Dr. C’s Blog about Exploring the Herkimer Mining District
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Every year something new is discovered within the Herkimer Mining District. You can find these under New Discoveries
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Dr. C’s notes and personal reflections on his exploration of the Herkimer Mining District, and the collaborative research project, presented in a casual conversational format.
Blog note, Little Falls Mine Visit, May, 2016
When I was putting images of TCR material on the web someone wrote me and said, “We have stuff better than that in Little Falls”. I am always cautious when I hear this because I know that people seem to develop attachments to particular mine sites. There are folks who only go to DA or only go to AD, and quite naturally they will speak very highly of the “sparkle” that they find there. But shortly after I received this email praising Little Falls for its quality material I was able to see some of it at a mineral show. I was surprised at how similar it looked to the material from TCR. I had spent two summers (about 20 field days in total) investigating TCR and when I was invited this spring to visit the Little Falls mine while they are actively mining, I was excited to see for myself if any geologic similarities existed. As a side note: when I started this research one of the first things an old wise collector asked me about Herkimer diamond mines was, “How come they are all similar and yet different?” That question has never left my mind.I postponed writing about the trip in more detail because I did not want to release information about the crystal frost - the discovery of which was due in part to this trip. Samples from the visit provided clear photography of the new crystal frost, both as inclusions and free growing with hydrocarbon. The discovery of this came as quite a surprise. I was simply tracking down anything unusual connected to the quartz-hydrocarbon boundary. This comes as a follow-up to the sphere announcement in 2010. I discovered this unusual feature named “hopper weave texture”, named as such because of its similarity to hopper crystals, but clearly different. This was posted on the New Discoveries page: The hopper weave texture is quite common as a feature near the quartz-hydrocarbon boundary.
The search for what might happen at the quartz-hydrocarbon boundary has to be done with an open mind, open to see anything. Who would have thought spheres would exist! The only mental bias I had was that I wanted samples with both quartz and hydrocarbon, and as fresh as possible. I also needed clear Herkimer diamonds to look through so i can try to determine the cause of the hopper weave texture.
More to come…
Updated - 03/09/2019
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Thank you Shannon Haley Wilbur for the donation of 30 samples from the Fonda region.1/05/2019 and 3/2/2019Check out her Facebook.