Rockin the Rockies

Rockin the Rockies
Stowe Mtn

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Elusive Quality Amazonite at Lake George

Large Smoky fragment with more up the hill
The smoky fragments were fairly large and had no coating of secondary material. Looked like I might be on to something. Soon I began to find more concentrated quartz fragments and then some pegmatite leading me right toward a dead tree. Sure enough the closer I got to the base of the tree the better the specimens got. Keeping my fingers crossed and taking a few pictures I put my pick axe and rock hammer away and proceeded cautiously with a borrowed scratcher.
Pocket starting to show itself at the base of a dead tree
I lost my scratcher the last time out so I had borrowed one from my digging partner Bob prior to setting out. It's crystal time! While I found over 50 crystals only 4 or 5 were big enough for me to consider as display pieces. We'll see how they clean up, but they seemed pretty clean right out of the pocket.
Nice smoky, albeit small with microcline
I finished this pocket and then poked around in the area a little more to see if the pegmatite extended further up the hill with pockets. Find nothing and since it was about 1PM I decided I better get to my initial objective of the amazonite area. I had found some float amazonite the previous week but not the source. This day I had enough time to find the source and dig out some pegmatite. While the crystals were of good color so far they have been very small. Time was up this day but I will continue the dig soon and hopefully find a pocket of amazonite
Wild flowers are everywhere this year due to rains

Small Crystal Pockets at Lake George in June

I’ve found a number of crystals and small pockets in the last few weeks, but nothing really memorable. We have saturated one area, but never would I say I’ve found it all. Hoping that recent rains had eroded a crystal or two away from underlying pegmatites I’ve been prospecting some fairly steep slopes. While following a few telltale signs of float quartz I haven’t been able to find a large pocket worthy of mention. Here is a picture of some of my finds from the month of June. There some microcline, amazonite, smoky quartz and even some goethite.
Typical small stuff
Still that is what rock hounding is, sometimes you find something really great, but most of your time is spent hiking and poking around rocks looking for signs of crystals.
My nephew was sure that a pocket was under this rock, but not even his youth and determination could budge this behemoth
Float crystal will often lead you to a previously discovered pocket further up the hill rather than a new find. The area around Lake George has been dug quite extensively. If I find shards of crystals within 15 feet of a previously dug pocket I usually move on guessing the quartz shards I’m finding came from that dig. Still I give the area a once over and sometimes I get lucky and find something the previous digger missed. My digging partner Bob had a pretty good score doing just that! After digging around the roots of a tree he determined to check out a dig about 15 feet up the slope from him. After cleaning out the old dig he hit the pegmatite. The previous digger dug up to the pegmatite and then quit and left the harder work to Bob. Bob tore into the pegmatite and noted the pegmatite had small anhedral crystals growing out of it. As he pulled down some of the pegmatite he hit a seam of quartz with mud. Just behind the pegmatite was a fairly large pocket! Bob pulled out microcline crystal after crystal, some of these were larger than his fist and well formed. He was hoping for amazonite, but no blue color was noted. Next he turned his attention to the quartz seam. He found a number of large quartz crystals and even a crystal plate, but unfortunately the smokys were covered in a secondary deposit of white quartz (not desirable).  Still Bob took home about 40lbs of crystals and hopefully got something for his efforts.

At the very least he got to enjoy finding crystals where someone else had given up the hunt! Sometimes these kinds of crystal are the sweetest :-)