Rockin the Rockies

Rockin the Rockies
Stowe Mtn

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Amazonite Followup Story

Here is some more information and pictures of the amazonite dig.  My digging buddy Bob found a pocket of amazonite and we dug it out.  Pictures show the transformation of amazonite from being in the ground to being cleaned.  The cleaning isn't done yet, as some iron remains in the amazonite crystals.  The first picture shows the pocket with what we thought was microcline.  A little field cleaning showed it to be amazonite.

Here is a piece of microcline which in reality was amazonite.  See below for more pictures.

Finally it is cleaned up some.  I will let it soak in phosphoric acid for awhile and that should bring out more of the iron oxides.

 Bob's back was getting sore, so I took a turn at digging.  I unearthed this beauty, best of the pocket I think.  Bob will clean it up and display this highly prized piece in his living room I'm sure.

Here I am with that piece.  A most handsome specimen if I may say so.

I also found some cleavelandite. This mass is about the size of a tennis ball.  If I understand things correctly, cleavelandite is to albite as amazonite is to microcline (or something like that).  Since this was Bob's dig, he has most of the material, but I got a few nice pieces as well.  I noted one of my amazonite crystals has a little cleavelandite on it, so that is special in its own right.


  1. Hi Kevin,

    I shot you an email a while back and I was wondering how much better your amazonite looked after the phosphoric acid bath. Did you use heat as well?

    Thanks, Kirk

    1. Yes, I used heat. I put the crystal in a small crock pot, avoided boiling(nasty fumes) and let it cook on low heat for a few days. It really didn't improve much. I'm told some of these specimens must sit in phosphoric for a month or so. The color of the piece is not as rich blue green as I'd hoped for, so I've put the rock away to be sold at a later date.