Rockin the Rockies

Rockin the Rockies
Stowe Mtn

Saturday, May 28, 2011

For my Nephew who says I never find anything good!

I was visiting a friends claim (with permission) near Lake George CO yesterday and found this beauty.  The tip is dinged a little, but it is one of the finest specimens I have ever found.  The crystal goes from almost clear to smoky at it's termination it measures 15cm.  This crystal was float, in other words I found it in the dirt unassociated with its original vug/pocket.  I hope to do more prospecting next week and find its source (vug), if the owner of the claim is willing.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

April Fools Claim Finish Up

The April Fools claim mineral rights are leased by the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society.  If you are a member of that club you have the right to rockhound on the claim.  Here is a picture from the April Fools claim looking north.  Today we finished up a dig and did some prospecting.  The next few slides show some of the work and findings at this claim.  We worked an area about 4 or 5 days and have now completed prospecting that area.  We found hundreds of crystals, though most under 5cm.  The largest smoky crystal was about 15cm.  We also found some amazonite in combination with smokys.  These combos are fairly desirable.  Unfortunately the combos were small 12cm across and the amazonite was not a very deep blue green.  Still the treasure hunt provided fun and excitement as crystals formed 1 billion years ago were exposed to sunlight.

Time to get back to work on the pegmatite at Apr Fools claim.  You can see a small smoky in the middle of the picture.  Most crystals found this day were less than 5 cm.

Typical Small Pocket/Vug

Here is a small pocket I cleaned out.  There were only a few smokys and they were small.  See smoky point in foreground.  This pocket was only about 15cm across and maybe 10cm high

Microcline clusters or is it something else?

While digging the pegmatite I found a few combos of microcline.  Doing some field cleaning I noticed a faint bluish color and some small smokys embedded in the matrix mud.  Better take these home and clean them up.  (See next post)

A nice Combo

We dug several days on a pegmatite and I found that after cleaning some of the microcline, it turned out to be the variety amazonite.  Amazonite is highly desirable when in combination with smoky quartz.  While the amazonite is not a very deep blue green, and the smokys are small, this 12cm wide specimen did turn out well.  Note the amazonite manebach twin in the right foreground.  Several smaller combos were also found.  I suspected the crystals were amazonite when I rubbed some of the reddish mud off the crystals in the field.  Always best to take stuff home and clean it to make sure of what it is.

Culmination of Work on the Apr Fools Claim

The day ended early due to weather.  Some thunder and hail began to fall, so we called it quits for the day and probably will not return to this area again for some time.  The only crystals we could find were small and obvious float from the pegmatite we had exploited earlier in the month

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Another Day in the Pikes Peak Batholith

We picked an area of the Hayman Burn today, Just northeast of Lake George.  A tough area to dig, hence, not under claim.  The day started out a little cold with a temperature of 38F and some patchy snow in the shadows.  The forecast was for showers starting at 1PM, so we got an early start.

Bob's Dig

My digging buddy found a pegmatite early on but as is often the case no crystals materialized.  The area we are digging is known by the graybeards as sporadic in nature, a hard place to find crystals (hence its not under claim) and anyone can dig there.  Finds have been made.... see posts below.

A fairly large quartz chunk with faces got me to redig a pegmatite I had worked last fall, see next entry.

My Dig

I had found a pegmatite here last fall and found a couple crystals with it.  Today I dug it up and found quite a few quartz crystals, quartz and microcline plates as well as albite covering much of the material.  None of the material was exceptional, though I did get a few nice microclines out of the pocket.  The dig pictured above is pretty much done.  A few 10cm crystals were pulled, but they all are coated with an exterior film which is of course not desirable. 

Carlsbad Twin

The pocket produced some nice microcline.  Here is one depicted that is a Carlsbad twin, somewhat unusual.
All the smokys were clouded with an exterior film.  I suppose acid might take off some of the film, but so far not much luck. 

Gathering Storm

Storm rolled in around 2PM and so I decided it was time to call it a day.  It never did snow much, but there was some thunder and lightning which a prudent person will always take as a sign to call it day.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The beginning of Spring? No crystals today but a nice picture of Pikes Peak

I was working on a quartz seam today, but found little.  The pegmatite up at Lake George was very stingy today.  I suppose I should have tried digging deeper, but it just wasn't yielding anything other than small microcline crystals.