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Rock/crystal identification?

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Rock/crystal identification?

Postby rking007 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:01 am

Was up in the hills on Sunday and came across some sweet looking rock and crystal formations. Can the resident geologists or anyone else identify them? Took only photos at the site so these are all I have. I also didn't want to disclose the location so people don't get interested in grabbing them (wanted to post a link to that crazy rock thief guy thread but can't find it...). I can say they were mixed in with a large pile of stones that looked like part of an old mine puked out onto the hill side.

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Re: Rock/crystal identification?

Postby SuperPolok » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:59 am

First two are pyrite. First one is really nice too! Good crystal habit.

The metallic shiny part of the third one is either pyrite or chalcopyrite. A little hard to tell, but if I had to guess I'd go chalcophyrite

Last one is quartz!

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Re: Rock/crystal identification?

Postby siop » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:14 pm

Without seeing them its a bit hard to tell, but likely the silver metalic one is galena and the orange mineral is siderite. Galena is commonly mined for its lead and silver and commonly found to occur with siderite. From the pictures its hard to see the crystal structure of the white mineral and could be one of several. Likely its quartz or calcite, without HCl to test I can't say which for sure.
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Re: Rock/crystal identification?

Postby rking007 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:21 pm

So if the mountain and actual mine was known would that help solidify the identification?
- Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.

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Re: Rock/crystal identification?

Postby SuperPolok » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:23 pm

I think knowing the general location would likely help some but already Monster5 agreed with galena on the first pic so I might have been wrong there.

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Re: Rock/crystal identification?

Postby SuperPolok » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:30 pm

One more post:

If you're concerned with sharing the location, another way to see what MIGHT be there is this site:

http://www.mindat.org/

Type in the mine name if you have it in the locality.

They have a surpising number of mines on there but I have to tell you pyrite, galena, quartz, and calcite occur together all over Colorado!

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Re: Rock/crystal identification?

Postby siop » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:38 pm

It might help. Although between pyrite and galena, pyrite would be more brassy and galena more silver. From the photos the mineral appears more silver leading me to think galena. If it is galena I'm fairly certain the orange mineral is siderite. From the photo you can see the crystal structure pretty clearly and they are commonly found together and I know of a couple places in CO where they occur together. In terms of quartz v calcite, these 2 minerals are commonly mistaken for one another. Both occur in veins, which you can see in the photo and have similar crystal structure. Quartz is significantly stronger than calcite, if you were to scratch the mineral along your fingernail quartz would easily scratch your nail and calcite would not. Also if you drop a 5% solution of HCl on the mineral it will fizz on calcite but not on quartz, this is the best method to test it. If it doesn't fizz there are a few other options besides quartz, but my best guess from my knowledge of CO geology is quartz or calcite. Even with knowledge of the mountain and mine I don't think you could determine quartz from calcite.
"because in the end, you won't remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing the lawn. climb that goddamn mountain" -jack kerouac

"here is your chance to find your own way. go on your own. be adventuresome. don't forever seek the easiest way. go the way you find. don't demand trail signs and sturdy bridges. don't demand we show you the mountains. see them and find them yourself. here's your chance to get lost, fall in the creek, find a beautiful place." -randy morgenson

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Re: Rock/crystal identification?

Postby SilverLynx » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:39 pm

My best guesses are also pyrite and galena. Both of which have a sulfur smell, I believe. Both can also form in cube-shaped crystals. I'm leaning towards galena because of the color. When you find out for sure, post it! :)
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Re: Rock/crystal identification?

Postby hotrod » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:54 pm

I have galena specimens from the tri state area, and I'm pretty sure that is the dull gray mineral in the first photo.
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Re: Rock/crystal identification?

Postby rking007 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:06 pm

So Mindat.org and Minecache.com only show the mine's major commodity as gold. We're spoiled here by Bill's links for geological info associated to 14ers but this was a 12er. Where do you go to find geological info on other mountains or areas?
- Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.

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Re: Rock/crystal identification?

Postby rijaca » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:11 pm

rking007 wrote:So Mindat.org and Minecache.com only show the mine's major commodity as gold. We're spoiled here by Bill's links for geological info associated to 14ers but this was a 12er. Where do you go to find geological info on other mountains or areas?


The Colorado School of Mines library.
"Spent a little time on the mountain
Spent a little time on the hill"

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Re: Rock/crystal identification?

Postby rking007 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:19 pm

rijaca wrote:
rking007 wrote:So Mindat.org and Minecache.com only show the mine's major commodity as gold. We're spoiled here by Bill's links for geological info associated to 14ers but this was a 12er. Where do you go to find geological info on other mountains or areas?


The Colorado School of Mines library.


Well that is absolutely something I CANNOT do while at work... :-D . The only other thing I can remember is that the first rock I found was very similar to the first photo but there was a few gold colored cube-y looking things in there as well. I set it down when I found all the others and then couldn't find it again to take a picture of it.
- Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.

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