Collecting at the Braen Franklin Quarry, Saturday, May 18, 2019
There was bright sunny clear skies, cool temperatures, and lots of freshly blasted Franklin Marble in the quarry to check, which was fortuitously washed free of most of its white rock-dust due to a heavy rain the night before. After signing in, we first had a mini Mine Safety course by the Braen Aggregate staff. We were then led down to the collecting area where the real fun began. After only three hours of collecting, a multitude of scattered crystals and thin sheets of pyrite were found by a number of collectors. One surprise find was a cluster of dark olive uvite crystals found mixed in with pyrite and spongy carbonates. There were several exposures of fluorite found, but one was unique in that the fluorite was present as a thin purple ring around a core of pale yellow norbergite with scattered bits of diopside, which together fluoresced a bright yellow with pale blue patches under SW UV. After not having found corundum for several trips, it was nice to have three different finds. Corundum was found with pyrite and uvite, with green serpentine and a talc-like slip-and-slide zone, and finally on a large boulder with up to two inch phlogopite crystals and scapolite. Minor rutile and micro spinel crystals were also associated with these three finds. The corundum fluoresced bright red under LW UV, and even brighter under the Convoy light, which brought out the huge surprise of cream and orange fluorescing sphalerite on the green slip surfaces, something that is rarely found at the location. Regardless of the quality of their finds, all twenty-four members that attended left satisfied with the minerals they found.
Collecting area at the quarry
Ring of fluorite around a core of pale yellow norbergite with scattered bits of diopside.
Pyrite crystal (3/16 inch, 5 mm) in Franklin marble.
Sphalerite and corundum under longwave UV light. The sphalerite fluoresces cream and orange, the corundum red.
Phlogopite crystals and scapolite.