Lake George Area, Teller County, Colorado Collecting Trip, April, 2006
After the Spring Denver Mineral Show, I ventured southwest, into the Rocky Mountains,
invited by Stephen and Tara.  Our mutual friend Joe Dorris honored us with a unique invitation to dig at his newly acquired claim, the famous "Topaz Mountain Gem Mine".  Please note that this whole area is under private claim by various owners and no unauthorized collecting is allowed.  We spent the majority of my stay in the
Lake George area digging Topaz.

The Topaz Mountain Gem Mine-

Topaz Mountain,
Teller County, C
olorado

26 April 06

These claims produce beautiful blue
and sherry bi-colored Topaz crystals!

Looking downhill on Joe Doris's claim
Looking uphill at his claim

This is the first day that we dug with Joe
at his mine.  This was also Joe's first whole
day at his mine since he had bought it last year.  Stephen and I started the day out early by getting an old hole mucked out.
Here's Stephen in the hole.  There's
nothing like shoveling out tons of rock
muck, at an elevation of 9,000 feet, to get
the mineral-collecting juices flowing!

Joe Dorris and his friend Ron prospecting
for Topaz, with the help of Joe's dog Baxter
Joe built an ingenious and hearty screener that helped him find dozens of Topaz crystals

After we got under the 4 feet of soil and clay, and dug back into the weathered granite, we began to find Topaz.  Here is the first good crystal Stephen found, a gemmy, light blue crystal weighing about
100 Carats.  

Here are the combined results
for the first 2 days of digging,
from the 4 of us

Joe won the big prize when he found this
70 Carat, perfectly formed, SUPERB
gem, blue Topaz crystal!  WOW!!!!!

Here's Stephen's big score for the first 2 days, a flawless, light blue, 138 Carat, moderately abraded Topaz!  I was still
paying my dues to the mountain and
found almost nothing...


28 April-
What's a wee bit of snow when there's
beautiful Topaz to be found?!
Stephen finds a good one!

After shoveling out the snow,
I started mining in my pit again
White Snow, Blue Topaz!

After digging a new, 8 x 12 foot pit,
This 125+ Carat light blue Topaz
(with an unusual black Columbite inclusion) came to light.  This is my first good
self-collected blue Topaz!
A crystal to be proud of!

A nice, gemmy, light blue Topaz on the wall
Stephen also found this beauty!

29 April-  
Stephen found a nice gemmy bi-colored
Topaz in the wall.  Two more lesser Topaz crystals then came out right next to it.  
Directly behind those 3, he then found this-
Stephen scores a KILLER!  This 273 Carat gem Topaz crystal (about 5cm tall) shows some surface abrasion, but is unusually
gemmy for its size, displaying distinct
blue and sherry color zones!

The Dreamtime Amazonite/Smoky Quartz/Fluorite Mine

On the 1st of May, I visited my friend and owner of the Dreamtime mine, Quentin.  Here he is standing next to the "Mega Peg", and points to where a pocket containing large pink Fluorites was discovered last year.

Here we are digging on a pegmatite containing deeply-colored blue Amazonite

My first Colorado smoky Quartz pocket!

My first Amazonite/smoky Quartz combo!
It looks better in person

Quentin found a very nice, gemmy
blue Fluorite cube, in with Amazonite
and smoky Quartz!
A closeup of this fine Fluorite.  Also in
the picture are green chips of Amazonite
to the right of the Fluorite.
Happy, yet tired, I began the long drive home, choosing a scenic route
through the Rocky Mountains.  I really enjoyed digging
with Steven and Quentin and look forward to more collecting with
them after the September Denver show.   SCOTT

 

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