Rockin the Rockies

Rockin the Rockies
Stowe Mtn

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Lake George Amazonite

New pieces of Amazonite and Smoky quartz grouped for display
Looking for smoky quartz and amazonite can be quite challenging some days. This day was different as within 15 minutes of prospecting I found a small pocket of crystals. It seemed like I had only begun prospecting when I noticed a small chip of amazonite. I looked up the hill and couldn't discern any old digs (so far so good). I walked up the hill following the terrain looking for more float and soon found another chip of amazonite. I noticed a large rock and tree nearby. Trees are always looking for moisture and the clay in crystal pockets retains moisture, so while a tree doesn't mean there is a crystal pocket, float and trees together are a good sign. Rocks, especially in situ rocks versus roll down can also suggest a contact zone or area of potential mineralization. I sunk my pick axe down next to the tree and immediately hit pegmatite. I flipped the rock over and saw good signs of mineralization. I then went down the hill about 3 feet and dug into the ground towards the tree. I hit shards of grey quartz and even noted a small piece of amazonite. I continued to dig up the hill and grew concerned about the volume of quartz pieces without crystals. For a fleeting minute I thought maybe I was in an old dig, but reasoned that the quartz shards were too closely interwoven to be the case.  Next step was to expand the initial dig. Pegmatites at Lake George normally run just off the north/south line, so I expanded the dig southward. BINGO! Small smokys soon led me to amazonite and smoky crystals. No plates or combinations of crystals, but still some desirable amazonite. While the pocket was about the size of a football, much care is needed during the extraction process due to the easy cleavage of microcline(amazonite) and the compaction of the pocket with thick clay-like mud and numerous broken crystals. No sense in rushing to get out the crystals and breaking them all in the process. Even though the pocket was collapsed, there is usually something good if the pocket crystals are encased in clay. The clay serves as a cushion over time and helps prevent frost heave damage. Time always goes by quickly when the hunt is on, I spent nearly 4 hours carefully working on a fairly small pocket. I would estimate the take at less than a hundred dollars, more conservative/realistic than quotes I saw on the prospectors TV show. I felt my time was well spent no matter what the value. See photos below of crystal extraction and specimens cleaned and displayed.
A Beautiful Start to the Day at Lake George


  1. Morning - I am glad to have found your blog as it has confirmed the ID of the specimens I have found - thank you. I am an average 'jo' and do not have chemicals that other sites noted to clean the iron off the smoky quartz so I'm trying a vinegar soak. Any input on the cleaning of smoky quartz? Many thanks