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Ferguson Prospect Minot, Maine

Registered member since 7th May 2007

Andrew Ferguson has uploaded:
9 Mineral Photos
Greetings from Auburn, Maine. "The Way Life Should Be"

My name is Andrew David Ferguson and I have a story or two to tell:
When I was very small, I remember my Grandmother (Nane') of Jackman, Maine and Melrose, Massachusetts saying to me,
"there are wonderful garnets in Maine." This conversation took place on Swans Island, Maine, just off the coast from the mainland about 6 miles into the Atlantic out of Bass Harbor about 1966.
It stuck subconsciously for 40 years.
As a child, just as most of you will admit, I always had an intrigue and fascination with rocks.
It is simply amazing to me how many people I meet that have simple specimens and are always eager to show them.
It seems that no person escapes this phenom one must concede.
My sister Brenda, went to the Costa Rican rain forest and volcanic areas and asked me what I wanted her to bring back for me?
I asked for a rock. This was long before I seriously looked for anything substantial.

The minerals and gemstones found in this area of Maine are well known and much has been discovered, recovered and documented
so I won't dwell on the past too much. Please do, take time to read about the 1972 era discoveries in Newry, Maine as it is simply a spellbinding read.
Ref.; Maine's Treasure Chest by: Jane C. Perham, G. G. 1987.

When I first started looking for mineral and gem specimens my first choice of course was an easily accessible location.
I chose the well known and World famous location called Mount Apatite in Auburn, Maine.
As fate would have it, this discovery location is within 3 miles from my home.
It's a short hike to about the 500 foot elevation and a relatively easy daytrip.
Bring water and snack but pack lightly. Tourmalines, smokey quartz, garnets, morganite and aquamarine among other highly desirable minerals have been found here and of course the purple apatite is the one all are after, hence the given name Mount Apatite.

The tourmaline crystals that have been found at this location in the past range from the extremely rare colorless (Achroite) to the brilliant dark green "pinetree color" (Elbaite), to the scarce blue (Indicolite), and lovely pink (Rubellite) variety.
Specimens can be viewed at the Maine State Museum and is highlighted in The Peary Necklace. Also, The Hamblin Necklace is a great example of the many colored and vibrant tourmaline gemstones found in Maine and can be viewed at The Harvard Gem And Mineral Collection display.

History states, that apparently in the early years of mining at Mount Apatite, they were after the feldspar for the use in china manufacturing among other things and a lot of good specimens were discarded before they became aware! A fortune certainly awaits you somewhere deep in the dumps and tailings of Mount Apatite. Mt Apatite is owned and managed by the city of Auburn, Maine and is open to the public and collectors alike. This is one of the very few mining areas still open to the public for no fee so this is where I started my quest.

The highlight of this undertaking was of course the garnets, which to me, are like air bubbles within the rock and must be broken out.
When the matrix material is struck-just right, they fall into your hand...Although most, are not of the gem variety, excellent cabinet specimens can be realized with little effort and expertise. Actually, the Maine gem garnets are rather small in my opinion. I would say in the 2-7 mm size if you are lucky enough to find one, but they are there! I personally have found garnet "nodules" within the black tourmaline (schorl) crystals.
This is obviously an interesting intergrowth anomaly in itself, but please don't destroy a nice terminated crystal in the hopes of finding the garnets as they are rare to begin with and it is difficult to even get a decent black terminated specimen out of matrix without breaking them.

The attrition rate is high as the black crystals are very brittle and highly fractured to begin with. The better specimens will be found within the smokey quartz itself and from pockets or vugs (voids) within the host rock from my experience.
Some say that the fracturing and fracturable condition is due to the "rebound of the land" after the glaciers melted and/or past by and others feel it is "burnt" material. I believe it may be a combination of the two but more than likely associated with the rebound effect after glaciation.
It is thought, by many scientists that the land had been compressed some 200-500' or more with an estimated 1-2 miles of ice on top at the time glaciers covered the land. This process has been noted to have occurred at least 3-4 times in the ancient past.

One late fall day, after about a week of rain fall, I was walking up to the
Greenlaw/Maine Feldspar Quarry pits. They are both easily located at the crest of Mount Apatite to the right and left. About half way up the hill and just below a large boulder on the right side of the main path, (you will find it easily as it is the only big one there) at about 20-40' below this massive boulder, there is a perfectly terminated top of what is believed to be a clear quartz crystal ("rock crystal") shining at me! It was a terminated top of an excellent clean clean crystal!
It could be an outrageous eye clean colorless tourmaline which is in fact very rare but I have never had it analytically tested. My gem cutter has stated clearly that in his opinion, "it is quartz" and he should know, as in the cutting process, certain minerals "feel" differently than others and I can understand that thought process. I would estimate the crystal specimen to of been about a 200-300 carat stone and about 2-3 inches in diameter. Sad to report that no photos exist of the original crystal but I still have much of this rough in my private collection.
I was walking up at a slow and deliberate pace, following a rain runoff crevice and BINGGO! It was located at about the 8-10" depth.
I still want to know where the rest of that crystal is as I estimate that the remaining crystal piece should have been about 8-15 inches in length? Who knows. At any rate, in the excitement of my first decent find, I didn't take the time to pinpoint the precise location but as one can imagine and believe me, I did take a bearing. I do know the approximate area and can take you there to this day.It was just off the road to the right a bit. The location does change from year to year due to the natural annual errosion and runoff flows in the area.In hindsight, I would bet that in the process of building the road, this terminated top of the crystal was taken from the dumps and the rest of the crystal will simply not be there.

I ended up with my first faceted stones from this material.One fantastic 19.7 x 28 mm 32.48 CT Pear cut gemstone with an included wisp of smokey running through the center of the table.The traces of smokey is only on the surface as described by my gemcutter, "it wanted to go smokey" and is more than likely associated with a radiation burning event long ago in our earths history. It is accompanied by two matching
10 x 15 mm pears at about 4.5 CT each totalling 9.28 CT. These were mounted by MR Thomas Mann of Bethel, Maine. Another big contributor though jaded to the Maine mineral and gem mining history.These were accented with a Maine garnet and a sapphire in white and yellow 14 CT gold respectively. A third stone was cut as a back up, in the event of a lost stone in the future. It differs slightly by exactly 1 mm and is a 9 x 14, 3.38 CT Pear.
I think it is obvious, that I plan to accent this stone with a fine Maine Tourmaline.
See photographs as I personally never get tired of looking at the simple quartz examples found on that day.

My gemcutter is MR Clifford Greene of Portland, Maine.
He has many, many years of experience in the lapidary arts and is much skilled.
He produces some of the finest cut gemstones money can buy and I recommend
his services to any and all. E-mail me and I will put you in touch with him.

Another local area I seeked out was the Pitts-Tenney Quarry location found in
Minot, Maine.The Pitts-Tenney Quarry Mine is a world famous location for the essonite crystal.AKA; The rare "Orange", "Cinnamon" or "Grossular" garnet.
It is both rare and desirable to all collectors and is a must for any collection.
This material is located in few places and the crystals can be found at times,
in excess of 3x5" or more and are found in all major collections worldwide.
It's a short hike to the site and I guarantee your success in your search for this mineral if you follow a few short guidelines:

The "Grossular Garnet" is a massive crystal formation with a coloration that
I would best describe as having more of a dull pumpkin hue. Specimens, will be found in the dump area over the hill looking down and to the West. I am sure the whole area is productive so just pick a spot and dig in. Be on the lookout for milky quartz like inclusions and veins as the better crystals I have found are definitely associated with the "quartzy" looking areas. This is all the information one needs believe it or not.

When you locate this site you will notice a working at the top left, mostly picked over and if you find anything decent here it will eminate from behind and under debris in the area or within the exposed ledge. To the right of the crest you will find another, more extensive excavation.
Just below and to the right and decending is the area I would recommend working.You must move material to get to the older stuff.
Look for new growth saplings and such and you will know that no one has been there in a while. Bring tick repellent and wear your safety equipment.If you see the "quartz"? Your where you need to be. This material is construed and actually best know at times as a form of scapolite.It has a milky white, light green appearance and you will recognize it immediately when you locate it as there will most likely be an excellent example of the grossular garnet associated. You will hardly be able to differentiate the quartz from the scapolite so just keep on the lookout for the "milky quartz" veins.You may also encounter the occasional botryoidal form of diposide and will appear as green transparent to translucent crystals and clusters on and within the matrix and specimens. Split the area with chisel and there may be a surprise there!

This material is "wicked haahd" as they would say here in Maine and IM not
exaggerating... It is a sandstone type formation and differs significantly from typical gem bearing soda or potash type pegmatites.
Tough material to break up for sure and makes me tire just thinking about it.
So you have been warned and I will say I told you so.
Bring a heavy hammer, spare chisels, snack, water and your safety equipment.
Stay with it and you will be a happy hunter in the end.

I have an interesting story to tell with regard to this site and one of which IM sure
you will find amusing:I was up there one Saturday afternoon, killing myself with that hard matrix on the hunt for a decent specimen.
I had been working, (alone) for an hour or so and I found myself pausing, from time to time to grab a breath, as I told you the matrix material is quite challenging... I was breathing/blowing quite hard when exhaling in between attacks on the rock. You must imagine the sound, but it is not so far fetched to imagine and I will describe it by writting "phphoooooh" or "phphfooooha" ...I am working, bent over and stationary and not moving from this area and I hear a sound... but I can't make out what I am hearing and to where the sound is comming from. I look left, then right, forward and back and continue picking, hammering and swearing (under my breath)...The sound starts again... and I look again to the left and there is a nice doe about 120 lbs. stareing at me! She was hoofing hard at the ground and snorting the same chant that I had been reciting for the last half hour!
I would guess she couldn't have been more than about thirty feet from me.
She obviously at first didn't recognise me as human. So just stood there pounding at the ground in what appeared to me to be an agressive mannner as though to say, " who are you" and "this is my area what are you doing here"?...
I remained perfectly still in the bent over position as to begin with... In the least at this point I was in fact fearing for my life... One must understand, that this seemingly beautiful and unassuming creature will in fact hurt you given the right circumstancs within their environment.
She definately wasn't backing down and I was simply mortified... I then, simply stood up... She knew I was MAN, then she immediately exited stage left tootsweet. The animal certainly would have destroyed me had I been in the open and it is interesting as to why she would still have been interested in me with all of the hammmering, loud noises and gutterances emitted. I am sure it was the sound of my labor that ultimately attracted her attention. I was definately in distress as far as I was concerned.
Hunters I have told this story to, have expressed their opinion as to just what
they think she was interested in but then, I am not a deer expert.
I got a nice double crystal from that days effort and is proudly displayed in my
personal collection to this date. See photograph.

I think, the moral of the story is: " Don't be too much of a blow-hard,
hold your ground and stand tall to be seen for what you are"?
Have fun and good luck dodging the "Killer Doe" from Minot, Maine!

After seriously considering the idea of mineral and gem hunting I set off
in the quest for the local history and knowledge. The first manual I purchased, was a well known publication titled: A Collectors Guide To Maine Mineral Localities, Third Addition 1995. Now out of print, this book lays out most of the well known mineral locations complete with contact information, collecting status, accessibility information, maps and directions at the time. It is a great publication of basic information that will prove to be priceless in your endeavors. Please be advised that a republication is in the works as I understand from good sources.
An updated online version is available at the Maine Geological Survey web site. Just search, peck and print. This was and still is a valuable source of pertinent information for me and should you ever find yourself in the great State of Maine and decide to venture out to locate these famous and sometimes obscure locations? I recommend this book as a must.

A key point I would like to offer here is that just as I pursued the tailings and dumps of many of these renowned localities, the majority of mineral and gem hunters do just the same and for the most part, all are seeking in this same manner. That is, we put ourselves in the areas and locations that have previously been found and produced such specimens that we all seek. It definately improves the odds of a productive expedition and please don't get me
wrong. There is most definately treasure to be discovered in the tailings and dumps for sure! Some are sifters, and others break rock, to the degree of drilling and blasting but one must have deep pockets for this latter type of undertaking.

Mrs Mcrillis of the well respected Mount Mica Rarities in Greenwood, Maine.
AKA; Plumbago Mining, an enterprise that has contributed tremendously to the
Maine gem and mineral mining history, once said to me, "It's simply all luck" and that "mining is one of the biggest wastes of energy, time and money and ultimately that in the end you've got to be lucky". And this, from a woman that has been there and done that. They are valuable words to absorb in the scheme of things. Mrs. Mcrillis can be found at times in Roxbury, Maine in route to Rangley, Maine on route 17 North out of Rumford, Maine. Don't blink for if you do you will pass the sleepy town of Roxbury. She has a simply wonderful barn chock-full of fantastic antiques and memorabilia and you simply must stop and take a gander.
Tell her I sent you and hello again for me.

You can also find there in my opinion, one of the largest if not THE largest specimens of gold ever found in the State of Maine to date on display.
"It is high in copper" and appears black. It was assayed and proved to be the
real thing. It was "taken from a pan in and or around the Coos Canyon area" which is also in route to Rangely off of route 17 and a bit farther "as the crow flies" but don't expect GPS numbers or anything. In most cases, Maine gold actually has a "rusty" looking appearance "but often assays high in gold content". Platinum attached to gold crystals have also been documented in Maine and don't forget the habit of appearing black at times. I am sure that many quality specimens have been discarded in the process over the years and are waiting for the taking.

I have a 5' light-weight Keene, Inc. sluice box, chest waders, insulated mining gloves and booties from California and multiple sized pans for my search and concentrates. In the end, those five gallon buckets of wet gravel will wear you out quick. I must have Maine gold to go with my Maine gems and I am putting in the time and effort necessary to gather it but that is a whole other story.

Mt. Mica Rarities is located on route 26 north in Greenwood, Maine. Look for the
brightly colored black raspberry building up and on the right headed North on route 26 out of Bryant Pond, Maine. If you pass too quickly You will miss it.
So slow down, afterall you are in Maine. There you will find fine minerals and gems.

I made a conscious effort to pursue new finds about three years ago when
I decided to follow my "instincts" in viewing new road cuts and various other
projects associated with land clearing and development. It seemed as though I was drawn to the newly exposed rock outcroppings produced
by blasting projects and development. As I became aware of the fact that few, if any, were actually looking for new material and locations, I couldn't pass a new road cut or project without stopping to take a look. What did I have to loose?
Problems would surely arise if I actually found anything within US State Department of Transportation and/or private projects but it didn't hurt to look and maybe, with some luck, I would find a specimen or two for my growing collection. I figured that I would cross that bridge if I ever came to it. One must note that it is always highly recommended to speak directly with land and property owners in advance of doing anything to avoid the headaches in the end. I was looking at new development projects wherever I could find them and keying in on the white metamorphic pegmatite with smokey quartz, black tourmaline and feldspar crystalizations and of course paying particular attention to the garnet lines I would encounter along the way.

One afternoon, I was picking at a new ledge that had been recently exposed in the Buckfield, Maine area. This area is in the general vicinity of Hebron, Maine
where "The Rose Of Maine" was discovered in 1989 by The Holden brothers.
This amazing crystal was a wondrous specimen of morganite beryl that when first
discovered was originally a deep shade of orange before being extracted from the pocket area. After removal and apparently after the sunlight hit the specimen,
It then changed to a peachy/pink color. I have seen this material personally and it is still quite stunning. As this story goes in legend, It seems that the brothers couldn't decide what to do with it. So a hammer and chisel was taken to it.
Actually, the specimen was in fact cut into at least three large gem blocks after,
the hammer and chisel was taken to it. This unique specimen, estimated at the time to be conservatively worth about $500,000.00, was one of North America's largest known morganite crystals ever to have been recovered and was clearly priceless in its natural state. It should have been in the Smithsonian or other such place but one can't blame them for needing to eat. I'm really not sure as to the whereabouts of the main masses but I am sure that there is more of this material left from this magnificent specimen.Much is lost in the cutting process itself and much is in private collections and institutions worldwide but 183,000 carats goes a long way! Some profess, that "if everyone that claims to pocess a piece of
"The Rose Of Maine" were combined? "The original crystal would have been about the size of a Volkswagon!".

I have acquired a nice example of this material for my private collection. It was received from "third tailings (srap) from the cutting floor" from one of the areas most prominent processors and cutters of this material. It is in fact, a piece of that VW everyone speaks of but authentic.
This particular specimen is authenticated by the gem cutter himself and believe me "The Rose Of Maine" was not the size of a Volkswagon.
It is a fabulous light pink 6.0 x 9.7 mm, 1.86 ct cushion cut emerald gemstone. I would definately say that this individual piece is certainly a premier showpiece in "The Ferguson Collection" and will be admired, respected and valued for many years to come...

So anyway, I'm picking at this freshly blasted rock face and down the road comes this gentleman that was interested in what I was seeing and doing? I was of course on the hunt for the ellusive lithium based material "lepidolite" and other such mineralizations that are often closely related to tourmaline finds... I said something to the effect of, "looking for purple". He responded by saying, "You should come down to my pit and take a look, IM seeing purple there." Well, needless to say, my heart jumped a beat-or two and I promptly followed up
with a telephone call a few days later. The next thing I know, I had negotiated access to a large project with an estimated 75,000-100,000 tons of material being removed per month! As it turned out, this gentleman was a major excavator in the area and was grinding up mountain sides for gravel. He had no gem person, no geologist and for that matter no one even looking for minerals and gems at his site(s).I suggested that I would be happy to sign an insurance release if that would allow me to periodically view the project after hours, weekends and holidays.
We struck an agreement that should anything be discovered by myself? We would be 50/50 partners as "50% of something is better that 50% of nothing" and besides he "would never of known anything was there if I were not looking in the first place".
With the stipulation that I was to receive full credit for the finds his curiosity was sparked and I was on my way.

The rate at which the material is being processed is staggering to say the least.
Hard hats required, I knew it would be a matter of shear luck in order to discover
anything as material is there one day and gone the next but If I could be in the right spot, at the right time, I am convinced it would just be a matter of timing and pockets would and will surely be discovered. This particular project should continue for another 5-10 years if all goes as planned and contracts are renewed.
A few quality specimens have been found but the big pocket has yet to be sited.
Once the first pocket is found then typically there are more in the area. I am there once or twice a month now to see what's happening between blasting dates in hopes of a new and mind boggling discovery. See photograph.

Please be aware that with the scale of a project described here many interests
are involved and much politics to contend with...The rewards will certainly be slim in the end if anything were ever to be uncovered as 50/50 agreements were struck early in the negotiation of contractual agreements. Agreements of which I had no part of. A gentlemans agreement is in place though. Who knows?

Again, as fate would have it, he mentioned another development he was working on and one that I was already aware of at the time.
As a gem and mineral hunter, one is constantly seeking the new areas out and this area turned out to be the registered "Ferguson Prospect".
I was finding specimens of needle quartz, terminated black tourmaline and garnets at the time. Later, and most recently, beryl and some facet grade aquamarine that rivals some of the best in the World has been recovered. It is a pleasant light sky blue color. Maine does and will continue to have a world class gem and mineral product as history has proven and recognized in the past. The best is yet to come in my opinion.

On September 4, 2004 My wife and youngest of 6 years (Morgane Elizabeth)
accompanied me to The Kennebec Rocks and Minerals Club show at the Armory in Augusta, Maine. My lovely wife is a very lucky person with door prizes and such and as usual, I chose the WRONG ticket upon entry and of course and as usual, she hit the number as "expected" and won an interesting piece of agate in the shape of Maine, accented with what was pronounced to be tourmaline (cab grade). I promptly confiscated the winnings and proclaimed it to be mine. That's how men are but I am now convinced it is a beryl accent (cab grade) and it has since been returned to it's rightful owner. The very next day, within 12 hours, I found my first piece of beryl/aquamarine from "The Ferguson Prospect" in Minot, Maine.

This is where my adventure begins:

As many people have asked me, "Why did you choose to dig here?" I will respond: The first specimen came from near what will forever be known as "THE CRACK." This was what caught my eye and caused me to delve into that area in the first place.
The entire area is virtually indistinguishable from the other areas and the crack was sited dead center in the middle of the common pegmatite.
I also had noted that the tree line seemed to extend further towards the road cut than the existing tree line along the cut.
There was also a dip in the terrain.
I have read somewhere in the past, that tree lines can be an important feature in finding the coveted pocket/vug areas that are often associated with gem bearing material but the "rusty areas" were not present as described until later in the excavations.
The rusty appearance is conducive to water percolation and is sometimes a good indicator of possible voids within the rock matrix.

Log entry September 5,2004 reads...
"Many wonderful pieces of beryl taken in float today, Song on radio was by Cake, called "No Phone" This is my theme song, ecstatic and loving the feeling. No one there to share in the discovery but it figures and usually the case from other historic accounts. There's more there.
Best find yet!"

The pegmatite is a bulge in the granitic schist (country rock) which is overlaying the productive zone. The crack, to this day haunts me as it is still there and "hard as nails." I was picking to the right of the crack, which runs from top to bottom of the productive zone but I was picking at a larger separation, a simple crevice in the rock and eureka!

Log entry September 6, 2004...
"Large stone removed from top of crack today. Nice beryl cluster piece in matrix, Aqua pineapple and rhino also. In Smokey and seems to go gemmier the closer to the Aqua I get. Pattern??? Pink spar is key?"
See photographs.

This proved to be a magical time, as piece after piece of good quality beryl/aquamarine was removed for a period of about 3 months.
Some crystals were removed from "float" i.e.; dirt within the crack, with no matching pieces. Other specimens came in the form of single crystals from "vuggy" (smaller than football size areas). These quality vug areas did not and have not exceeded approximately 2-4" in diameter.
These vuggy pocket areas are filled with a black mud/dirt material or are devoid of material. I then went into the lower area of matrix material, as that was the obvious thing to do. I was encouraged as it had occurred to me that there had to be more there. After all, where were the matching pieces? The better specimens to date have come from within a matrix (in the rock), composed of smokey quartz and larger black tourmaline (schorl) crystals. Also found within the matrix were large white feldspar crystals and what has proven to be the essential crystallization known as "salmon spar" or "pink microcline feldspar". Some confirmed albite has been removed also and is noteworthy. Heavily altered beryl and dark green fan tourmalines much like that described from the Mount Apatite location have also been sited and removed too, from the rip rap rock up and across the cut from the prospect. Mount Apatite is within 5 miles from this location. No lepidolite or other lithium bearing minerals have been sited to the best of my limited knowledge.

The gem material within the light blue/green crystals that I have recovered is running in "bands or ribbons" as is the norm when dealing with a crystallized beryl unless, you are dealing with the etched pocket material sometimes found here in Maine. Crystallized beryl is more opaque with whisps of gem material throughout and an etched crystal example will be more of the gemmy or eye clean type variety often found within pockets or vugs. Quality beryl/aquamarine has not been documented since 1956 in Minot, Maine. This and the fact that it is a new find in an area not previously recognized to produce such specimens is what makes this a unique and exciting find! I estimate the gem yield will fall within the accepted 1-3% per ton range if lucky.
See Photograph.

Log entry October 10.2004...
"The Ferguson Aqua Fish is born. Im still shaking and holding a brick of beryl. It's considerably heavy and has a black tourmaline intergrowth that is interesting and seems to have grown out of the crystal. Dimensions are: 214mm x 56mm x93mm.Found face down in a sheet of gemmy smokey. Took about two hour to free it.Just like movie The Legend of Curlys Gold or was it Kellys Heroes-- "he's got brothers"."

As winter was upon me, I took the time to piece things together, with some luck. A very time consuming process.

Log entry November 29,2004
Subj: Reconstructed latest piece

"Just completed the reassembly of the latest piece: Aqua Seal. Yes, you heard me right! another museum piece for sure.
Turned out tremendous, 6 or so pieces in all. Doing better at keeping material separated. It was, of course, up top, first piece moved 11/27/04. Located a nice monster black crystal near the bloody zone and to the left.Single crystal removed from a mud filled pocket.
Find of a lifetime. See photographs.

Getting back to the aqua, its dimensions are 127.5 mm x 55 mm x 34 mm. The "Porpise/Seal" is complete with eye, nose, back and flipper. It is poised atop the aqua crystal at 45 degree angle nose down and forward of center. The seal is a fine quartz crystal. Its dimensions are; 64 mm x 17 mm x 17 mm. The snout and front flipper are composed of delicate muscovite crystals! COOL.... It appears to be riding on the head of a large creature."
See Photograph.

Winter is approaching and I am tired. Subj: Minot beryl ; Dec. 2004..."Went to the big stone today. Top of cut on left, Aqua sited early and thought I would get away from "the crack". It's killing me and dulling my chisels in the process. That stuff is even harder. Heavily altered but got a killer specimen that is now known simply as, "Toad". Also spent more time below and again soon unearthed a nice blue-blue/green crystal in smokey matrix about five feet in and down from the previous productive zone. Dimensions are: 66 mmx 22 mmx 14 mm in matrix. Last piece taken 2004."
See photographs.

2005 season underway...
"Spent about 5 hours putzin around the area and went in dead center and down from last years productive zone, top of exposed ledge.
The last piece taken 2004 was from down and in so must take the front about 6 inch increments and proceed to "pull it up," picking at the front edges (if you can find a crack to work with). No mercy. Soon I had uncovered two nice pieces of black T, one a nice cocker and an other interesting one formed kind of like rectangular shape but both terminated and about 30-35 mm in length. I then consumed a beer and prayed to the pocket God. I was feeling pretty discouraged (as usual) and then moved left, again from the bloody zone where large, white spar crystals are exposed on top and much black and Smokey is present. Staying with the large crystallization in my pattern search.This is again, a significant find in that it is the first removed from left of the previous productive zone and is much more gemmy than the past samples.
I lifted a slab and underneath the matrix sample was a vuggy quartz crystal area and I immediately chanted to the vuggy area, "Hail, Hail the vuggy area" and then proceeded to destroy the specimen trying to get a better look at the interior. This is quite common as the keeper rate is low when breaking up rock, no big loss. At any rate, I continued picking away at the available crackages and to the right about 6-8 inches away was a nice gemmy light-blue etched aquamarine crystal! It is about 35 mmx 20 mmx 20 mm."
See photograph.

These specimens are in my private collection at this time.
They serve to illustrate a classic form of true Maine aquamarine/beryl that can be found to this date.

I travel a lot with my 7 to 7+ job and from Madawaska to Millinocket,
Bangor to Belfast, Portland to Pemaquid and Kittery to Camden The Ferguson Prospect Beryl/aquamarine was received well and good luck to me was conveyed everywhere I went. Good people here in Maine and you simply must visit. So with some trepedation, I struck out for Trap Corner and the world renowned Perhams of West Paris, Maine. A viewing with MS Jane C. Perham G.G., the sister of the living legend Mr. Frank Perham B.S.G and Daughter of the immortal Stanley Perham was conducted.The meeting went better than I could have ever imagined. This woman, is a wonderful human being and always makes time to see each and everyone that requests an audience. She is sincere with her appreciation of the natural wonders and her entire life has been consumed with the discovery, love and appreciation for the minerals and gems of Maine, so her opinion means the world to me and I thank her whole heartedly for her valuable time, though I don't think I will ever be able to repay her. She spent the better part of an hour with me dropping everything she does, to devote a few, short minutes of her life to see me and what I had found locally.

I am honored at the thought that "The Ferguson Prospect" specimens have found a home in her private collection as I was only there in hopes that maybe, with some luck, she would accept an offering as a donation to the Perham Museum for posterity. She insisted on paying me for a few specimens of her choice.
She referred to her Father as "Daddy" repeatedly which I found beautiful and heart warming. With regard to the Aqua Seal she said, "Daddy would have said that it sits well." Also, The quality of the black tourmaline crystal(s) were something she, "hadn't seen since material was taken from both the Hedgehog and the Whispering Pines Mines" of years past.
Flattering to say the least and I am forever grateful for her professional opinion.

Frank Perahm Is alive and well and relatively easy to approach to this day.
It is noteworthy that this is the way of Maine people and a vivid illustration of this, can be transmitted in a simple wave from strangers as you pass by. Many don't understand this but let me tell you, "It's called being friendly and you will get used to it."

Mr. Dennis Creaser, of Paris, Maine, a well known gem cutter, founder of the
Intergalactic Mining Company and co-discoverer of the great Sweden Amethyst find congratulated me in my discovery and then promptly stated, with regard to that same black tourmaline crystal "that one would go straight into my private collection never to be sold or traded." Awesome statement and I agree as it is in my private collection "never to be sold or traded".
See photograph.

MR Creaser’s jewelry shop and museum can be found in route to Perhams on route 26 North in South Paris, Maine. McDonald's is next door. There you will find spectacular displays, much history and quality pieces for your collection and wife or loved ones.I thank Mr. Creaser for his valuable time also.

DR Woodrow Thompson of the Maine Geological Survey was wonderful and happily accepted my donations to their collection and again, my material will forever be enshrined in the States Geological Surveys' collection. He stated, "It was very interesting to hear about your mineral discovery in this town. While most of the beryl is the pale greenish variety, the crystals are good specimens, and some of them grade into a gemmy aquamarine color. The faceted stone that you showed me looked very nice. Hopefully you can also produce more of the black tourmaline crystals. The tourmalines that you’ve found so far have great luster and crystal form! "Also, "I have never seen a decent beryl crystal from the Minot area" and "couldn't believe I was getting crystals like that from a road cut".
He also put in a reserve for a nice terminated black tourmaline for his personal collection. I am looking for a superb specimen for that man!
And again, I thank you too Sir, for your valuable time and contributions in bringing attention and the necessary credibility to this find.

Mr. Dennis Durgin of Hebron, Maine I met quite unexpectedly at a meeting. He is currently involved in the active mining of Mount Marie and many of the worlds foremost experts in pegmatology have stated that the next great find will emanate from Mount Marie! His material can be viewed at the Poland Springs Country Club Preservation Park Museum just off of route 26 and North of the Shaker Village in Poland Spring, Maine.
I wish him all the luck in the world and I stand ready to assist in any way I can. Others, too numerous to mention have viewed my material and please accept my thank you also.

In closing, I would like to offer a few bits of information, for whatever it is worth and I hope it will help you in your quest: First, stay with the quartz, muscovite (mica), smokey quartz and large crystallization in your hunting. Second, Pay particular attention to garnet lines and SEE in pastel. Third, Be on the lookout for light color changes, it won't in most cases jump out at you and one only has so much time on this earth when mining in areas without the visible lithium bearing rock and luck must be with you. Fourth, remember, the beryl/aquamarine just as the tourmaline and other such mineralization and crystals are typically not found in veins in the traditional sense, unless found in pockets (holes or cave like formations) but rather, should be expected to be evenly dispersed throughout the pegmatite and productive area. Fifth, the good stuff is there, then gone. There again, and then gone. So you must keep searching, breaking rock, be persistent and then ultimately get lucky too to locate the good ones! Good luck and let me know when you hit that big pocket!

With regard to the Gold in Maine, and by the way, gold can be found in just about every State in the Union. My advice would be to trail blaze a new area and find the next new spot as most don't bother and the "mother load" has yet to be located. Some feel the mother load is in the Sandy River region as local legend states. The outer turns and bends of streams and dry old river systems where bedrock is exposed are hot spots but one must get off the beaten path so to speak. This is were you need to be for new discovery. There is much to be learned from the old saying, "gold is where you find it" and it relates directly to gem and mineral hunting too. Mineral and gem hunting is a lot like fishing in that, some days one gets skunked and on the next day you get a whopper! You have to keep looking for the honey hole in the end... Literally.

The key in the dumps and mines here and probably in most cases elsewhere in my humble opinion, is to stay in the strata/zone/elevation that one locates the decent specimens. Don't go anywhere until you feel the source has been depleted, be safe, keep breaking rock and always have fun. Shy away from the big projects such as the one described here as attorneys are lying in wait. It is also quite apparent that when there are such discoveries in this type of atmosphere, the lawyers are the only winners. Also, don't be shy about approaching others with a proposal as who knows, you might just get what you are looking for in the end.

A HUGE problem to overcome in any mining or treasure hunting adventure is of course a communications issue and the many things to contend with such as the possible legal issues with regard to property ownership, mineral rights and the associated liabilities often involved with such a hobby.

To one and all, I thank you again for taking the time to review and consider the information put forth here and please, feel free to look me up if ever in this part of the woods. Call ahead though, as I will probably be out chipping away at some promising looking rock somewhere.

Good luck!

Andrew David Ferguson
PO Box 2034
Auburn, Maine 04211
Email: www.FERGLTD@aol.com
Fax: (207) 782-3490

Subj: Re: New Maine Beryl/aquamarine find
Date: 9/3/2005 12:17 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: www.FERGLTD@aol.com

The next digging season (Spring 2006), I set out to purchase the property.
A home would have to built but the price was too high. So I purchased a nice place
on a few acres to the South and next hill over.
At the closing table, it was discovered that there was a mine on the property
known as the Phillips Quarry/Mine Maine Geological Survey plate BA4.
What are the odds? Amethyst reported 1956. But the story gets better...

The property is located at 94 Cross Road, 9/4 is my first borns birthdate September 4th.
Also, in the fifty years I have been on this earth, I have met three people with the same
birthdate as myself (07/12/1960). Two of those three people had the same last name.
You guessed it! PHILLIPS.

So if any of you out there were born on July 12 and have a last name of Phillips?
Please communicate as you simply must go digging with me.

Our digging season is all too short hear in Maine and I have hardly scratched the surface
thus far up on the hill but I am certain something wonderful may be found right in
my own backyard. You never know where a hobby can take you.
I will keep you posted when I hit that big pocket.


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