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April 18, 2010  Chatham County -- Coopers Ridge
It was another day of perfect weather.  It becomes very easy to remember great weather after the harsh winter we had this year.
So it was a good decision that Joe and I made to dig this day.  Coopers Ridge has been known to produce crystals with specular
hematite phantoms, blue quartz, and illmenite.We decided to dig on a vein we had worked on in the past that produced low grade
crystals that were mostly crowded together and lacking terminations on most.  Why did we even bother?  Because there was still the
chance of finding that "diamond in the rough", and digging crystals, any crystals, is fun.
This is how I prepare the quartz vein for extraction.  In this way I can pull a whole section of the vein out reducing the chances of
damaging crystals.  Joe (above) inspects some of the material pulled away from the vein.
Once I extracted this section of vein I was able to pull it apart by hand.  Although most of this quartz dike was massive bull quartz
the cracks and fissures running throughout it were usually filled with crystallized quartz.
Here is a small pocket within the center of the quartz dike where crystallization occured.  Most all of the crystals from this spot had
chlorite or hedenbergite inclusions hence the green color.
We nicknamed the quartz here "headless quartz" because most all of the crystals had no terminations.  The logical explaination
would be that they all grew into the matrix or into each other thus didn't have the chance to produce terminations.  The strange thing
was that most all of the loose single crystals were "headless".  You might expect that the very small single crystals within the pockets
would have terminations, because they shouldn't have been impeded by matrix or other obstacles. But even those were headless.
A long slender "headless" crystal with chlorite or hedenbergite inclusions near the top.
A stubby crystal with the green inclusions in the center.
Although the specimen above has terminations, they appear melted as if by temperature or acid.
Resembling a broken match stick this green loaner popped out of a clay filled section in the vein.
Here a green tapering phantom can be seen inside the crystal.
Joe Moylan (blue shirt), my girlfriend Angela, and myself (as cameraman) dig together in Chatham County.  After cleaning everything
off we did in fact find terminations.  But those were on matrix specimens.  Still most all of the loose crystals were without
terminations and of very low quality.
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