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Wally Burtis and mine manager Clint Cross showed me around the open pit. At the deepest part of the pit, Clint pointed out a thin, bluish streak that was barely vis- ible in the drab, yellow-brown host rock. Ignoring the loose rock that slid down the steep sides of the pit, Clint chipped out a These 2-inch pieces of tumbled Burtis Blue Turquoise are classified as "tricolor" stones because each piece exhibits three distinct colors. He could see that I was not particularly impressed with the thin, crum- bly coatings of turquoise.

Us- ing picks and shovels, they followed the tiny vein just 5 feet to where it had "blos- somed" into a pocket of solid turquoise. They weren't sure yet how much turquoise, but the pocket looked "big". It took several more days to widen the pit enough to extract the turquoise.

Each night, Wally and Clint covered the partially exposed turquoise pocket with 5 feet of rock to discourage claim jumpers, then uncovered it the next morning to resume their excavation work. Soon, Clint telephoned again. He and Wal- ly had finally extracted the turquoise, an in situ pocket that consisted of a single, 5 -inch- thick "slab" of solid turquoise.

They had re- moved the slab in four main pieces. One piece weighed 3 pounds, another 6 pounds. A much larger piece weighed 25 pounds. Re- covering the last of the turquoise required a special effort— because that piece weighed a remarkable 92 pounds! Cleanup work yielded many smaller pieces that filled several large buckets. The turquoise's colors ranged from intense, robins-egg blue to bright blue-green, and virtually all of it seemed to be gem quality.

The total recovery from that single pocket amounted to pounds of turquoise. Its value? The mine has been in the Burtis family for 75 years. During most of that time, it had been something of a hob- by mine, yielding turquoise not for com- mercial purposes, but to fashion into gems and jewelry for the family collection or to give away as gifts.

But the Florence mine has recently undergone some changes. The biggest is that the Burtis family is now working with Clint Cross wears a necklace that he fashioned from Burtis Blue Turquoise and polished pieces of woolly mammoth ivory. The centerpiece is a carat piece of solid turquoise. The turquoise's colors range from intense, robin's-egg blue to bright blue-green. Clint, a Native American gem cutter and jewelry maker.

Clint manages the mine and is in charge of nationally marketing the mine's rough and shaped turquoise and fin- ished turquoise jewelry— all under the new name of "Burtis Blue Turquoise". Until now, Colorado has never chal- lenged Arizona, New Mexico, or Nevada as a major, commercial source of turquoise, even though the state has five notable tur- quoise occurrences: Cripple Creek is the only Colorado turquoise deposit that is currently being mined. Native Americans once worked all five Colorado turquoise deposits. After the gold and silver rushes of the 19th century opened Colorado to mineral exploration, Anglo pros- pectors rediscovered each deposit.

But most of these prospectors could not identify the turquoise and dismissed their finds as minor occurences of oxidized copper minerals that did not justify mining. Those who realized that they had found turquoise either lacked the expertise to cut and market the stone or simply preferred to continue searching for the metals they were familiar with— gold and silver.

As a result, none of the Colorado tur- quoise deposits were commercially exploited during that century. Gold miners became aware of the Crip- ple Creek turquoise deposit soon after a gold strike lured 10, people to a November 19 Colorado's Burtis Blue Turquoise from page 19 This piece of Burtis Blue Turquoise is included with well-formed crystals of calaverite, a gold-telluride mineral. Clint and Louisa Cross, pictured with year-old Peter Burtis and 5-year-old Clev Cross, showed Burtis Blue Tur- quoise at more than 30 gem and mineral shows across the country in 15 months.

The ramshackle boomtown that sprang up was named for a nearby, rocky creek that was notorious for crippling cattle. Over the next half century, Cripple Creek prospectors dug thousands of prospect holes, including several on the site of todays Florence mine. At the time, turquoise could be collected from the surface, and some miners sold the blue bits as novelties. The Florence mine was originally the Emma Palmer, a acre gold placer claim.

By 8-the year that 7-year-old Wally first accompanied his family to Cripple Creek- gold mining at the claim had ceased, but a small, underground tunnel occasionally yielded some turquoise. Burtis, was a boy, he had been interested in rocks and minerals and had amassed a sizeable collection— only to see it destroyed when it was inadvertently used as cement grav- el. Although heartbroken over the loss, Wallace never lost his fascination with minerals.

Years later when he came to Cripple Creek, he also did a little digging for gold. Over the years, he mined it for turquoise and taught himself gem cutting, silversmithing, and jewelry making. I was 30 years old when he pat- ented the claim in I had helped my father with mining and he taught me to cut turquoise and make jewelry. It is a rare, secondary mineral that forms under specific hydrological and min- eralogical conditions from the weathering of rocks containing aluminum, copper, and phosphate minerals.

At Cripple Creek, these conditions came together amid some unusual geology. Crip- ple Creek rests atop a caldera, or collapsed volcanic system. Some 35 million years ago, a magmatic intrusion created the Pikes Peak batholith, a huge, regional granite formation. After an eruption alleviated the magmatic pressure, the volcanic system col- lapsed.

Subsequent faulting and fracturing was followed by repetitive surges of mag- ma and associated, mineral-rich, hydrother- mal solutions that emplaced large amounts of metallic gold and the gold-telluride min- erals calaverite and sylvanite. The Cripple Creek caldera is a generally circular mass of brecciated rock about five miles across. Most of the gold and the gold tellurides were emplaced in a core section consisting of extraordinarily rich veins, pock- ets, and high-grade ores. A vast area of dis- seminated, low-grade gold mineralization sur- rounded this core. The high-grade ores fueled the Cripple Creek gold rush of the s; the low-grade ores are being mined today in the Cresson mine's sprawling open pit.

While Cripple Creek's gold deposits have been thoroughly investigated, little is known about the origin of its turquoise mineraliza- tion. The only effort to explore this mineral- ization had been the tiny tunnel that existed when Wally's father purchased Emma Palmer claim. That tunnel had been driven through diorite, a medium-silica, intrusive, igneous rock somewhat similar to granite. Altered and partially decomposed, the diorite was so soft that miners described it as "rotten". It took a lot of timber to support that weak rock.

The tunnel was so dans erous that we finally abandoned it and began excavating from the surface with 'dozers and backhoes. By converting the mine into an open pit, we moved a lot more rock and found more tur- quoise. I can remember finding big chunks of turquoise in the 'dozer treads.

For 25 years, the city of Cripple Creek hauled the rock away free of charge for municipal use. Wherever a load was dumped, local residents would search through it for turquoise, especially on days when rain washed away the dust to reveal its bright, blue color. But though his turquoise had a formal name, it was never marketed. Over the years, Wally's father amassed a large and beautiful collection of rough turquoise and jewelry.

Finally, during the s, when tur- quoise popularity soared around the coun- try, he decided to test the market. In the years that followed, he exhibited his tur- quoise at two local gem and mineral shows and the big shows at Tucson and Denver. Burtis Turquoise also received attention in news- papers, in lapidary and jewelry magazines, and on regional television news programs. But Wally's careers— as a machinist and later as a teacher— left him little time for serious turquoise mining and marketing. But after Wally underwent back surgery, even that mining and marketing stopped.

Then in April , Wally received a telephone call from an old acquaintance- Cripple Creek resident Jeff Register who, as a boy in the s, had bought turquoise from Wally's father to sell on the city streets. Over the years, Jeff had befriended Clint Cross, who had 12 years of experience min- ing and marketing turquoise from another Barranca Easy Clean Introduces the Recovery System The Easy Clean Oil Recovery System cleans and returns saw oil into the saw tank while the slab saw is in operation, ft saves you money by recycling your expensive cutting oil which also makes it environmentally friendly.

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Andrews Ave. S Meet face to face with your customers, giving them a hands-on purchasing experience! Download Contract Today!!! State Zip. Cripple Creek mine. Clint asked Jeff how Wally was doing at the Florence mine. When Wally told him he needed help with mining and marketing, Jeff suggested Clint as the ideal person to help. After meeting with Wally, Clint— a year- old member of the Sokoki tribe of the Mis- siquoi Abenaki Nation, a Native American culture of the northeastern United States- agreed to become manager of the Florence mine and, along with Jeff, to represent and market the turquoise nationally.

Wally and Clint immediately resumed mining by deepening the open pit. They also came up with "Burtis Blue Turquoise", the name under which the turquoise is now marketed. During the next 15 months, Clint and his wife, Louisa McKay, showed Burtis Blue Turquoise at more than 30 gem and mineral shows across the country. The marketing effort and resultant pub- licity attracted the interest of the Denver- based television production company High Noon Entertainment, which created and films the reality-television show "Prospec- tors". The hour-long segments appear regu- larly on The Weather Channel.

The show's two mining locales are familiar to many rockhounds. One is a pegmatite area near Florissant, 12 miles north of Crip- ple Creek, that yields fine crystals of topaz, amazonite, and smoky quartz. The other is the summit area of 14, -foot Mount An- tero, 50 miles northwest of Cripple Creek, where the quest is mainly for the aquama- rine variety of beryl. Realizing that a working turquoise mine would provide an added dimension to "Prospectors", High Noon Entertainment asked to feature Wally, Clint, and the Flor- ence mine.

But while Wally and Clint knew that "Prospectors" could generate a great deal of publicity for Burtis Blue Turquoise, they also saw a downside.

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Trespassers have become a problem. And the show may be a bit over- ly dramatized, calling undue attention to everything from guns and claim jumpers to cave-ins and landslides. Turquoise deposits typically consist of erratic veins and pockets, and the Florence mine is no excep- tion. While experience and good mining technique can improve the odds of finding turquoise, success also depends somewhat on intuition and luck.

Located at the western edge of the Crip- ple Creek caldera, the Florence mine is one of the rare occurrences of copper mineraliza- tion within the Cripple Creek mining district. A fault along the west wall of the open pit shows evidence of hydrothermal alteration. This fault likely served as the conduit for copper-rich solutions into the diorite host rock. All the turquoise veins and pockets found to date at the Florence mine have been structurally related to this fault. Burtis Blue Turquoise occurs in shades ranging from blue to greenish-blue, a varia- tion indicating that turquoise deposition at the Florence mine occurred in several phases.

When nearly pure, turquoise has a bright, clean, "robin's-egg" blue color, but when varying quantities of iron and other metals substitute for copper within the tur- quoise lattice, the color shifts toward green. The color range in Burtis Blue Turquoise reflects multiple-phase deposition with vary- ing chemistry within the hydrothermal solu- tions during each depositional phase.

Matrix is important in turquoise be- cause it accents the basic blue colors and enhances overall visual appeal. Burtis Blue Turquoise has an attractive matrix that consists of golden-brown veins and thin, black hairlines. The golden-brown material is limonite, a variable mixture of iron hy- droxides and oxides; the black hairlines are pyrolusite, or manganese oxide. Burtis Blue Turquoise has an unusual hard- ness that makes it a superb gemstone.

Tur- quoise generally falls between 5. Silicification, which oc- curs when silica-rich solutions deposit micro- crystalline quartz within the turquoise pores, helps to fix and intensify the gem's color, seals the pores of the stone, and substantially increases hardness. Well-silicified turquoise resists both abrasion and discoloration result- ing from the absorption of skin oils and other materials. Burtis Blue Turquoise, which is well silicified and contains appreciable quantities of particulate corundum aluminum oxide, Mohs 9.

With its supe- rior hardness and intense color, Burtis Blue Turquoise is completely natural and is never treated in any way. We have quite a good selection of mine run remaining, but at this point, when this is gone There are many photographs of several grades of individual mine run parcels available for viewing on our website: Or if you have any questions don't hesitate to call us at Here is a list of various selections available at this time: QMedium Grade mine run. I've personally gone through each kilo and removed all matrix chunks and small opal chips.

And yes, it does take a long time! There are a few duds in these kilos V i J— www. Sanderson Ave. Hibiscus Blvd. Wholesale and retail show; Gem Faire lnc. Westshore Blvd. Purdue; Fri. Marietta Pkwy. SE, Marietta, GA ; e-mail: MLK Jr Blvd. Corner of Freeway and Highway 95, Quartzsite, Arizona, home of the largest show of its kind.

Recently, I came across a photograph of a man with his head and two arms poking out of murky water. In each hand, he grasped an inch-long fossilized sloth claw. I was instantly inspired and knew I had to meet this man and learn about the locality of these amazing fossil specimens! A few hours of screening for shark teeth produced a nice bounty. With a little research, I found that the man in the photograph was Mark Renz of Fossil Expeditions, about an hour south of Tampa, Florida.

While his fossil expedition may not guarantee fossilized claws from a 15 -foot sloth, he does offer the chance to find fossilized shark teeth, as well as many other types of fossils. Plus, I thought I may just find another pair of sloth claws like I saw in that photograph! Upon meeting Mark, I was very im- pressed.

He and his wife, Marissa, have been taking people on fossil expeditions for over 20 years. Mark told me a bit about his past finds, which have included dozens of complete mammoths, sloths, saber-toothed tigers, and dugongs a cousin of the manatee. Many of these fossils can been seen in local Florida museums today. He has also traveled the world in search of fantastic fossil specimens and has published numerous books detailing his adventures.

Marissa is an artist and provides wonder- ful artwork for Mark's books. This couple is quite knowledgeable and well equipped to take groups of anywhere from three to out on a fossil expedition. Florida's geologic past is relatively easy to understand. The Florida plateau was formed around million years ago when the supercontinent of Pangea began to break apart. This slightly raised plateau that we know as Florida is the result of marine sedi- mentation over millions of years. Through- out history, Florida has widened and nar- rowed as sea levels ebbed and flowed.

As ancient sharks and other marine and land animals died, they would occasion- ally be covered by sediment, which would deprive their remains of oxygen. The lack of oxygen preserved the bones, and the surrounding minerals replaced the organic material of the bones and teeth. The chemi- cal composition of the sediment relates di- rectly to the colors of your fossil finds. Most of these fossils are black because they have a high calcium, iron, magnesium content. Imagine, some millions of years ago, when sea levels were much higher than they are now.

Many parts of Florida were 26 www. This means that sharks, as well as other marine species, made it to what is now inland Florida. That is why it is pos- sible to find fossil shark teeth in a riverbed an hour inland from the Gulf of Mexico. As a river flows, it cuts through layers of sediment. These layers represent different periods of time. Generally speaking, the deeper we go, the farther back in time we go. Going down only 10 feet in Florida is going back millions of years. At 10 a.

There were two couples and three children. We had a debriefing that ex- plained what to expect and were given the option of doing an easy, medium or adven- tursome fossil dig. With an easy fossil dig, we would stay right at the riverbank and dig without getting very wet. On the adven- turesome dig, we would cross a chest-deep river and screen for teeth in deeper water. Being an adventurous bunch, we chose to cross the slow-moving river and dig in deeper water.

The two fathers carried their children across. On the far bank, we each grabbed a floating screen and began shoveling in fossil-bearing sediment from the river's bottom. As the water washed away the silt and smaller debris fell through the screen, I noticed a shiny, black shark tooth! This was a good sign, as this was only my first shovelful of sediment.

The day continued, and I added shovelful after shovelful into the screen, and on average I found two shark teeth per scoop. In some scoops, I found only one tooth, while others yielded up to 10 teeth! After a day of this, I felt good about what I had found. Throughout the day, Mark and I and the two families from Iowa got to know each other, and it was good to see the adults just as excited as the kids.

As we found fos- sil specimens, Mark would identify them. My Day-One find consisted of 30 to 45 shark teeth, mixed with some other various fossils. The shark teeth came from species such as the mako, lemon, snaggletooth, ti- ger, and sand tiger. Stingray " teeth" were a common find.

These are really grinding plates the animal used to crush shells and such things. We also found many fossilized stingray spines, in addition to fossilized land tortoise shell fragments, barracuda teeth, and horse teeth. For the second day of my Florida shark- tooth expedition, I drove to Venice Beach early in the morning, before the sun had risen. As I got closer to Venice Beach, my excitement grew; however, a storm was also growing.

When I arrived at the dive Depending on how wet you want to get, you may stay close to the bank or go deeper into the river. By removing old construction debris, I was able to reach untouched sediment, where I found more fossilized teeth. Stachura Co. We can- not control the weather, so I accepted the situation and decided to spend the day on the beach.

All over, there were people holding spe- cially made shark-tooth screens. They stood at the waters edge and screened their scoops of sand. Instead of collecting shark teeth, I decided to spend my day collect- ing seashells and washed-up coral. While Venice Beach is known as the "shark teeth capital of the world", it is also known as a great place to collect beautiful seashells.

During my third day in Florida, I met back up with Mark and others for another fossil expedition. We had another great day of collecting. Despite it being early April, the weather was very nice. Spending all day in the river was not an issue, especially con- sidering everything we found. My find for Day 3 was to smaller shark teeth, some of them up to an inch long. At the end of the day, Mark and I were back at the truck conversing when some locals came up and showed us some amazing fossils they had found nearby. Among them were 4-inch-long horse teeth, pieces of mam- moth tusk, and 2 -inch-long shark teeth.

My plans for the shark teeth I have found are to make jewelry and sell them individu- ally. It is easy and a lot of fun to make wire- wrapped necklaces with the bigger shark teeth. The teeth can also be made into ear- rings. I also made displays of my finds in shadow box picture frames. Some consideration should be taken when deciding when to come to Florida for a fossil expedition. March through April is a perfect time to come; the water is low enough to negotiate the river comfortably.

While you may think summer is the perfect time to go, one must realize that in Florida it rains a lot in summer. The river levels rise significantly, making it hard to do anything in the rivers. There is no need to worry, though; there are alternative options for finding fossils, as one may search the riverbanks or in streams.

While we are allowed to keep any fossils we find, we are asked by our fossil guide to turn over any significant finds to the local museums. This way they may be accessed easily by scientists for studying.

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In the past, Fossil Expedition participants have made significant fossil finds. Look a little closer at paved roads, and you will see shark teeth embedded in the tarmac! This opens up another important topic of discussion, and that is the importance of con- sidering what we do with the fossils that we find. Do we keep them for ourselves, adorn- ing our homes with them? Do we contact museums and universities and ask them to keep them for scientific study?

While there is nothing wrong with keeping special fossil finds for ourselves, it is worth considering the importance of allowing universities and mu- seums to have them instead. When scientists study fossils, it is easier for them to access a whole collection in one location than to trav- el to see personal collections in homes across the country. Mark can tell you if your find is scientifically significant. I was especially pleased to hear Mark touch on the topic of conscientious col- lecting.

We all get tempted to search for treasures in restricted areas, but it is not an appropriate option. If only there was a way to obtain permission to find the treasure in such a way that both parties win. Mark has demonstrated that this is quite possible. Instead of illegally surface collecting what he could and getting out of there, he contact- ed the DOT and found a way to excavate with heavy machinery, while making every- one happy.

As a result, dozens of complete fossil skeletons of large mammals, such as sloths, mastodons, old-world horses, wolves and deer, were recovered. I bring this up be- cause most of Florida is private property and there is an abundance of fossils everywhere you turn. It is important to maintain the right to collect, so we must work together and respect private property. If you live in Florida or have a lot of time to spend there, you may consider collecting on your own.

A good way to start would be to join a local fossil-collecting club. Joining a club will put you in contact with long-time collectors who can help get you started, and you can go out on field trips with others. Whatever you do, make sure you obtain a fossil-collecting permit from the Program of Vertebrate Paleontology in Florida. You can find them on the Internet at www. If you choose to go on a Fossil Expedition, you do not need to worry about a fossil permit, because Mark has already obtained them.

Maybe you have interest in only seeing Florida's fossil wealth, while not doing the hard work of digging for them. Visiting a local museum is the best way to see what Florida has to offer. Florida Fossil Expeditions provided me with a great spring break trip. I was able to soak up the sun and find amazing fos- sils. When I returned home, I was able to make jewelry with what I had found. I rec- ommend this trip for anyone interested in fossils, sharks, or just a good time.

The State of Florida recognizes the importance for collectors to collect and so thanks are in place for them. W As I walked the river bar, I knelt down and noticed shark teeth lying in the sand. This revised and expanded version includes new types of opal as well as updated methodology and prices for properly characterizing and placing a value on any opal. Call or Ma jesticPress a ol. Order Toll Free email: Box Wellington, OH Website: Professional stained glass supplies, toofs, books, kits, patterns, jewels, mosaic and etching supplies, and things you never knew you needed until now.

Oh, and glass. Lots of gfass. The adjustable water feed system sets this cabbing unit apart from the rest. Eliminate contamination, control your own water flow and start designing award-winning jewelry pieces today. Box 21 6: Dept 3 Brown St. Norway, Ml Phone: The Florence mine occasionally yields turquoise with tiny, visible bits of calaverite, a gold-telluride mineral. Apparently, just enough gold-telluride mineralization was present at the edge of the Cripple Creek caldera to occasionally become included in the turquoise.

The necklace, which Clint made using Burtis Blue Turquoise, has 17 stones and is accented by polished pieces of woolly mammoth ivory. The centerpiece of the necklace is a beautiful, carat, solid tur- quoise nugget. So how much Burtis Blue Turquoise is left in the Florence mine? And the tur- quoise pocket we found in June is the biggest single recovery we've ever made. I'd like to see some of them go to museums. That would help Colorado earn the recognition it deserves as a major source of fine turquoise.

Our grandson Peter is just 13 and already very interested in both jewelry making and min- ing. But the future of the mine will be up to the family. For more information about Burtis Blue Turquoise, visit www. One coupon code redeemable per customer. Not valid with any other coupon code or special offer. It has a honeycomb pattern and is soft because the coral has been replaced by calcite. It polishes easily and is carved into knickknacks for tourists. You can collect coral "heads" or find water-worn cobbles on Lake Michigan beaches around Charle- voix and Petoskey.

The name "Petoskey" comes from an Ottawa Indian chief. Sunbeams fell upon his newborn face, so he was named Pe-tos-e-gay "rising sun". Settlers named a town in his honor using the English spelling Petoskey. His granddaughter Ella Jane Petoskey got to see Petoskey stone declared Michigan's state stone in In , Michigan designated its state gem: Also called "greenstone", it's a variety of the mineral pumpellyite in the form of balls of fibrous crys- tals radiating out from a center. When packed next to one another, these balls create a turtle-shell pattern, and light reflecting off the fi- bers produces a chatoyant cat's-eye effect.

Chlorastrolite is found in the Upper Peninsula, often as pea-size beach pebbles. It's mostly used to make small cabochons for rings, earrings or cufflinks. Apparently, it's not a common collectible. When visiting my son in Michigan, he and I stopped at three rock shops and two jewelers before finding a tiny, expensive specimen! Thomas Sr. Mastodons were similar to mammoths, but shorter and stockier. A nearly complete skeleton was found in from Owosso and a trackway of 30 footprints was found near Ann Arbor.

This mineral is likely to be found in your toothpaste. Marquette b. Montcalm c. Manistique d. Alpena Which of these gemstones is not found in Michigan? Thunderbolts In pre-scientific times, Europeans found strange, amber-colored, conical or bullet-shaped objects weathering out of the earth and littering the ground alongside what seemed to be seashells. During Medieval times in the Brit- ish Isles, these were often called "thunderbolts" and were believed to have formed when lightning struck the ground.

They also went by the names "elf- bolts" and "devil fingers" They were believed by some to have medicinal value and by others to hold supernatural powers to keep one safe from being bewitched or being struck by lightning. It was due to the supposed medicinal value of various kinds of fossils that members of the medical profession were often the first to docu- ment fossils in the Middle Ages.

These thunderbolts are actually the remains of squidlike creatures called belemnites, ancient relatives of squid and cuttlefish. They lacked external shells, but they had a hard, internal structure to support their bodies, simi- lar to the cuttlebone in cuttlefish. It's called a rostrum, or guard. Typically, "Thunderbolts" and the squidlike belemnite all that's left of the animal are these guards, which look like amber-colored bullets.

Because these guards are so numerous, it's believed that belemnites swam in large swarms, or schools, like modern squid. They likely served as bite-sized calamari treats for Cretaceous-era marine reptiles like mosasaurs. The belemnite Belemnitella americana became the Delaware state fossil in 1 Circle the differences between the two specimens of thenardite, wulfenite and fluorite. We connected the energy of the rocks with unique style and the best prices you'll ever find!

New Website: Clubs are often shrinking in size. Collecting sites are certainly reduced in number, sometimes closed to collecting by federal government action or by privately filed claims, or opened only as a fee dig site. Certainly, the gradual drop in the number of collectors nationwide is simply a function of aging. Clubs that put on a local show every year are finding it more and more difficult to find a location that is suitable, yet can be obtained at a reasonable cost.

Fee digging is a great way for families to enjoy the mineral hobby. These groups are look- ing for quartz crystals n Her- kimer, New York. These boys had a The Flagg Foundation Mineral Show draws curious families and exposes them to the chance to try it out at a Turlock, California, club show. Large shows like the East Coast Show in West Springfield, Massachusetts, expose the general public to the many aspects of the rockhounding and lapidary hobbies.

Dalton Prince thrills show visitors by cracking open geodes to expose their crystal-lined interiors. There are other factors that account for the slow and inexorable drop in the num- ber of clubs and shows and the diminish- ing membership of the hobby. All of which means those of us who are still active and who love the hobby have a great respon- sibility to slow, or even reverse, the trends we see today There are many ways the rockhound hobby can grow.

It's up to those of us who love the hobby to step up, recognize growth opportunities, and do something about it. A youth movement would help ensure a future for your club and our hobby. Sometimes, the children of a rock- hound join in. Maybe a neighbors child shows an interest in the rocks and minerals you have. We do know that when a family goes to a mineral and gem show, often out of curiosity, club members have a golden opportunity to take advantage of the bud- ding interest of both parents and children by helping them get caught up in the ex- citement and beauty of rocks.

A lot of rockhounds today are retired, having worked for decades, and are now free to enjoy the hobby. It is important that such club members get involved in an out- reach program by volunteering to go into the community. Some active club members go to classrooms to talk about and show rocks and minerals while talking about col- lecting.

Some rockhounds are retired teach- ers who can use their expertise to organize outreach programs or even start a small club after hours at school. When I taught science in Arizona, I had an after-school rock club. We did collecting trips on week- ends. Several of the kids in my science class and after-school rockhound club ended up in the mineral business or became dedicat- ed collectors.

One student ended up man- aging a red beryl quarry in Utah. Another joined continued in the hobby, joined a club, and got his father involved. The fa- ther, in turn, started a rockhound club at his place of employment. Jim Kaufmann Intarsia. Powered by Frooition. Cast aluminum construction Blade guard and splash shield Drive belt guard Blade included Sealed ball bearings on arbor About Kingsley North Since , Kingsley North has been a rock-hound's best friend, offering rock tumblers, polishers, saws, lapidary machines, and more.

Cast aluminum construction. Blade guard and splash shield. Drive belt guard. Blade included. Sealed ball bearings on arbor. T- bone steak, large can of soup, sandwich, etc. Jake's, on the other hand, is a can of chili or a can of chili with raw peppers or a can of chili with fruit or a can of chili with bread. I'll never forget one of Jake's astute proverbs: Days and nights with Jake were price- less. Jake is very quick witted and always seems to be full of humorous quips and anecdotes. At night, we often sat discussing not only rocks, but other things.

That is something I'll talk about and share with others for the rest of my life. One of the things that almost always hap- pens, once everyone knows you are digging, is that you get visitors tourists. Hell, 1 used to be one myself Most of the "tourists" were my friends or people Blooms are plumes whose structure resembles a single blooming flower, and may occur in small groupings. Feather Ridge Agate Patterns Compared to other well-known plume agates, some of the patterns in the Feather Ridge material are different and some similar.

Treelike or featherlike structures in singles or in groups. Main colors: These are also plumes, but with a different structure, resembling a single blooming flower, sometimes in small groupings. A mass of single blooms, usually smaller ones grouped together. Color mass: A mass of color has plumes and blooms that are not quite defined, but the color combinations are still very beautiful. Very common at Feather Ridge, most of the time in very large and thick veins. In general, it does have very nice plumes, which are typically located on the edge of the huge 5 to 6 inches wide, several feet long, and a few feet deep veins.

The agate "plume line" within the veins is about 1 to 3 inches wide, and the rest of the vein is solid gem opal. Like most opal, it can be brittle. A coating of fine crystals in pockets within the agate. They look fantastic when incorporated into a cab, but the pockets are small enough to work around. Lately, the druzy has been very desirable with cab makers and buyers.

A globular external form resembling a bunch of grapes, or spires on or inside the agate seam or vein. Spheres are fused together to form the botryoidal clus- ter. Botryoidal pockets look fantastic when incorporated into a cab, but the pockets are small enough to work around. Having plumes form right up into the spheres or spires is somewhat rare in most plume agate deposits, but not at Feather Ridge. It's very common to see plumes of pink, white, yellow and orange that have formed all the way up into these structures.

They make magnificent, high-dollar display pieces. Angel Wing: The term "angel wing chalcedony" refers to a delicate chalcedony for- mation that is characterized by groups of chalcedony filaments, often intricately interwoven or connected. They occur most often in the center of a vein or vug of agate. Having the plumes form right up into the angel wing is, again, somewhat rare in most deposits, but not at Feather Ridge. It's very common to see plumes of pink, white, yellow and orange having formed all the way up into these structures.

They make magnificent high-dollar display pieces. January Tucson, AZ Jan. July Aug. September Minneapolis, MN September Livonia Detroit , Ml Box 98 Flora, MS Phone Typically, this is a good thing. They come all the way out just to see you and share in the excitement. When they arrive, 1 point out where the claim posts are located and let them ex- plore. There's no way to stop them from picking up the crumbs left behind after we leave, so I try to minimize the damage they can do.

This scarification is done in order to minimize erosion and to make a place for topsoil to become trapped and congregate to promote plant growth.

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After two long weeks of hard work, heat and dust, we are ready to close the pit. Now that 1 have seen the trends in the ground, 1 am already planning for a future dig. We mark off the boundaries of the pit on the surface and start moving the muck back into the hole. It's amazing the amount of material that goes unseen when it is scraped up by the bucket. Before we get started, we each take a bucket and go through the tailings pile. Before long, the buckets get filled up. Then we move some more muck, stop, and do it over again. After the hole was filled, 1 believe we had at least five buckets of missed tailings.

The last day, we do the scarification, break camp, and then drive the excavator the 2Vi hours back down the rough, dusty dirt road. Feather Ridge Plume has the potential to become a great classic, but only time will tell. Jake and Beverly's names will forever be attached to Feather Ridge. Now, it's time to wash, clean, sort and evaluate the rough. This will take time, since 1 have a good deal of rock to process. The whole endeavor was not cheap.

Jake says mining is quite differ- ent from the old days, when you borrowed a backhoe and started digging. Add to that the cost of diesel fuel— which, during the time we were there, was at the highest cost per gallon all year— food, gas, insurance, BLM bonding, etc. I'm noticing some trends in the patterns and colors. The quality is excellent, with very little— if any— single fracturing. Any frac- tures 1 do encounter would be due to the mining process and not necessarily the rough itself.

Looking at the rough, 1 would not expect any at all. The colors are bright and lasting. Some- times, as rough begins to dry out, it can change color or density or both. Not so here. Everything is staying consistent. The rough does contain small pockets of fine druzy crystals, along with some botry- oidal pockets, which look fantastic when in- corporated into a cab.

The pockets of both are small enough to work around, if druzy or botryoidal are not your bag. As 1 start cutting the rough more. I'll be posting some of my "keepers" on my Web site, www. For more photos of the parcel please visit our website: Both items shown are made in the U. A, Offers expire January Etoxite Corp. Quantity dis- counts available for even more savings!

Be sure to check our web site www. Freeway, Tucson, AZ Daily 10am-7pm. Stachura Co. The first big question is, why would anyone want to take on such a seemingly difficult task when there are so many fine commercially made machines out there? There are several answers to this. The No. Al- though machines come in a wide range of prices, even the low-end ones can some- times be rather pricey— especially if Emily needs braces or Charlie needs glasses.

Another reason is an affliction that 1 suf- fer from: This may be the route to take if you are financially strapped, but if you really can afford a new machine, maybe you could be using the time you would have spent making a cabber actually making cabs. Finally, if you really think you can make a better machine than one you can buy, go for it. If it works out, you will be happy, and maybe you'll patent your design.

In most cases, this is not true. Many folks say that they are not mechani- cally inclined, when they are simply more inclined to watch football. The most im- portant inclination is desire. For example, let's say you really want to build your own disk-style cabbing machine that will grind, sand and polish. You can do so with a couple of screwdrivers, a couple of crescent wrenches, and a drill with an assortment of bits. Most of this stuff is even lying around the houses of those who don't think of themselves as do-it-yourselfers.

The most important tool you can have, though, may be the Internet. With Google, Bing, Yahoo, or if you don't want your browsing tracked Duck Duck Go, you can find parts, arbors, motors, photos of com- mercial and homemade machines, and plans for a number of different machines. In addition, on YouTube you can find videos of people making and using machines. Even though you may be thinking of mak- ing your own machine s , don't overlook the manufacturers.

Send for their catalogs or look up their sites on the Internet. They have nice photos and descriptions of all of their stuff. You will get an idea of what is avail- able, how it is configured, and what parts and accessories you might need for your machine. Sometimes, these manufacturers sell parts, and some even sell kits. The last time 1 checked, Govington Engineering sold saw kits. It might be worth checking out. However you build your own ma- chine— whether it is from parts you have scrounged up or from shiny new parts you bought— you will experience a great feel- ing when you see the first cab you have made on a machine that you made your- self.

Here are a few Internet sites to whet your appetite: Prices subject to change. Apatite is a very common min- eral. In fact, without it you would be a pile of human jelly because your bones are basically apatite! Even your teeth would not sur- vive. Bones and teeth depend largely on the mineral chlorapatite for their stmcture. There's more to it than that, but apatite is a very Their Hexagonal Forms Are Deceptive The yellow color of chlorapatite crystals from Mexico is due to included traces of the rare earth elements neo- dymium and praseodymium. Apatite is not the name of a specific min- eral, but of a group of three minerals: There are a couple of other apatite names, such as manganapatite, that old-timers like me use, but which are no longer recog- nized by the powers that be.

The Greeks called apatite "the deceiver" because it looks so much like vanadinite, pyromorphite, and a dozen other hexago- 20 www. The chemical names we have known and used for decades— fluorapatite, chlroapatite and hydroxylapatite— are also deceiving, because they are no longer valid names in the most recent literature.

You may have noticed that a number of mineral names now sport a suffix of chemical symbols. Such is the case of these three common apatites. The most common member of the group, fluorapatite is now called apatite Ca,F. The next most com- mon member, chlorapatite, is now apatite Ca,Cl. The third member, hydroxylapatite, is now known as apatite Ca,OH. Adding to the confusion is that these three species are not even considered to be a group anymore. Under the new designations, they are con- sidered separate species, not members of a group. For this discussion, however, Fll stick to the old-school names and grouping!

The general chemical name for apatite is calcium, chlorine, fluorine, hydroxyl phosphate. The three central ingredients can interchange, with one or two becom- ing dominant in the chemistry of a given specimen. You can see this in the names cited above. Remember the old method of using a triangle to explain chemical relationships? These three species fit that deign perfectly, since chlorine, fluorine, and the hydroxyl radical can be placed at the corners of the triangle, and the lines in between represent mixtures of two of the corner components.

Of the three types of apatite, the most common member for mineral collectors, and the one that provides us with showy display specimens, is fluorapatite. It also happens to be the species found at one of my favorite Mexican mines, Ceno Mercado. Listing all the localities in which collect- ible apatite has been found— granite pegma- tites, marble, metalliferous ore veins, and al- pine occurrences— would take a small book. Pegmatite deposits yield primarily fluorapa- tite, since fluorine is a common volatile el- ement in the final fluids from which a peg- matite forms.

The other apatites might also show up, but rarely. Ore veins offer a variety of apatites, de- pending on the composition of the fluids from which the ores formed, though fluor- apatite seems to be the most common. The plethora of apatite crystals found in the mar- bles of Canada have not all been identified, but those that have are chlorapatite. Undoubtedly, the counties in Quebec could produce a great number of apatite crystals if they were mined. They have al- ready been prolific. But from personal ex- perience, 1 would have to say the one local- ity that has produced the greatest number of apatite crystals has to be Cerro de Mer- cado Durango , Mexico.

We visited a number of mines, including Cerro de Mer- cado. When we arrived at Cerro de Mercado, we were astounded by the myriad line, yellow apatite crystals that were there for the taking. There were crystals all over the ground and lying loose in the gravels on the side of the dirt road, and the dumps were replete with yellow prisms. No mat- This odd apatite from Minas Gerais, Brazil, is made up of both chlorapatite and fluorapatite crystals. These unusual freestanding, steely-blue fluorapatites, with corrugated edge faces, on matrix are from the Emmons Quarry Oxford County in Maine.

We stopped to take photos at the main entrance to the mine and we were able to collect as many yellow apatite crystals as we wanted. This delightful example of fluorapatite from the Barroca Grande mine, near Panasquiera, Portugal, sits on a nest of cookeite and ferberite. Matrix specimens at Cerro de Mercado are rare for two reasons: The ore veins were blasted to break up the rock and get at the magnetite iron ore. The apatite crystals were locked in the ore, but very loosely attached to the matrix, so blasting shook them loose.

The gems had formed in pockets filled mainly with a white, clayey material that gave the crystals virtually no support. If you collected a matrix specimen, you would eventually have to ap- ply glue to keep it together. Luckily, the clay did cushion the crystals, so blasting did not shatter all the little yellow hexagons. On this same Mexico trip, we had a Mexican dealer as a guide.

He lived near Cerro de Mercado, and at his place we saw wooden dynamite boxes overflowing with loose yel- low apatite crystals, from which we could help ourselves! We picked out a handful of gemmy crystals, all of which were at least an inch long, though a few approached 4 inches in length. The yellow color of these crystals, chemically chlorapatite, is due to included traces of the rare earth elements neodymium and praseodymium. My initial introduction to pegmatite apa- tite came when 1 was working on my mas- ter's thesis, titled "Luminescent Minerals of Connecticut", in the s.

One orange-fluorescing mineral 1 always encountered was commonly called "manganapatite", a name that is now discon- tinued. Its clustered, small individual crystals occuned embedded in feldspar. Their natural color range is brown to greenish. Freestand- ing crystals of managnapatite did not exist in the Connecticut pegmatites 1 checked. Maine is famous for its beautiful violet- hued fluorapatite crystals. These are the darlings of the apatite world here in the United States.

They are prized by collec- tors for their intense violet color, perfect crystal forms, and rarity. The marvelous pink fluorapatite crystals from Pakistan are much larger and are certainly beautiful, but the mystique of Maine purple apatite makes it a classic. The earliest reports on Maine apatite date to the late s, but the marvelous rockhound story of Maine apatite involves my friend Terry Szenics.

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We called him "Skippy" when he was a teenager. He had seen the Smithsonian's famous Washing- ton Roebling purple apatite from Maine, and determined to dig in the Maine peg- matites to find something like that. Teaming up with Frank Perham, who was famous for his Maine pegmatite digs, the teen tackled the Pulsifer quarry on Mount Apatite, near Auburn, in Their digging carried over into and was exceedingly successful; they found a number of superb, small, vibrant, deep-purple fluorapatite crystals.

He wanted to show me something, so we walked out to his car, where he pulled out a cigar box full of carefully wrapped specimens of gorgeous purple fluorapatite crystals on ma- trix. I've often wondered where all those fine crystals are now. Another apatite that comes to mind is one 1 saw in the Mark Chance Bandy collection.

Mark was so well liked by the miners at Llallagua that, when they went on strike and held the office staff captive underground, they chose him as their spokesman and let him go to work out the negotiations.


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When Mark retired, he and his wife, Jean, moved to Wickenburg, Arizona, where 1 got to know them. He had a marvelous collec- tion, gathered through years of trades with museums and advanced collectors. One specimen he had personally collected was a superb fluorapatite from Llallagua.

The piece was a single tabular, hexagonal fluor- apatite crystal with another minor crys- tal attached, but no matrix. The crystal is about 2 inches across and highly modified, and under the ultraviolet lamp, it glows a marvelous pink. The specimen is now in the L. County Museum. Today, some mineral dealers are working diligently to obtain minerals from the mines of Bolivia, including Siglo XX fluorapatite. Tabular apatite crystals are not as com- mon as hexagonal prisms, which are found all over the world.

Another noteworthy tabular crystal I've seen resides in a drawer in the main gallery of the Natural History 22 www. Museum, London. The specimen is from the Knappenwand mine at Untersulz- bachtal, Austria. This deposit is world fa- mous for the fantastic epidote specimens it produced for decades.

These epidote crys- tals rank among the finest ever found. As- sociated with the epidote crystals are hair- like byssolite and, less often, superb tabular fluorapatite crystals. When dug out of the ground, these apa- tites are a delicate pink, but that color is lost after brief exposure to strong light. That ex- plains why the Natural History Museum's specimen is stored in a drawer. The tabular apatite crystals found with the gold ores of Morro Velho, Brazil, also show this lovely pink color that fades over time with expo- sure to strong light. Fine fluorapatite crystals were undoubt- edly encountered by the Romans when they worked the tin deposits of the Panas- quiera Mountains in Portugal.

Today, it is known as one of the great sources of fluorapatite, as well as a source of superb quartz crystals, fine ferberite crystals, bright arsenopyrite crystals, and lustrous, black cassiterite crystals. Not much is coming out of this region today, but 30 years ago, superb specimens of these minerals were common fare at shows. They were costly even then, as the choice specimens were those with three and four fine examples of Panasquiera spe- cies on a single piece.

The apatite from Portugal comes in two types: The bicolor. Several townships in Canada have deposits of marble that produce large, often slightly rounded prisms of fluorapatite a foot long and over. Many of the fine fluorapatite crystals that were found in Canada have had to be chipped out of the enclosing orange calcite.

The tabular crystals are also color zoned, from a lovely pink to green. Some of these tabular crystals can be 4 inches across, but most are in the 1-inch range. Nothing is coming from here today, but because Panasquiera speci- mens are so fine, when one does reach the market from an old collection, the average collector can't afford it. When the metal mines of Germany, par- ticularly in the Saxony region, were operat- ing, fine, small, violet-colored apatite crys- tals were sometimes found. These mines are no longer active, so any old locality specimens are a rarity in the market today.

If you see one, be sure to get it, as it is a real classic. With few exceptions, there is little ex- pectation that any of the older sources of apatite will surge to the fore again. The exception could be the Grenville marbles in Ganada, but most of the crystals found there are nongem and not considered what might be called "ikons", crystals everyone wants.

Pegmatites, particularly in Pakistan, will produce an occasional fine apatite. And there is always Brazil, which still surprises us with amazing finds. The Sapo pegmatite mine, in the Ferru- ginha district of Minas Gerais, has not only produced some amazing apatite, but has outdone itself with its chemically interest- ing apatite crystals. How the Sapo deposit was found is interesting.

A farmer noticed some bits of gem tourmaline mixed in with the gravels of an ant mound, signaling the existence of a deposit below. The mine was opened in , and since then it has pro- duced huge quartz crystals in addition to feldspar. As mining continued, it began pro- ducing several types of apatite crystals, the likes of which had never been seen before from a single deposit.

Of the several forms of apatite found here, the most unusual type is the long stacks of small, green crystals that curve and bend to form spectacular specimens. Guriously, tests have shown these snake- like stacks of apatite to consist of both fluorapatite and chlorapatite! Any given specimen is made up of alternating fluor- apatite and cholorapatite crystals. To top it off, many of these weird stacks boast hol- low centers. The Sapo mine has also produced zone crystals of disklike form, which are now considered among the best ever found. These crystals exhibit two shades of green.

The larger crystals actually approach a foot across! Such a variety of crystal forms in one deposit is unique, and we have to wonder what surprises this mine has for us in the future. If you are interested in learning more about the Sapo mine, you should obtain a copy of The Mineralogical Record, Vol. Box , Tucson, AZ or minrec aol. Since its varieties are so common, your personal collection should have one or two fine examples of the deceiver, apatite. Largest USA manufacturer of tumbled-stones and distributors for Topstones.

See our cataiog and website for tumbled stones, new-age items, rough stones, crystals, jewelry, gifts and more. Washington St. Scouts in uniform, and active military with ID free; jewelry, gems, findings, supplies, slabs, auction, grab bags, exhibits, hands-on projects fer kids; ccntact Brenda Miguel, Hillside Ln. Crismon Rd. The magnet would have to be pretty strong, however, and the clearance for both a magnetic catch and base might be too much for the limited space. Finally, 1 thought about using a bezel cup with a hole drilled in the bottom and a small bolt placed through the hole, with a nut on the inside bottom of the ring to hold the bezel and stone in place.

The issue with using a bolt through the bezel cup was that the bolt head had to be very thin so as not to use up the verti- cal wall space in the bezel cup. The bezel cup solution seemed to offer the best chance of success. The nut will attach from the bottom of the stone seat. Size the model and add a platform for securing the bezel. I decided to use a commercially avail- able wax model for the ring rather than creating one myself.

This would save me at least four or live hours. Any smaller and the stone sort of disappeared, and any larger was too large in my mind. In the same spirit of work avoidance, 1 opted for ready-made bezel cups, rather than soldering a bunch on my own. The rigor of creating a bunch of identical-size bezels was thereby avoided. A little scraping around the inside of the stone seat, along with trial and error when setting the bezel cup into place, was required. When the bezel cup sat in the stone seat properly, 1 sized the model to my finger 10y4.

Then 1 modified the model to add a flat surface on the ring at the bottom of the stone seat. This surface provides a platform for the bolt to pass through the bezel cup and then through the stone seat. The nut can be placed on the other side of the seat to secure the bezel and stone in place. To size the ring, 1 placed it on a ring man- drel on a stand and cut through the ring shank next to the natural sprue on the wax model with a razor blade. Using heat from an alcohol lamp and a wax tool made from a nail and dowel, 1 added liquid wax to the joint and finished sizing the ring model.

To make the tool, 1 drilled the dowel to accept the nail so the dowel became a handle. Next, 1 filed and sanded the joint in the model and smoothed the surface with a piece of old nylon stocking. As the ring was fairly large and would use a lot of gold, 1 cre- ated a small ball V 4 inch from the sprue using liquid wax. This ball acts as a reser- voir when casting, and assists in filling the mold completely with metal. Next, 1 weighed the wax on my gram scale.

The weight was 2 grams. It was very clean and had only been used once, so 1 decided 1 would cast using only the 28 www. I often do this, and only very in- frequently get pit or crystallization in the metal casting. Using the formula 2 grams wax weight times When it had dried, 1 spritzed the model with debubble- izer and set it aside to dry. For a 2. The sifting helps keep lumps from forming in the investment. Putting most of the water in the bowl of powder, 1 mixed the two carefully with a small spatula, trying not to introduce bubbles.

When the mixture was very smooth and the consistency of pancake batter, 1 placed the bowl on an investment vibra- tor and vibrated for 30 seconds to remove bubbles. About 10 minutes later, the investment was set well. With the bezel cup seated in the ring, punch a hole in the bottom with an awl. I then placed the metal in the shoe cruci- ble of the centrifuge and turned on the torch air and acetylene. Heating the metal rapidly, adding flux borax to the metal with a carbon rod, and drawing the rod through the molten metal to draw off impurities, 1 waited for the metal to form a shiny, rolling metal ball in the shoe and then, keep- ing the flame on the metal, released the arm of the centrifuge and lifted the torch simultaneously.

The arm swung sharply, driving the metal into the wax-evacuated mold. When the arm gradually came to a halt, 1 lifted the mold with tongs and swirled it in a bucket of cold water, causing the mold to disintegrate. When 1 took the casting out of the bucket, it was a shiny gold color and com- pletely formed, and had only a few tiny metal bubbles to remove.

The metal shrinkage during casting caused the bezel cup to be slightly too small, so 1 had to use a metal burr in a flex shaft tool to enlarge the opening slightly so the bezel cup would fit. Then 1 pol- ished it, first with Tripoli and then rouge, on cloth buffing wheels.

The design of the ring was kind of a nugget composite, with deep areas be- tween nuggets. It's pretty potent, so use it carefully. They turned a sat- isfying black. It really popped. Through trial and error, 1 found that the best way to get the bolt properly set in the bezel cup and to get the stone set in the cup was to finish grinding and pol- ishing the stone, ensuring the edges of the stone were slightly below the wall of the bezel cup when placed atop the bolt head.

This left enough metal to burnish over the stone to hold it in place. Actually, 1 placed the finished stone on the bench upside down, placed a drop of superglue on the center of the stone back, and slipped the cup, with the bolt fitted in place, over the bottom of the stone, all the way down. After the glue dried, 1 used a burnish- er to press the metal around the stone.

Now 1 can change the stone every day for two weeks and never have the same ring. W 30 www. CST Sat — 9: The answer is feldspar— as either the sole or major ingredient. The name stems from the German Feld, or "field", and the Old German Spath, or "spar", which refers to any cleavable, lus- trous mineral. The term "field spar", or "fieldstone", al- ludes to the tendency of feldspars to weath- er into soil-building clays. Because all feld- spars have a Mohs hardness of 6. The feldspars are structurally and com- positionally related to quartz silicon diox- ide, Si To re-establish electrical stability, the resulting aluminosili- cate radical must accept another positively charged ion.

Positively charged ions with suitable radii to fit between the tetrahedra include those of potassium, sodium and calcium. This partial replacement of silicon ions by aluminum ions and the subsequent bonding of potassium, sodium or calcium ions creates the feldspar minerals. The feldspars fall into two subgroups: The important alkali feldspars are anorthoclase, sanidine, orthoclase and microcline. The im- portant plagioclase feldspars are albite and anorthite, which form a solid-solution series, the intermediate members not mineral spe- cies of which include oligoclase, andesine, labradorite and bytownite.

Feldspars have considerable geological and industrial importance. They are among the most abundant rock-forming minerals, and they weather into soil-building clays. Feldspars are used to manufacture glass, ce- ramics and paper, so mining and processing feldspar minerals are global, billion dollar- per-year industries. Fowdered feldspar is also the abrasive used in household scouring powders.

Be- cause its hardness Mohs 6. The feldspars include several gemstones. Greenish-blue amazonite, a color variety of microcline, can be cut into beautiful cabo- chons. Another is translucent moonstone, a general term for several feldspar minerals and varieties that exhibit adularescence, an optical phenomenon in which diffused light creates a soft, bluish-white sheen. Transparent orthoclase and bytownite crystals are faceted into striking, cham- pagne-colored gems. In the labradorite va- riety of anorthite, twinned lamellae produce labradorescence, a play of lustrous, metallic, blue-green colors caused by interference in light reflected from its layered stmcture.

The translucent, aventurine variety anorthite contains tiny inclusions of the iron minerals hematite and goethite. They reflect light in a reddish-gold, metallic glitter that justifies aventurine's familiar name "sunstone". Although albite is not itself a gemstone, it contributes to the beauty of many compos- ite mineral specimens. In its crystalline and massive forms, glittering, snow-white albite is the perfect matrix mineral to show off crystals of pegmatite gemstones like aqua- marine or elbaite.

Whether humble or sophisticated, feld- spar plays many roles in our daily lives. It's one of the few places in the world where agates are found in alluvial gra velsthat cover siioh a huge area. This opportunity gaw Tom a possibilitytor a life's work in gathering a nd werkingwtth Morvtana Agate. This book is the author's th Ird booh on Montana Agate. The first was The River Runs Korti: A Story of Montana Agate' In New Website: All you need to turn any rock or stone into a pendant is a needle nose pliers!

We connected the energy of the rocks with unique style and the best prices you1l ever find! A shark may have as many as 50 teeth in a row and behind them are more rows bent back and ready to spring forward as front teeth are shed. A single shark may shed 35, teeth over its lifespan! These are made of durable enamel, which aids in fossiliza- tion. These two factors account for the abundance of fossil shark teeth. Fossil shark teeth come in varied colors, sizes, and shapes. Teeth of liv- ing sharks are white but, as they fossilize, they take on colors of minerals in sediments in which they're buried and become tinted yellow-orange, tan, brown, gray or black.

They vary in size depending on the species. The largest, Carcharocles megalodon, can reach 7 inches. Most are under an inch. Teeth also vary in shape. Different species have different types of teeth for different func- tions: Just as our inci- sors and molars are different, the same shark may have very different teeth. A shark may have smooth bottom teeth for stabbing and grabbing and serrated upper teeth for slicing and dicing.

This variation in shape and function makes it difficult to identify species with fossil shark teeth. Sharks are an ancient lineage.