Corner View: mineral

Corner View: Vegetable Corner View is a weekly appointment – each Wednesday – created by Jane, where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme. If you’d like to join in, please leave a link to your Corner View post in the comments at the Corner View link, and be sure to visit other participants you’ll find there too. Today’s theme is “Mineral” and it comes from Dana. It’s part of a trilogy inspired by the game “animal, vegetable, or mineral?” (do you have it in your corner of the world?)”

I love minerals. In Maine there are lots of opportunities to dig for gems just lying barely under the surface. There’s tourmaline, beryl, amethyst, quartzes of all colors, and more. Perham’s of West Paris Maine was a 90 year old store that sold minerals and gems as well as books and equipment for prospecting. Unfortunately it closed in 2009. The store sold local gems and minerals and pieces from around the world. Perham said the area is rich in pegmatite, a rock composed of quartz, feldspar, and mica. The slow cooling of such materials allows crystals to grow. Green tourmaline mined on Mt. Mica was the store’s specialty when it was founded. The store was featured in Reader’s Digest in 1957; Perham said recent visitors still arrived with copies of the issue. Yankee Magazine also cited Perham’s as “The Best Place to Rock” in Maine in their May-June issue. More about the famous mineral store here.

Tourmaline is actually Maine’s state mineral. Digging for minerals is a Maine tourist attraction for those so inclined. They stay at Mining camps as a home base like the Poland Mining Camp and are taken to quarry locations to prospect.

Living in and near the locations for best mineral collecting, we were fortunate to belong to the Maine Mineralogical Society. As a club they had permission to go to quarries where the mechanized gemologists had already dug out the vein and dug up the earth from around it. We sorted through the tailings, as they called it, happy as clams and finding lots of pretty gems and rocks. Here is a collection of a few I found whilst digging with my nose to the ground under the Maine skies:

From front and clockwise: amethyst ,2 quartzes, geode, smokey quartz

Oh, look, it’s an ugly rock!

Ah, but look what’s lurking inside! It turned out to be a geode!
Smokey quartz closeup. In real life it looks like there is smoke inside the mineral. I just can’t photograph it so well so the picture didn’t pick that up

Amethyst, note the light purple. In Maine, amethyst came in all shades, from light lavender to deep purple.

Green tourmaline

Did you know that minerals grow so big? A cave was discovered in Mexico where the crystals have grown as big as a pillar and tall as a house!

You can read more about the wonderful crystal cave in NatGeo here.

Finally, there is a new mineral that has been discovered!

Meteorite Hunter Discovers New Mineral
“Hidden within a rock from space is a mineral previously unknown to science: panguite.The new mineral was found embedded in the Allende meteorite, which fell to Earth in 1969. Since 2007, geologist Chi Ma of Caltech has been probing the meteorite with a scanning electron microscope, discovering nine new materials, including panguite.”

So thanks for taking the mineral tour with me! Be sure to visit the other Corner Views. Happy Corner viewing!

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11 thoughts on “Corner View: mineral

  1. Great photos and finds. I can feel you are passionate about minerals and rocks. And therefore living nearby Mt. Mica is a sign!

  2. Thanks for visiting everyone. Gis, when I used to live in western Maine, we learned quickly that it was an area rich in gem-quality minerals. When there was a new highway being constructed, as a lot of rocks and minerals were unearthed, rockhounds used to flock to the newly overturned and exposed minerals to prospect after the crews went home!

  3. It is always amazing to me how the rocks are so ugly on the outside and gorgeous on the inside. Maybe a lesson to learn that we shouldn't judge things by the outside cover.

  4. I found this fascinating. I liked the info–learned a lot. Lovely stone collection also. Sad about that store closing—such establishments are a part of a region's history, so it's a huge loss when such a place closes.

  5. likeschocolate and Beth and Francesca, thanks so much for visiting. Likeschocolate you're so right, the interior held the beauty with that geode, like so many people, animals, and things!

    Beth, true, the store held many pieces of literal history- there was a gem and gem tool museum there, as well as it having been run by family for generations. Oh, the stories they told of how the area had grown and changed.

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