Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Quartz in my own back yard ... Kay speaks
Finding pretty rocks has always been one of my favorite things since I was a kid. I used to get in trouble for not looking where I was going, but instead looking on the ground to see what I could find. Mom would get mad when I'd run into people or knock over something because she said I wasn't paying attention to where I was going... but I was.
You see, I love quartz. And call myself a rockhound.
Quartz is the most common of all the minerals on earth. Pure quartz is colorless, transparent and is a lot like looking at glass. However, quartz also appears in a number of colors, such as amethyst (purple), citrine (yellow), or smoky quartz (brown to black). These types of quartz also occur in dense forms with no visible crystals at all.
Many people travel to mines throughout the world to try to find the prettiest and largest crystals. I like looking closer to home.
I've been to several mines in the southeast such as Diamond Hill Mine in Antreville, SC, which is known for its skeletal quartz and smoky amethyst; JXR is also in SC and is known for its amethyst. And the Hogg Mine in Legrange, GA is known for its star quality facet grade rose quartz.
Here in NC, there are several mines with display quality quartz such as The Reel Mine in Lincoln County with its awesome amethyst crystals. And Hiddenite has produced some top quality amethyst and smoky specimens as well.
I've been lucky enough to find some beautiful quartz right here in my own yard. It might not all be display quality but it's still pretty awesome to me.
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