In November of 2017, Wayne County Gem and Mineral Club undertook a 9 day collecting trip to Arkansas-Tennessee-North Carolina. This is mostly a photo essay from the first half of the trip in the Arkansas quartz district of Mt. Ida and Jessieville. Published in WCGMC December 2017 newsletter. Part II on the rest of the trip will follow.
3300 miles and 3300 pounds of Arkansas quartz: the miles are accurate, but the weight may be a bit of an understatement. Once someone started putting large clusters and quartz-covered pieces into the trailer (I think it was Glenn!) it seemed contagious. Everyone simply needed more! Buckets were filled at three sites, half bushel baskets with crystals encased in red Arkansas mud were purchased, we traded for yet more, and eventually even the spaces under the seats in the van were dedicated to Arkansas quartz. And we hadn’t even headed to North Carolina yet!
Have you ever sat down to think about where the chemical elements in all those neat minerals we collect came from? I mean in the grand scheme of things, like as the universe forms and evolves.
We collect metallic minerals, like copper (Cu) in chalcopyrite and bornite and in colorful carbonate secondary minerals like malachite and azurite. The latter require carbon (C) as does calcite with its calcium (Ca) cation and dolomite when there is sufficient magnesium (Mg). WCGMC has travelled to Cobalt, Ontario in search of silver (Ag) in its pure form as well as cobalt in arsenic minerals (Co, As).
Bruce Leis has been an enthusiastic collector and researcher of stromatolites for over two decades. He has visited them worldwide, photographing their distinctive patterns and studying their geologic setting. In 2015 he teamed up with retired professor Bruce Stinchcomb and paleo-artist Terry McKee to produce a unique book detailing these wonderful and important geologic features. Anyone interested in earth’s geologic history and the development of life on this planet should enjoy their wonderfully illustrated 176 full page size treatise.