Page 7, North America
Most of the North American minerals I am initially offering are self collected, with the exception of some Elmwood material. Some pieces are from localities that are virtually unknown and some have material that is rarely seen on the market. In particular, I have a fairly large stock of cavansite from the type locality near the Owyhee Reservoir in Oregon, calcite with an unusual crystal form, also from near Owyhee Reservoir, a few pieces of smoky quartz from central Idaho, alunite from Utah, and a variety of miscellaneous pieces.
Cavansite, near Owyhee Reservoir, Oregon. Type locality.
Prior to the discovery of cavansite in India, this was the only locality for cavansite. This location is no longer open to collecting since it is within a state park. The cavansite occurs in very thin seams in basalt. In some areas there are small open pockets, generally where the veinlets curve slightly. In the late 80's, working with a mineral club from the Portland area, the Bureau of Reclamation blasted on the outcrop and provided a one-time collecting opportunity. I managed to get a fairly large quantity of the rock containing seams and spent many hours using a rock splitter to carefully break them open. Though most of the seams were tight, there were some pocket areas that were very nice, and a larger quantity of fairly low grade specimens.
Calcite, "Prismatic prospect"
There are several calcite prospects throughout the Owyhees. Some were looked at for possible use as optical calcite during WWII, primarily for bombsights, though to the best of my knowledge there was never any commercial production. This particular set of veins, near the southern end of the reservoir on the western side, has crystals with an unusual prismatic habit, i.e., six sided prisms with a flat top, looking somewhat like a beryl. Some are flatter, more like the "poker chip" calcites found at some localities. Since these have all come from near the surface, most are moderately etched/weathered, though a few pieces were in protected pockets and are cleaner. I haven't been to this locality in numerous years, but hope to get back and dig deeper, hopefully getting into cleaner material. I gave one of the better specimens to Gardner Miller, a collector that specialized in calcite, who I had known from my graduate school days in Missoula. That piece subsequently sold at auction for about $80, 10 years or so ago, after Gardner's death. I will be posting some of these for sale soon at very reasonable prices.
Alunite, Blawn Mtn, Utah
Rocks, Minerals, Collectibles, Geology
Cavansite, Oregon, Not for sale.
This past winter (2013) I was on a project drilling for alunite near Milford, Utah and was able to collect some nice alunite specimens.
Though individual crystals are small, some of them cover relatively large surfaces and make nice specimens. I still need to trim some
of these up and clean them and hope to post them for sale fairly soon, depending on how busy I am with other geology jobs in the next
few months. Some of the rock is abbreviated and alunite fills open spaces within the breccia. Alunite forms relatively
close to the surface as acidic, sulfur rich solutions alter the pre-existing rock. These specimens formed in the silica cap,
which is very hard. One afternoon I was using my small sledge to break off a piece from a small boulder and a chip went flying
and broke a window in my truck which was parked about 25 feet away. A good reminder to wear your safety glasses! I have
not been able to find anything like this for sale on the internet. I have some fairly large pieces available, contact me if interested.
Small pocket of alunite crystals. The pocket is approximately 3 cm long with the individual crystal blades from 3 to 4
Large piece of alunite breccia. You can see there is a fair amount of open space lined with alunite. Field of view is
approximately 10 inches (25 cm) across. This piece has been broken up.
CR 1897, Cavansite, Owyhee Reservoir, Oregon,thumbnail, $30
CR 1898, Cavansite, Owyhee Reservoir, Oregon,thumbnail, $40
Sheephorn Calcite, Malheur County, OR
In June 2014 I finally made it out to the Sheephorn Calcite near Owyhee Reservoir in Malheur County Oregon. This and other veins
in the area were prospected for optical calcite during WWII. The road in there is very rough with lots of large rocks though
it is only a short hike to the vein from where the road ends. Unfortunately, we did not find nice terminated crystals but did
find dig large pieces of calcite out of the vein with some nice cleavage rhombs or partial rhombs. Mindat shows a nice picture
of a piece of calcite reportedly from the Sheephorn vein, but based on the description of where it was found I suspect it may actually
be from the nearby Calcite King vein.