Rockin the Rockies

Rockin the Rockies
Stowe Mtn

Monday, November 19, 2012

End of Year Rockhounding at Lake George

Having not found much lately I decided to redig a hole someone else had worked a few years ago. I talked to the claim owner about the hole and he had no recollection of digging it. After digging out the old hole I noticed there was considerable quartz in the pegmatite wall in front of me as well as shards of quartz in the bottom of the dig. After not digging too long I began finding big quartz crystals. Unfortunately all of the crystals were covered or shrouded with a veil of quartz. While most of the specimens were covered in lumpy quartz overgrowth, a few just had a brownish rusty sheen (keepers). I supposed it is iron enriched quartz. Below are a few pictures of me digging. My digging buddy thought he would use these pictures as blackmail in how not to dig a hole, but I survived the experience. I wasn't too concerned as the surrounding pegmatite, was quite firm, at least after a few bangs with a crack hammer it appeared to be stable. I think I'll call this my "Waste of Time" pocket. It showed real promise, but the crystals were not really collectible. Maybe the guy who worked the pocket prior to me knew when to quit. Evidently I don't know when to quit! The frost is slowing me down, so this may be my last entry for 2012 unless I go petrified wood hunting.
Where my hardhat and miner's light?

Going in for the kill, I dug this out about 6 feet down

Time to pull out the crystals
This is the best I found, too bad the smoky is covered in a coat of reddish quartz

This one has white and reddish quartz over the smokys

Talk to you all again next year.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Onegite at Lake George

Onegite is somewhat of a misnomer. Onegite was a name given to a mineral when in fact it is a specimen composed of quartz and goethite needles. Originally described from Lake Onega, Wolf Island, Karelia Republic, Northern Region, Russia. We still use the name Onegite locally instead of saying quartz with goethite inclusions. The onegite varies in color from near black, brown, yellow (citrine) and purple(amethyst). I believe this color change is primarily caused by the amount of goethite needles imbedded in the quartz. Last week I made another prospecting trip to Lake George in search of crystals and stumbled on a pocket of smoky quartz and onegite. Unfortunately many of the smoky quartz have a mottled appearance and are spot covered in additional quartz coating. The onegite are however somewhat unusual and the nicest I've ever found. I've shown smaller specimens to old timers who were quite impressed. These onegite handily beat those. Studying the crystals I believe the onegite and goethite balls formed after the original pocket was formed. Much of the goethite with onegite crystals seems to have formed around existing smoky quartz crystals.
Close up of Onegite

Large grouping of onegite on goethite

Onegite on matrix with goethite

Onegite crystal mass

Largest onegite crystal found about the size of a nickel
I should add the smokys from this pocket cleaned up fairly well

Quartz crystals also found, dig is in lower left