Mineral of the day Hemimorphite

Filed under: Mineral of the day,regular postings — Gary December 18, 2006 @ 5:38 pm


Hemimorphite, is a sorosilicate mineral which has been mined from days of old from the upper parts of zinc and lead ores, chiefly associated with smithsonite. It was often assumed to be the same mineral and both were classed under the same name of calamine. In the second half of the 18th century it was discovered that there were two different minerals under the heading of calamine – a zinc carbonate and a zinc silicate, which often closely resembled each other.


More on England and Scotland Rockhounding

Filed under: regular postings — Gary @ 12:42 am

Dear Gary,

I got a message from Barry Flannery in Ireland that someone was seeking
information about Scottish localities for rockhounding. I looked at your
website and guess that it is Katie from Minnesota. I note she also mentions
England. As I am a Scotsman living in England perhaps I can help. I see
you have already found Hamilton Currie’s website (I did the Irish section
for him). I also recommend which has lots of quite detailed
I am not sure exactly what interests Katie. If zeolites, then the Isle of
Skye is the place, but it is one location I have not been to. mindat has
details, but she should note two things. Firstly some of the coastal sites,
like Moonen Bay, are dangerously tidal, secondly, after May the midges tend
to become unbearable. If she has not encountered the highland midge she
will have no idea of how horrible they are. Imagine a fly a twentieth the
size of a mosquito, but with an appetite twenty times greater. Now imagine
five million of them at once.
For metallic ores the Leadhills/Wanlockhead area is obvious. The smaller
of the two flat-topped tips on East Stayvoyage vein (on the hillside above
the highest point on the Leadhills/Wanlockhead road) has yielded some fine
acicular green pyromorphite recently. In Wanlockhead the conical tip of New
Glencrieff mine is a traditional favourite for the primary & gangue
minerals. The little fenced off spot by the old smelter nearby (actually
reserved for collectors to dig in) yields good blue mammillated
hemimorphite. Whytes Cleugh, the little glen on the opposite side of the
road, has all the usual secondaries.


Rockhounding Scotland – places to rockhound in Scotland! Great site!

Filed under: regular postings — Gary December 16, 2006 @ 9:10 pm


This site I found is great for rockhounding in Scotland!  Very detailed maps and specimens to find at each location !  Hope this helps and enjoy your honeymoon,


Rockhounding Scotland – Question for locations to rockhound from Minnesota

Filed under: regular postings — Gary @ 6:21 pm
Hi Gary,
My name is Katie.  I’m a geology student in Minnesota.
My soon to be husband and I are taking our honeymoon is Scotland this summer.
Do you know of any good rockhounding locations in Scotland or England?
Or if not, anyone I can contact or good sites to search?
We would love to spend part of our time searching.
Thank you for your time.
Have a peaceful day!
**Thanks Katie for your question, I hope people that know will post their spots in the “comments”.  Come on readers, help out this young and in-love couple :)   Post locations or specific Scotland websites for Katie to check out.  Or email me at and I will pass it along to her.

ThunderEgg- Rock of the day- Geology, Lapidary, Rockhounding.

Filed under: Mineral of the day,regular postings — Gary @ 4:25 am

thunder_egg thundereggthunderegg_2

A thunderegg is a type of rock similar to a geode but formed in a rhyolitic lava flow and found only in areas of volcanic activity. Thundereggs are rough spheres, most about as big as a baseball. They look uninteresting on the outside, but slicing them in half may reveal highly attractive patterns and colors valuable in jewelry.

Two stories on how they got their name:

1-Incidentally, the word, “thunderegg,” which includes both nodules and geodes, appears to have first been used by the Indians of central Oregon. It is said that they believed that Thunder Spirits living in volcanoes sometimes fought battles in which they hurled thunder, lightning, and stone “eggs” at each other. Perhaps those Indians knew what they were talking about, because parts of Oregon also offer spectacular geodes and nodules!

2-According to native legend, the Thunder Spirits lived at the highest reaches of Mount Hood and Mount Jefferson, and when they became angry at each other, they threw these spherical rocks at each other.

They are the state rock of the American state of Oregon.

Hauser Geode Beds(The Potato Patch)- Thundereggs/Nodules, Jasper, Pastelite, Rhyolite, and Agate

The Hauser Geode Beds

By Delmer G. Ross

Professor of History, La Sierra University

delmer_ross The dull thud of picks, the crunch-swish of shovels, the tink-plink of rock hammers, and the occasional delighted, “I found a nice one!” all help to mark the location of the Hauser Geode Beds on an early spring weekend. Hundreds of holes dug into light-greenish colored volcanic ash under a nearly cloudless blue sky confirm it. Sometimes dozens of rockhounds may be found digging for geodes at this desolate appearing region of northeastern Imperial County, in southern California.
The geode beds are named for Joel F. Hauser, who discovered them with the help of his very observant father in the early 1930s. Twenty-five years earlier, the elder Hauser, George, had been a partner in Hauser & Giddings, a Colorado Desert freight line operating mainly between the Southern Pacific Railroad at Glamis, and the Palo Verde Valley town of Blythe. As he slowly drove heavy, freight-laden wagons across the desert, he followed two basic routes.
The preferred route led through Palo Verde Canyon. It was the shorter, more direct route. It was also subject to flooding and washouts, especially during the usual late summer monsoons.
The alternate route, used mainly when flooding in the canyon closed the canyon road, led from the little community of Palo Verde, near the Colorado River, west to the southern stretch of the Mule Mountains. After crossing over a low pass in the Mules located only a mile or so east of the present-day Coon Hollow Campground, it continued west, through what today is known as Ashley Flats, to another low pass some eight road miles away, near today’s Potato Patch. Then, turning southward for a mile or two, then southeastward, it eventually rejoined the main Blythe-Glamis road.



Finds of the day- Burro Creek Pastelite, Purple Passion Agate & Banded barite

Filed under: Great Finds-specimens,regular postings — Gary December 15, 2006 @ 7:11 pm

Here are some assembled photos of my Burro Creek Pastelite and Purple
Passion Agate:

Burro Creek Pastelite:

Pastelite-with-Agate_burro_creekPastelite-with-Agate_burro_creek dtkasper/ album/5764607623 71076242

Burro Creek Purple Passion Agate (Arizona Blue Agate):

purple_passion_agate_burro_creekpurple_passion_agate_burro_creek dtkasper/ album/5764607623 71076832

Banded Barite:

banded_baritebanded_barite dtkasper/ album/5764607623 71075782

These are rough cut specimens at this point.


I found the Pastelite in the Bentonite, and the Purple Passion Agate
in Limestone. The Bentonite looks like specs of sticky rice covering
the Pastelite nodules, and the hard Limestone coats the agate plates
(and gets into them!). I have two photos of rough of each.

The Pastelite has a lot of variation, with some having intrusions of
agate and yellow jasper that makes those pieces particularly appealing
to me, so some of those photos are included.

I have included banded, brecciated, and solid pastelite photos.

All are rough cut specimen photos, that were wetted to get rid of the
glare from saw marks. In Photoshop I adjusted f-stop or changed the
contrast and brightness to try to match what the camera sees to the
real thing, but never changed the hue, or saturation of any color. To
reduce glare and color fading, the photos were taken on a bright day
in the shade as my camera under automatic mode picks up background
cues to set its f-stop. My camera tends to show purple as blue, or
even as brown. You can see the purple better around the fringes of
some specimen photos.

Stop by and see all of Don’s findings here on his Yahoo Photo page:

Thanks again Don!

Rockhounding Video (s) are coming to Rockhound Blog! FREE :)

Filed under: regular postings — Gary @ 6:55 pm

opal_mine_jeepOur first field reporter with a video camera (Dick) is submitting video on some of his Rockhound trips (his jeep and friends at an opal mine-picture).  Look for the first one in the next week or so.  The first will be on the Roosevelt mine and Bradshaw Trail (limonite cubes and crystals).  Again, thanks everyone for visiting and come back often.  Also to make it easier, you can subscribe to my blog so your email will be updated whenever I post on here.

Thanks, Gary.

**Remember, anyone can submit to rockhoundblog (this blog is as good/interesting as the people that submit to it!  Email me your stories/articles/club events or just a hello to

Rocks migrating, sliding rocks, Rockhounding mystery? Racetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park

Filed under: regular postings — Gary December 13, 2006 @ 4:38 am

Paula sent in this article on “sliding rocks”,  very interesting….thanks Paula!!!


The Racetrack Basin lies within the boundary of Death Valley National Park.


Within the basin lies an almost perfectly flat dry lake, known as the Racetrack Playa.



Meteorite Collecting- “Gold Basin” Meteorites, Mohave County, Northwest Arizona

Filed under: regular postings — Gary @ 4:05 am


No eyewitness recorded the fall of one of Arizona’s official meteorite sites. The unique “Gold Basin” meteorite exploded over more than 130 square kilometer of Mohave County in northwest Arizona at the end of the last Ice Age.

“As far as I know, this is the first ‘fossil’ strewn field found outside of Antarctica,” said David A. Kring, geologist and senior research associate with the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona in Tucson. That the meteorite fragments survived exposure to the elements for 15 millennia says that conditions even during the last of the Ice Age must have been fairly mild, he added. Kring, who directs the Lunar Lab’s Meteorite Recovery Program, did a series of analyzes to classify the meteorite. Classification is requisite for a meteorite to be officially recognized by the Meteorite Nomenclature Committee, the international body of scientists who assess meteorite finds. The Gold Basin meteorite brings the number of officially approved Arizona meteorites to 31.