|Work site shows rock walls with slight void between contrasting pegmatite walls|
My digging partner Bob decided it was time for us to hit an area we had worked some before and found lots of pegmatites but very few well-formed crystals. Bob mentioned we needed to find a pocket and call it the Summer Solstice pocket so that is what we did. I returned to a spot I had dug before and Bob dug up the hill from me. I had been finding pale colored amazonite but most were not euhedral crystals but partially encased in the pegmatite. Every once in a while I could take a chunk of quartz with an embedded microcline in it and tap the quartz freeing the microcline. As I continued to dig along the pegmatite I noticed some nicer crystals in the dirt above the pegmatite and guessed there was another pegmatite shedding better formed amazonite crystals up the hill. I began digging up the hill following the float amazonite crystals. As the crystals became more numerous I eventually dug into the pegmatite shedding the amazonite. While I found a pocket with this pegmatite there were more amazonite crystals in the dirt below the pocket (float) than actually in the pocket. I would say there were about 50 or 60 crystals but only a handful were undamaged and collectible. I also found a few amazonite associated with goethite.
|Goethite crystals were the real prize of this dig. 3" specimen|
While these amazonite crystals were a bit better formed they were quite pale. I continued digging along this new pegmatite and found a softer area between a quartz portion of the pegmatite and a predominately feldspar wall. I continued to break up the quartz seam and dig out the softer feldspar. As my hammer banged and pick axe clanged through the rock the site of sparks along with the smell of burned rock leads me to believe I will soon need a new rock hammer and pick axe tips. As I moved along the pegmatite I finally discovered another small pocket. As I probed the pocket with a long handled screwdriver I began to unearth goethite along with amazonite. This pocket, about 3 feet down, contained a little stronger colored amazonite (though still pale in my mind) along with numerous goethite sprays. There was more goethite than amazonite. I also found one clear fluorite and one smoky quartz crystal. I pulled out 25 pieces of goethite ranging from 1-3” across many with bow-tie like sprays of goethite needles. I called my digging partner over and he got a kick out of watching me pull out goethite sprays. I had nicknamed Bob the "Goethite King" last year and while I was nowhere near to assuming his title I did find enough goethite to fill a flat. As I continued along the pegmatite a general void appeared between the vertical pegmatite on my left and a more quartzy pegmatite on my right. It was at the intersection of these two formations that the goethite had settled/formed in along with some amazonite. I would call most of this a seam of crystals as opposed to a pocket but whatever you want to call it, it was challenging to remove hundreds of pounds of rock and rewarding to get a few crystals out. Now if there is anyone out there who wants goethite at $200 a piece as seen on the internet--let me know. :-) It was fun and Mother Nature kept me employed pulling out crystals on her special day! Happy Summer Solstice and looking forward to the Autumnal Equinox and some cooler weather! Some results...
|Cleaning some of the amazonite I found. Fairly pale|
but collectible. I clean the amazonite with Iron Out
Goethite with detergent and agitator (aquarium bubbler)
|Assembling a flat of goethite crystals/sprays|