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Messages - Oxenkiller

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ROCK AND GEM HUNTING / Re: Checking in
« on: November 07, 2019, 08:47:18 AM »
Thanks for letting us know what is going on.  Some of us were concerned.  I am sorry to hear of your health troubles, but you will be in my prayers and thoughts, and I hope you make a recovery and one day, do get to go out and hunt again.

ROCK AND GEM HUNTING / Re: Those "Lost Dutchman" type of collecting sites
« on: October 22, 2019, 05:21:48 PM »
There was also the sapphire dig site somewhere up by McCall; someone on this board has actually claimed to have found that one.  I do know that at one time there was a mine up near Brundage Mountain, but they excavated at least ten feet down to bedrock to find the gems- far deeper than one guy can go with just a pick and shovel.  But there may (or may not) still be a source for sapphires up there that is much easier to get at- IF you know where it is.

And there was the legendary Bully Creek Reservoir thundereggs northwest of Vale, Oregon.  This long-lost egg bed is allegedly "A hike in" and therefore nowhere near any road, but it's a huge area surrounding that reservoir, lots of ground to cover- and those eggs were harvested before the geothermal turbine farm went in roughly 10 years or so ago- so the site may no longer even be accessible.

I was talking about sites that are more than just one guy's heresay (because there are a infinite number of those, and in my experience they rarely pan out), but alleged sites from which actual specimens have been found and sold that claim to be from that site.  Like if someone says, "Oh there's a star garnet dig site over by Murphy" it means nothing- until you start actually seeing pictures online, or specimens for sale, of star garnets with "Murphy, Idaho" as their given origin.  Or you go there and actually find them yourself.  The ones I have mentioned above, I have actually seen photos of specimens that were said to have come from these places, but I have been unable to prove that any of these sites ever actually existed or were just, well, myths, and the specimens actually came from somewhere far away.  (for all I know, those "Centerville Aquamarines" are actually commonly store/dealer bought Skardu, Pakistani ones.)

ROCK AND GEM HUNTING / Those "Lost Dutchman" type of collecting sites
« on: October 19, 2019, 07:21:46 PM »
Has anyone ever heard rumors of collecting sites or localities, where fabulous specimens have allegedly been collected or pulled out of the ground, but which don't seem to actually exist- or at least, cannot be found?

Here in Idaho, you hear all kinds of rumors about this material being found here, or that being found there, but typically, when you go look... it doesn't pan out.

For example, the aquamarines that came out of Centerville.  Centerville is a rural area about 45 miles north of Boise, and it's not really a "town" in any sense- just a few summer cabins, a fire station, and a few old mining remains.  There have been persistant rumors for years of aquamarines being dug a few miles north of the settlement, and stories and pictures of these so-called Centerville aquamarine specimens are legendary. 

But the site may not have ever existed.  I have read that these crystals were most likely harvested in the Sawtooth Mountains, but the prospector invented the "Centerville" site as a cover, since there are regulations against crystal hunting in the Sawtooths.  But then a couple other people have sworn that there was a real dig site up at Centerville, but that it has either been exhausted, or is now tied up in gold mining claims.  When I went up there and investigated, I talked to a couple gold prospectors, and they said that they had heard rumors of gemstone mining up in that area; but everything was now claimed for gold- and they highly advised that casual rockhounds NOT go digging around up in that area, as some of the gold claims are violently protected.

Another "Lost Dutchman" type of site I have heard of is a place for gorgeous gold-yellow Barite crystals up near Mount Borah- allegedly on the northern slopes, near a place called Freighter Springs.  The crystals just aren't there. (So don't worry about me posting directions on here, as I'm only telling people where they are NOT.)  I have spent at least four afternoons- and four overnight trips to east-central Idaho- hiking all over that area, and there is just nothing there.  There IS a Barite crystal site that I know about maybe 20 miles to the west, but those crystals are pure white, opaque, and not terribly interesting.  So maybe the "Freighter Springs/Mount Borah" crystals came from somewhere closer to where my white ones came from.  But I have seen several gold Barite crystals labeled as coming from the Mount Borah area, so the myth persists- maybe they weren't even from Idaho at all; perhaps they are confused with a site from Nevada, as a lot of barite crystals are mined there.

So, do you guys have any other tales of lost/mythical rockhound sites that you have heard of (that may or may not, or probably don't, or never did exist?)

ROCK AND GEM HUNTING / Re: Help beginner rock collector identify rocks
« on: September 19, 2019, 01:19:18 PM »
your "Yard rocks" look more or less like exactly that- common quartz rock and nothing to get excited over.

But your other ones, look like a nice mix of rough agate and possibly turqoiuse (or copper minerals anyway) and in the second picture, lots of nice polished agates and jaspers.  The last one looks like a calcium sulfate deposit- depending on the point of view you could either call it "Selenite" or just plain "Gypsum." 

ROCK AND GEM HUNTING / Re: Help beginner rock collector identify rocks
« on: September 15, 2019, 06:16:07 PM »
First one looks fairly interesting-  Green serpentine.  Sometimes serpentine is used for carvings, if it's a solid piece.  The other two look more like plain quartz pebbles that have been shaped by stream action- not that interesting.

ROCK AND GEM HUNTING / Re: Plush Oregon Sunstones
« on: September 07, 2019, 05:49:12 PM »
It was a pretty good road- all weather gravel- from what I remember but sadly I don't have any idea of up-to-date conditions.

ROCK AND GEM HUNTING / Re: RockHounding in Ontario - Newbie Locations
« on: September 05, 2019, 08:08:17 AM »
Can you post some of your specimens on here?  Some of us might be able to help identify them.

There used to be a guy on here from Canada, I forget his username, but I think he was from western Canada, British Columbia.  He might know something about collecting in Ontario, if he's still around.

ROCK AND GEM HUNTING / Re: RockHounding in Ontario - Newbie Locations
« on: September 03, 2019, 07:58:18 AM »
I've heard a lot about a place called Bancroft, Ontario, and I have seen several specimens from there on other websites.  There is a whole suite of interesting minerals and crystals that come from there.  I don't know the geography of Ontario Canada very well, so I don't know where that is in relation to you. And also, I'm not sure how many of those sites are open to public collecting- its something you will need to investigate and from what I have seen, it is definitely worth investigating.

« on: August 30, 2019, 01:44:33 PM »
As far as Gary Green and the Purple cow being closed to the public...

...This is Exhibit A of what happens when too many people know about a popular rock hunting spot.  If it doesn't simply get cleaned out, someone will eventually come along and decide to make some extra scratch off of it, and claim it- and thereby close it off for others.  Now I am not trying to throw the Kemps and the Hewetts under the bus here; if they want to bring this material to the market and sell it that's fine, heck I have even supported them by buying slabs of beautiful green and blue jasper from their McDermitt shop.  But at the same time, if you know about a great hunting spot you like to go to, if too many people find out about it then someone will capitalize on it (literally.)  I know some people don't like it when the site managers yell at them for posting directions, or asking for them, but this is one of the reasons why.

I've been to McDermitt a few times and poked around but I honestly don't know too many productive sites out there.  I only got a small sampling of rough agate, opalized wood and banded chert, nothing amazing.  But I usually make a point to hit at least one of the two rock shops in town when I am there, though.  In a way, even though the Gary Green and Purple Cow sites may be closed, having a claim does allow the diggers to get down deeper into the ground using heavy machinery unavailable to the casual rock hound- and thereby bring far better and more spectacular specimens to the surface than most people will usually find on their own.  Some of those large Gary Green nodules they had there were found 30 feet underground, there wouldn't be a way for anyone to obtain them without mechanized digging machinery.  So in a way I kind of support what they are doing.

« on: August 23, 2019, 08:10:33 AM »
I believe Gary Green is now mined out, i.e. there is nothing left there.  I could be wrong. Purple Cow- I don't know.  I am actually not familiar with that one. 

I would definitely stop at the two rock shops there, if they are open- Caldera Rock Shop has bulk rough Gary Green and Elips-o (slabbed and rough) as well as other local materials, and they would be a good resource as far as knowing what is open to collect and what isn't.  I think those are the guys who mined a lot of the local material.  Joe White Buffalo's shop is worth a stop too- he used to have maps of the area and he knows pretty much everything about the local geology and history- plus he has all kinds of stuff lying around for sale.

ROCK AND GEM HUNTING / Re: Help identifying
« on: August 16, 2019, 07:58:57 PM »
It's just massive ordinary quartz.  The pinkish staining is usually the result of iron or (more likely) manganese that has dissolved in the groundwater that collects in and stains the cracks.
It's good decorative rock if nothing else.  Though, sometimes a deposit of massive quartz like that may indicate that there are more interesting minerals located nearby...

ROCK AND GEM HUNTING / Re: Found last night, need help with ID
« on: August 05, 2019, 06:31:44 PM »
It doesnt look anything like that.  The original specimen is glassy and frothy, with clear bubbles visible inside it.  Actinolite is fibrous and opaque, or composed of masses of needlelike crystals.  There are no crystals visible in the specimen at all. My opinion- melted glass slag.

ROCK AND GEM HUNTING / Re: RockHounding in Ontario - Newbie Locations
« on: August 05, 2019, 07:36:55 AM »
well, the hills in and around Succor Creek and pretty much the entire Owyhee Front, are full of various agate, banded chert, jasper, and thundereggs, you can check the guide books for eastern Oregon, or do what we do- strike out on your own and every so often you will come up on an untouched area that is not well known or discovered. But seriously, pretty much anywhere in the Owyhee moutntains.  That's not too far of a drive from Ontario, Oregon (I'm assuming you mean Ontario, Oregon, right?)

ROCK AND GEM HUNTING / Re: Found last night, need help with ID
« on: August 03, 2019, 11:56:55 AM »
well, now that I'm finally able to view it- this just proves that my company's I.T. department are a bunch of idiots, and the bubbles in your specimen all but prove it to be melted down glass.  Couple theories:  One, that it was left over from either a glass blowers workshop or some kind of glass works, or else someone melted down a beer bottle (or other glass bottle) in a campfire.

ROCK AND GEM HUNTING / Re: Found last night, need help with ID
« on: August 02, 2019, 08:10:32 AM »

(Or at least, when I tried to view it on my work station...that's what our I.T. department said it was!)

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