Sunday, January 12, 2014

Gem Hunting Take Two

The New Year has offered another opportunity for my new passion.  Last week I was on the hunt for Augite crystals.  Hmmm.  There is a lot of land there.  Those crystals are about as big as the tip of my little finger and some quite a bit smaller.

I learned some things about gem hunting and Augite in specific.  Well at least at this site. Augite is a mineral.   Augite crystals can be found at the outer edges of patches of tiny black stones in the desert sand here.  

When I think I have found something, Jolynn says not the blue ones, the shiny black ones.  When you are hunting for Augite there are a lot of black stone bits that look like what you think you are looking for.  They you actually see that shiny pointed bit sticking out of the dirt.  You know it when you see it.  It is faceted and it sparkles.  The rest of the bits we are sifting through and tossing aside are gray-blue black, kind of like the gravel we used to have in our driveway, only smaller.

I show Jolynn another bit of shiny black.  It's a bug carcass and that other one?  A bit of glass, but keep it if you like it.  Then she says some of the Augite almost looks blue.  Wait!  I thought I was not supposed to be picking up blue.  But I know what she means.  It's that deep blue- black.

We spend a couple of hours of stooping and bending and examining black bits.  The time flies.

I learn another lesson about gem hunting.  I like the sound of gems dropped into a glass jar more than the thunk when they land in a plastic container.

(Note I pick up other interesting stuff too)

I am also jealous when I hear fellow gem hunters drop specimen after specimen ping, ping, ping into a jar while I am finding nothing.  Maybe I need to move over there, where they are.  

After a couple of hours it is time to head out for a little walk to a place where there might be some Gypsum crystals.

All we find are the very tiny crystals.  We'll go back again because they come in large, long faceted beauties as well.

And one more lesson when gem hunting?  Don't forget to take a moment or two to appreciate the landscapes in all directions...another kind of jewel.