Recent acquisition: Quartz, Smoky Mountain Crystal Mine, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania

Approximately three hours from the university a young women hiking a mountainous trail discovered some small quartz crystals. After securing mineral rights to the property, Kelly Hilmer has been mining for more than a year and is finding some of the most significant quartz crystals that have ever been collected in Pennsylvania. Some are crystal clear, some are smoky in color and others are a combination of smoky crystals on white quartz, but most are small.

The excavation was about 20 feet into the sloped surface and a clay filled cavity called a “pocket” was discovered, an environment where crystals are sometimes found.  On June 12, 2016 the largest smoky quartz crystal group was collected with special care to preserve other crystals in the cavity. This is important because often pocket crystals have been disturbed during the many years after formation and need to be reassembled.  This specimen did have minor repairs to reattach crystals:  the difference can be seen in the before and after images below. In Brazil, similar type crystals have been found and are called Jacare quartz – (Portuguese for crocodile) and referred to in this country as alligator quartz.

Quartz, Smoky Mountain Crystal Mine, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, (Above: as emerged from pocket; Below: after repair)






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