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Is this topaz? please identify
  
  Index -> FOR BEGINNERS: What is it? Where is it from?
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Alex D.




Joined: 17 Aug 2017
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PostPosted: Aug 19, 2017 21:33    Post subject: Is this topaz? please identify  

We went to a famous topaz mountain near Otsu (Japan). Here we found some landslides where we started to search. The rocks contain some iron, and there are obviously some veins with a milky white crystal inside. between the rocks was a yellow colored dirt, that washed down with the rain. In this dirt was a LOT of 5mm crystals. The strange thing was you could easily break the clumbs of dirt with your hands, but also the crystals. anyway, I brought some of them home, but also some other species.

I'm a beginner in this, and have a little clue what it is, but I'm not sure. So if possible can somebody help me identify these stones.

my wife is mostly interested in the big yellow one.



Foto 19-08-17 16 17 47 (Medium).jpg
 Mineral: Topaz?
 Locality:
Tanakami-yama (Tanokami-yama), Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, Kinki Region, Honshu Island, Japan
 Dimensions: 2 cm
 Description:
in the rock you can see a lot of these veins. the crystals can easily break out of the dirt
 Viewed:  1229 Time(s)

Foto 19-08-17 16 17 47 (Medium).jpg



Foto 20-08-17 00 50 00 (Medium).jpg
 Mineral: Topaz?
 Locality:
Tanakami-yama (Tanokami-yama), Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, Kinki Region, Honshu Island, Japan
 Dimensions: multiple
 Description:
overview of some crystals. left to right by number
1: 2 cm smoke white glass like stone, no visible cleavage, hardness over 7 (tested on quartz)
2: small stone containing several 5 mm crystals, same kind as number 1
3: white stone containing quartz,
4: yellow-orange stone, 1,5 cm, no clear cleavage, light shines trough, but not clear view. is this topaz. harder than quartz so no calcite
5: 5 mm red colored stone, half opaque, seems it is combination of several very small crystals. looks like red quartz (if it exists)
 Viewed:  1232 Time(s)

Foto 20-08-17 00 50 00 (Medium).jpg



Foto 20-08-17 00 52 39 (Medium).jpg
 Mineral: Topaz?
 Locality:
Tanakami-yama (Tanokami-yama), Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, Kinki Region, Honshu Island, Japan
 Dimensions: 1 cm
 Description:
stone containing several small crystals, all like previous one. mountain contains a LOT of these.
 Viewed:  1232 Time(s)

Foto 20-08-17 00 52 39 (Medium).jpg



Foto 20-08-17 00 53 05 (Medium).jpg
 Mineral: Quartz?
 Locality:
Tanakami-yama (Tanokami-yama), Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, Kinki Region, Honshu Island, Japan
 Dimensions: 1.5cm
 Description:
quartz crystal? containing several small crystals in 1 direction, half opaque, smoke color.
 Viewed:  1230 Time(s)

Foto 20-08-17 00 53 05 (Medium).jpg



Foto 20-08-17 00 53 42 (Medium).jpg
 Mineral: Topaz?
 Locality:
Tanakami-yama (Tanokami-yama), Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, Kinki Region, Honshu Island, Japan
 Dimensions: 1.5 cm
 Description:
most interesting one: no visible cleavage, yellow orange color, cannot see through but light shines through. harder than quartz. is this a topaz? or just flint?
 Viewed:  1234 Time(s)

Foto 20-08-17 00 53 42 (Medium).jpg



Foto 20-08-17 00 54 04 (Medium).jpg
 Mineral: Garnet?
 Locality:
Tanakami-yama (Tanokami-yama), Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, Kinki Region, Honshu Island, Japan
 Dimensions: 4 mm
 Description:
small red colored stone, looks lke small topaz, but red color. stone contains several small stones of 1-2 mm growing in all directions. no obvioius cleavage. softer than yellow stone (scratch)
 Viewed:  1230 Time(s)

Foto 20-08-17 00 54 04 (Medium).jpg



Foto 20-08-17 00 52 48 (Medium).jpg
 Mineral: Topaz?
 Locality:
Tanakami-yama (Tanokami-yama), Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, Kinki Region, Honshu Island, Japan
 Dimensions: 2x2 cm
 Description:
white color, smoke dark inside, light shines through. no visible cleavage, harder than quartz,
is this topaz?
 Viewed:  1235 Time(s)

Foto 20-08-17 00 52 48 (Medium).jpg


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Volkmar Stingl




Joined: 23 Sep 2012
Posts: 78
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PostPosted: Aug 19, 2017 23:39    Post subject: Re: is this topaz? please identify  

All I can see is quartz with different colors. How did you test the hardness?
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lluis




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PostPosted: Aug 20, 2017 01:54    Post subject: Re: is this topaz? please identify  

I see same as Volkmar.

Besides, if not a perfect cleavage parallel to basis, by sure not topaz.
https://www.mindat.org/min-3996.html

With best wishes

Lluís
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Alex D.




Joined: 17 Aug 2017
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PostPosted: Aug 20, 2017 06:35    Post subject: Re: is this topaz? please identify  

thanks for the comment volkmar and Iluis.

I'm a beginner, so I will ask more questions now and then like this.
I tested hardness with scratching quartz on it. the quartz in my hand broke, and the yellow stone was unscratched. but if both are quartz, it's hard to identify this way.

soon I go back to topaz mountain. Any hints how to find topaz? I know I have to look for pockets, but I wonder how to find the pockets? sometimes I see dirt and mud in the rock. These are pockets filled with mud?
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vic rzonca




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PostPosted: Aug 20, 2017 08:10    Post subject: Re: is this topaz? please identify  

Alex, welcome and salutations. You are taking the first steps into the affliction of field collecting, an avocation that causes you to learn as much as you can, travel as far as you can and carry out more than you should. Then asking yourself, after careful inspection of your finds,"Why did I do that?". A technique I've found useful when exploring a new location is to dig around the base of any exposed ledge to see what has eroded out and fallen close to the formation. Finding and following "float", as it's called, can inform you quickly as to what may be available as specimens. Also being able to identify actual crystal forms and faces is important so as not to be fooled by fracture surfaces or cleavages. Find yourself a good mineral identification book, like the Petersen Field Guide to Minerals (my first) or other mineral identification references. If you can find a copy of John Sinkankas's Field Collecting Gemstones and Minerals, it is a clear and definitive guide for your adventure into crystal hunting and pocket recognition. Pockets are often filled with mud, soil and any form of detritus, so careful probing should be encouraged.
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chris
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PostPosted: Aug 20, 2017 11:49    Post subject: Re: is this topaz? please identify  

Alex さんこんにちは,

Vic gave you good advice. You can always have a look at Mindat too if you need photos. Unfortunately there isn't any of topaz from Takayama. However it is mentioned that topaz occured mostly as waterworn crystals. So most likely you shouldn't find one with sharp edges (unless broken).

A couple of other tips to help you identify topaz :
1- Topaz Mohs' hardness is 8 while quartz's hadrness is 7. So if you have a quartz specimen around, try to use it to scratch you unidentified specimen. If it scratches your quartz sample it might be topaz. If both are scratched the same way, it will most likely be quartz. If it is scratched by quartz it definitely won't be topaz.
2- Streak : topaz's streak is white.If you have something containing chromium try to scratched your sample on it. If you get a white powder and if your specimen scratches quartz as well, you'll most likely have found topaz. Otherwise it will be something else.

However, note I'm not an expert at identifying topaz. So I let other members give you some more advices about it.

Christophe.
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Bob Carnein




Joined: 22 Aug 2013
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PostPosted: Aug 20, 2017 16:38    Post subject: Re: Is this topaz? please identify  

Hi, Be aware that the scratch test for quartz vs. topaz isn't as obvious as it might seem. Topaz, despite its superior hardness, is relatively brittle. You might think it's softer than it is because it may crumble, especially on a thin, sharp piece. Any hardness test must be done with care. The best features for distinguishing topaz are a perfect cleavage in one direction, producing flat, mirror-like surfaces (and straight internal fractures), and its somewhat higher than normal specific gravity (it feels a bit heavy when hefted). I agree with the others that your samples look like quartz.
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Alex D.




Joined: 17 Aug 2017
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PostPosted: Aug 20, 2017 21:19    Post subject: Re: Is this topaz? please identify  

Hi everyone and thanks for all the fantastic advice.

Rockhounding is trial and error, and that's the fun of it.
It is said that the mountain is depleted but l saw another guy coming out of the forest and he found one. The hard thing is not finding it, but beating nature. 35 degrees celcius, jungle like forest, deadly insects, spiders, bears and monkeys.

And not to forget that the size of the forest is so huge you get easily lost too.
But as Vic says, as soon l find an exposed rock, l will search the base and if there is something shiny, l start looking in that wall.

Thanks all. Soon l go back to my topaz mountain and put your advice to the test. It's a good learning school.
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Alex D.




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PostPosted: Aug 27, 2017 09:32    Post subject: Re: Is this topaz? please identify  

Hello everyone,

I'm back from my Japanese Tanakami-yama mountain, and after a 4 hour hike true the woods, we finally found the Topaz cave. But as Petrov told me, and as I could see, there is no more decent topaz on the mountain. So I went looking down in the rivers, and found some interesting pieces.

most pieces were broken parts, so it's hard for me to tell if it's quartz or topaz.
The 2 top pieces are quartz (with 1 big (1.5 cm) smoky quartz. ). That's obvious to me.

If anyone can give me a solution about the 4 shiny ones on the bottom, it would help me a lot.
They look different, cause their luster has a rainbow color if turned in the light.

I already tried to scratch it with quartz, and get no effect, so that's my first step to topaz

I also notice that the cleavage is always nice flat. Many of you speak of cleavage in the same direction of the base, but since I'm a beginner, I have no clue how to see where the base would be if I find a broken piece. (although sometimes I see cleavage lines.)

Thanks



Foto 27-08-17 23 04 20.jpg
 Mineral: Topaz?
 Locality:
Tanakami-yama (Tanokami-yama), Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, Kinki Region, Honshu Island, Japan
 Dimensions: 7 mm
 Description:
left is unidentified topaz, right is smoky and normal quartz
 Viewed:  761 Time(s)

Foto 27-08-17 23 04 20.jpg



Foto 27-08-17 23 05 18.jpg
 Locality:
Tanakami-yama (Tanokami-yama), Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, Kinki Region, Honshu Island, Japan
 Dimensions: 7 mm
 Description:
I wonder if this is topaz. it has a rainbow shiny luster, flat cleavage, and I can not scratch it with quartz
 Viewed:  754 Time(s)

Foto 27-08-17 23 05 18.jpg



Foto 27-08-17 23 05 26.jpg
 Locality:
Tanakami-yama (Tanokami-yama), Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, Kinki Region, Honshu Island, Japan
 Dimensions: 1 cm
 Description:
1 cm square piece, obvious cleavage lines on top, and almost symetric flat.
has rainbow color luster
 Viewed:  758 Time(s)

Foto 27-08-17 23 05 26.jpg


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