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Natures Hidden Treasures


Jimmy

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Greetings to All,

 

Many of you have posted great photos of birds, flowers, scenery, but of all Natures wonders none have posted mineral photos--Janel said that I could post a few. I have collected minerals for 53 years and never fail to be impressed with their beauty. These are a few of the finer specimens that I saw at the Tucson Gem & Mineral show this February. I have attended this show for 28 years as a wholesale dealer and am amazed that the minerals continue to get better and better almost every year. I hope you will enjoy the photos.

 

post-114-1177554730.jpg This is a beautiful cluster of light blue fluorite on quartz. The fluorite cluster is about the size of a grapefruit. This is truely one of the finest specimens of the material that I have ever seen. The miner is a Chinese friend of mine. The piece is from his mine in China. Fluorite is used in toothpaste and on welding rods.

 

post-114-1177554963.jpg This beautiful orange color is a piece of scheelite and it is on a cluster of muscovite mica. This is also from China. Scheelite is very heavy (contains lead). Mica is used for electrical insulation. The scheelite crystal is about the size of a grape fruit.

 

post-114-1177555338.jpg This outstanding specimen is from Brazil and is a cluster of quartz (smoky colored) with rods of gem quality green tourmaline, some muscovite mica, and white Clevelandite feldspan. Some of the tourmaline crystals have probably been repaired and they are often naturally broken in the pocket.

 

Unfortunately I can't afford to collect specimens of this quality (they are in the multipable thousands $) but the lesser quality are still beautiful--I'll post some of them later. Wanted to post some of the best first.

 

I hope you enjoyed the photos.

 

Jimmy

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Thanks Jimmy,

 

I find myself wondering what geological conditions allowed such large crystals to form. I also wonder, are such formations found in open air chambers in caves, or in soil or gravel, or in rock pockets? I really don't know. Do you, could you educate me, a little bit?

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Thanks Jimmy,

 

I find myself wondering what geological conditions allowed such large crystals to form. I also wonder, are such formations found in open air chambers in caves, or in soil or gravel, or in rock pockets? I really don't know. Do you, could you educate me, a little bit?

 

Greetings,

 

Each of these crystals formed in a hydrothermal solution (liquid solution rich in various chemicals and elements) normally associated with high temperatures and pressures. They probably formed thousands of feel below the surface and are just now getting closer to the surface (through erosion or mining). Due to a change in temperature, pressure, addition or subtraction of other elements one or more chemical began to precipitate out and form the type crystal (fluorite, quartz, tourmaline, etc) that the chemicals and atomic structure dictate. All are forming in a pocket (opening) in the surrounding rock structure. The amount of chemical, size of the pocket, and rate of cooling determine the size of the crystal. As you can see from the photos more than one type of chemical solution can precipitate to a solid at the same time. Sometimes this happens so quickly that one type crystal is totally captured within the other material. Richness of the chemical also determins richness of color of the crystal.

 

Other type crystals (none pictured here) form as other rocks or crystals deteriate because of oxidation or etching by natural acids. These crystals form from the chemicals of the original crystal and will have different crystal structures, though sometimes they will have the same structure but be chemically different (pseudomorph).

 

Short lession in mineralogy.

 

When I was mining and open a pocket of crystals one of my first thoughts was "I'm the first human to ever see this particular rock/crystal--it isn't often that you can be the first person to see somethin--always added extra beauty to the crystal for me.

 

Jimmy

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It is difficult to imagine the conditions and the length of time necessary for such beautiful structures and crystals to form. Thank you for the good explanation. Discovering any of these would generate a sense of awe in many of us. You are a fortunate individual to have had that pleasure of a first look upon a crystal formation.

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