The Maine Geological Survey has started coordinating a series one day collecting trips. Given the distance I doubt many will be interested, but two trips scheduled in September are very very special. They are to the Newry Mines which are the location of one of the largest tourmaline finds ever made in Maine during the 70's. These sites have also produced many rare minerals. These sites are normally closed to public collecting so this is a rare opportunity. Check out www.state.me.us/doc/nrimc/mgs/explore/minerals/index.htm for more details and follow the link to Mineral Collecting Field Trip. If anybody tries and gets selected I'll be happy to provide some additional ideas for collecting while you're in Maine.
Yes! I made the list for one of the Newry Quarries collecting trips. This has been a dream of mine since I was a teenager. Pegmatite nuts like me go gaga over complex pegmatites that have produced over 100 different minerals, the world's first rose quartz crystals, multiple type locality minerals, and oh yes-the largest tourmaline discovery in the history of Maine.
Awesome, me too! I'll be there (Newry Quarries) Sept 12th, and I'm already dreaming of Maine. Looks like there are actually 3 or 4 quarries that we'll have access to that day - too many rocks too little time! I don't know much about any of them except what it says in the field trip description and in the Main Mineral Localities Collector's Guide.
I'm thinking of doing the Harvard mine, Mt. Mica dump pile (via Dig Gems), and maybe go check out the Swift River while we're up there. I will probably have a total of about 5 days in Maine, at least one of those days will be visiting with relatives. Any other highlights I shouldn't miss?? I am looking forward to reading about the field trips from folks doing the New England trip in July, I hope you guys all find lots of nice stuff (but please leave some for me )
Last I heard when they blasted it last, quite a while ago. they put 35 feet of junk on top of the pocket materials. There is some talk of dozing the materials, but maybe not this year. There are a lot of places to go in Maine. Some are still operating and you can go in with a guide.
I'll take my chances at Newry anytime. I am incredibly grateful that access is being granted to such incredibly historic and productive localities and feel we should all applaud the Maine Geological Survey for taking an active role in promoting mineral collecting in Maine.
Post by reverenddeb on Jun 18, 2009 17:55:12 GMT -5
I was up at the Waisenan in Oxford County over the weekend. Barry and buddy were there actively mining in the pouring rain. We got a few items, nothing spectacular, and then went over to Mt. Mica. Got some huge beryl and aquamarine. While we were at the Waisenan they blew a section of pegmatite. Man, that's neat!
Post by pegmatite on Sept 15, 2009 12:55:50 GMT -5
Just got back from my Newry trip. It was a long whirl-wind trip but I was very pleased with what I found. I believe Lizziebird did pretty well too. Glad I finally had a chance to visit the quarries that I have read so much about since I was a kid. Also spent a good part of two days at Mt. Apatite. Now the specimen unwrapping and cleaning can begin. Figure I can unpack clothes anytime!
Here's a few specimens from the latest trip to give you a taste of possibilities from Maine. I still have a lot of cleaning to do yet, but I've also found some nice almandine, gahnite, siderite, apatite, and eosphorite. All the material pictured is from the Newry Quarries.
Steve, Your pics are fantastic, as usual. But I don't know how you ID that stuff! I'm assuming the hydroxylherderite is the round sphere in the rear of that vug. Or maybe not? Great job! Keep 'em coming! Thanks, Joe
Post by pegmatite on Sept 27, 2009 21:09:23 GMT -5
Yes Joe, the round sphere in the center of the last photo is the hydroxyl-herderite. It can be a tough mineral to ID normally, but at the Newry Quarries the botryoidal form is pretty characteristic. I still have plenty to learn about identifications, but it helps that I have specialized in collecting pegmatite minerals since I was a kid. A tool I would be lost without is the Mineralolgy of Maine (Volumes I and II) which have lots of great specimen photos and very detailed descriptions of minerals by location. I use Mindat.org a lot also. I study these as much before I visit a spot as I do after because it can really help focus your collecting, especially at spots like the Newry Quarries which are known for so many rare minerals.
I'll try to post a few more specimens this week. Some sweet stuff turned up in my cleaning this weekend.
Post by lizziebird on Sept 28, 2009 6:23:23 GMT -5
Here are a few of my favorites from the Newry dig.
I was collecting in an area with lots of big blue tourmaline bits, and I was thrilled to find this piece of twinned crystals. I swore it was blue but now that I'm home it looks quite black. Anyway, it's a nice twinned dark tourmaline. I have some big blue fragments, but nothing terribly pretty:
I did find this beautiful cluster of gemmy green tourmaline:
Just surface picking, I found several little tiny green and pink tourmaline fragments:
And these bigger pink, green, light blue-green, and watermelon (pink/green) tourmalines are my favorites:
I am working on posting my other New England finds over in the "Latest Finds" section.
Last Edit: Sept 28, 2009 6:23:50 GMT -5 by lizziebird