Rockin the Rockies

Rockin the Rockies
Stowe Mtn

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hanksite at the Rock Fair

This past weekend I went to a rock and mineral show in Buena Vista. I always keep my eye out for something different and this particular day a dealer had hanksite for sale at a very reasonable (cheap) price. Never having heard of hanksite, I let him tell me what it was. Evidently it is a rare due to its chemical composition and locale. The dealer said it is only found in California, specifically Searles Lake. Care must be taken with this mineral as it is an evaporate. Minerals such as these tend to slowly dissolve with time in moist environments.  The dealer advised keeping an eye on it and apply mineral oil if the specimen got any film on it. He also said you could spray it with a clear semigloss to keep out moisture.  He said I might not have much trouble in Colorado Springs due to the dry environment.

I did a little research and found it was named after Henry G Hanks the first CA state mineralogist. The minerals would be impossible to get except for the fact that a company that mines Borax brings up some of the hanksite from deep within the Searles lakebed.  Evidently the company allows folks to come to the site once a year and help themselves to mineral specimens. The occasion is called the Annual Gem-O-Rama.

I guess I could have gone to the Gem-O-Rama myself but it seemed easier for me to purchase a couple of specimens from the dealer who was not only knowledgeable and friendly, but also had reasonable prices.

I also purchased a piece of pink halite. Good with chips I think.

My Hanksite Specimen. (KNa22(SO4)9(CO3)2Cl
Pink Halite (NaCl)

1 comment:

  1. K. a couple of years ago, probably three I guess since the CSMS Show was at the Phil Long place, a CSMS member who lives in WY had a display, and movie, of his trip to the Lake. He had some really large specimens and his videos were interesting. Guess prospectors need to wear old clothes and shoes since you are wading in mud and more mud.