|Half Of The Second Day Crystal Find!!!|
|1st Crystal Plate Of The Pocket (Some reassembly required)|
|Fluorite Coming To Light|
|Fresh Out Of The Pocket and Field Cleaned|
Day 2—A Smoky Quartz Dream: While I don’t like to dig on Saturdays I decided we better go back to the dig the following day as we had seen some folks encroaching on other people’s claims in the area but they left rather quickly when we warned them off. We got back to Bob’s dig and I helped Bob muck out the hole as the rain the previous day had taken down some of the sidewall around the dig. After mucking out the hole Bob picked up where he left off the day before. Soon quartz crystal groups were rolling down from near the pocket ceiling—one after the next! Many of the plates had some minor damage associated with the long ago pocket implosion but they were still very impressive. Bob worked the site for about 2 hours til he started getting some muscle cramps and asked me to pinch hit for a while. I had been watching Bob dig and went right for what I perceived to be the hot spot. Sure enough crystal plates, single smokies and occasional fluorites were spilling into my hands.
|Sure Was Fun!!!|
Day 3—Fluorite Again: Today was fluorite day. Bob mucked out the large pocket and redug the area he had started. When he got to the bottom of the dig he started removing what he had initially thought was the bottom of the pocket, but while flipping over a couple rocks numerous fluorites appeared.
Most of the fluorites were attached to the
bottom sides of the rocks and did not have the crisp edges we hope for but were
still very collectible specimens.
carefully cleaned out the fluorites and then sent me back into the hole to
continue working the bottom of the pocket up the hill. He started to pack crystals and made another
3 trips back to his vehicle overloaded with gems. As I dug we were soon awash
in pseudomorphs of goethite after carbonates.
Not sure what the carbonate is, but siderite and calcite have been
mentioned as the most likely replaced minerals. Goethite doesn’t have a rhombic
habit and since the rhombs are composed of goethite they have to be
pseudomorphs. While calcite has been
found in the Lake George area siderite has not been found to my knowledge, still
I will refer to these pseudomorphs as goethite after siderite since this is the
local/common convention. Some of the pseudomorphs were attached to fluorite,
some to smokies and others just formed large plates attached
to the pegmatite. Day 3 ended a little later than we normally like to dig but
the weather was fair and the crystals were numerous. We decided to take a couple days off which I took advantage of by cleaning a few specimens.
|Here Is A 6" Plate With Several Fluorites On It|
|Pseudomorphs on Smoky|
|Part Of The Cleaning Process I Go Through To Include Everything From Soap And Water To A Little Mechanical Cleaning|
Day 4—Finishing Up The Big Dig. The plan today was to primarily go through the tailings to make sure we didn’t miss anything, recheck the bottom of the pocket and then move forward along the quartz streamer leading up the hill out of the pocket. After digging through the tailings we found some nice quartz shards and a few small crystals which had eluded us the first time. Small pieces of crystals and shards can be key when fitting plates or repairing crystals for display. After a couple of hours of digging through the shards Bob returned to digging out the bottom. While a few crystals were found this time nothing of note popped up. I decided to go further down the hill and test my luck on a different pegmatite I had found the previous week. Bob remediated the site and then began digging up hill. Wouldn’t you know it another pocket showed itself. This was a minor pocket compared to what he had previously found but still had plenty of action with smoky quartz crystals up to 3 inches, along with a few plates of smoky quartz crystals. By days end Bob had remediated the dig area and came over to watch me dig out some feeble looking amazonite and smokies from a small/normal pocket I found. So yeah, I found some stuff too. Towards the end of day 4 ventured forth to another area... who knows what might be lurking under the next set of boulders? In a couple of weeks we should have a number of these beauties cleaned and I'll post a few. What were the happy crystal totals? A conservative estimate would be 1500 smoky quartz crystals, 200 fluorites and numerous pseudomorphs along with plates of all of the above--and two tired but happy prospectors!
|Some of my measly finds on Day 4 off a different pegmatite|