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Month: January 2010

Lewiston, Idaho Garnets?

Lewiston, Idaho Garnets?

Idaho Rockhounds, can any of you solve this question for us?

I was reading a field guide for rockhounds one day – sorry, I don’t remember the name of it – but it said that there is an occurrence of garnets around 10 miles East of Lewiston along the river.  Nobody seems at this point to be able to disclose whether there is actually garnets anywhere in that area other than that some can be panned from the river.  This information also leaves us to wonder whether there are GOOD garnets coming from the river.  For those who plan to be in that area, or go to that area, it would be very helpful if someone out there that knows anything about the area could stop by and give us a heads up.

I’d like to note that I am wondering a tad whether someone was thinking of  beautiful star garnets and just mistakenly jotted down the wrong area for finding those treasures.

We here at RHS1 would sure appreciate any information that anyone could offer in this perplexing issue.

Thanks all.

NJ Rockhounds Got a Specimen You Can’t Identify?

NJ Rockhounds Got a Specimen You Can’t Identify?


If you have a puzzling specimen sitting on the shelf that you just can’t identify or have other questions about mineral identification, you really don’t want to miss the 42nd annual open house at The Geology Museum at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, on January 30th.

At the open house people can have their own samples professionally examined.  There will also be a mineral sale for those looking to add some great material to their own collections, as well as hands-on geology activities for children.

Along with the rock and mineral identification program, earth science presentations include:

Earthquake Detection for the Citizen Seismologist 3:00 pm

Madagascar’s Buried Treasure: Dinosaur and other Vertabrate Fossils from the Land that Time Forgot 2:00 pm

Paleoclimatic Framework of Human Evolution: Examples from Olduvia Gorge 11:00 am

Monitoring our Ocean Planet: The Scarlet Knights Trans-Atlantic Challenge 10:00 am

Saturday, Jan. 30, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Geology Museum at Rutgers

The State University of New Jersey

Scott Hall

43 College Avenue

New Brunswick presentations in room 123

mineral sale in room 135

hands-on children’s activities in room 115.

Additional presentations in Geology Hall

85 Somerset Street

New Brunswick

rock and mineral identification, children’s activities in Geology Museum, 2nd floor

Gold Prospecting In Vermont

Gold Prospecting In Vermont

When people think of the Northeastern coastal states, gold prospecting rarely comes to mind. The general consensus is often that all gold in the New England states is dust which was dropped by glacier movements. While there is glacial gold dust spread here and there throughout these Northeastern states, there are also some actual gold bearing areas in the New England region. Vermont is one of the better regions in this territory for the recreational gold prospector in the Northeastern US.

Vermont experienced a small gold rush of its own back in 1855 but it fizzled rapidly with the news of great hordes in California. One single hefty nugget of 6.5 ounces was recovered near Newfane in the state’s Southwestern region. The mines in Vermont were mostly abandoned during the California gold rush, but that doesn’t mean the gold supply was completely exhausted.  While the amounts of gold are usually not in high enough to be of interest of major mining concerns, they can be quite impressive enough to win the lone prospector a very respectable cache.

Gold has been found in Vermont from the very Southern regions of the state all the way up to the Canadian border, with a concentration of locations in the mid portions of the state. The West and Rock Rivers in the Newfane area where gold prospecting began in the state still provide good sources for the recreational prospector in the states Southern regions. To the North and South of Coolidge State Park are numerous claims and old mining areas. While most are still designated private land, there is much open land around creeks of the area where prospectors can still walk away with a pleasing cache. In the Northern areas of the state The Missiquoi River is known to be a producer as well as is the Colbrook area further East. All in all, ten counties are in Vermont are known to produce  gold.   These counties are: Addison, Bennington, Chittenden, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans, Rutland, Washington, Windham, Windsor.

If you are planning to prospect in any of these counties it is a good idea to purchase a USGS mineral map of the county you are interested in prospecting. Make sure you get a map which not only shows mineral and mining areas, but one that shows private property bounties as well. Claim jumping is still a very dangerous prospect (pun intended) and you need to be careful to respect private property boundaries. If you are new to prospecting you will want to try to start your hunt downstream from existing old mining areas getting as close to the mines as possible without trespassing. Once you know a bit about what you are doing you will be more likely to be able to spot other likely areas to prospect on your own more easily. Of course it never hurts to pan any area you happen to find yourself if you haven’t got time to go any further. You can never tell what you might find.

When prospecting in Vermont you always have possibilities of finding many other minerals during the hunt. Galena, garnets, beryl, rutilated quartz, smoky quartz, amethyst, jasper, spinel, olivine, zircon, copper, and a host of other minerals hide in the mountains and streams of the region. Mining operations which focused on gold discarded the other minerals that they dug from the mines. Many of these minerals can still be found in the mine tailings and creeks. Prospectors who keep their eyes open can return with specimens of many beautiful minerals along with their gold cache.

©2010; Sally Taylor