Most crystal-digging people know Super Iron Out as a great solution for taking iron oxide staining off of crystals. I typically use SIO as my first cleaning bath for most of my crystals and jump into the acids later if the stains are stubborn. This winter I was cleaning a small micro-quartz cluster in the (cold) garage and was amazed to find my cluster gained another crystal during cleaning.
Micro-quartz cluster without the SIO crystal
I must have saturated the small amout of cleaning bath and when the temperature lowered the SIO crystal began to form! The next day it turned from clear to super brittle white; and was falling all over, so I put it back in solution and cleaned more crystals with it!
Super Iron out is typically used to clean crystals, but this time I grew a cool crystal!
Another angle showing the really interesting growth patterns. I have a UV LED lamp shining on it to give some contrast.
Spent the weekend with my folks at Red Feather Lakes and had a wonderful time. It was too windy to fish, although the lakes/ponds were recently stocked with 12-18″ golden trout I hear; but instead dad and I took a walk to a previous spot we had found and dug in a small quartz vein.
Dad started off the day prospecting a little and came up with a nice set of binoculars that someone had dropped a ways off of the trail. I’d say he got the best crystals of the day! LOL!
The vein we worked had graphic quartz with more course larger quartz chunks away from the seam. I am new to this type of digging, I’m used to digging in pegmatite so I was digging around testing out the whole area. The whole area was filled with sticky red clay making it slow going.
Right away we found the seam that we ran into last time and the largest crystal was one of the first we pulled out. Gave us false hope for others that size; but kept us digging for nearly 4 hours. The clay made finding crystals a little more difficult than normal as you had to work each rock that came out. The seam appeared to pinch out on each side of our two foot hole; but I suspect there was more in the area.
The crystals are white/drusy quartz and some started to get clear, but nothing to get over-excited about from a specimen perspective, but we did find many single euhedral crystals and several smaller plates. No amethyst that the area is world famous for unfortunately; but we’ll continue to prospect the area and maybe someday hit some purple crystals.
Over all, an outstanding day digging with my dad, looking forward to the next time!
Nice cluster, many will need to be repaired. Obviously uncleaned.
A small cluster of white quartz
The pay out from today’s 3+ hour dig. Uncleaned.
The pay out from today’s 3+ hour dig. Uncleaned. Arranged by Daphne!