Rockin the Rockies

Rockin the Rockies
Stowe Mtn

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rock Hounding at an Estate Sale

I decided to attend an estate sale that promised thousands of rocks. The owner of many of these specimens an avid member of the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society (CSMS), died doing what he loved best, collecting specimens on Pikes Peak. The auction started out somewhat slowly with clocks, furniture, knives and housewares, but eventually moved onto the rocks fossils and minerals. The amount of specimens up for auction was surprising. I recognized a few members from the CSMS and spirited bidding soon began. While I recognized some nice items, most others did as well. I was looking primarily for crystals, and was frequently outbid.  Finally I got a nice specimen of tourmaline and a rather large grouping of purple fluorite. The fluorite was somewhat dirty with calcite covering portions of it, but a quick trip to heated phosphoric acid bath took care of those two problems. I would guess that now that I've cleaned up the fluorite it has changed from a $4 specimen to at least $25 (see picture below). I've always loved geodes and like giving them away to kids. The price was right on these too. Imagine, spending the time to find, cut and polish and sell one of these beautiful geodes for $5 (I bought four). What a deal for me. Wasn't sure why some folks spent good money for river rocks and yard rocks, but to each his/her own I suppose.
After 8 hours my feet were sore and my interest was waning. I think my wife was looking for me as well. I would guess the auction went on for at least another hour or two. I got a few deals and was happy with my purchases. I decided to include this in my Rockhounding the Rockies blog, though it wasn't really rockhounding, unless you consider fishing in a trout pond fishing...;-)
Fluorite measures about 7 inches across, an overall beauty

One of four geodes I purchased, probably Mexico


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