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Late 20th Century Wulfenite Collecting in the San Francisco Mine, Sonora, Mexico - (30)
  
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Tony L. Potucek




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PostPosted: May 02, 2020 10:48    Post subject: Late 20th Century Wulfenite Collecting in the San Francisco Mine, Sonora, Mexico - (30)  

Sometimes I get the urge to write up trips and events in my life. Here is one on the San Francisco Mine in Mexico, where I spent a considerable amount of time in the 1970's and the 1990's. They were fun times, and hair raising times as well, such as being stopped at night driving into the San Francisco Mine by the Mexican equivalent of our US Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (USATF), with automatic weapons pointed at us, and making monsoonal flooding river crossings between Cucurpe and the Mine. The article includes brief history of the Mine, specimen recovery operations, personalities involved, a trip into a bat habitat while exploring in the mine, and large photos. There are humorous anecdotes, and detail on the mining and surveying. Most importantly, the absence of any detailed descriptions of Curt and Brad van Scriver's collecting ventures prompted me to do this article for posterity because he was one of my best friends.

Several years ago, I had several discussions with Wendell Wilson and the interchange of illustrations with the Mineralogical Record are always greatly appreciated. Finally, comparing notes and memories and working with Wayne Thompson over the years really helped. Between Tom Moore's fine article in the MR and this one leads me to believe the San Francisco Mine wulfenite discoveries are now well documented up to the present. I hope you enjoy the article.

This type of 'magazine’ display that we often use in this section does not allow photos to be enlarged by clicking the mouse over them. The solution to enlarge the screen is to use the keys: Ctrl + mouse wheel. By turning the wheel and holding the Ctrl (Control) key we can enlarge the image at will.






























































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bob kerr




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PostPosted: May 02, 2020 20:49    Post subject: Re: Late 20th Century Wulfenite Collecting in the San Francisco Mine, Sonora, Mexico - (30  

T - great story(s). I really wish other field collectors from our generation and also from "the previous generation" would do similar stories before they are lost to the ether. George Stevens comes to mind right away - his stories are lost forever. Mark Hay has been really good here especially in the MR.

And, if you recall we chatted about Oscar Olsen and his experiences at various mines - these would've been great stories and valuable historically also.

Another guy I for one would love to hear from - Don "Boom-Boom" McCoy - his stories from the Red Cloud alone would fill a book (although a few may be XXX-rated). He did miner qualification training and after a day in class he would go on for hours.

Thanks for posting this,
bob
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Chris Rayburn




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PostPosted: May 03, 2020 07:59    Post subject: Re: Late 20th Century Wulfenite Collecting in the San Francisco Mine, Sonora, Mexico - (30  

A very thorough and detailed article, and a joy to read. Thanks Tony!
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Tony L. Potucek




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PostPosted: May 03, 2020 08:44    Post subject: Re: Late 20th Century Wulfenite Collecting in the San Francisco Mine, Sonora, Mexico - (30  

Glad you guys liked the article. It's a labor of love to write these up, but I think most folks don't want to write about their experiences collecting. Bob, you're correct--McCoy could write a book on his trips to many locations. Red Cloud, Rowley, and the '79 Mine come to mind.
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vic rzonca




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PostPosted: May 03, 2020 09:26    Post subject: Re: Late 20th Century Wulfenite Collecting in the San Francisco Mine, Sonora, Mexico - (30  

Great work Tony. Brings the legends down to earth, and making the adventures more legendary.
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Scot Krueger




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PostPosted: May 03, 2020 11:55    Post subject: Re: Late 20th Century Wulfenite Collecting in the San Francisco Mine, Sonora, Mexico - (30  

Tony, Thanks for the walk down memory lane. Those of us downstream of those of you who actually do the digging appreciate all your efforts. I actually had one of my most memorable mineral moments around specimens from the San Francisco Mine. My father, Hal Krueger, was one of those lucky souls who happened upon a pickup truck full of flats of San Francisco Mine wulfenites at Tucson in 1977 while I was still in high school. When he brought them home he was afraid to trim them because they were so delicate. So he had me do it. I ended up getting a few dozen trimmed miniatures and thumbnails, and he let me have a few as a reward for my willingness to perform the delicate surgery. To this day they are some of my favorite pieces. At the time I had no idea how small a slice of collecting history those classic pieces would represent.


SF Wulfenite.JPG
 Mineral: Wulfenite
 Locality:
San Francisco Mine, Cerro Prieto, Cucurpe, Municipio Cucurpe, Sonora, Mexico
 Dimensions: 2x1.5x1.5 cm
 Description:
Wulfenite from the San Francisco Mine, acquired at the TGMS in 1977.
 Viewed:  1883 Time(s)

SF Wulfenite.JPG


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Tobi




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PostPosted: May 04, 2020 02:34    Post subject: Re: Late 20th Century Wulfenite Collecting in the San Francisco Mine, Sonora, Mexico - (30  

Thank you so much for that amazing report, Tony! I really like wulfenite and imho, the ones from San Francisco Mine are among the best, only a few things in the mineral world are as beautiful as those clear yellow crystals in association with orange mimetite. And I have never seen photos from inside the mine, I'm mind blown by these walls full of crystals and the giant specimens they mined, this is really really awesome!

Thank you :-)
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Tony L. Potucek




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PostPosted: May 04, 2020 09:13    Post subject: Re: Late 20th Century Wulfenite Collecting in the San Francisco Mine, Sonora, Mexico - (30  

Thanks, Vic, and here's to your health!
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Tony L. Potucek




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PostPosted: May 04, 2020 09:26    Post subject: Re: Late 20th Century Wulfenite Collecting in the San Francisco Mine, Sonora, Mexico - (30  

Thank you, Scot and Tobi. Scot, those 1977 wulfenites are from Curt's area on the 1000 level. You had a very unique opportunity at the other end of the mineral pipeline and I see you trimmed well.

Tobi, the legendary mineral collector and author Bob Jones and I share your opinion. The best of the San Francisco Mine orange wulfenite and red orange mimetite combinations which were produced in May 1973 and again in 1993-1994 have no equal in crystal size and aesthetics.

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Jesse Fisher




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PostPosted: May 04, 2020 10:52    Post subject: Re: Late 20th Century Wulfenite Collecting in the San Francisco Mine, Sonora, Mexico - (30  

The Sonora Desert Museum just outside of Tucson has a real nice one that I was admiring recently. I think it is about 5 cm across. Maybe Tony knows something about when/where it was found.


DesertMuseum-3862r.JPG
 Mineral: Wulfenite with Mimetite
 Locality:
San Francisco Mine, Cerro Prieto, Cucurpe, Municipio Cucurpe, Sonora, Mexico
 Dimensions: about 5 cm across
 Description:
In the collection of the Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson.
 Viewed:  1712 Time(s)

DesertMuseum-3862r.JPG


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Tony L. Potucek




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PostPosted: May 04, 2020 19:29    Post subject: Re: Late 20th Century Wulfenite Collecting in the San Francisco Mine, Sonora, Mexico - (30  

Hi, Jesse,
The ASDM's wulfenites from the May 1973 pocket and others were financed by Rukin Jelks who was their largest financial backer for mineral purchases in the 1970's. Curator Bill Panczner selected the specimens from Tucson dealer Suzie Davis, who acquired most or all of the best specimens at that time. The Smithsonian's specimens came from her, too, according to Bob Jones - still a wealth of knowledge regarding all of these matters. The Arizona Mineral Minions are lucky to have Bob, Ray Grant and Wayne Thompson as honorary life members of the Minions.

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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: May 06, 2020 12:54    Post subject: Now in the ISSN!: Late 20th Century Wulfenite Collecting in the San Francisco Mine-(30)  

On the Spanish side of FMF a few months ago we managed to get certain sections (two at this time) of the Spanish FMF to be admitted by the International Standard Serial Number reason why everything we upload in those two sections Yacimientos Minerales en FMF and Ciencias de la Tierra automatically has a common registration number at the ISSN and therefore acts like any other magazine or book published, with the same legal rights and corresponding indexing.

As its name indicates the ISSN is an international registry, so, it covers publications not only in Spanish but also in, for example, English. 😏 That is why we have published this excellent work of Tony's there with a short bilingual introduction and keeping the article as prepared by Tony in English.
Congratulations Tony you are now an ISSN author of mineral articles! 😉

From now on, any other quality and well-structured work such as Tony's published in this Forum can be reviewed by the administrators and if we believe that it helps to improve the mineral world, we will publish it in Yacimientos Minerales en FMF or in Ciencias de la Tierra and will thereby become an "ISSN publication".



ISSN for FMF.jpg
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 Viewed:  1490 Time(s)

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ISSN for Wulfenite in the San Francisco Mine.jpg
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ISSN for Wulfenite in the San Francisco Mine.jpg


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Philip Simmons




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PostPosted: May 07, 2020 00:09    Post subject: Re: Late 20th Century Wulfenite Collecting in the San Francisco Mine, Sonora, Mexico - (30  

Hi Tony. Thanks for the information and stories, pard! I always love seeing such detailed work (particularly field collecting) on great localities such as this!
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Tony L. Potucek




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PostPosted: May 07, 2020 08:36    Post subject: Re: Late 20th Century Wulfenite Collecting in the San Francisco Mine, Sonora, Mexico - (30  

Thank you, Jordi, I am honored that you would consider me for this publishing honor. I do hope they find the information worthwhile.

Sincerely, and gracias, Amigo,
Tony

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Tony L. Potucek




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PostPosted: May 07, 2020 08:37    Post subject: Re: Late 20th Century Wulfenite Collecting in the San Francisco Mine, Sonora, Mexico - (30  

Thank you, Phil. I needed to repay you for your fine works done earlier! Glad you liked it.

tlp

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Steve Maslansky




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PostPosted: May 07, 2020 12:37    Post subject: Re: Late 20th Century Wulfenite Collecting in the San Francisco Mine, Sonora, Mexico - (30  

Tony shared this account with the Arizona Mineral Minions earlier. We encouraged him to share this story with the world. Now the rest of you know what a great field collector pard Tony is.
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