Sunday, October 25, 2015

Lapidary Gold Mine!

We have been very busy here at Ironstone's Heritage Museum. Incoming is an overwhelming collection of lapidary rock and collection minerals, over 70 boxes!  These are all coming in from a very old collection, near 90 years old. 

Not having a geologist in house, the research to determine what these are and what value if any is a bit challenging, but doable.

Once pieces have been identified, they will go up for sale here in the Museum. 

This week we will be tackling the items in the photos below.

Rhodonite in 4 very distinct colors and patterns along with a very large slab of what I was told is onyx.

The Rhodonite above are very large slabs and cabochons. Forgive my little camera, but that yellow piece is actually a very lovely peach color, not yellow. Ditto below...

The first slab is a rich pink with distinctive black patterns. Most resemble landscapes with Oak Tree images. There are quite a few slabs and cabochons of this particular color.

The round cabochon above is a much lighter pink with more spider web like black lines. You can see white quartz on many of the slabs and cabochons of this coloration.

The far right slab is a sparkling pinkish red color with both less distinctive black lines as well as more defined markings. There are fewer of this coloration in the mix so far.

And last by not least is that NOT yellow oval cabochon. It is a beautiful peach color with black accents. Very few of these pieces so far. 

However, since we have unpacked only 10% of the entire collection, there is no telling what we may find throughout November as we unpack the collection.

According to Wikipedia...
Rhodonite is a manganese inosilicate, (Mn, Fe, Mg, Ca)SiO3 and member of the pyroxenoid group of minerals, crystallizing in the triclinic system. It commonly occurs as cleavable to compact masses with a rose-red color (the name comes from the Greek ῥόδος rhodos, rosy), often tending to brown because of surface oxidation.

Mohs scale hardness‎: ‎5.5 - 6.5
Crystal symmetry‎: ‎Triclinic 1 pinacoidal
Crystal habit‎: ‎Tabular crystals, massive, ...
Crystal system‎: ‎Triclinic - Pinacoidal H-M ..

Rhodonite crystals are known for their capacity to bring emotional healing and to release blocked energy from within the heart chakra.

Above you see today's challenge. The very large slab I have been told is onyx.  It is a very old collection piece around 10" x 8", going from 1" thick to 2" thick.  Stunning cream color with some crystallization in some spots. A beautiful piece.

On top are several cabochons that may or may not be of the same material along with 3 beautiful pieces of stone canyon jasper. 

We are very grateful to the Calaveras County Gem & Mineral Society for offering to help us unpack and identify the remaining boxes of material. It will be like Christmas for all of us!   I will be posting images of pieces we are working with along with specimens that have already gone into the new cases here in the Museum.

If you love rocks come on by and take a look. There are some really outstanding slabs, specimens and cabochons. 

And, if you know rocks, you may correct us at any time! Your knowledge is more valuable that our "Google-ing". So do stop on by.

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