System for washing and sorting gem crystals from dumps. Collector’s Edge photo.Buzz Gray operating the washer to remove mud. M. Gray photo. Benitoite is very strongly dichroicsuch that when placed in the properorientation it looks either colorless, blue,or rich violet-blue in color. Benitoite hasa high birefringence, higher than that of diamond. Hence, cut stones come alivewith fire from refracted light. The bluecolor of benitoite is not..
Photo sequence showing stages of preparationfrom rough rock to finished specimen,size 7.5 cm. Specimen and photosJ. Veevaert. Most of the natrolite veins are lessthan 2 cm thick. The minerals of interestat the mine are confined to the vein systemsand frequently are attached to bothvein walls. This creates an obvious problemduring specimen preparation as oneside of the vein has to be mechanicallyremoved to permit a chance at producinga specimen..
Despite the effective mining techniquesused by The Collector’s Edge, aminor amount of productive material stillremains. The mud adhering to much ofthe material is tenacious and nearly impossibleto remove without repeated wettingand abrasion. This masking mudallowed considerable material to passthrough the washing system undetected and was eventually used in the reclamationwork. Hence, some of this mineralizedmaterial will continue to be..
Perhaps hundreds or even thousands ofstunning specimens were lost throughthis method. It did not take long however,for the miners to learn that natrolite wassoluble in various acids. It must havebeen quite a scene to see hundreds ofkilos of natrolite veins in acid to expose the enclosed benitoite crystals. Today,acids and other chemicals are used toprepare specimens and recover gemrough. However, greater care and effortare taken to clean aest..
Benitoite – almost every mineralcollector desires to have a specimenof this unique blue mineral. Aside froma few small nearby deposits, only theBenitoite Gem mine has commerciallyproduced gem quality benitoite andspecimens of stunning beauty. Since itsdiscovery in 1907, literally tens of thousandsof benitoite and neptunite specimenshave been produced. It is a slowand involved process to remove theencasing natrolite with various chemical..
8 cm specimen from the pocket. Pinnacle 5 Minerals specimen. J. Callén photo. Smoky QuartzPikes Peak batholith smoky quartzis prized for its very deep, near blackcolor. Most crystals exhibit a root beerbottle brown in transmitted light. Thesmoky color is caused by traces of alu-minum and the presence of ionizing radiation.16 cm specimen with dominating big smoky quartz crystal. Astro Gallery specimen.J. Callén photo. Typical s..
Working in the Lucky Monday pocket, note pegmatite vein. Ch. Borland photo. J. Dorris photo.Genthelvite A pocket found adjacent to theLucky Monday pocket held the firstgenthelvite crystals found in the LakeGeorge district. These occurred as loose,lustrous crystals up to 5 cm acrossin blocky, octahedral habit. Color isa dark maroon with reddish halos. Three significant crystals and approximatelya dozen small fragments were recovered.Tim proudly..
Abraham Velasco recovers first genthelvite in the Crystal Peak area found in side pocket of the Lucky Monday. P5M photo. The final steps include reassemblingthe matched pieces and permanentlyrepairing the pieces into finespecimens.LUCKY MONDAY POCKET4.8 cm genthelvite crystal shown in photo above. J. Scovil photo. A large pocket discovered on 13June 2011 was dubbed the Lucky Mondaypocket because it was the silver lining to an otherwise, nea..
These thicker zonestend to surround a miarolitic cavity.Pocket formation is largely structurallycontrolled in that the magma and accompanyingvolatiles collect in areas ofdirectional change (such as the lowermostcurvature of a pegmatite vein or along a fault line) where they subsequentlycrystallize and form cavities thatallow for the development of pegmatiticminerals. Comparatively, the linear pegmatitesrarely give rise to pockets.Lucky Monday..
The Pikes Peak region has beenproducing amazonite and smoky quartzspecimens as well as other pegmatiteminerals since the late 1870s. After a fewearlier experimental digs, the early1990s saw a couple of collectors beginningto use mechanized equipment to digbelow the old dug-out areas. Joe Dorrisfirst used a backhoe in 1993, diggingdownwards to 4 m. He had some limitedsuccess finding some remaining, undiscoveredmiarolitic cavities (pockets) int..