(Mini Miners Monthly) A Monthly Publication for Young Collectors Vol. 12 No. 3 March 2020 world class

There are some mineral localities that have produced the best of the best mineral specimens ever recovered. These specimens have very special qualities that nearly every serious mineral collector rec- ognizes...an artistic combination of color, form, size, proportion and mineral associations that makes them as pleasing to the eye as fine art. We hope you will be so inspired by these natural treasures that you will develop an eye for their beauty and become a serious, high- quality mineral collector yourself. And maybe, some day, you will find a locality that produces even more world class minerals!

This special edition of Mini Miners Monthly™ is a celebration of the very best mineral specimens a collector could possibly find. Some of the specimens pictured here are so special that they are known all over the world. Pictures of these specimens have been printed in important mineral books and magazines. They are one-of-a-kind. They are so important and so valuable they are, mostly, safely kept in some of the most important mineral museums in the world.

We hope that you are inspired by these spectacular speci- mens. We also hope that as you become more experienced as a mineral collector, you will patiently acquire only the best speci- mens you can find and afford. We continue to believe it is far better to own one spectacular mineral specimen than fifty average specimens. Here’s to your successful mineral collecting. world class minerals: historical silver Kongsberg, Norway (left)

Himmelsfurst Mine, Freiberg District, Saxony, Germany (below)

The mining region of Kongsberg, Norway is the largest in Norway: it includes more than 80 individual mines. These mines are hundreds of years old. In the 1770’s over 4,000 workers worked for the mines. Silver mining in Kongsberg began in 1623 and it continued until 1958. It is estimated that 2.86 million pounds of Silver were mined at Kongsberg. (Kongsberg means “The Mountain of the King.”)

The Kongsberg Silver was discovered by children, Helga and Jacob. They were caring for their cows when an ox scraped against the side of a hill. They saw something very shiny and took a piece home to their father. He knew right away it was Silver. He melted it down and took it to town to sell it. The police arrested him because he was trying to sell something valuable for very little money, and they thought he probably had stolen it from someone. The police gave him a choice: tell them where the Silver was found or be arrested and forced to hard work. He told them where to find the silver in the hills. King Christian IV then founded the town of Kongsberg in 1624, and the search for Silver began.

For mineral collectors, the Wire Silver specimens from Kongsberg are classics. They are among the most famous mineral specimens ever discovered in the history of mineralogy and mineral collecting. Two Kongsberg Silver specimens are pictured here, above and to the left.

Other localities have also produced excellent Wire Silver specimens, like the one pictured to the right from the Freiberg District of Germany. Excellent world- class Silver specimens have been found in La Nueva Nevada Mine, Batopilas, Chihuahua, Mexico. Pictured below, to the left is a very fine Silver specimen from Stonewall Jackson Mine, Globe, Miami District, Arizona. emerald Coscuez Mine, Boyacá, Colombia

Most of the best Emeralds mined and sold in the world today come from Colombia. A lot of lower quality Emeralds are mined in other localities. Mining for Colombia’s Emeralds began long before European explorers arrived in South America. These Emeralds are very well-formed hexagonal crystals and crystal groups. They occur in white to gray Calcite matrix. Geologists say that Colombian Emeralds are the purest Emeralds found anywhere in the world. They are also the only Emerald deposits that occur in sedimentary rock. All other Emerald deposits occur in igneous rock. Colombian Emeralds are deep green and are often so clear and perfect that they are cut into beautiful gemstones. Fine Emerald gemstones can be more valuable than fine Diamond gemstones. Emeralds are the green variety of the mineral Beryl. The green color is created by very small amounts (called trace amounts by mineralogists) of the elements chromium and vanadium trapped in the crystal. Many Colombian emeralds show a deep red fluorescence under UV light.

topaz “imperial topaz” Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Topaz can be colorless, light blue, dark blue, orange, pink, yellow, brown and red. The rarest color for Topaz is the golden orange variety that is known as “Imperial Topaz.” It was named “Imperial Topaz” in honor of Brazilian royalty. It is also known by the title of “Precious Topaz.” Because of its rarity, it is considered to be a very valuable variety of Topaz. As early as 1730, gem prospectors were looking for gemstones of any kind in the region now known as Ouro Preto, Brazil. The Topaz that is mined in Ouro Preto is golden orange to pinkish-purple. Not only is Ouro Preto the only important source of Imperial Topaz, it produces the best specimens. They are glassy, clear, brightly colored and many are without internal flaws, making them both excellent mineral specimens as well as gemstones. (Mini Miners Monthly) Vol. 12 No. 3 March 2020

azurite Copper Queen Mine, Bisbee, Cochise County, Arizona

Pictured to the left is one of the most famous mineral specimens recovered from the copper mines in Bisbee, Arizona. It is now in the mineral collection of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. It is powdery light blue and sits on a light green malachite-covered matrix.

The mining town of Bisbee grew around the very rich Copper Queen Mine. It’s ore body had a 23% grade. This is very, very high for any mine. This means that 23% of every ton of ore was copper! The mineral deposits of this region were first discovered by a U.S. Army scout named Jack Dunn who was out searching for a source of water. He told his commanding officer of his discovery. They made a deal with a local named George Warren to file a claim, which he eventually did. The full history of the Copper Queen Mine is very interesting. Look it up!

crocoite Adelaide Mine, Dundas, Tasmania

Crocoite is a relatively rare mineral species. It was first discovered in 1763 at the Berezovskoe Gold Deposit near Ekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains (Russia). It would be over 100 years until other important Crocoite deposits were found. In 1890, the Red Lead Mine in Dundas was first discovered. The Dundas Mine was mined for lead and silver ore. Throughout the 1900’s, a number of mines in Tasmania produced world-class groups of Crocoite crystals. These mines include the Adelaide, Red Lead, West Comet, and Platt mines. The crystals are long and slender, bright orange-red, and very glassy. Crocoite is the source of the element chromium which is used to make chrome-covered parts for automobiles, motorcycles, and household items like faucets. (Mini Miners Monthly) Vol. 12 No. 3 March 2020 stibnite Ichinokawa Mine, Iyo, Japan

Stibnite crystal groups from the Ichinokawa Mine, Japan are found in mineral museums all over the world. The crystals are large, sharp, bright metallic gray, strongly striated and very well-formed. The best specimens from this mine were found in the 1880’s. The mine closed in the 1950’s, so if a mineral collector wants to own a Japanese Stibnite, it will only come from an old collection. Stibnite is an ore of the element antimony. The Ichino- kawa Mine was only active for 25 years, from 1875 to 1900. How- ever, in that short time, it produced over 16,600 tons of antimony, all of which came from Stibnite. Imagine the tons of wonderful, museum-quality Stibnite specimens that were sent to the crusher and were melted down for their antimony content! We mineral specimen collectors don’t want to think about the thousands of high-quality specimens that were destroyed in the process. The specimen pictured here (left) is one of those spectacular Stibnite specimens found in the late 1800’s. It is said that “Stibnite crystals from Japan still set the standard for the species.” The specimen pictured here is consid- ered to be the very best example of Japanese Stibnite in existence. It is the largest and the most damage-free. It is such an important and spectacular specimen that it has been called “a world mineral heritage specimen.” In other words, it is truly the best of the best of Stibnite specimens in the world.

In recent years, excellent Stibnite specimens have been found in China. Individual crystals and crystal groups of bright, shining, metallic-gray Stibnites are now in museums and private collections all over the world. It is still possible to purchase them at mineral shows. To the right is a nice Stibnite group from Hunan Province, China.

(Mini Miners Monthly) Vol. 12 No. 3 March 2020 quartz “herkimer diamonds” Herkimer County, New York

In the late 1700’s and early 1800’s workers were digging in Upstate New York, building the Erie Canal. Near Little Falls, Herkimer County, they dug through a layer of very tough rock called the Little Falls dolostone. In holes in this rock they discovered clear, perfectly formed Quartz crystals. These crystals were unique because of their clarity and because they had terminations on both ends. Mineralogists call this feature doubly terminated. They were so beautiful and gemmy that they were soon known as “Herkimer Diamonds.” Herkimer Diamonds can be as small as a grain of rice and as large as a softball. They are often perfectly clear. But they can also have air bubbles in them, like the specimen pictured above. Some of those bubbles even have small amounts of water trapped in them. This is called enhydro which means “with water.” It is also possible to find groups of crystals. When they are removed from the dolostone, they come out as individual crystals. But with careful work, they can be pieced together like a puzzle and a cluster of Herkimer Diamonds, like the one pictured here, can be recreated.

rhodochrosite Sweet Home Mine, near Alma, Colorado

In 1873 Silver mining began near Alma Colorado. The Sweet Home Mine produced some Silver. It is most famous, however, for its bright red rhombohedral Rhodochrosite crystals. Some of these crystals and crystal groups are considered the best found anywhere in the world at any time. In 1991 the Sweet Home Mine was reopened and mined specifically for Rhodochrosite and other mineral specimens. Hundreds of beautiful specimens, like the Rhodochrosite and Quartz specimen pictured to the left, were recovered. Argentinian Rhodochrosite (right) is light pink and formed as long, thick stalactites and stalactite groups. Banded Rhodochrosite stalactites from Argentina are sliced and polished to show their beautiful pink bands. (Mini Miners Monthly) Vol. 12 No. 3 March 2020 rhodochrosite “the alma queen” Sweet Home Mine, near Alma, Colorado

There are some mineral specimens that are known by most serious mineral collectors. Because they are so special, they are often pictured in mineral magazines and mineral picture books and, therefore, become even more famous. One of these exceptional specimens is a Rhodochrosite discovered at the Sweet Home Silver mine in the mountains of the Mosquito Range near Alma, Colorado. This very special specimen is known all over the world as “The Alma Queen.” In the early 1870’s, prospectors discovered Silver minerals near the new mining town of Alma. One of these mines became the Sweet Home mine. The Sweet Home never produced enough Silver to make a real profit. From the very beginning, though, miners discovered deep red Rhodochrosite crystals in the mine. Around 1965, John Soules, an owner of the Sweet Home Mine, and an experienced miner named Warren Good searched for Rhodochrosite. They drilled a hole, filled it with dynamite and set it off. The explosion opened up a hole about the size of a small washtub, filled with red Rhodochrosite! Mr. Soules returned to his home state of Texas, feeling successful. But while he was gone, Warren Good continued to look for crystals. He opened up another vug. This spectacular crystal-filled hole was 7 feet high, 4 feet deep and 2 feet wide! In the cold months of the winter of 1966, Warren Good cleaned out the entire vug and sold the specimens. Among the Rhodochrosite pieces that quickly went to the mineral market was one enormous, eye-popping piece that would eventually be named “The Alma Queen.” Now, the Alma Queen did not come out of its vug in one piece. The crystal detached from the matrix. It was carefully repaired after it was all removed. But it is such a spectacular specimen that no one was ever concerned about this fact. In 1967 it was sold to a mineral dealer named George Robertson. It was first displayed for the public to see in 1967 at the Las Vegas Gem & Mineral Show. At this show, The Alma Queen was declared to be the absolute best mineral specimen known in the world at that time. Within a few months of the Las Vegas show, Dr. Peter Bancroft traded many valuable specimens for The Alma Queen. Dr. Bancroft is the man who actually gave this marvelous specimen the name “Alma Queen.” When he published a book about the world’s best mineral specimens in 1973, the Alma Queen was chosen for the cover of the book. The Alma Queen can be seen in person today at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. (Mini Miners Monthly) Vol. 12 No. 3 March 2020 rhodochrosite N'Chwaning I Mine, Kalahari Manganese Field, Northern Cape, South Africa

The discovery of Rhodochrosite at the Kalahari Manga- nese Field in 1963 was interesting, but not spectacular. For over twenty years it was mined for manganese. In 1977 the N’Chwan- ing I mine was opened. In the process, miners discovered large quantities of high-quality Rhodochrosite crystal groups. They were glassy and showed very well-formed crystals. The color of the crystals ranged from deep wine-red to pink. The crystals were often “dog-toothed” scalenohedral crystals, like the group pictured here. They also found wheat-sheaf-shaped groups and even smooth spheres. Many of these crystals were so perfect that they were faceted into gemstones. These crystals are recognized as being among the best Rhodochrosite crystals found in the world.

cuprite “the graeme family specimen” Southwest Mine, Bisbee, Arizona

The mines in Bisbee have produced some of the best Cuprite specimens found anywhere in the world. The specimen pictured to the right is one of these specimens. It is a complicated crystal that grew on a matrix of bright green Antlerite (Antlerite is another copper mineral). It is from the Southwest Mine, Bisbee, Arizona. It is presented here as a large crystal. It is pictured on the cover of the May-June 1987 issue of The Mineralogical Record where it is 6 inches wide. However, this outstanding specimen is actually only 1 inch wide. Remember that some of the best mineral specimens in the world are not the largest specimens. They may very well be among the smallest! Some collectors specialize in specimens that are an inch or less in size. These small specimens are called thumb- nail specimens because they are about the size of, you guessed it, your thumbnail. This specimen is in the Richard W. Graeme (pronounced “Graham”) family collection of mineral specimens and ores from the Bisbee, Arizona area. It is a world-class collection of one of the most economically and historically important mining districts in the world. And this special specimen is the best Cuprite crystal specimen...in the world.

(Mini Miners Monthly) Vol. 12 No. 3 March 2020 tourmaline

Mount Mica, Paris, Oxford County, Maine

It was October 18, 1821 when Dr. Ezekiel Holmes and Elijah Hamlin, two mineral collectors, stopped to enjoy the beautiful view from the top of a little hill in the small village of Paris, Maine. Elijah Hamlin turned, and a flash of green light caught his eye. There, in the roots and dirt of a fallen tree, he discovered a piece of a transparent green crystal attached to a root.

Mr. Hamlin and Dr. Holmes knew they had found something very special. They searched the ground hoping to find more specimens. How- ever, it was late in the day and it was getting dark. So they decided that they would return to the site of their wonderful discovery the next day. Unfortunately it snowed overnight -- a lot of snow -- and their discovery was hidden and would remain untouched until the summer of 1822.

When the men finally returned to the site, they explored the area, hoping to find the source of the beautiful green Tourmaline crystal. Elijah Hamlin’s younger brothers went along and they decided to break up a promising ledge of rock with dynamite. This would be a very rewarding day for the mineral hunters. In a single day they discovered more than thirty Tourmaline crystals: green, red, yellow, white and different shades of each.

Purely by accident, they had discovered what would prove to be one of the richest and most important gem Tourmaline deposits that had ever been found, or would ever be found, in the world. Pictured here are some of the crystals that were removed from the Mount Mica locality in its early years.

For mineral collectors, the Mount Mica locality proved to be an important and interesting deposit. In addition to the wonderful Tourmaline crystals, Mt. Mica also produced large masses of Lepidolite, large masses of Muscovite and Biotite Mica, Quartz crystals and crystal groups, Feldspar, and Rose Quartz crystals. In fact, the only Rose Quartz crystals known in the world by the mid-1800’s were discovered here at Mt. Mica. The famous Rose Quartz crystal deposits in Brazil would not be discovered until 1958!

(Mini Miners Monthly) Vol. 12 No. 3 March 2020 tourmaline blue cap tourmaline Tourmaline Queen Mine, Pala, San Diego County, California

What is now known as the Tourmaline Queen Mine was first explored in 1903 by Frank Salmons. He quickly discovered gem-quality Tourmaline and the area was mined for about 10 years, from 1904 to 1914. Gem carvers from China quickly purchased large amounts of this Tourmaline. But, when they stopped, the mine closed down. It remained closed until 1971 when a team of mineral specimen experts purchased the mine and began digging for Tourma- line specimens again. In 1972 very large pink Tourmaline and Quartz crystal groups were discovered and carefully removed. These crystal groups would become some of the most famous mineral specimens ever recovered. The Tourmaline crystals are all deep pink with dark blue at the very top, or termination, of the crystals. They are known as “Blue Cap” Tourmalines. One of these very special specimens was featured in a series of four mineral stamps published by the United States Post Office. This specimen (pictured above right) is the famous “Postage Stamp Tourmaline.” It was featured on one of the four 10-cent mineral stamps issued by the US Post Office in 1974. (The set also included Rhodochrosite, Amethyst and petrified wood.) It was discovered in the Tourmaline Queen mine in 1913. In the center of this outstanding speci- men is a single Tourmaline that is deep pink with blue on the top. It is surrounded by grayish-white Quartz crystals. Just below the tourmaline is light purple Lepidolite and white Albite. Through the years, this wonderful specimen has been owned by a number of distinguished collectors and museums. In the mineral collection display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. is another amazing Blue Cap Tourmaline crystal group from the Tourmaline Queen Mine. It is known as the “Candelabra” Tourmaline (pictured above left). When it was discovered, staff at the American Museum of Natural history declared it was, “the find of the century.” (Mini Miners Monthly) Vol. 12 No. 3 March 2020 copper Arizona and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Natural copper (called Native Copper) is rare. It takes a very special geologic situation for Copper masses and crystals to be formed in the earth. Usually the Copper combines with other elements to form many different minerals. And yes, Arizona is one of those special places where natural Copper can be found in large quantities. Native Copper has been mined in the Ray mine, the New Cornelia mine, and other mines in the Ajo and Mineral Creek Districts. Mineralogists and collectors agree that some of the best Copper crystals found anywhere in the world have come from mines in Arizona.

Above Left: Copper crystal, Ajo District, Pima County. Right: Twinned Copper crystal group, Ray Mine, Mineral Creek District, Pinal County.

Native Copper is also found in great masses and fine, world-class crystals around Lake Superior in northern Michigan on the Keweenaw Peninsula. So much Native Copper was deposited in the igneous rocks of the Keweenaw Peninsula that it is known the world over as “Copper Country.” To the left is an example of a fine group of Copper crystals from Keweenaw County.

Copper crystallizes in the cubic or isometric . Michigan’s Native Copper is found in many different isometric crystal forms. One of the interesting crystal forms found in the Keweenaw Peninsula are hopper crystals. Hopper crystals form when the edges of the crystal grow faster than the faces. The result is crystals that have hollow faces where the hollow portion gets smaller toward the center of the crystal. Pictured to the right is a group of hopper crystals of Copper from the Ahmeek Mine, Keweenaw County.

(Mini Miners Monthly) Vol. 12 No. 3 March 2020 wulfenite Red Cloud Mine, La Paz County, Arizona

The Red Cloud Mine is in La Paz County, in the south- west corner of Arizona. This region is known as “The Silver District” in the Trigo Mountains. In 1878, a prospector named Warren Hammond discovered a silver-lead ore vein. This discovery led to the development of silver and lead mines. For mineral collectors, the more important discovery in these mines were the crystallized speci- mens. Wulfenite crystals were found at the Red Cloud Mine in its earliest years. It wouldn’t be until 1938, however, that Wulfenite would become an important mineral find at the Red Cloud. Ed Over, a very famous mineral collector, went to the Red Cloud Mine with some simple tools, some food and water and collected what would turn out to be some of the most beautiful Wulfenite crystals and crystal groups that had ever been seen anywhere in the world. These world-class specimens were well-formed, glassy and a beautiful bright red.

legrandite Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico

In 1979 the largest Legrandite specimen ever found was discovered in the Ojuela Mine. It is lemon yellow and is 7 inches long. It was given the name “The Aztec Sun” (pictured here). Its size, eye-catching lemon-yellow color, and overall form make The Aztec Sun the very best Legrandite ever found. It is also considered one of the best mineral specimens ever recovered. A month after the Aztec Sun was discovered, another very large Legrandite crystal group was removed from the Ojuela Mine. This beauty is a single large spray of Legrandite crystals and is 9 inches! It has been named “The Aztec Club.” Since then, many smaller Legrandite crystal groups have been found at the Ojuela Mine. Like azurite, Legrandite is a secondary mineral. It forms when arsenic- and zinc-rich mineral deposits are changed chemically by hot water and oxygen. It was named after Louis C.A. Legrand (July 30, 1861 - May 27, 1920). He was a Belgian mining engineer and mineral collector who collected and described the first specimen. (Mini Miners Monthly) Vol. 12 No. 3 March 2020 world class minerals: locality & rarity

azurite Tsumeb, Namibia

The exceptional mineral riches at Tsumeb, Namibia were discovered because of the green Copper ore that was found on the surface. The area soon became an active mining region. The area has been mined for lead, zinc and silver as well. For those who love mineral specimens, the Tsumeb mine has been the source of some of the finest mineral speci- mens ever recovered. Among its best specimens are Copper crystals, Dioptase, Cerussite, Willemite, Bayldonite and, as pictured here, Azurite. Azurite crystals from the Tsumeb Mine are deep blue, well-formed and very glassy. Azurite has been used for many centuries as a copper ore and as a pigment for coloring paint. Geolo- gists call azurite a “secondary mineral.” This means that it forms when earlier minerals are changed. Azurite forms when copper ores near the earth’s surface come into contact with water that has a lot of carbon dioxide in it. Another world-class Azurite locality is the Milpillas Mine, Sonora, Mexico. This very special deposit has been described as “the world’s finest source of Azurite.” This mine produces high quality, deep blue, glassy Azurite crystals that are so attractive they are eagerly sought by serious mineral collectors.

dioptase Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Namibia

Dioptase was first discovered and described in deposits in Altyn-Tyube, Kazakhstan. The largest and finest Dioptase crystals, however, come from the Tsumeb Mine. They are dark green, glassy and very well-formed. Like the specimen pictured here, they are often found on bright white Calcite matrix. In the United States small Dioptase crystals have been found in Arizona. When first discovered, mineralogists thought they had found Emerald. Careful study, however, proved this was not Emerald but a newly-discovered mineral species. Dioptase is sometimes cut and polished to make gemstones. It has no other uses. Because of its beauty, it is a favorite species with mineral collectors. (Mini Miners Monthly) Vol. 12 No. 3 March 2020 phosphophyllite Unificada Mine, Potosi, Bolivia

Phosphophyllite is considered to be one of the rarest mineral species in the world and is found in only a few locali- ties. The very best Phosphophyllite specimens, like the one pictured here, came from Potosi, Bolivia. Unfortunately this locality no longer produces these excellent specimens. The crystals found in Bolivia are world-class because of their large size, excellent crystal form, and bright blue color. Even though it is a fairly soft mineral, these clear, green-blue crystals from Bolivia have been cut and polished into gemstones.

and quartz Spruce Ridge Claim, King County, Washington

The Spruce Ridge Claim is a private claim along the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River in Washington State. It has been a source of high-quality, attractive museum-quality Quartz and Pyrite specimens. The intergrown Pyrite crystals occur as cubes and pyritohedrons. (The term “pyritohedron” is a popular description of 12-sided crystals that are most typical of Pyrite. These crystals have 12 faces and each face has five sides. Crystallographers call them by their proper name which is pentagonal dodecahedron.) The cubic crystals at the Spruce Ridge Claim have striations on the faces of the cubes. Notice that the striations on each face go in a different direction from the other faces. One of the fea- tures that make these specimens so fa- mous is that the Quartz crystals appear to grow right through the Pyrite crys- tals, like the specimens pictured here. We can tell from these specimens that the Quartz crystals formed first. The Pyrite then formed around the Quartz crystals. (Mini Miners Monthly) Vol. 12 No. 3 March 2020 benitoite San Benito County, California

In 1907, J.M. Couch was camping near the town of New Idria, California in the Diablo mountain range. After a good night of sleep, he woke and as he looked all around him he saw a sparkling sight: the morning sunlight was bouncing off of thousands of sparkling blue crystals. Thinking he had found an important deposit of gems, he collected a number of specimens and he took them to some jewelers for identification. They first thought the crystals were sapphires. But he was not convinced they had been properly identified. So he even- tually took some crystals to Professor George Louderback at the University of California who carefully studied the crystals. Dr. Louderback discovered that this was a mineral that was unknown before. He named the mineral “Benitoite” because the crystals were found in San Benito County.

Benitoite is a special mineral for a number of reasons. One reason is that it is the first mineral discovered that belongs to the special crystal class called the (are you ready?!) ditrigonal-dipyramidal class of the hexagonal system. Crystallographers determined using mathematics and geometry that this crystal class had to exist. But until Benitoite was found, there was no known mineral species that crystallized in this crystal class.

In addition to being a beautiful and interesting mineral species, Benitoite is also considered one of the most beautiful gem- stones. It is easy to cut and looks similar to Sapphire.

Benitoite is light to dark blue. In San Benito County it is found in a white mineral called Natrolite and usually has other minerals with it like deep red Neptunite. Neptu- nite is so dark that at first look, you may think that it is black. But if you were to see a small chip of neptunite, you would see that it actually a very deep shade of red. Pictured here (above right) is a specimen of Neptunite.

(Mini Miners Monthly) Vol. 12 No. 3 March 2020 pyrite Navajún, La Rioja, Logroño Province, Spain

The two specimens pictured here are Pyrite cubes. They have a bright, shiny, metallic luster, which means that light reflects from them very easily. These specimens are world-famous for their spectacu- lar shape and beauty. They are perfect cubes. They are also perfectly flawless. The best specimens have smooth faces that shine like mirrors. Large crystal clusters from this famous locality (like the specimen pictured to the right) can look like a stack of shiny, brass-yellow mirrors. Many visitors to mineral shows see these fantastic specimens and say, “These aren’t natural, are they?” Yes, indeed, they are very natural.

epidote Green Monster Mine, Prince of Whales Island, Alaska

Epidote crystals were first collected at what is now known as the Green Monster Mine around 1915. The area was originally mined for lead, copper and silver. But it is most famous for the world-class Epidote crys- tals found in the area. They are difficult to remove from the rock, and the local weather is often rainy, cool to cold, and the humidity is high. This means that there are a lot of mosquitoes in the warmer weather. The area is also known for grizzly bears! Green Monster Mine Epidote crystals are very well-formed, dark green, very glassy and usually have many small well-formed Quartz crystals around them. The crystals can be long and thin and they can be thick and blocky. Epidote crystallizes in the monoclinic crystal system which leads to an interesting variety of crystal forms. Pictured here are some of the thicker crystals.

(Mini Miners Monthly) Vol. 12 No. 3 March 2020 fluorite Pointe Kurz, Haute-Savoie, France

Fluorite is one of the most common minerals. Yellow, blue, and purple specimens are common and are found in many localities around the world. Pink Fluorite, however, is rare. Beautiful pink octahedral Fluorite crystals have been found in Alpine regions of France, Switzerland and Austria. At times beautiful, world-class specimens of pink Fluorite on Smoky Quartz are found in the Alps. The combination of the pink octahedral Fluorite crystals attached to dark brown to black Smoky Quartz crystals result in beautiful display specimens. Pink in fluorite is created by a very complicated chemical change in the fluorite that involves the elements yttrium (Y) and oxygen (O). We’ll leave the details to the experts (you can get online and do learn about the details if you are ambitious enough). In the world of minerals, very small changes inside a crystal can create very different colors. New specimens of pink Fluorite have recently been discovered from this area. You will probably see some on exhibit at the Show.

tanzanite Lelatema Mountains, Arusha Region, Tanzania

Tanzanite is a deep blue to purple variety of the mineral Zoisite. Tanzanite can be found in only one locality in the world: the nation of Tanzania. As you can see, it is named after its locality. Tanzanite was first discovered in 1967, making it a more recent addition to the list of known mineral varieties. Some gems change color depending on how they are held in the light. This is a property called pleochroism. Most gems display two colors. Zoisite, however, displays three different colors depending on how it is held in the light. The color changes from blue, to light purple to deep red. Because it shows three colors, it is described as being trichroic. Very often, gemstone-quality pieces of Tanzanite are mined in Tanzania. Fortunately for mineral collectors, very high-quality Tanzanite crystal specimens are also mined. They are glassy, deeply colored, well- formed and often unusually large. They are a classic of the world of mineral specimens. (Mini Miners Monthly) Vol. 12 No. 3 March 2020 quartz Galmihorn, Wallis, Switzerland

The country of Switzerland (which is officially called the Swiss Federation) is a small country in the middle of Western Europe. The most important geographic feature of Switzerland is the beautiful mountain range called the Alps. In vugs and cracks high in these beautiful mountains, Strahlers seek and remove fine mineral specimens. Strahlers are mineral collectors that specialize in finding and removing mineral specimens in the Alps. To the left is a crystal cluster of clear Quartz crystals. Some Smoky Quartz crystals are black. These crystals, however, are a deep chocolate-brown! They are also perfectly transparent. These gemmy, clear Quartz crystals have long been found in the Alps and are a favorite of collectors. Colorless, water-clear Quartz crystals are also found in the Alps of Europe. They are among the very best Quartz crystals found anywhere in the world and deserve to be called World Class specimens.

cerussite Tsumeb Mine, Namibia

Anything that is described as “reticulated” is built in a way that forms a pattern or network. Some minerals, like Cerussite, can crystallize and form long, thin crystals that grow in a network forming criss- cross patterns. Here is a fine sample of a reticulated Cerussite specimen from Tsumeb, Namibia (Africa). As you learned in the Azurite entry, Tsumeb is one of the world’s greatest sources of high-quality and rare mineral species, as well as some of the best found anywhere. Cerussite is a lead ore. When you hold a specimen you will notice that it is heavier than you might have expected for its size. At Tsumeb, the Cerussite formed near the top of the ore body, in an area that geologists call “the oxidation zone.” This is the zone where water (and, there- fore, oxygen) change existing minerals into new minerals. Some of the very best specimens were recovered in the 1970’s. If you become a serious mineral collector, you will learn that if you want to own a classic mineral specimen, sometimes your only source will be old collections! (Mini Miners Monthly) Vol. 12 No. 3 March 2020 world class minerals: form & color

amethyst Jackson’s Crossroads, Wilkes County, Georgia

Jackson’s Crossroads Amethyst Mine is a source of world class Amethyst crystals and crystal groups. It is often gem-quality and is cut and polished to make beautiful jewelry. In addition to individual crystals, the mine also produces groups of crys- tals. Some very attractive specimens, like the one pictured to the left, contain deep purple Amethyst crystals sitting on a bed of small, colorless Quartz “needles.” These specimens have been called “world class” because they are among the best, museum-quality Amethyst specimens found anywhere in the world. An unproven legend claims that Ame- thyst was first discovered in Wilkes County, Georgia by men who were digging a hole to hide their home-made alcohol. In the 1930’s, the famous jewelry company, Tiffany & Company, from New York City, mined Amethyst only a few miles from the Jackson’s Crossroads locality.

amazonite with smoky quartz Teller County, Colorado

The most abundant mineral in the earth’s conti- nental crust is Feldspar. There are a variety of different kinds of Feldspar. One variety is Microcline Feldspar. Green Microcline Feldspar is known as Amazonite. Excellent, well-formed groups of Amazonite crystals, often with black, well-formed Smoky Quartz crystals, come from the Rocky Mountains in Teller County, Colo- rado. They are found in vugs (that is, small and large holes) in an igneous rock known as the Pikes Peak granite. The Pikes Peak Amazonite is very well- crystallized, are found in large groups, and display the unique green to blue-green color. This combination makes Pikes Peak Amazonite world class. (Mini Miners Monthly) Vol. 12 No. 3 March 2020 aquamarine with schorl tourmaline Haramosh Mountains, Gilgit, Pakistan (left) Mount Antero, Chaffee County, Colorado (below)

The Gilgit region of Pakistan has produced top-quality, world class mineral specimens. Among them are many water- clear, large, sky-blue, well-formed Aquamarine (Beryl) crystals, like the one pictured here. This spectacular specimen includes a black Tourmaline (Schorl) crystal. They sit on a matrix of bright white Albite.

The Mount Antero region of Colorado has also produced excellent Aquamarine specimens, both individual crystals and large groups. Often the Aquamarine is found with black Smoky Quartz crystals, like the specimen pictured below. Like the Aquamarines from Pakistan, these are large, beautiful sky-blue, very gemmy and well-formed. They formed in vugs (that is, holes) in the granite that makes up the Mount Antero region. The Aquamarine crystals are found very high in the Rocky Mountains, at elevations up to 14,000 feet. This is well above the tree line. The largest Aquamarine specimen found in North America is not a single crystal, but a large plate of Aqua- marine crystals with Smoky Quartz on matrix. This wonderful specimen is 35 by 27 inches and contains over 100 Aquamarine crystals. It was discovered by Steve Brancato, an amateur mineral prospector and collector, close to the summit of Mount Antero. This world-class specimen can be seen in Denver, Colorado at the Museum of Nature and Science. Did you notice that Steve is an amateur mineral prospector?! Many important mineral (and fossil) finds are not by professional geologists, but by amateurs who are knowledgeable, well-prepared, and experienced. This means that some day you, too, might make a very impor- tant mineral discovery and specimens from your discov- ery could even end up in an important museum for others to enjoy.

(Mini Miners Monthly) Vol. 12 No. 3 March 2020 malachite Katanga, Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly called Zaire) Yekaterinburg Oblast in the Ural Mountains of Russia

Malachite was first named by the ancient Roman naturalist, Pliny the Elder. He called it molochitus after the Greek word “mallow.” Mallow is the word given to a green plant. This is obviously a reference to Malachite’s green color. Like the speci- men pictured here, Malachite is well-known for its massive, banded formation. The bands alternate between dark green and lighter green. Tons of beautiful, banded Malachite has been mined in Africa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Another world-class deposit is the Ural Mountains of Russia. These masses have been cut and polished into very, very large vases, jewelry boxes, jewelry and much more. The Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, has a special room called “The Malachite Room.” It was built in 1830 for Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna, wife of Nicholas I (who was the Emperor or leader of Russia at the time). It is called the Malachite Room because it has columns and a fireplace made of polished Malachite. mimetite Leon-Congreso Mine, San Pedro Mine, San Pedro Corralitos, Chihuahua, Mexico

The Mimetite specimens from the Leon-Congreso Mine in Chihuahua, Mexico have been described as “Neon-Yellow.” The bright yellow color makes these specimens truly eye-catching. The bright yellow color and the rounded, botryoidal, form together create specimens that are featured in museums and private collections all over the world. Specimens from this locality are considered to be some of the best Mimetite specimens in the world. Many of the best specimens were mined in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Most of these specimens were brought to the United States by mineral collector and dealer, Benny Fenn. He loved to tell stories of opening up a giant cavern where the walls were completely covered with bright yellow, botryoidal Mimetite! When Mr. Fenn was mining the Mimetite specimens, it took him many months to remove all the Mimetite he could find. Today these specimens are hard to find since they come from old collections. And they are very desirable and valuable, and expensive to purchase! (Mini Miners Monthly) Vol. 12 No. 3 March 2020 gold California

In 1848, James Marshall discovered Gold on the American River at Sutter’s Sawmill. Word spread of this discovery very quickly. By 1849, thousands of people from all over the world rushed to California hoping to discover their own Gold and become extremely rich. Some of these “Miner 49ers” were very successful. Most were not. The California Gold Rush produced 125 million troy ounces of Gold. That Gold would be worth well over $50 billion dollars in today’s money! Most commonly people would seek out smooth, rounded nuggets of Gold in rivers. However, California has also produced many wonderful, world class crystal- lized Gold specimens. To the left are triangle-shaped Gold crystals from the Mocking- bird mine, Mariposa County. The “triangles” are portions of octahedral (8-sided) crystals. To the right is a cluster of Gold crystals from Placer County, California. Like most Gold crystals, their edges are smooth and rounded. They are 8-sided octahedra (diamond-shaped) and cubes. Its actual size is 1.75 inches high.

Top Right: Gold on Milky Quartz from Jamestown, California.

“golden bear nugget” Placer County, California

One of the most interesting Gold nuggets found in California is the “Golden Bear Nugget.” It is a crystallized nugget of Native Gold that is 2 1/4 inches high and 1 5/16 inches wide. It weighs a little over 1 troy ounce. (“Troy” weight is a special system of weighing gems and precious metals. A troy ounce is 32.2 grams ) A 14 year old girl picked this wonderful nugget out of a sluice box around 1857 at the Georgia Hills Mine in the California town of Jim. She treasured her interesting Gold nugget and took good care of it all her life. She lived to be 75 years old. When she died her brother became the owner of the nugget. He had some money troubles, though, and had to borrow money from a friend. He promised that if he didn’t pay the money back, the friend would get the Gold nugget. Guess what? He didn’t pay the money back. The friend took the Gold nugget and decided to sell it; he wanted or needed the money more than he wanted the Gold. In 1937 a man named Mr. C.D. Woodhouse bought this nugget for $300. He showed it to people in the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies (the CFMS) and they decided to purchase the nugget. They bought it from Mr. Woodhouse for . . . $300. Today you can see the Golden Bear Nugget at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. (Mini Miners Monthly) Vol. 12 No. 3 March 2020 Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico

The Ojuela Mine in Mapimi, Mexico is one of the classic mineral localities. It was first discovered by Spanish prospectors in 1598. It has produced thousands of tons of mineral specimens, some of which are the best of their species. It has been called “The Tsumeb of the Western Hemi- sphere” because it has produced so many high-quality specimens of many different mineral species. Ojuela Mine specimens are especially attractive because the minerals sit on reddish-brown matrix. One of those species is Adamite. The Ojuela Mine is rich in the element arsenic. As a result, the mine has produced many beautiful arsenate minerals, like Adamite. The Adamite is usually a greenish-yellow color. When it contains copper, it is green. When it contains manganese, it is purple. Some of the other high-quality species found at the Ojuela Mine include Hemimorphite, Legrandite, Wulfenite, Mimetite, , and dozens of other species.

serandite Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada

Serandite is generally red, brown, black or colorless. It also rarely occurs in large, fine, well-defined crystals. The Serandite specimens from Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec are considered the world’s best because their color is beautiful salmon-orange and they are very well- formed. They are also found with well-formed, white Analcime crystals. Mont Saint-Hilaire has produced dozens of interesting and rare mineral species. Serandite is probably the best-known of the minerals found at Mont Saint-Hilaire. One mineralogist declared, “Classic specimens of this mineral assemblage are truly treasured by their owners.” Serandite is chemically similar to the mineral Pectolite. One of the elements in Pectolite is calcium (Ca). Serandite is different because many of the calcium molecules are replaced with manganese (Mn) molecules. The manganese molecules cause the pink color in Serandite. When two different minerals share the same chemical formula, with slight differ- ences, mineralogists say they are a solid solution series. (Mini Miners Monthly) Vol. 12 No. 3 March 2020 Kelly Mine, Magdalena District, Socorro County, New Mexico

The Kelly Mine is a world famous locality for its robin’s egg blue to green-blue, botryoidal Smithsonite specimens. (Botryoidal means grape-like.) The Kelly Mine was mined for lead and silver. As the ore was removed from the mine, the miners tossed the gangue material onto piles. “Gangue” is material from a mine (rocks and minerals) that is not ore so it has no value. The gangue material that was thrown away included piles of light blue Smithsonite! Smithsonite is an ore of zinc, so much of the “gangue” Smithsonite was later processed for its zinc content. Smithsonite can be white, pink, purple, or yellow. To this day, these beautiful blue Smith- sonite specimens are favorites of collectors and are truly the best of the best of this mineral species. Smithsonite is named after a British naturalist, James Smithson (pictured right). Though he never visited the United States, he gave all of his wealth and collections to the United States government to create a national museum. That museum (which is now a system of museums) is known as The Smithsonian. The specimen of Smithsonite pictured here is based on a very large specimen that can be seen at the Smithsonian’s mineral museum in Washington, D.C.

brookite Kharan, Baluchistan, Pakistan

In 2004 very fine Brookite crystals were discovered in Kharan, Balochistan, Pakistan. These sharp, well-formed crystals are glassy, reddish brown to deep red, very thin, transparent, and striated. They are also very large for this mineral species. They are often found intergrown with Quartz crystals. Individual crystals and crystal groups, especially associated with Quartz, are popular with mineral collectors. Brookite is titanium dioxide, TiO2. The minerals Rutile and Anatase are also titanium dioxide. But they are different mineral species because they crystallize in different crystal systems. Mineralogists call them polymorphs, which means many forms. (Mini Miners Monthly) Vol. 12 No. 3 March 2020 mystery mineral word game Here are eight minerals that you can find in this book, and here at the show. Unscramble the words. Write the letters with numbers under them at the bottom of this page. Then...unscramble those letters to discover the Mystery Words. Notice that it will make two words in the end!

L G A D T E I N R E ______1 W L E I U T N F E ______2 3 T N O I U L R A M E ______4 5 E T I I T S B N ______6 P E P C O R ______7 D M A A T I E ______8 S R N I D A E T E ______9 M T H A I C L A E ______10

______1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


(Mini Miners Monthly) Vol. 12 No. 3 March 2020 mining for world class minerals crossword puzzle

Down Across 1. This world-class mineral from Herkimer, New 1. The Sweet Home Mine was mined for Silver, but York is sometimes called 'Diamonds,' but they it is famous for this mineral. are another mineral species. 2. A Copper mineral. Light blue and dark blue. 2. A metal that occurs as a Native Element. 3. A green mineral that looks a lot like 3. The only mineral that crystallizes in the Emerald...but it isn't! ditrigonal-dipyramidal class of the hexagonal 4. An ore of the element, zinc. system. 5. Found as thick bundles of wires in Kongsberg, 4. A steel-gray metallic mineral. Excellent Norway. crystals were found in Japan. 6. A bright orange-red ore of the element chrome. 5. The green variety of Beryl. The best in the world are found in Colombia. 6. A metallic mineral that forms a special crystal form that is commonly called 'pyritohedron.'