Rockin the Rockies

Rockin the Rockies
Stowe Mtn

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Return To Devil's Head Collecting Area

The crystal collecting area called Devil's Head southwest of Castle Rock, Colorado has had renown for it's large topaz for nearly 100 years. While I'm sure there is still some topaz in the area I am satisfied with finding smoky quartz and amazonite. The smoky quartz at this locale is known for it's size while amazonite is often fairly pale though exceptions occur. I've found the pegmatite to be a little more difficult to work here rather than the softer more broken up pegmatites I've found at Lake George. We parked our vehicle near topaz point and began prospecting from there. We found several promising pegmatites with small crystals, but most of the crystals on the associated plates were broken.
Now that's a boulder!
It was a warm day in the middle 80s, which is hot for the mountains, so after a fruitless search in the morning I settled down in a promising shady area. The site had numerous digs, but there was still a lot of undug quartz in the pegmatite which included smoky quartz with numerous faces. I removed some overburden and then dug straight down and pulled out pieces of the pegmatite looking for crystals.
Well formed pegmatite too solid for me to break through this day
I found a lot of subhedral crystals including microcline, but not much to take home. Then, after pulling away a large chunk of smoky quartz a few well formed crystals showed themselves. I guess the previous digger didn't get all the goodies.
Unfortunately I had not taken my heavier equipment to deal with the pegmatite. I really needed a larger chisel, sledge hammer and pry bar. I usually don't carry this heavy equipment with me until I find a need for it. Prospecting at 9000 feet and 85F with a hot sun discourages me from taking any more equipment than I have to. However, I can go back now straight to the dig with my heavier equipment and see what I can do. It was a nice day though a bit warm and a few nice crystals from Devil's Head are now part of my collection.
Best of the lot

Very Gemmy but some internal fracturing

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! What kind of tools do you bring with you? (Novice question, please forgive me).