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New Mexico Collecting - (27)
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Philip Simmons




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PostPosted: Feb 24, 2017 01:36    Post subject: New Mexico Collecting - (27)  

In http://www.mineral-forum.com/message-board/viewtopic.php?p=55860#55860 Philip Simmons wrote:
I am planning on writing and showing photographs for many more New Mexico localities, and this topic should be part of a larger group of stories/photos.

The past few days I and a good collecting buddy, Chris Cowan, went back to collect at the Macy mine for the yellow vanadinites. Chris brought a hammer drill to help open the pocket up more. The drill worked great, although the batteries only lasted a few hours under the heavy work load. We were able to open the pocket to where we could crawl about 1 meter farther back and hit another vanadinite/calcite pocket only ~20 cm below the first pocket that produced the transparent lemon yellow vanadinite. The vanadinite from the second pocket is not quite as lemon yellow or gemmy, but it did produce a few specimens of yellow prismatic crystals with distinctive orange caps.



IMG_2652.JPG
 Locality:
Macy Mine, Percha Creek, Hillsboro, Hillsboro District, Sierra County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
Chris collecting in the calcite/vanadinite pocket.
 Viewed:  7307 Time(s)

IMG_2652.JPG



Macy pocket schematic.jpg
 Locality:
Macy Mine, Percha Creek, Hillsboro, Hillsboro District, Sierra County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
Photo of the location for the 1st and 2nd vanadinite/calcite pockets.
 Viewed:  7305 Time(s)

Macy pocket schematic.jpg



IMG_2646.JPG
 Locality:
Macy Mine, Percha Creek, Hillsboro, Hillsboro District, Sierra County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
Ice pick is pointing to the 2nd pocket. Note the calcite crystals barely visible under the dirt.
 Viewed:  7301 Time(s)

IMG_2646.JPG



Van-Cal_9.0 x 6.2 cm.JPG
 Mineral: Vanadinite (variety arsenatian), Calcite
 Locality:
Macy Mine, Percha Creek, Hillsboro, Hillsboro District, Sierra County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 9.0 x 6.2 cm
 Description:
A nice combination specimen from the 2nd pocket. Crystals are more tabular than prismatic.
 Viewed:  7297 Time(s)

Van-Cal_9.0 x 6.2 cm.JPG



Macy Orange Cap_5.7 x 4.5.jpg
 Mineral: Vanadinite (variety arsenatian), Calcite
 Locality:
Macy Mine, Percha Creek, Hillsboro, Hillsboro District, Sierra County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 5.7 x 4.5 cm, largest crystal is 9 mm
 Description:
The best specimen that came out of the 2nd pocket. These crystals have orange caps, which I think might be an indication of the solid solution series between vanadinite and the arsenic-rich variety. Without having done analytical work on the color zones, I think that the yellow part of the crystal is arsenic-rich and the orange part of the crystal is closer in composition to the end-member vanadinite. I will get a better photo of the specimen when I get my set-up out of storage.
 Viewed:  7305 Time(s)

Macy Orange Cap_5.7 x 4.5.jpg



35_Pristine vanadinite thumbnail 1.JPG
 Mineral: Vanadinite (variety arsenatian)
 Locality:
Macy Mine, Percha Creek, Hillsboro, Hillsboro District, Sierra County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 8 mm
 Description:
A cute thumbnail/micro from the first pocket.
 Viewed:  7308 Time(s)

35_Pristine vanadinite thumbnail 1.JPG


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Philip Simmons




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PostPosted: Feb 24, 2017 14:35    Post subject: Re: Collecting at the Macy mine for the yellow Vanadinites  

Thanks for moving this as a new topic. Can one of the Admin make a New Mexico Collecting thread and include the Macy mine in it? I am planning on writing and showing photographs for many more New Mexico localities, and this topic should be part of a larger group of stories/photos.
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Philip Simmons




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PostPosted: Feb 24, 2017 15:09    Post subject: Re: Collecting at the Macy mine for the yellow Vanadinites  

A few more photos from the first trip I took with my father in June 2016. The vanadinite photo is on my collection page, but it needs to be part of this topic as the specimen is most likely the best vanadinite (variety arsenatian) that has been found from the Macy mine.


2016-09-0095.19 (2).jpg
 Mineral: Vanadinite (variety arsenatian), Calcite
 Locality:
Macy Mine, Percha Creek, Hillsboro, Hillsboro District, Sierra County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 4.7 x 4.1 cm, Largest crystal is 1.1 cm
 Description:
A very fine vanadinite/calcite combination from the first pocket found June 2016.
 Viewed:  7211 Time(s)

2016-09-0095.19 (2).jpg



01_Percha Creek looking towards the Macy mine from the top of the ridge.JPG
 Locality:
Macy Mine, Percha Creek, Hillsboro, Hillsboro District, Sierra County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
Looking south toward Percha Creek and the Macy mine. The mine is a few meters to the right of the red rock in the distance.
 Viewed:  7197 Time(s)

01_Percha Creek looking towards the Macy mine from the top of the ridge.JPG



08_Dad on dumps of Macy mine 2.JPG
 Locality:
Macy Mine, Percha Creek, Hillsboro, Hillsboro District, Sierra County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
My father collecting on the small dumps of the mine, June 2016.
 Viewed:  7194 Time(s)

08_Dad on dumps of Macy mine 2.JPG



1st Pocket location.jpg
 Locality:
Macy Mine, Percha Creek, Hillsboro, Hillsboro District, Sierra County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
The 1st pocket that produced the gemmy, lemon-yellow vanadinites is circled on the photo.
 Viewed:  7197 Time(s)

1st Pocket location.jpg



24_NMBGMR museum plate at camp 2.JPG
 Locality:
Macy Mine, Percha Creek, Hillsboro, Hillsboro District, Sierra County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
We also found many calcite specimens. This large cabinet specimen is now in the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources Mineral Museum in Socorro, New Mexico. If you haven't been there, you need to go at least once. The museum has many fine worldwide specimens and the best collection of New Mexico minerals anywhere.
 Viewed:  7197 Time(s)

24_NMBGMR museum plate at camp 2.JPG



25_Nice cabinet calcite cluster 1.JPG
 Locality:
Macy Mine, Percha Creek, Hillsboro, Hillsboro District, Sierra County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
Another nice calcite specimen that I kept in my collection.
 Viewed:  7204 Time(s)

25_Nice cabinet calcite cluster 1.JPG


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Pete Modreski
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PostPosted: Feb 24, 2017 17:41    Post subject: Re: Collecting at the Macy mine for the yellow Vanadinites  

Thanks for sharing these photos, Philip! Great vanadinites. I've collected there, with Ray DeMark, but, gosh, it's probably been over 35 years ago.
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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: Feb 25, 2017 06:48    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Collecting - (27)  

In http://www.mineral-forum.com/message-board/viewtopic.php?p=55860#55860 Philip Simmons wrote:
Thanks for moving this as a new topic. Can one of the Admin make a New Mexico Collecting thread and include the Macy mine in it? I am planning on writing and showing photographs for many more New Mexico localities, and this topic should be part of a larger group of stories/photos.

All fixed (see: http://www.mineral-forum.com/message-board/viewtopic.php?p=55850#55850 )

Please continue your great histories in this thread and if your histories continues to be so good as the current one we will move this thread to the VIP section Featured Columns of FMF

Jordi
PS: Please remember to assign the locatities (if already created in our data base) when you post because it avoids a lot of work to the administrators. Thank you!
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Philip Simmons




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PostPosted: Feb 25, 2017 14:02    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Collecting - (27)  

Jordi Fabre wrote:
In http://www.mineral-forum.com/message-board/viewtopic.php?p=55860#55860 Philip Simmons wrote:
Thanks for moving this as a new topic. Can one of the Admin make a New Mexico Collecting thread and include the Macy mine in it? I am planning on writing and showing photographs for many more New Mexico localities, and this topic should be part of a larger group of stories/photos.

All fixed (see: http://www.mineral-forum.com/message-board/viewtopic.php?p=55850#55850 )

Please continue your great histories in this thread and if your histories continues to be so good as the current one we will move this thread to the VIP section Featured Columns of FMF

Jordi
PS: Please remember to assign the locatities (if already created in our data base) when you post because it avoids a lot of work to the administrators. Thank you!


Thank you, Jordi! Of course, there are many more good stories/histories to tell! ;)
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Philip Simmons




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PostPosted: Feb 26, 2017 17:00    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Collecting - (27)  

One of New Mexico's most renowned localities is the Mina Tiro Estrella claim located near Ruidoso. In the late 1970's the famous southwestern field collector, Dick Jones, learned about a smoky quartz vein at the foot of the Capitan Mountains and decided to investigate. He dug there for several months and eventually found a series of pockets that produced superb dark smoky quartz Japan-law twins on a quartz/feldspar matrix. These specimens quickly gained notoriety, both good and bad. The good: the specimens Dick collected made a huge impact on the collecting community, and collectors quickly snapped them up when he set up "tables" of the material at the Tucson show. The bad: nobody who has worked the claim since has found even a fraction of the quantity of dark smoky quartz that Dick had, and there are credible reports that he sent them to a University of Arizona lab to be irradiated and turn the quartz a dark smoky color. Once word of the find got out, Dick had many problems with high-grading , and he eventually let the claim lapse. The claim lay mostly dormant for the next several decades, although several people owned the mineral rights during that time.

I had always dreamed of collecting here, but I had never been able with my father when I was growing up. A little over five years ago, I was finally able to track down the exact location of the claim, although I was told by New Mexico collectors that the area was mostly worked out by the previous owners. However, I was determined to collect there since it was a childhood dream. The first trip took me several hours to locate the pit that had been dug by previous workers because everything had been overgrown by plants due to a fire in the early 2000's. Near the end of the day I did manage to find the place, and I immediately located a good spot along the side of the 5 meter by 15 meter pit. Within two hours I had dug several nice twins (up to 3 cm), and I was hooked! I have been working the Mina Tiro Estrella locality ever since, of which I am now a part owner.

Quartz from the claim is generally light-to-medium smoky, and untwinned crystals, to 9 cm, are often the Tessin habit. One unique aspect about the quartz is that a large percentage of crystals form contact Japan-law twins. The twins are highly striated on the prism faces perpendicular to the twinning plane. Twins range in size from less than a centimeter to over 12 cm wide. They also form "heart" or "butterfly" twins, "rabbit-ear" twins and elongated vertical twins where the re-entrant angle is nearly imperceptible. I have even managed to find an extremely rare Reichenstein-Greiserntal twin!



Looking toward MTE claim.jpg
 Locality:
Tiro Estrella Mine, El Capitan Mountains, Capitan District, Lincoln County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
Looking toward the claim from the burned out foot of El Capitan mountains.
 Viewed:  6753 Time(s)

Looking toward MTE claim.jpg



Claim 2012.jpg
 Locality:
Tiro Estrella Mine, El Capitan Mountains, Capitan District, Lincoln County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
The claim as it looked when I was there for the first time in 2012.
 Viewed:  6753 Time(s)

Claim 2012.jpg



Digging on the vein.jpg
 Locality:
Tiro Estrella Mine, El Capitan Mountains, Capitan District, Lincoln County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
My dad and a friend starting to dig the crystal vein, June 2012. This vein is unique to my knowledge in that it is a feldspar/quartz vein that produces Japan-law twinned quartz. Most twinned quartz that I'm aware of comes from contact metasomatic zones or from hydrothermal-type veins.
 Viewed:  6748 Time(s)

Digging on the vein.jpg



Dad's twin.jpg
 Locality:
Tiro Estrella Mine, El Capitan Mountains, Capitan District, Lincoln County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
My dad has found a twin! June 2012.
 Viewed:  6754 Time(s)

Dad's twin.jpg



My first good twin.jpg
 Locality:
Tiro Estrella Mine, El Capitan Mountains, Capitan District, Lincoln County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
My turn to find one!
 Viewed:  6753 Time(s)

My first good twin.jpg



Thumbnail 2012.jpg
 Mineral: Quartz (variety smoky)
 Locality:
Tiro Estrella Mine, El Capitan Mountains, Capitan District, Lincoln County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 3.0 x 2.6 cm
 Description:
Japan law twinned thumbnail. Collected 2012.
 Viewed:  6752 Time(s)

Thumbnail 2012.jpg



Sierra Blanca 2013.jpg
 Locality:
Sierra Blanca, White Mountain Wilderness, Lincoln County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
A view of Sierra Blanca from the base of El Capitan mountains. This is where the superb smoky quartz crystals from the "Smokey Bear Prospect" were found in the 1980's and 1990's.
 Viewed:  6751 Time(s)

Sierra Blanca 2013.jpg



Getting Ready 2013.jpg
 Locality:
Tiro Estrella Mine, El Capitan Mountains, Capitan District, Lincoln County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
Preparing for the 2.3 mile hike to the claim. With Tim Dorris, 2013
 Viewed:  6753 Time(s)

Getting Ready 2013.jpg



Tim and twins 2013.jpg
 Locality:
Tiro Estrella Mine, El Capitan Mountains, Capitan District, Lincoln County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
Tim has found two nice twins after a couple hours of digging. 2013
 Viewed:  6755 Time(s)

Tim and twins 2013.jpg



Twin exposed 2013.jpg
 Locality:
Tiro Estrella Mine, El Capitan Mountains, Capitan District, Lincoln County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
Tim has exposed a nice twin, possibly on matrix. 2013
 Viewed:  6751 Time(s)

Twin exposed 2013.jpg



Twin extracted 2013.jpg
 Locality:
Tiro Estrella Mine, El Capitan Mountains, Capitan District, Lincoln County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
The twin has been extracted. It is in great condition, but unfortunately the matrix disintegrated just after being collected. This is the hardest problem with collecting at Mina Tiro Estrella. Twins are plentiful, but finding them in good condition on matrix is very uncommon. 2013
 Viewed:  6751 Time(s)

Twin extracted 2013.jpg


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Philip Simmons




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PostPosted: Feb 26, 2017 17:12    Post subject: Re: Collecting at the Macy mine for the yellow Vanadinites  

Pete Modreski wrote:
Thanks for sharing these photos, Philip! Great vanadinites. I've collected there, with Ray DeMark, but, gosh, it's probably been over 35 years ago.


Thanks, Pete! Ray was the one who first told me about the area where the vanadinite/calcite combos are found.
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Glen Miller




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PostPosted: Feb 26, 2017 17:21    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Collecting - (27)  

Phil,
Thank you for your report along with the excellent photos. It's a treat to actually see the fabled quartz locality and extracted treasures. Your picture of Sierra Blanca reminds me of the times I've looked from there toward the El Capitan site, wondering what ever happened to it. Friends have tried finding the location without success, so I wish you continued success in collecting.

Glen Miller
Redding, CA
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Philip Simmons




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PostPosted: Feb 26, 2017 18:29    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Collecting - (27)  

Here are a few more photos from Mina Tiro Estrella. This brings everything up to date for the claim. I will post more photos as I continue to dig for twinned smoky quartz!


Camp 2013.jpg
 Locality:
Tiro Estrella Mine, El Capitan Mountains, Capitan District, Lincoln County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
Our camp for three nights, 2013.
 Viewed:  6703 Time(s)

Camp 2013.jpg



Big twin 2013.jpg
 Locality:
Tiro Estrella Mine, El Capitan Mountains, Capitan District, Lincoln County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
We found a large one! We were able to extract the twin on matrix, but because the matrix consisted of so much clay, we weren't able to keep the twin attached. 2013
 Viewed:  6702 Time(s)

Big twin 2013.jpg



Twin in pocket 2015.jpg
 Locality:
Tiro Estrella Mine, El Capitan Mountains, Capitan District, Lincoln County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
Another nice twin in a pocket. Note that the twin is almost as big as the entire pocket. As usual, there was no matrix attached. 2015
 Viewed:  6702 Time(s)

Twin in pocket 2015.jpg



Diggings 2015.jpg
 Locality:
Tiro Estrella Mine, El Capitan Mountains, Capitan District, Lincoln County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
Shade for a sunny day in July, 2015. At this point I had dug a trench about 5 meters long by 1.3 meters wide by 2.7 meters deep.
 Viewed:  6706 Time(s)

Diggings 2015.jpg



Twin in situ 2015.jpg
 Locality:
Tiro Estrella Mine, El Capitan Mountains, Capitan District, Lincoln County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
An unusual pocket in that only a few quartz crystals were found. Not the large twin above my hand. 2015
 Viewed:  6702 Time(s)

Twin in situ 2015.jpg



Tessin habit twin 2015.jpg
 Locality:
Tiro Estrella Mine, El Capitan Mountains, Capitan District, Lincoln County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
The twin from the previous photo. Note that one "wing" of the twin is a Tessin habit crystal, and is darker smoky. I personally don't know of another specimen like this. Has anyone else seen a Tessin Japan-law twin before?
 Viewed:  6702 Time(s)

Tessin habit twin 2015.jpg



Tessin twin 2015.jpg
 Mineral: Quartz (variety smoky)
 Locality:
Tiro Estrella Mine, El Capitan Mountains, Capitan District, Lincoln County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 9.3 cm
 Description:
Here is a photo of the Tessin Japan-law twin cleaned up.
 Viewed:  6703 Time(s)

Tessin twin 2015.jpg



Big pocket 2015.jpg
 Locality:
Tiro Estrella Mine, El Capitan Mountains, Capitan District, Lincoln County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
A huge pocket (left of hammer) with a good story, 2015
 Viewed:  6708 Time(s)

Big pocket 2015.jpg



Best twin just from pocket.jpg
 Mineral: Quartz (variety smoky)
 Locality:
Tiro Estrella Mine, El Capitan Mountains, Capitan District, Lincoln County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 7.5 cm twin on matrix
 Description:
The best twin on matrix just recovered from the pocket. 2015
 Viewed:  6698 Time(s)

Best twin just from pocket.jpg



Best twin cleaned.jpg
 Mineral: Quartz (variety smoky)
 Locality:
Tiro Estrella Mine, El Capitan Mountains, Capitan District, Lincoln County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 7.5 cm twin on matrix
 Description:
The best twin cleaned before being repaired to the matrix.
 Viewed:  6705 Time(s)

Best twin cleaned.jpg



2016-09-0094a (2).jpg
 Mineral: Quartz (variety smoky)
 Locality:
Tiro Estrella Mine, El Capitan Mountains, Capitan District, Lincoln County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 7.5 cm twin on matrix
 Description:
The twin after cleaning and repair. Jeff Scovil photo.
 Viewed:  6700 Time(s)

2016-09-0094a (2).jpg



Good collecting 2016.jpg
 Locality:
Tiro Estrella Mine, El Capitan Mountains, Capitan District, Lincoln County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
And finally, a picture from last year of a very good collecting day. I hit a pocket near the surface that produced close to 30 twins of decent-to-excellent quality.
 Viewed:  6704 Time(s)

Good collecting 2016.jpg


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Philip Simmons




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PostPosted: Feb 26, 2017 19:06    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Collecting - (27)  

I forgot to include this little story for the "Best twin just from pocket" photo.


My best find of the entire time I've been digging on the claim has a good story. I had been digging for two days and had found a few good specimens (see Tessin Japan-law twin). As I dug deeper in the vein, I opened up a huge pocket for the locality. It was 25 cm across by 70 cm deep and had nothing in it! This is very unusual because most pockets have many, if not hundreds of, small quartz crystals in them. I only found one partial twin in the entire pocket. After two frustrating hours of digging nothing but pocket clay, I eventually hit a piece of quartz in the very bottom of the pocket with my digging tool. I didn't pay much attention to it until the next bit of clay removed revealed a large crystal. I excitedly uncovered the rest of the crystal and then the other half of the twin! As I pulled the twin from the clay I noticed an indentation in the ceiling of the pocket that looked like matrix. Sure enough, I extracted the matrix and matched the rock to the twin. The resulting specimen is the best twin I have found on the claim and one of the best twins to have ever been found there!
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Glen Miller




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PostPosted: Feb 26, 2017 19:47    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Collecting - (27)  

Philip, although the ground may be wet, have you tried to stabilize the clay "matrix" with thin Star Bond like the paleios do for their bones? Might result in more specimens on "matrix."
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Philip Simmons




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PostPosted: Feb 26, 2017 19:58    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Collecting - (27)  

Glen Miller wrote:
Philip, although the ground may be wet, have you tried to stabilize the clay "matrix" with thin Star Bond like the paleios do for their bones? Might result in more specimens on "matrix."


Glen, I have done this with a couple of specimens that I wanted to take out the whole small pocket. It is useful in recovering much of the crumbling host rock. I really don't consider these on matrix, though.
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PostPosted: Feb 27, 2017 03:09    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Collecting - (27)  

Wow Philip, how blessed you are to have a dad that digs with you. Mine died many years ago. Field trips are so exciting, especially when one sees where the specimens on the shelves originated from from. Thank you for sharing your exciting adventures with us.
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Kelvin Hu




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PostPosted: Feb 27, 2017 04:37    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Collecting - (27)  

So good article to read through! Waiting for your next update!
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Philip Simmons




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PostPosted: Apr 23, 2017 16:18    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Collecting - (27)  

Hi all,

Sorry for the long wait between postings. I have been out field collecting almost non-stop for the past 6-8 weeks as it is prime season for outdoor activities. I will post some of our recent findings soon as I get the minerals cleaned and prepped. For now I want to present the Cookes Peak District, which has produced many great fluorites along with other interesting minerals.

The Cookes Peak and Jose Districts were first discovered in 1876, and production started in 1880. The first target was argentiferous galena, followed by oxidized lead and zinc ores. Final production was focused on the primary lead and zinc sulfides. The mines ran intermittently through 1953. The ore bodies are classified as manto-replacement type, and were usually on the order of less than 1,000 tons per zone. Overall production of the District was relatively small: 7.7 million tons of lead, 5.8 million tons of zinc and >6,000 ounces of silver. However, it's mostly the gangue minerals (fluorite, vanadinite, sidwillite, calcite, quartz) that are of interest to collectors.



Cookes Peak Overview.jpg
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
A map of New Mexico with Cookes Peak labeled.
 Viewed:  5459 Time(s)

Cookes Peak Overview.jpg



Cookes Peak Map.jpg
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
Topographic map of the Cookes Peak and Jose sub-districts.
 Viewed:  5452 Time(s)

Cookes Peak Map.jpg



Cookes Peak GEarth.jpg
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
Google Earth (2015) image of the Cookes Peak area, looking South.
 Viewed:  5457 Time(s)

Cookes Peak GEarth.jpg



Cookes Peak from North with Ray.jpg
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
Looking at Cookes Peak to the South, with Ray DeMark on a mine dump that produced fluorite.
 Viewed:  5459 Time(s)

Cookes Peak from North with Ray.jpg



The Crew 2015.jpg
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
Another picture of Cookes Peak with the Surprise
 Viewed:  5453 Time(s)

The Crew 2015.jpg



IMG_0868.JPG
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
Crawling into the adit of the Surprise #1 mine (Mike Sanders photo). This is the mine where many of the superb fluorites have been found.
 Viewed:  5458 Time(s)

IMG_0868.JPG



Fred in Pocket.jpg
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
Fred Ortega working in fluorite pocket. He found some nice purple and green octahedrons perched on blue-gray cubes.
 Viewed:  5452 Time(s)

Fred in Pocket.jpg



IMG_0811.JPG
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
Fred with a nice fluorite octahedron on cubes.
 Viewed:  5457 Time(s)

IMG_0811.JPG



IMG_0809.JPG
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
The fluorite pocket in situ. FOV = 1 meter
 Viewed:  5449 Time(s)

IMG_0809.JPG



IMG_0865.JPG
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
Mike Sanders wrapping specimens as Chris Cowan hands them out. The second day collecting (April 10, 2014), we found a large pocket that took two full weeks to dig. The pocket produced 80 flats of material that consisted of medium-to-dark purple octahedrons with bright green cores sitting on plates of blue-gray cubic fluorite. The color contrast on many of the specimens was outstanding. I will upload many specimens to show the variety of specimens produced from this one pocket.
 Viewed:  5456 Time(s)

IMG_0865.JPG



CP Pocket Layout.jpg
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
My sketch of the large pocket we hit. The areas hatched in purple are the first 10 day dig, and the areas hatched in green are the second 4 day dig. The first dig produced many dark purple octahedrons on cubes, while the second dig produced bright green etched octahedrons on cubes.
 Viewed:  5458 Time(s)

CP Pocket Layout.jpg



IMG_0869.JPG
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
Chris Cowan in the pocket. He is lying down in the whole length of the pocket that we have already dug out.
 Viewed:  5456 Time(s)

IMG_0869.JPG


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Philip Simmons




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PostPosted: Apr 23, 2017 17:10    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Collecting - (27)  

Some more photos from the Cookes Peak District.


IMG_0848.JPG
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
A 60 cm view into the "chamber" that Chris was looking into for the last photo. Note the purple, green and blue fluorite covering every wall of the pocket.
 Viewed:  5426 Time(s)

IMG_0848.JPG



IMG_0847.JPG
 Mineral: Fluorite
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
A closer view of a 20 cm fluorite knob in the pocket chamber. The pocket eventually opened up to a chamber that measured 1.5 x 1 x 1 meters in dimension. This is where many of the best specimens came out, including the "Camel", which I will show in the following pictures.
 Viewed:  5427 Time(s)

IMG_0847.JPG



IMG_0822.JPG
 Mineral: Fluorite
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: ~36 cm
 Description:
The "Camel". Mike holding the superb fluorite that looks like a kneeling camel, just collected from the pocket. I had been collecting in another area for a few minutes and came back to Mike and Chris shouting loud enough to wake the dead. The octahedrons reach over 5 cm, and the specimen has a good mix of all three colors. In my opinion, this is one of the finest fluorites to ever come from New Mexico.
 Viewed:  5427 Time(s)

IMG_0822.JPG



IMG_0824.JPG
 Mineral: Fluorite
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
A closer view of the "Camel" fluorite.
 Viewed:  5436 Time(s)

IMG_0824.JPG



IMG_0890.JPG
 Mineral: Fluorite
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
The "Camel" unwrapped and ready for cleaning. One of these days I will try to get a good photo of the specimen after cleaning. The specimen was bought and donated to the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources Mineral Museum in Socorro. They have the largest and best collection of New Mexico specimens in existence, as well as many other fine world-wide specimens.
 Viewed:  5417 Time(s)

IMG_0890.JPG



IMG_0862.JPG
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
Mike Sanders looking from the large chamber of the pocket. His head is where the "Camel" was found lying loose on the pocket floor.
 Viewed:  5417 Time(s)

IMG_0862.JPG



IMG_0842.JPG
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
Enjoying a perfect evening after a hard day of collecting. From left to right: Mike Sanders, Chris Cowan, Fred Ortega.
 Viewed:  5428 Time(s)

IMG_0842.JPG



IMG_0815.JPG
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
Unwrapping specimens from the day's finds.
 Viewed:  5420 Time(s)

IMG_0815.JPG



1969 Fluorite.jpg
 Mineral: Fluorite
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 6.0 cm
 Description:
Octahedron on cubes from an older find in 1969.
 Viewed:  5420 Time(s)

1969 Fluorite.jpg



1980 Fluorite.jpg
 Mineral: Fluorite
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 10.4 cm
 Description:
Dark purple octahedrons found by Chris Cowan in 1980.
 Viewed:  5417 Time(s)

1980 Fluorite.jpg



DSCN1623 (2).JPG
 Mineral: Fluorite
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 6.1 cm
 Description:
Magenta and dark purple octahedrons on blue-gray cubes. This specimen is from the 2014 pocket. Mike Sanders/Phil Simmons photo.
 Viewed:  5422 Time(s)

DSCN1623 (2).JPG



DSCN1628 (2).JPG
 Mineral: Fluorite
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 4.2 cm
 Description:
Etched green and purple octahedron on first-generations cubes. Mike Sanders/Phil Simmons photo.
 Viewed:  5421 Time(s)

DSCN1628 (2).JPG



DSCN1642 (2).JPG
 Mineral: Fluorite
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 10.1 cm
 Description:
Dark purple octahedrons. Largest crystal is 5.5 cm on edge. Mike Sanders/Phil Simmons photo.
 Viewed:  5418 Time(s)

DSCN1642 (2).JPG


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Philip Simmons




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PostPosted: Apr 23, 2017 17:40    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Collecting - (27)  

We worked the pocket for 10 days and had dug all the fluorite in sight. Everybody was ready to go home and recover after spending so much time in the dingy, dirty mine. A few days later I called Chris, Mike and Fred to see if they wanted to dig in the pocket area a little bit more. Both thought there was still some potential to find good specimens, but Mike and Fred had other commitments, so it was just Chris and I collecting this time.

We dug in a promising area that had produced some highly etched green fragments of fluorite, and within a couple hours we opened up another chamber to the large pocket. Interestingly enough, this part of the pocket was under muck in the old drift the miners had driven well over a hundred years ago. This time the pocket produced vibrant ("jolly-rancher") green etched octahedrons sitting on 1st generation etched blue cubes. This 4 day trip produced many more specimens, including a large plate of green and purple fluorite, known as the "Jolly Green Giant". This specimen also now resides in the NMBGMR Mineral Museum collection.



Pocket schematic 2.jpg
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
Another sketch of the big pocket. The locations for both the "Camel" and "Jolly Green Giant" are labeled.
 Viewed:  5411 Time(s)

Pocket schematic 2.jpg



IMG_0996.JPG
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
Chris with a sweet specimen of green fluorite just collected.
 Viewed:  5414 Time(s)

IMG_0996.JPG



IMG_0995.JPG
 Mineral: Fluorite
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: ~13 cm
 Description:
A closer view of specimen 0996.
 Viewed:  5402 Time(s)

IMG_0995.JPG



IMG_1002.JPG
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
A nice specimen under loose muck. Crystals are at bottom center of photo.
 Viewed:  5411 Time(s)

IMG_1002.JPG



The Trip's Haul.jpg
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Description:
The finds from trip 2 (2014).
 Viewed:  5410 Time(s)

The Trip's Haul.jpg



DSCN1615 (2).JPG
 Mineral: Fluorite
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 9.6 cm
 Description:
Etched fluorite on fluorite. 2nd trip. Mike Sanders/Phil Simmons photo.
 Viewed:  5412 Time(s)

DSCN1615 (2).JPG



DSCN1620 (2).JPG
 Mineral: Fluorite
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 9.0 cm
 Description:
Etched fluorite on fluorite. 2nd trip. Mike Sanders/Phil Simmons photo.
 Viewed:  5413 Time(s)

DSCN1620 (2).JPG



DSCN1638 (2).JPG
 Mineral: Fluorite
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 15.5 cm
 Description:
Not as etched fluorite on fluorite. 2nd trip. Mike Sanders/Phil Simmons photo.
 Viewed:  5413 Time(s)

DSCN1638 (2).JPG



DSCN1632 (2).JPG
 Mineral: Fluorite, Goethite
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 4.9 cm
 Description:
Goethite overgrowth on fluorite. Mike Sanders/Phil Simmons photo.
 Viewed:  5410 Time(s)

DSCN1632 (2).JPG


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PostPosted: Apr 23, 2017 17:57    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Collecting - (27)  

The Cookes Peak District also produces some other great specimens besides the fluorites form the Surprise #1 workings. I've put together a nice representation of the not so well known specimens from this area.


CP Botryoidal Fluorite.jpg
 Mineral: Fluorite
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 6.0 cm
 Description:
Purple botryoidal fluorite over green fluorite octahedrons. Collected and in collection of Ray DeMark. Mike Sanders photo.
 Viewed:  5408 Time(s)

CP Botryoidal Fluorite.jpg


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PostPosted: Apr 23, 2017 18:13    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Collecting - (27)  

More Cookes Peak area minerals.


CP Rounded Fluorite.jpg
 Mineral: Fluorite
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 8.0 cm
 Description:
Collected and in collection of Ray DeMark. Mike Sanders photo.
 Viewed:  5397 Time(s)

CP Rounded Fluorite.jpg



CP Smithsonite.jpg
 Mineral: Smithsonite
 Locality:
Othello group of mines, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 7.0 cm
 Description:
Pale blue-green smithsonite from the Othello group of mines at Cookes Peak. Collected by and in the collection of Ray DeMark. Mike Sanders photo.
 Viewed:  5403 Time(s)

CP Smithsonite.jpg



CP Smithsonite 2.jpg
 Mineral: Smithsonite
 Locality:
Othello group of mines, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 6.0 cm
 Description:
Yellow smithsonite from the Othello mine group. Ray DeMark collection. Mike Sanders photo.
 Viewed:  5400 Time(s)

CP Smithsonite 2.jpg



Jose Cerussite.jpg
 Mineral: Cerussite
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 1 cm crystal
 Description:
Twinned cerussite from the Jose? sub-district. Ray DeMark collection. Mike Sanders photo.
 Viewed:  5406 Time(s)

Jose Cerussite.jpg



Jose Vanadinite-Descl.jpg
 Mineral: Vanadinite, Descloizite
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Jose sub-district, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 6.0 cm
 Description:
From the Jose sub-district. Collected by and in the collection of Ray DeMark. Mike Sanders photo.
 Viewed:  5395 Time(s)

Jose Vanadinite-Descl.jpg



Jose Epimorphs 1.jpg
 Mineral: Quartz, Calcite
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Jose sub-district, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 9.0 cm
 Description:
Quartz epimorphs after calcite. From the Jose sub-district. Collected by and in the collection of Mike Sanders. Mike Sanders photo.
 Viewed:  5413 Time(s)

Jose Epimorphs 1.jpg



Jose Epimorphs 2.jpg
 Mineral: Quartz, Calcite
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Jose sub-district, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 6.0 cm
 Description:
Quartz epimorphs after calcite. From the Jose sub-district. Collected by and in the collection of Ray DeMark. Mike Sanders photo.
 Viewed:  5402 Time(s)

Jose Epimorphs 2.jpg



Jose Epimorphs 3.jpg
 Mineral: Quartz, Calcite
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Jose sub-district, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 5.5 cm
 Description:
Quartz epimorphs after twinned calcite. From the Jose sub-district. Ray DeMark collection. Mike Sanders photo.
 Viewed:  5398 Time(s)

Jose Epimorphs 3.jpg



Jose Epimorphs 4.jpg
 Mineral: Quartz, Calcite
 Locality:
Cookes Peak area, Jose sub-district, Cookes Peak District, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
 Dimensions: 10 cm
 Description:
Quartz epimorphs after twinned calcite. From the Jose sub-district. Terry Huizing collection and photo.
 Viewed:  5403 Time(s)

Jose Epimorphs 4.jpg


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