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Posted by Rock Currier  
Rock Currier July 06, 2009 10:07AM
Click here to view Best Minerals N and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.

Can you help make this a better article? What good localities have we missed? Can you supply pictures of better specimens than those we show here? Can you give us more and better information about the specimens from these localities? Can you supply better geological or historical information on these localities?

NobleiteCaB6O9(OH)2·3H2O Monoclinic

1.Nobleite on Colemanite ~12cm wide

Nobleite is a fairly rare borate mineral and Mindat currently lists 8 localities for the mineral. The only one of note is the Corkscrew mine in Death Valley, California where crystals up to about 3mm have been found. It is sometimes found as mammillary post mine coatings.The mineral is also found in small amounts at a few other borate deposits, and if you looked carefully you would probably find it at many localities where Colemanite and other calcium borate minerals are found.

NobleiteUSACalifornia, Inyo Co., Death Valley, Furnace Creek District, Corkscrew Canyon, Corkscrew mine

2.Nobleite on Colemanite ~10cm wide
3.Nobleite on Colemanite FOV 2.4cm wide

4.Nobleite crystals FOV 5mm

The Nobleite find at the corkscrew mine was a one time thing, although undoubtedly somewhere in the mine more exist. They were all found growing on drusy tray/tan Colemanite crystals. The find consisted of perhaps two or three hundred specimen, two of the best know are in pictures 1 & 2 above. They were found by a man named Denis Sutherland and I don't think he told anyone exactly where in the mine they came from, but the matrix they grew on and the matrix matched exactly know Colemanite specimens from the mine and though no one has found more in the mine I feel certain that they are from there. He used these to trade specimens from all over the world to add to his collection. When his collection was sold the fine specimens shown here were in that collection. There are literally thousands of pockets of Colemanite in the mine and once you collect there you can understand how a collector might be able to find a pocket the size of a small refrigerator that all other collectors had overlooked before.

The Corkscrew mine is a small mine that has produced a few thousand tons of Colemanite ore, but it is a small mine as mines go but is one that some day should be turned into a tourist attraction because everywhere you look are sparkling pockets of drusy Colemanite. You used to be able to just drive up to the mine and collect as many pounds of specimens as you wanted, but the problem was that when you got home there was not much you could do with them. They were so common that no one wanted them very much, and if they did want some they could go and collect all they wanted as well. All the collectors in the Los Angeles area has specimens from the mine. You didn't even have to move much rock when you were collecting. You could just go around the mine and pick up specimens discarded by collectors looking for better specimens. Today, the road to the mine is gated and there is a heavy steel door on the mine. Someday if the Park Service that oversees Death Valley ever manage to get the mine from the Mining company they could turn it into a dandy Tourist attraction.

Click here to view Best Minerals N and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/26/2010 10:41AM by Rock Currier.
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