Rockin the Rockies

Rockin the Rockies
Stowe Mtn

Monday, October 17, 2016

Amazonite Pond at Lake George


Autumn Sunrises Are The Best Here, Sunsets Aren't Bad Either
My digging partner will soon be out for the rest of the season due to an upcoming surgery so I am digging solo a bit until frost sets in and kills the season. This day was another spectacular weather day and as I drove into the forest two deer crossed my path. I hoped it would not be bad luck like a black cat crossing my path and as you’ll see my luck held this day. I continued to prospect a friend’s claim which seems to have amazonite shards everywhere a veritable pond of amazonite fragments but no full crystals. I tried a spot today that showed some large white quartz chunks on the surface. I had noted this spot a few weeks ago and meant to get back to it at a later date which was today. Someone had dug up some quartz but quit on it as it meandered up the hill under the forest floor. I continued to follow this quartz and was soon seeing some amazonite shards which has not been unusual for this claim. As I continued pulling out quartz I noticed that large grooves were imprinted in some of the quartz which suggested a crystal had been lodged against that area of the quartz as the quartz formed. Well that got my attention especially since the grooves in the quartz were fairly large and suggested a large microcline at the very least. . 

Large impression of crystal in quartz above thumb
As  I was digging in a grove of aspens and large blocky chunks of white quartz the aspen tree roots kept hindering my progress. As I continued the dig I noted some more interesting pegmatite (feldspar/quartz/mica) was mixing in with the plain quartz and in no time the feldspar started exhibiting blue/green faces the telltale sign of amazonite. The site was looking very promising but my habitual headache was returning from the day before. I kept digging as the sign was too good to quit and then I hit pay-dirt or at least some nice amazonite. I pulled two large complete amazonite crystals 3+” and started working on some of the surrounding quartz to see what might be underneath.
4" Crystal Fresh Out Of The Ground

3.5" Crystal With a Fracture Ready For Cleaning

 I gave up on the quartz as I just couldn’t budge it with the tools I had and continued my hunt up the hill. More amazonite kept dribbling out of the hillside and I knew I had found a fairly good spot.

My headache continued to grow so I decided to cut my visit short this day and will plan to return next week. I packed up and was about to leave my dig site when I noticed a nice chunk of blue/green amazonite at the edge of my dig where I left off. I’ll wager there are more crystals waiting for me the next time I return with an axe for the roots a pry bar for the quartz and no headache!


Visit #2: Autumn is setting in but the unseasonably warm weather continues. I stopped off at my digging partner's (Bob's) house and showed him some of the recent crystals and despite his health issues he insisted on going with me and checking things out so off we went.

Still hitting the same spot and following the pegmatite. I brought in a pry bar and axe this time and my headache took a holiday so with 70F, sunny skies and crystals to find there was nothing to hold me back.  I immediately went to work on the quartz with the pry bar and despite my efforts I found very little. Since there was still quartz and amazonite shards up the hill I continued the hunt. I continued finding an occasional single crystal. Bob stopped by to needle me wondering where my bushel basket of crystals was and I retorted the day was still young and I too was surprised my wheelbarrow wasn’t yet full of crystals. I continued the dig and hit some yellowish dirt normally a good sign. I was digging a little downhill from the pegmatite and so I decided to pull out some pegmatite and try to find the source of these single crystals and yellow dirt. Soon I hit highly mineralized pegmatite with yellow clay and what appeared to be amazonite sprouting out of the pegmatite… BINGO!  I had just told Bob I would be ready to leave in a half hour or so, but this find pushed that back an hour. Finally some amazonite plates with plenty of pocket mud.
The crystals were fairly clean and well formed with good color and some size. I’ve rinsed them and brushed them in soapy water, next step is Iron Out. I’ll probably give that pegmatite another try as well! Here are best of the lot so far cleaned up, I took these out of my wheelbarrow (haha)
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