Author Topic: I love rocks :) (Warning very pic heavy!)  (Read 2650 times)

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Offline Nárrína

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I love rocks :) (Warning very pic heavy!)
« on: December 29, 2011, 10:49:50 AM »


When I was down in Georgia for my workshop this last October, one of the things my family decided to do was to try out some of the gem mines in Franklin, North Carolina.  The first one we tried was the Rose Creek mine.  It was a lot of fun, but the stones you get there are much smaller and there are fewer varieties that they get.  The next mine my family tried was the Mason Mountain Mine.  I was in class, so I didn't get to go to that one, but my sister and I split the cost of a bucket and went though it later when we got home.  The Mason mine was definitely a lot better than Rose Creek.   You got bigger stones, more of them, and while the dirt was native dirt (dirt right out of the mine) they had also added a few stones that were interesting yet not native to that area so you'd get both the native rocks and some interesting extras.

So here's what I ended up getting. :)



Agate & Jasper:  437.5 carats of Agate; 13.5 carats of Jasper.



Aquamarine: 12.5 carats



Flourite: 367 carats



Obsidian:  181.5 carats



Pyrite: 519.5 carats



Coloured Quartz (Amethyst, Rose.....etc).: 739.5 carats



Regular Quartz: 519 carats.



Kyanite: 783.5 carats.



Corundum (Ruby, Sapphire, and star-ed corundum): 568.5 carats.



Garnet: 771.5 carats.



Emerald: 450 carats



Topaz Points (a.k.a. Poor Man's diamond): 86 carats.



Topaz (clear, golden, and some blue): 391 carats.



Calcite:  204 carats.



Black Tourmaline (a.k.a. Schorl): 7 carats.



Moonstone:  166.5 carats.



Labradorite: 58 carats.



Amazonite: 74 carats.

It was loads of fun getting extremely muddy while sluicing for these!  Now I just need to learn how to cut them and turn them into cabochons and faceted stones! Our dog (a 6-month-old Chinook puppy) enjoyed sluicing as well, as he at the first mine he kept jumping into the running sluice so he has officially been labeled a pebble-pup. :)

Offline Larissa

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Re: I love rocks :) (Warning very pic heavy!)
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2011, 11:22:55 AM »
Awesome!  Despite the fact that I'm not a jeweler, even as a kid I loved to collect stuff like this.  Always had a thing for geodes too.

Offline gemlover

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Re: I love rocks :) (Warning very pic heavy!)
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2011, 07:43:57 PM »
I'm glad you got a good return from the Mason Mine, I lost about $100 there and got less than 10 carats of stone from the dirt.  Rose Creek was better.  The best fee mine I have found is in Pigeon Forge, TN.  Now to be a bit of a killjoy, you might want to look at your calcite specimens, the brownish one seems to have conchoidal fracture and that would make it not calcite.  The "topaz points" appear to have a quartz crystal structure and not the bipyramidal shape for topaz.  They are pretty.  If you are ever back in this area, I would love to see your specimens.  The American Federation of Mineral Societies http://www.amfed.org/has regional listings.  You should be able to find a local club. Most have some form of workshop and/or people who can teach you to cut the stones.  If not near Franklin in Young Harris, GA is the William Holland School of Lapidary Arts.
John Atwell Rasmussen, PhD, AJP
Lapidary, Gemologist, Geologist, Artisan Jeweler
email: john@rasmussengems.com

Offline Nárrína

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Re: I love rocks :) (Warning very pic heavy!)
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2011, 10:48:30 AM »
Now to be a bit of a killjoy, you might want to look at your calcite specimens, the brownish one seems to have conchoidal fracture and that would make it not calcite.

Not sure i know which one you mean by "brownish" one. Which one are you meaning? The one on the right or left?  Also, Calcite comes in different forms.  And I double checked, there are no conchoidal fractures on either.

The "topaz points" appear to have a quartz crystal structure and not the bipyramidal shape for topaz.  They are pretty.  If you are ever back in this area, I would love to see your specimens.  The American Federation of Mineral Societies http://www.amfed.org/has regional listings.  You should be able to find a local club. Most have some form of workshop and/or people who can teach you to cut the stones.  If not near Franklin in Young Harris, GA is the William Holland School of Lapidary Arts.

The Topaz points were particularly pointed out to us at one of the mines as being topaz with an explanation of how to tell them apart from the quartz points.

Lol, William Holland was the reason we were down there.  I was taking one of their silversmithing workshops.

Offline gemlover

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Re: I love rocks :) (Warning very pic heavy!)
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2011, 07:05:54 PM »
Glad you were at William Holland, several of the members of our Gem and Mineral Society teach there.  I can not get there as my wife requires daily attention (disabled) and can not leave for a week.  I'm glad about the calcite (the one on the right) the picture gives a curved appearance.  Would love to see one of the topaz points, have never seen one with that shape.

John
John Atwell Rasmussen, PhD, AJP
Lapidary, Gemologist, Geologist, Artisan Jeweler
email: john@rasmussengems.com

Offline LisaE

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Re: I love rocks :) (Warning very pic heavy!)
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2011, 10:37:59 PM »
Narrina,
Looking forward to seeing the cut aquamarine.


Offline Nárrína

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Re: I love rocks :) (Warning very pic heavy!)
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2011, 01:57:31 PM »
Thanks everyone!

John, I hadn't known about that type of Topaz either; if they hadn't pointed it out, I would have thought it was just another Quartz.  The calcite on the right is an orange calcite and was one that they'd seeded.  William Holland is a great school.  I'd highly recommend it to anyone looking to take a jewelry or lapidary workshop. 

Offline Dragonclaw

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Re: I love rocks :) (Warning very pic heavy!)
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2012, 12:36:33 PM »
Looks like you had fun! Your post makes me want to run to the beach to see if there are any good rocks today.... (not that I really need any more rocks)  :P