Collecting In North Carolina and Tennessee

Last month I wrote about the Arkansas portion of Wayne County Gem and Mineral Club’s November field trip south (quartz, quartz and more quartz).  But we did not stop there.  After three days of collecting SiO2 in and around Mt. Ida, Arkansas, ten of us pointed our large black van east and headed to Tennessee and North Carolina.  There was still a bit of space to fill in the van and in the trailer and we simply could not head north without filling all possible nooks and crannies. Here is how we did it! Continue reading

Peruvian blue opal

Wayne County Gem and Mineral Club throws a marvelous Christmas party each year and 2017 was no exception.  When it came time for me to select my club gift from the table of bright red boxes at the holiday party I did not hesitate.  I took one from the middle of the back row and went back to my table to see what I had been gifted.  I was not disappointed.  I opened my bright red box and pulled out a colorful blue layered rock.  The label simply said “Peruvian opal”.  I was pleased for two reasons:  first I did not have any opal from Peru, but more importantly I knew nothing about it.  I would have fun back home while the snow fell outside researching my new “acquisition”.  A third bonus: as a rough piece, it will also give me something to cut and polish at an upcoming workshop.  Continue reading

Stromatolite or maybe not?

Having collected stromatolites in several locations in New York and Ontario, I was attracted to a small polished piece offered this past October by a dealer at the Rochester Gem and Mineral show.  It was labeled Kabamba Jasper – stromatolite, Madagascar.   It was a pretty green color, showed physical characteristics of a stromatolitic origin, and best of all, it was reasonably priced.  I bought it and came home to research the geology and age of my new find.   Immediately, things got complicated.

My polished piece of Kabamba Jasper – Madagascar: But is it really of biologic origin?

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