Quartz and Chalcedony Part 2
By Barry Taylor
There are so many classifications and varieties of Quartz that understanding this mineral can be a confusing and bewildering task. There is such a huge range of both colour and form that can be encountered, in part 1 the colours of Amethyst and Smokey Quartz were looked at. There are many other forms of coloured Quartz to be encountered, all of which have a slightly different reason for their shape and hue. To help with the identification the following is a synopsis of the most common varieties to be found.
An article in a recent issue of the New Scientist Magazine caught my eye it has referred to a paper written by Tilman Spohn of the Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin and was published on 23rd November 2013.
The Article is about the crustal evolution of our planet Earth, whilst this article is recorded as just a thought process, much about this theory when carefully considered rings true.
Our cover picture courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory Landsat 8 satellite, shows a portion of the Tien Shan mountain range in the north western Xinjiang province China.
Formed some 300 million years ago when part of Australia collided with Eurasia, along with a chain of volcanic activity approximately 50 million years later.
The image shows a classic thrust fault caused when pressure forces horizontal sedimentary rock into up and down folds.
In April 2013 12 members of the Sussex Mineral and Lapidary Society went on a week's collecting trip to Morocco. This provided an opportunity to refresh our memories about some of the classic Moroccan mineral locations and minerals: Touissit, Bou Azzer, Mibladen, Imiter, El Hammen, Sidi Rahal and Taouz and the superb minerals which have been extracted from these mines, such as azurite and malachite, anglesite, apatite, fluorite, wulfenite, vanadinite, silver, proustite, erythrite, roselite, cobaltocalcite, skutterudite…Of these I think the silver, vanadium and cobalt minerals are the most appealing.
It’s always a treat to visit a large auction, and the catalogue at Bonhams has to be seen to be believed. Oddly some of the items we chose remained unsold but now you can bid online you don’t have to trek far afield, if you’ve never considered ‘attending’ a mineral & gem auction maybe its time!
The images here are from the Bonhams New York lapidary works of art, gemstones and minerals auction from October 2015.
Mentioned in our news article this stunning life-size model of a male skull and the world’s largest known meteorite carving, artist Lee Downey acid-etched the carving to uncover the Gibeon meteorite’s singular, lattice-like “Widmanstätten” pattern.
There are many reasons for you to make that ‘stone’ purchase, whether for collecting, being captivated, business, magical or spur of a moment, but if you’re hunting for a specific stone is it the one shinning brighter standing out from the rest?
Or will you be applying some trusted techniques to evaluate your purchases. Whilst gem professionals have studied to evaluate stones and are confident when purchasing, everyday folk can only go by their own experience and that of more learned friends, often prospective purchasers can be seen referring potential purchases to their friends for approval. But perhaps you’ve ventured out alone or want to be confident in your own decision making.
Quartz and Chalcedony Part 3
By Barry Taylor
In this final section on the truly amazing mineral that is known as Quartz, I will be looking at the huge diversity of crystal forms that exist, detailing the most common crystal forms found.
The shape of any individual quartz crystal and the form of crystal groups varies enormously;
South Australia Museum opal exhibition, including the exhibition’s centerpiece, the Virgin Rainbow, is itself worth in excess of a million dollars and its refracting colours defy description.
We had to put the picture of the renown ‘Virgin Rainbow’ opal on this issue’s cover because it’s simply stunning.
It’s some distance for a lot of our readers but if you happen to have the opportunity to visit the South Australian Museum in Adelaide you’ll sure to be impressed with the superb collection of opals on view.(exibition closes spring 2016)
by Barry Talyor
What amazing mineral Quartz is, with its beautiful often perfectly formed crystals, it certainly has an aura of mystique about it. In fact magical would not be far from the truth as Quartz has always been believed to have special powers. In ancient European history people believed that quartz was actually ice from the mountains, frozen solid over millennia and as such it could never thaw.
12 members of the Sussex Mineral and Lapidary Society spent a week during April 2013 collecting minerals in Morocco
One of the most amazing collecting locations we visited was the Tizi n Inouzane pass high up in the High Atlas mountains (Fig. 1). The minerals we collected included intense yellow hexagonal prismatic crystals of apatite from the pegmatite veins just below the snow line. I collected around a dozen nice 1 cm crystals, but I did not manage to collect any apatite on matrix.
Powdered tourmaline as an ingredient to ceramic water/air purifyers, showers, swimming pools and fridges.
Tourmaline comprises of several different elements including aluminium, boron, iron, lithium, magnesium and manganese. It has...
One of the newest gemstones to appear recently on to the global market is Ammolite. Here in the United Kingdom, very few people have heard let alone seen this beautiful gemstone. Often Ammolite and Ammonites are confused but in fact are interrelated.
In our attempt to understand the gemstone Ammolite and its origins, we know that Ammonites are found all over the world, also here in the UK where the area of Lyme Regis and Charmouth are identified as areas where one can find specimens especially after a storm and where the cliffs have eroded. These are typically preserved shells of an ancient species of invertebrate animal that once dominated the earth's seas.