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Found My First Topaz
  
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DanielJP




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PostPosted: Mar 27, 2021 18:24    Post subject: Found My First Topaz  

I suspect topaz as this is a locality in San Diego County, CA that has a history of topaz being found in the area. I've tested for hardness and it has been a little puzzling. I am a student in geology but am new to the technical aspects of identification beyond the in the field prospecting and discovery aspect of minerals. I have found PLENTY of amazing specimens of quartz crystals and this is different for sure. As for hardness again, it seems like neither my suspect topaz or known quartz scratch each other. But the habit of my suspect topaz is MUCH different than any of the quartz I've found in the area. Now, beryl is also found in the area. So maybe it could be that as well??? Any tips for identifying this at home?




Image-1.jpg
 Mineral: Topaz or Beryl
 Dimensions: 19mm x 19mm x 30mm
 Description:
 Viewed:  2409 Time(s)

Image-1.jpg



IMG_2809.JPG
 Mineral: Topaz or Beryl
 Dimensions: 19mm x 19mm x 30mm
 Description:
 Viewed:  2403 Time(s)

IMG_2809.JPG


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Bob Carnein




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PostPosted: Mar 27, 2021 18:37    Post subject: Re: Found My First Topaz  

Perfect cleavage and crystal habit both support your ID! Congratulations.
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Bob Morgan




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PostPosted: Mar 27, 2021 18:44    Post subject: Re: Found My First Topaz  

I fits topaz crystal shape.
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SteveB




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PostPosted: Mar 27, 2021 22:09    Post subject: Re: Found My First Topaz  

A “trick” experienced (I REPEAT experienced) fossickers use with topaz is it doesnt absorb heat as fast as quartz. So take a quartz crystal of comparable size in your hand and make a fist to heat it up, count to ten then touch it to your cheek and upper lip (shaven) and it should be warmish. Repeat with topaz and its noticeably cold by comparison. I REPEAT this is used by experienced people who have done this test thousands of timesand develope a reliable touch to make this observation. Its NOT a definitive test for you though as you are NOT experienced. But in years it may be a part of your field tools. Its particularly useful to fossickers searching water worn gravels where both quartz and topaz can be found. But really you must measure the specific gravity to confirm. Minerals especially gemstone types become like sasquatch hunters, where people go out in an area known for something so every little thing they look at is shaped in their mind to that thing. I’ve got in my drawers somwhere a quartz shaped like your crystal, not the typical crystal point but it is quartz. Plus clear is possible for pretty much every mineral so isnt a good indicator of anything, crystal shape also varies. Accurate hardness AND specific gravity measurements usually get you to a common mineral. As a student you should have been taught how to identify rocks and minerals and have access in the classroom to the proper tools.
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rweaver




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PostPosted: Mar 28, 2021 10:08    Post subject: Re: Found My First Topaz  

Giving us the location in San Diego County would have been nice. They only real place Topaz has been found is the area around the Little Three Mine near Ramona or the Ware Mine/Mountain Lily mine near Oak Grove.
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DanielJP




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PostPosted: Mar 28, 2021 11:01    Post subject: Re: Found My First Topaz  

rweaver wrote:
Giving us the location in San Diego County would have been nice... Ware Mine/Mountain Lily mine near Oak Grove.


Nice, you know already in that case. I'll say, North County (;
Used to be stationed in Oak Grove, funny when other folks can name the place.
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rweaver




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PostPosted: Mar 28, 2021 11:13    Post subject: Re: Found My First Topaz  

DanielJP wrote:
rweaver wrote:
Giving us the location in San Diego County would have been nice... Ware Mine/Mountain Lily mine near Oak Grove.


Nice, you know already in that case. I'll say, North County (;
Used to be stationed in Oak Grove, funny when other folks can name the place.


I grew up in San Diego and that is where my parents got me started in collecting minerals some 50+ years ago. I have seen lots of change over the years even though I no longer live in San Diego. I still collect San Diego County Minerals when I can find one that fits into my old collection.
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DanielJP




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PostPosted: Mar 28, 2021 11:14    Post subject: Re: Found My First Topaz  

SteveB wrote:
... Minerals especially gemstone types become like sasquatch hunters, where people go out in an area known for something so every little thing they look at is shaped in their mind to that thing. I’ve got in my drawers somwhere a quartz shaped like your crystal, not the typical crystal point but it is quartz. Plus clear is possible for pretty much every mineral so isnt a good indicator of anything, crystal shape also varies. Accurate hardness AND specific gravity measurements usually get you to a common mineral. As a student you should have been taught how to identify rocks and minerals and have access in the classroom to the proper tools.


Okie Dokieee... Anyways, I'm not a child and not some excitable city slicker. I've been prospecting out in the area for a couple years now and found a TON of beautiful quartz specimens in many forms with various colored tourmaline and tourmaline on their own. This is much different. Do you notice the cleavage on my stone in question? I don't believe quartz has cleavage. I am not new to prospecting and being obsessively interested in minerals and mineral deposits. But this is my first year taking Geology classes and we just got through mineral and rock identification. We are still all online because of COVID so I don't have normal access to any tools on a campus. This is a community college anyways... Hence why I thought it might be a good idea to ask and share in a forum where someone might be able to offer a tip for me to confirm this stone. Again, I've tested for hardness which points to topaz or beryl (NOT CALCITE OR GYPSUM) and the locality is known to have PRODUCED topaz in the past from the surrounding mines.
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rweaver




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PostPosted: Mar 28, 2021 11:23    Post subject: Re: Found My First Topaz  

The location, shape and cleavage would all point towards it being Topaz. Mindat.org if nothing else is a good source for photos of minerals from any area. That area has a lot of old mines both in San Diego County and just over the border into Riverside County. Good luck in your collecting.
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Ed Huskinson




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PostPosted: Mar 28, 2021 16:50    Post subject: Re: Found My First Topaz  

Good job! Nice topaz. Congratulations!!.

Ed in Kingman

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Peter Lemkin




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PostPosted: Mar 29, 2021 03:01    Post subject: Re: Found My First Topaz  

I know most think of the famous North County San Diego mines, but I myself never had the opportunity/permission to collect in that area. In fact, there are similar pegmatites with nice pockets, perhaps a little [or a lot] less spectacular, that extend to the Mexico border and into Mexico - but still with NICE specimens! I used to collect often in the mountains just North of the border. Tried one day to collect in Mexico, but had a lot of rifles stuck in my face, and never tried again......
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