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23rd August 2007

Collecting Cape May Diamonds

No trip to New Jersey would be complete without visiting Cape May.

This historic resort town is on the very furthest tip of New Jersey, darting out into the Atlantic Ocean. Although a playground for the wealthly during much of 19th century, Cape May is now one of New Jersey’s most visited tourist spots.

Cape May, New Jersey
Cape May, New Jersey

Many of the beaches in Cape May are made up of ocean polished quartz pebbles of various sizes and quality. Many of the best pieces are water clear, or have the translucent look of moonstone. These quartz pebbles are actually prismatic quartz washed out of veins along side the riverbed of the Delaware River. They are refered to as “Cape May Diamonds”, and have been used for jewely by local artisians for years. In fact, this lovely children’s book, The Legend of the Cape May Diamond is a great example of the stone’s influence in the Cape May.
Cape May, New Jersey

We drove past the touristy down=town area, and out to Sunset Beach. We parked the car in the public parking lot, and followed the trail out to the water.
Cape May, New Jersey
Cape May, New Jersey
Cape May, New Jersey
Cape May, New Jersey

Right away we saw the water polished pebbles on the beach.
Cape May, New Jersey

So we walked along the water looking for gravel bars washed in by the tide.
Cape May, New Jersey
Cape May, New Jersey
Cape May, New Jersey

A little further down the beach, and we found a large gravel bar, so we looked through it for awhile.
Cape May, New Jersey
Cape May, New Jersey
Cape May, New Jersey
Cape May, New Jersey

With minimal effort we both found quite a few nice “Cape May Diamonds”, and then headed back to the parking lot.
Cape May, New Jersey
Cape May, New Jersey

At the edge of the parking lot was a RockShop on the beach.
Cape May, New Jersey

As we were leaving, the sun was setting over the Atlantic Ocean.
Cape May, New Jersey

You can find Cape May Diamonds, natural and in Jewelry, on eBay

posted in Collecting Locations, Filming | Comments Off

30th July 2007

Onward and Upward

Before saying good-bye to New York, and heading up to Maine, Scott (Scott Wallace, Majestic Minerals) wanted to show the claim that he shares with Mike Walter of Geologic Desires. This location is noted for the sweet Diopside, Feldspar, Apatite, and Sphene that has been recovered. After packing the car up, we headed out. Much to our surprise, we found that road up was well maintained because the celluar towers that were errected further up the hill.
St. Lawrence County

Scott’s digging spot, was a short walk into the woods from the side of the road.
St. Lawrence County

This was the first time that Scott had been to the claim this season, however Mike had a pretty big diging operation under way. Unfortunately he wasn’t there when we arrived.
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County

He showed us around the diggings, and told us about the deposit.
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County

We putzed around for a little while.
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County

This is and example of a larger sized specimen that Mike had pulled out earlier.
St. Lawrence County

And a few other pieces scratched from the tailings piles.
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County

Then it was time to bid Scott farewell, and get back on the road. This time it was off to Fryeburg, Maine to camp in our pal Tom Klinepeter’s (eBay seller starkhillgem) backyard.
St. Lawrence County

On the way out of New York we passed an open field housing a sculpture garden. We pulled of the road to go back and check it out.
St. Lawrence County

Turns out it was open to the public, so we took a few photos.
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County

However, we didn’t spend too much time because we had a long way to drive. We did stop at a rest area in Vermont.
St. Lawrence County

They had flowers,
St. Lawrence County

and free coffee.
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County

Finally we arrived in Maine. We were really tired, so after talking breifly with Tom about our game plan for the next day, it was time to get everything together before it dark.
St. Lawrence County

But not before I took some photos of Diane’s (Tom’s Wife) flowers in the back yard.
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County

posted in Collecting Locations, Family & Friends, Filming, Roadside Attractions | Comments Off

29th July 2007

These are the people in your neighborhood

The Bush farm was our first filming location of the day. Our goal was white tremolite, and possibly dravites. Just like Bowers Farm the day before, it is open to the public as long as you talk to the farmer first. Justin called Mr. Bush and got permission for us to go to the location and film, so we were off to trapse through a dairy cow pasture
St. Lawrence County

There was supposed to be a path leading to the collecting spot, but we found that it was long since gone. So we just walked back to the hedge-row, across the field.
St. Lawrence County

Once we got to the trees, we saw an opening, and decided that it had to be it.
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County

It turned to be the right spot. Right away we saw an outcropping in the middle of the overgrowth.
St. Lawrence County

The tremolite was very plentiful,
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County

and we even found some dravit too.
St. Lawrence County

Then it was back across the pasture…
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County

Driving around, we found investigated some other spots we read about in some guide books, but they turned out to be closed to collecting. On the way to Scott’s house, we saw a rockcut with an exposed vein of calcite. Justin had read about this location in an old copy of Matrix magazine, so we decided to drive back to it and give it a look.
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County

It was posted as private property, so we decided that we would go and talk to the owner.
St. Lawrence County

The land belonged to a lady named Cindy who lived in a farm house down the road. She told us that she had been dooped and lied to by a collector before, and therefore didn’t let anyone collect at the site anymore. However she suggested that we meet her friend Robert Paul Rice that lived down the road. She said that she would show us where he lived if we follwed her in our car. We said ok, and were off on what would turn out to be a fun adventure.

Paul Rice is a member of the St. Lawrence County Rock & Mineral Club, and has been collecting in the surrounding area for over 40 years. He showed us some of the minerals he had collected from nearby Pine Hill Rd., and then offered to give us a little tour. Here is Paul with a plaque the club presented him with for his excellent lapidary skills.
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County

So we all piled in the car, and drove out to Paul’s Brown Tourmaline dig. We follwed as he quickly lead the way.
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County

This location is actually Paul’s claim, but he allows people to collect from his tailing piles with prior permission.
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County

Next it was off to a gravel quarry to collect fossils in round glacier washed stones.
St. Lawrence County

Paul explained the geology of the area to us while he showed us around.
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County

After taking us to the “Lost Fluorite” Location, he then directed us to where he likes to dig for quartz. He showed us his best find from the spot, so we were excited to check it out for ourselves. So we bid Paul good-bye, and thanked him for all his help.
St. Lawrence County

The quartz location was marked by a pile of quartz gravel spilling down a hill at a pull off.
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County

We walked up the hill, and followed the trail back untill we came to some outcroppings.
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County

We were not dissapointed, and collected some pretty good pieces in a matter of minutes.
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County

By this time we were tired and ready to head back to Scott’s house for diner. We drove through the town of Gouvernour on the way back.
St. Lawrence County

I had seen the giant pack of LifeSavers in the town center before, but didn’t have time to stop. This time we made sure to.
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County

Local resident Edward John Nobel was the owner and origanater of the LifeSaver, and the first flavor was peppermint.
St. Lawrence County

posted in Collecting Locations, Filming, Roadside Attractions | Comments Off