributing one thing can be considered a bit rude. I hope it doesn't merge, and I hope it evolves into something of its own for others to enjoy.
Matt Courville May 31, 2016 06:37PMSteve I believe I know what you had meant ;) I'd love to see more self-collected, field collected, and personally collected specimens from anyone. ....but a mineral that might collect itself would certainly be the 'icing on the cake'
I will humbly try and get back on subject with this one smokey quartz from the area of Greely, Ontario, Canada :
Overall Dimensions: (5 cm x 3 cm x 2 cm) for perspective
Imperfect pictures of these(such as mine) make one believe that there is all sorts of imperfections in these crystals, while most is natural other than the tip here. I think that I can be forgiven for appreciating it so much though, being that I removed a seemingly impossible amount of limestone with just a small sledge hammer and chiesel to get to it. There was sweat, there was blood(really), and there was likely some nearby BBQ-ers that wondered what the heck all the banging around was on a nice sunday.
For those familiar with the as of now 'off-limits' Grant Quarry, these can get absolutely fantastic. Luckily this one came out of a very large boulder which was placed nearby the road at some point.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/31/2016 10:48PM by Matt Courville.
Douglas Schonewald May 31, 2016 06:53PMMatt,
I did a search using "Favorite Self-Collected" and ALL POSTS and got nothing. Then I went to Jamison's post and clicked on the link. It took me right to the thread. There has been no activity on that thread for well over a year. The search methodology I used 'should' have found it but there is either a glitch, an auto-archive feature that makes older posts unsearchable, or something else is wrong. I wouldn't worry about it. I like new threads and dislike posting on threads that are years old and haven't had any activity for ages.
A couple of thoughts from a 'non-professional':
All specimens were field-collected, but not necessarily by the one who possesses the specimen. One of the first things I look at on photos is if the specimen was personally collected or purchased. Not that one is preferable or better than the other, but there is much satisfaction in finding that nice specimen yourself. It is also satisfying to know that with hard work great stuff is still being found without traveling to the 4-corners of the earth. Granted you are not likely to build a great collection if the only thing you include are self-collected specimens. For some that really matters, for others it doesn't.
There is something to be said for those that increase the knowledge of their local area, even if the specimens are not impressive. It is exciting for me to find specimens of minerals that were unknown from my area, even if they are as common as calcite or gypsum.
Here is one of my favorite self-collected pieces. The photo is not great, but good enough for now until I can afford better equipment. I do call it "The Micro Crystal Cave", since it reminds me of the real Crystal Cave. As near as I can tell a very unusual habit in my area.
Guy Davis (2) May 31, 2016 11:52PMI discovered this quartz plate crystal side up weathering out of a hillside about 75 yards from where I was working west of Baltimore, Maryland. A closer look at the root mass of an upturned tree directly upslope turned up handfuls of loose water clear points and small clusters and led to the discovery of one of those small and super localized mineral localities that is my little secret.
11 7/8 inches at widest point. Cheers
Dan Costian June 02, 2016 03:22PMThanks a lot, Matt for opening this thread, I am very glad to participate.
Here is my first, radial crystals of wollastonite self-collected as a loose boulder in the proximity of Balvanyos in the Harghita Mountains, Harghita County, Romania. Pretty large, 10.3 cm.
Peter Andresen June 02, 2016 08:37PMNo surprise finding this sample was a thrill, knowing at the moment it was at least one new mineral, later showing there was two!
Thanks for starting a field-collecting-fun thread again! Older favourites have already been posted, but here I feel free to post what ever I get out of the hard mountains or dirty dumps. :)-D
Łukasz Kruszewski June 02, 2016 08:45PMI'm quite proud of this green stuff - http://www.mindat.org/photo-64505.html from Darai-Pioz. It was quite a hard thing to get to this very remote place in Tajikistan, but when you finally cross the Darai-Pioz "thin"-but-fast flowing stream then its kind of an entering a dream-land: massive amounts of rocks I've never seen before, with plenty of strange minerals and strange colours... I was quite shocked with the amount of this turkestanite (at least EDS showed it to be exactly this mineral) and the size of crystals.
Matt Courville June 03, 2016 12:14PMThanks for posting everyone. This thread is evolving into what I had hoped for with exciting, but not necessarily museum specimens. Peter and Lukasz - I love the photos of your completely new mineral finds. This would be the 'top of the mountain' for me if I ever found one! Lukasz, your Polish flag reminded me of my trip to Poland a few years back (my wife is from Poland) and it made me think of the absolutely incredible Wieliczka Mine we visited that contains all of the salt carvings.Worthy of a 'google search' at the least;)
I will post today two side-by-side photos of beryl for comparison. One is hideous-looking beryl crystal, possibly due to the radioactives found at the site, while the other small, translucent piece of beautiful aquamarine beryl. Both are found at my go-to spot - the Beryl Pit, Ontario. I find it amazing how such variety can happen in nature, at the same site meters apart.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/03/2016 12:16PM by Matt Courville.
Łukasz Kruszewski June 03, 2016 03:08PMGosh, the latter beryl is rather huge, Matt! We have some beryls in Poland, but they're usually not very big. I would be happy with finding a heliodor somewhere. Regarding Wieliczka - yes, its kind of fun to walk on halite and have halite above and everywhere around (-; And my laptevite-(Ce) find...well, I think Darai-Pioz is very productive of new minerals and its quite easy to pick someting new without even knowing that; it was a pity for me not to recognize that it was a new stuff at that time; nevertheless, a lot of time, work, and people are usually needed to approve it...
Dan Costian June 04, 2016 02:37PMNodular collophane (carbonate-rich apatite), self-collected at N Sulfur River, Ladonia, Fannin County, Texas. This is a well-known (by paleontologists) area, rich in fossils where collophane was formed from the original bones that had been replaced by it.
Douglas Schonewald June 05, 2016 03:05PMAlbite-Anorthite 'spear' formed of pseudo-cubic crystals of albite-anorthite (unanalyzed) in a basalt vug. The 'spear' is very small, probably about 1-1.5 mm.
Self-collected from Columbia Flood Basalts at the South End of Lake Lenore in central Washington state. http://www.mindat.org/photo-750603.html
Dan Costian June 06, 2016 03:05PMThis is an ugly white-gray satin spar of calcite self-collected from TXI Cement quarry, Midlothian, Ellis Co., Texas.
But if you look at the close-up you'll see a second generation of calcite hexagonal crystals grown upon and some sparse pyrite.
Douglas Schonewald June 12, 2016 09:13PMFrom yesterday. It was a good day. Lots of cool stuff.
Unidentified acicular crystals in basalt vugs (likely aragonite but could be one of the zeolite group or something else)
Close up of clear acicular crystals (appear like mesolite but not identified)
Close-up of yellowish acicular crystal (possibly aragonite or iron-stained zeolite)
Had lots of fun and only hit my finger once breaking rocks
Cheers - Doug
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/12/2016 10:44PM by T. Douglas Schonewald.
Jim Robison June 12, 2016 10:09PMDoug Been quite a while since I've had a piece of mesolite in my hands, but my memory tells me that it usually has a flat termination, and the individual crystals are not tapered. I'd guess aragonite, and a small piece and some acid should quickly answer that. I've seen a lot of aragonite with that habit, not nearly so much for calcite.
Douglas Schonewald June 12, 2016 10:39PMthanks Jim. Got two photos of the same cluster but the other is also tapered and terminated with points. haven't had time to test them at all and aragonite is the most likely in my area I am sure (though it is unrecorded here it is still more likely than a zeolite). Edited the first photo so both pics are there and corrected to caption
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/12/2016 10:45PM by T. Douglas Schonewald.
Łukasz Kruszewski June 15, 2016 09:44PMDan, I kinda jealous of your visit at Iacobeni visit! I'm curious about this deposit for a while, since I saw the very crazy list of minerals; do you know anything about argutite occurrence in Arschitza? This sounds very strange to me, and the mineral is exceedingly rare... I once visited north Romania (in 2000 or 2001) but we had no time to collect anything, even at Cavnic :-( Few years ago I was climbing the Chernohora Mts. and when visiting a museum (forgot the name of the town) in Ukraine I saw a rhodonite sample from a strange locality at the UKR/ROM border. I'm pretty sure this Mn metamorphic location must be interesting and possibly similar to Iacobeni (?).
Łukasz Kruszewski June 15, 2016 09:50PMTalking about minerals starting with "b", here's my brannerite from a rather remote area in Polish Sudety (Sudetes) Mts.:
The secondaries were analyzed by a friend of mine, but as far as I remember there were no revelations about this.
Dan Costian June 16, 2016 12:41AMŁukasz, Romania it's my original country but I left it for good and moved to the US in 2001.
I collected the specimen decades ago when I was not yet hooked in mineral collecting. The miracle occurred in the US.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/16/2016 12:42AM by Dan Costian.
Pavel Kartashov June 16, 2016 02:28AMhttp://www.mindat.org/photo-214382.html Self-collected, self-cut, self-polished...:-) I almost broke own neck that day on Takhtarvumchorr slope... This stone, occasional xl of aenigmatite and a bag of keldyshite "ore" were my trophy that time.
Łukasz Kruszewski June 17, 2016 02:48PMI was quite happy collecting this combo: http://www.mindat.org/photo-91729.html - this has blue ilsemannite with white rostite; SEM imaging also revealed tiny blades of molybdite and an unspecified Cu sulphate. It was quite hard to get to the site - Kukhi-Malik, Yagnob river basin, Tajikistan - the site is at mountain slopes high above the valley and it is very hot during day, so we had to start climbing at ca 3 a.m. The coal fires at this site (which is on the opposite bank than more famous Ravat site - ravatite) are likely known since (at least) the Alexander of Macedonia; the coal was never exploited, but local people collected fire-derived alums and they tend to treat the site (there is a cave within country rocks that likely formed due to burnout; cave walls are covered in red, flowing sulphur; very hot) as a kind of "spa" (a belief of anti-rheumatical influence of the site, I think). The ilsemannite accumulation was that vast that I though it might be much more common chalcanthite.
Łukasz Kruszewski June 19, 2016 11:35PMWell, I'll change the "size" a "little" bit: http://www.mindat.org/photo-755968.html - these tinies of the tinies include an interesting micro-pyroxene, that is diopside with at least 25 mol% kushiroite (CaAlAlSiO6) component. The rock itself is not very pretty and looks like an orange sponge (-;
Rolf Luetcke June 20, 2016 01:01AM
At the Hilltop Mine in the Chiricahua Mts. in SE Arizona I collected often. Just had a friend who tried to go up a couple of days ago and said the road now has a locked gate on it. Darn shame!!
Used to collect galena in the dumps and in some when split they had pockets of absolutely wonderful anglesite crystals. Still some of my favorite self collected specimens.
Dan Costian June 20, 2016 01:59PMŁukasz Kruszewski Wrote:
> Whoa, looks great! Didn't know Dallas has its own
> minerals (-:
Thank you, Łukasz, and here is a specimen from the same area and of similar nature but this time the clay was only partially weathered.
The exposure made better visible the intricacies of the septa (walls of calcite dividing the mudstone deposited inside the walls). The septarian nodule was found at Kamp Ranch, Eagle Ford Formation, SW of Dallas. Size 25.2 cm.
Matt Courville June 20, 2016 03:26PMAlthough technically speaking I only photographed, here are some recent picts of my adventure up Cascade mountain in Banff to the Upper Bankhead anthracite coal mine ruins. The photo of the lookout view had me actually standing on a gigantic pile of coal from 100 years ago. It was a bit terrifying as you got close to the edge - and it's an official lookout point, but I would be surprised if anyone was here in over a week. I added larger/more picts on my homepage. The coal I was looking at was as 'dirty' as it can get!
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/20/2016 03:28PM by Matt Courville.
Łukasz Kruszewski June 20, 2016 08:57PMCoal is dirty, indeed, but coal (especially anthracite) may trigger formation of some interesting and "less dirty" (-; minerals; just as an example - a self-picked specimen with boussingaultite & metavoltine:
Peter Andresen June 21, 2016 08:08AMLast saturdays trip to Johs Nilsen quarry, Tvedalen, was a nice one - here is the less interesting samples not dirty anymore; big lumps of yellow cancrinite, some with arsenopyrite/löllingite, galena and sphalerite - all massive and a couple of samples with orange chiavennite... The more interesting stuff still needs to be cleaned, and analysed - rich mass of some REE-mineral, mixed with a parisite/bastnäsite mineral in small "hexagonal barrels", plenty of cavities with the same barrels (lots of zonations) together with ancylite goup minera(s) in nice crystals with colours from almost white transparent, pink to yellow, a secondary platy bastnäsite, and some white needel like crystals - probably aegirine, but not sure about that...
Largest lump is about 12 x 10 x 8 cm.
Matt Courville June 21, 2016 12:03PMPeter, I really like these types of photos because they show people what to actually expect when out collecting. I'm sure that there are many young potential rockhounds that get discouraged when they don't instantly find an amazing crystal specimen, and don't have a clue about what context or associated rocks are attached often.
Łukasz Kruszewski June 21, 2016 10:05PMPeter - you're living in a really "mineral-hot" area! (-; Wish you some more new polyniobates (-;
Rolf - a great example of anglesite, and a very pure crystal. You got me remembered by Toussit yellowish anglesite, which somehow got lost somewhere... and this also reminds me times when the number of mineral- (not jewelry-) selling shops in Poland were full of interesting specimens, inluding sulphur-yellow Moroccoan anglesite(s).
Andrew Debnam June 22, 2016 02:10PMHi Lukasz, it comes from the Miller Property which is a calcite vein dike system in north eastern Ontario, Canada. About a three hour drive from Toronto Ontario. This whole area just prior to 1900 was explored and mined for Fluorapatite. The Mineralogical Record July-August 1982 has good article on the area. It mentions some truly huge specimens found in the area in the 1890's- they include a 300kg Fluorapatite crystal, and a 30cm Zircon and a 65x17x17cm 28kg Titanite which is in the Mineralogical museum of Harvard university.
This specimen was found at this locality in the area
Andrew Debnam June 22, 2016 02:40PMThe general description of the area is metamorphosed sedimentary rocks intruded by a number of plutonic rocks over 950 million years ago. Their is some disagreement as to when and how the calcite dikes were emplaced. The minerals in the dikes are generally related to the composition of the enclosing rocks. The whole area is part of the Precambrian Grenville province, a very complex area. Like a pegmatite these calcite veins can contain some very large crystals. Over time the acid soil leaches away the calcite and exposes the crystals.
Łukasz Kruszewski June 22, 2016 04:37PM
This is a supposed ikranite, among eudialyte sensu stricto, found at the slopes of Mt. Eveslogchorr, near from the "astrophyllite deposit" (Astrofillitovye Ushcheliye). PXRD confirms it is an eudialytoid, and EDS confirms the chemistry that would fit ikranite; but no EPMA analysis was done.
Dave Owen June 22, 2016 07:46PMRolf; Now you have me curious I may have to whack on a few of my galena nodules from there. That area has always been one of my favorite localities to collect by mountain bike. It has washed out so bad up there the road was pretty much gone in places anyway.
Rolf Luetcke June 23, 2016 04:04PM
This one fits in three different threads. The one I chose here is self collected from the Hilltop Mine in SE Arizona. It also fits in the favorite of today category and odd crystal habit category since it has the odd growth on the crystals.
Only one like this I have found in many collecting trips to the mine.
Dan Costian June 23, 2016 04:08PMTo continue the series of "marvels" in the Dallas area, here are pyrite crystals on/in a round concretion/nodule of shale.
Self-collected on I-30 & Belt Line Road roadcut, Grand Prairie, Dallas Co., Texas.
Rolf Luetcke June 25, 2016 11:36PM
This is an odd little piece. I was helping a geologist friend do a sampling trip into the bottom of the Burro Pit of the Johnson Mine in SE Arizona. They had hit a mineralized area with odd things right at the bottom of the pit. This piece is white quartz that had pockets with free standing molybdenite crystals that were coated by a clear, bubbly chalcedony. Made for an unusual piece. The first photo shows some reflections coming from the crystals inside the chalcedony that makes it look golden. The second photo you can see in the top crystal the nice molybdenite inside the chalcedony.
John Montgomery June 26, 2016 10:19PMA 2.1cm octahedral spinel crystal perched nicely on top of orange calcite matrix. Hammered out of a large rock. The specimen popped out as seen. No further trimming required.
Personally collected May18,2016
Matt Courville June 27, 2016 02:23AMWow, some very nice finds John(tu) Here are some of the tremolite crystals which I found this past May long weekend at Grace Lake locality Ontario. It must have been a holiday get-together for the blackflies as well because everywhere I looked they were there in the millions having a good time:-S
jeff yadunno June 29, 2016 10:36AMyes, i believe that is what they are
i was guessing augite or hornblende based on the list of minerals found at that locality
i found the feldspar earlier this summer when i met up with Tom and Rachelle Lovesy
whom i met on my first trip out there... they pointed me in the right direction and helped me to
find my best apatite and best titanite(with 3 apatite sticking out of it)
there were lots of those doubly terminated feldspars in the trench we dug that day
the feldspar at that location has flecks which reflect like little rainbows with the right lighting
i am told there are only a couple places in the world where the feldspar has that feature.
i will post a pic later.. sun isnt up enough yet...
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/29/2016 10:38AM by jeff yadunno.
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