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page 31 of the online mineral museum: diamond hill, south carolina smoky quartz and amethyst giant

2011-12-04 - 9:28 a.m.

Peachfront's Note: If you are checking to see my photos from my recent whirlwind tour of London, Paris, and Vancouver, don't worry. I'll have them up in a couple of days or so.

all photos � 2011 by elaine radford

It's time for another trip to the online mineral museum. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of a visit from a couple from Baton Rouge, who were on the hunt for equipment and cutting rough. We traded the extra 10 inch rock saw that the Craigslist flakes keep no-showing about and several buckets of cutting rough. So no money changes hands, and we're both happy.

This collector picked up this fine specimen of Diamond Hill, South Carolina Smoky/Amethyst Quartz cluster as part of a club field trip where the land-owner chips in the land and the field trip goers chip in for a backhoe. A most impressive find, wouldn't you agree?

It is a peculiarity of this cluster that if you look at it from different directions, you can see a distinct purple (natural Amethyst) color and if you look from other directions, you see the Smoky. I don't know anything about the geology of Diamond Hill, but I'll assume it must have an active history. I think the Amethyst comes from heat, while the Smoky must come from natural irradiation. How old is this stone? Volcanoes in South Carolina? I will have to do some research when I get the chance, since this cluster is directly from the earth and cleaned, but not in any way heat or radiation treated, by the collector.

I found pride of place for the cluster on my hearth, flanking the fireplace. For balance, I found a large Hot Springs Arkansas Quartz crystal in the garden, cleaned it up, and put it on the other side of the fireplace. Which reminds me...I still have to photography my Quartz collection for the online mineral museum. It's getting large. Maybe not British Museum large, but I will confess I'm intimidated at the size of the photography project required. Not to brag and boast, but I've got a great many exquisite Quartz specimens and crystals. Stay tuned.

Some detail on the Diamond Hill Cluster -- if you think you see hints of purple, that isn't an artifact of the photography, the purple is actually there in real life and quite eye-catching depending on light and angle of view:

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