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Mineral Musings

Idaho - A Gem of a State

Posted by Maryanne Fender on

  The star garnet was designated the official state gem of Idaho.  Rarer than star sapphire, the Idaho garnet is usually dark purple with four rays in the star.  The asterism is caused by rutile inclusion.  You can dig, for a fee, at the Emerald Creek area in the Panhandle National Forest.  The area is currently closed due to Covid-19 but should open again soon. Collect Star Garnets in Idaho Forest Service Emerald Creek Area Idaho is called the Gem State for good reasons and hobby collecting is encouraged.   The Idaho Department of Lands provides a Bonanza of Rockhounding...

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Hawaii - The Paradise of the Pacific

Posted by Maryanne Fender on

The 50th state acclaimed for its unique and active geology does not have state mineral though it has a lot of great field trips.  The state gemstone is black coral  Born of Fire, Born of the Sea Over the past 70 million years the continuous movement of the Pacific Plate over the stationary Hawaiian "hot-spot" has left a trail of volcanoes across the Pacific Ocean floor. Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park protects some of the most unique geological, biological, and cultural landscapes in the world. Extending from sea level to 13,677 feet, the park encompasses the summits of two of the...

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Happy New Year!

Posted by Maryanne Fender on

Happy New Year! Beautiful fireworks bursting in the sky, first you need to mine. Here’s the geology of the minerals that give fireworks their vibrant colors. Read More: https://www.americangeosciences.org/critical-issues/faq/what-minerals-are-used-fireworks     Photo from www.compoundchem.com   This site is a lot of fun.  

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Virtual Field Trip: The Vienna Museum of Natural History

Posted by Maryanne Fender on

The Museums of Vienna was my first introduction to imperial gemstones. I was overwhelmed  https://www.nhm-wien.ac.at/en/museum_online https://www.kaiserliche-schatzkammer.at/en/  

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Virtual Field Trip

Posted by Maryanne Fender on

A National Geographic virtual tour allows you to explore Vietnam's Son Doong Cave http://www.nationalgeographic.com/news-features/son-doong-cave/2/#s=pano37    

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