Light waves curve around the Earth, pulled from their straight-edge track by the weight of our hyper-dense gravity machine core. That said, the faces of these gems seem to cut through the morning glow like a hot knife through butter. So let's talk about that, shall we?
Urban rockhounding comes in many flavors. In downtown Seattle, there is an array of billionaire buildings with fossil-matrix decorating lobbies.
Streets that often smell of piss and pot are lined with marble, granite, and expertly chiseled stones carted from thousands of miles in slabs to be secured with epoxy as counter tops and banisters. Instead of touring all that, I called another hound and asked if he would like to do a virtual rock exchange of gemstones and/or other earthen goodies.
Evan, naturally and gracious, accepted. This collection of photos are the first display of my experimental skills in crystal photography. I am no rocktographer, like Zach, but I do have a camera, rocks, and a general knowledge of how the light plays on (some) crystal surfaces. Herkimer diamonds are quartz. Generally, they are pulled straight from the iron-rich clay of their New York state mine in water-clear condition and shaped like they've been cut with precision by a pro. As such, with a hardness of 7 (out of 10, which would be carbon diamond on the Mohs scale of hardness) their edges catch and refract light to create rainbow effects and general mirror-lighted ambiance, from behind a lens.
These are just the tip of what I hope will be a moderately-size iceburg of geologic pictures- god willing- but I hope you enjoy them. The bubbles of other quartz are called "phantoms" and there are even a bit of inclusions of reticulated in one of these! From a bottle of Idaho garnets, carnelians, and leaf fossils, I lovingly present the Herkimer diamonds of one urban rockhounding escapade. Also, there is a Montana sapphire in there!
I won't divulge any secrets, but the advice of Frank the Astorian rockhounder will forever bring luminescence to my pallid attempts at rocktography: black or brown, highly textured cloth will suck the light right through the gem and reveal is brilliance.
Light dances off these babies like a pagan equinox bonfire, if I do say so myself. Their awesome angles play with the light, adding pinks and yellowish hues where no pigment dares to tread. A moment of fractured light captured in the mirrored lens of my Canon, these beauties tease with their diamondesque assertiveness. To say that I cannot wait to get down & dirty in New York and dig up a haul of my own, doesn't even come close to these feels.
Along with these marvelous stones, Evan sent an anecdote. While chatting up some locals on his dig, he was floored to discover that, "back when [they] started digging, several gems worth $20k were found, early on. Ever since then, [they] can't help themselves, but keep coming back to dig, even though the site/mine has changed a great deal." That's how they get you, I suppose. A little taste of something wonderful and you're hooked for life. #relatable.
If you would like to check out the Herkimer Diamond Mines for yourself, you can follow the link below:
With love and nothing else,