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Galena is a great bet. It is certainly a base metal ore high in lead. And those ores are also often high in silver. In my neck of the woods galena can be much richer than a gold mine.

Galena is probably one of the easiest and most fun minerals to identify. Just follow the established procedures of identification and it will teach you a lot. Galena taught me the term "sub metallic" when I was about twelve. I still remember sorting that one out whenever this mineral is mentioned. Galena is also where I first observed a streak tarnish over night and turn from shiny "metal" to a dull gray oxide. I remember sitting in my room and doing that test for the first time.

I then made a home made radio out of the crystal and listened to the rock station out of Juarez, Mexico. I heard ZZ Top for the very first time on a hunk of Galena from the Organ Mountains. That rock has a lot to offer. It is no common bastard stone I tell you!

Just step through the density/streak/hardness/fracture/luster/color observations and this one will be easy. 

A perfect specimen to identify! And a worthy exercise even if you already know exactly what it is. 

Edited by Bedrock Bob
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Awesome info, thanks for the reply. Did not know you could make your own radio, and good choice of tunes. Wish I thought learning was cool when I was younger. And As I remember the piece was bigger and did fracture off some at one point.

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Good story, Bedrock Bob.  If you were making crystal radios from scratch as a youngster, you must be of my generation, give or take a decade or two, and probably are at least 25 years old now, right?  I think the cool stuff we did to entertain ourselves and learn was so much better than spending 16 hours a day poking away at a stupid phone screen.

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36 minutes ago, Saul R W said:

Good story, Bedrock Bob.  If you were making crystal radios from scratch as a youngster, you must be of my generation, give or take a decade or two, and probably are at least 25 years old now, right?  I think the cool stuff we did to entertain ourselves and learn was so much better than spending 16 hours a day poking away at a stupid phone screen.

You are an intuitive fellow! I am exactly 25 years old!

ZZ Top was blaring across the border on clear channel radio about 1972. Using quantum physics and new math that makes me exactly 25 years old! Bingo!

I found a shiny rock while exploring a mine near my house and wondered what it was. I researched it and followed the steps in my Audubon Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals. I showed that hunk of galena to my teacher. He told me about crystal radios during the war and how tons of New Mexico galena from those mines had been dumped over France to support the resistance. I bought the Boy Scout radio kit and built one. Very first thing I heard was a zillion gigawatt outlaw radio station from 20 miles south in Juarez. It was ZZ Top hammering out "Heard it on the X" live in the studio. 

That is my galena story. Every time I look at a hunk of that stuff I remember that badass guitar all scratchy suddenly coming through the earphone. I was the resistance listening to underground outlaw rock radio on a rock I found in the desert. It rocked.

In a lot of ways I am still the resistance hunkering down, listening to the radio waves coming off the rocks in the desert. Funny how that worked out.

Edited by Bedrock Bob
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1 hour ago, Bedrock Bob said:

You are an intuitive fellow! I am exactly 25 years old!

ZZ Top was blaring across the border on clear channel radio about 1972. Using quantum physics and new math that makes me exactly 25 years old! Bingo!

I found a shiny rock while exploring a mine near my house and wondered what it was. I researched it and followed the steps in my Audubon Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals. I showed that hunk of galena to my teacher. He told me about crystal radios during the war and how tons of New Mexico galena from those mines had been dumped over France to support the resistance. I bought the Boy Scout radio kit and built one. Very first thing I heard was a zillion gigawatt outlaw radio station from 20 miles south in Juarez. It was ZZ Top hammering out "Heard it on the X" live in the studio. 

That is my galena story. Every time I look at a hunk of that stuff I remember that badass guitar all scratchy suddenly coming through the earphone. I was the resistance listening to underground outlaw rock radio on a rock I found in the desert. It rocked.

In a lot of ways I am still the resistance hunkering down, listening to the radio waves coming off the rocks in the desert. Funny how that worked out.

Groovy man!!!!

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3 hours ago, Bedrock Bob said:

You are an intuitive fellow! I am exactly 25 years old!

ZZ Top was blaring across the border on clear channel radio about 1972. Using quantum physics and new math that makes me exactly 25 years old! Bingo!

I found a shiny rock while exploring a mine near my house and wondered what it was. I researched it and followed the steps in my Audubon Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals. I showed that hunk of galena to my teacher. He told me about crystal radios during the war and how tons of New Mexico galena from those mines had been dumped over France to support the resistance. I bought the Boy Scout radio kit and built one. Very first thing I heard was a zillion gigawatt outlaw radio station from 20 miles south in Juarez. It was ZZ Top hammering out "Heard it on the X" live in the studio. 

That is my galena story. Every time I look at a hunk of that stuff I remember that badass guitar all scratchy suddenly coming through the earphone. I was the resistance listening to underground outlaw rock radio on a rock I found in the desert. It rocked.

In a lot of ways I am still the resistance hunkering down, listening to the radio waves coming off the rocks in the desert. Funny how that worked out.

How ironic that you heard...."Heard it On the X".... on the same radio station the song was written about!!

Just for you Bob!

 

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When the pilgrims spread out from Plymouth they moved up to a town called Ipswich.  They explored from there, and had some small mines where they got minerals locally.  Graphite was one of them and bog ore was another.  I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't go after Galena afterwards.  None of it was large scale, but that area is so populated and built up most of the evidence is covered up.  So, there's a possibility if the ore wasn't local, it had been moved from somewhere close to smelter.

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2 hours ago, Au Seeker said:

How ironic that you heard...."Heard it On the X".... on the same radio station the song was written about!!

Just for you Bob!

 

Yup XEROK. X-rok 80 from Juarez Mexico. I was raised listening to the outlaw radio. It was the only place you could hear a lot of the artists that are famous now. Bands that could not get air time just went south and paid a few bucks to get on outlaw radio that would blast across the entire continent and expose America to the evil rock and roll virus. Before it was all over there were four giant clear channel stations on the border blasting out so much power it would dim the lights in El Paso when they got cranked up. Janis, Lou Reed, Jim Morrison, and a host of others all came way out here to the middle of nowhere looking for fame on the outlaw radio. It is a huge part of Americana as well as local lore.

Thanks Skip! 

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5 hours ago, chrisski said:

When the pilgrims spread out from Plymouth they moved up to a town called Ipswich.  They explored from there, and had some small mines where they got minerals locally.  Graphite was one of them and bog ore was another.  I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't go after Galena afterwards.  None of it was large scale, but that area is so populated and built up most of the evidence is covered up.  So, there's a possibility if the ore wasn't local, it had been moved from somewhere close to smelter.

I looked up a local guide and was amazed at how many small mines there were and still are. Nothing to close to concord for galena source that I saw but many sources in the state. There are many old silver mines and even a large deposit of good under I 95.

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Greg, you live in a super-duper part of the country for someone who enjoys poking around for artifacts and historical sites, including mining sites (most often obscured by time's ravages and piles of leaves), as Chrisski points out.  One of the years when I lived in upstate New York there was a larger-than-average spring flood on the Mohawk River, and I had a free day, so spent it wandering the river banks with my dog.  There were all sorts of neat old items washed out of their hiding places by that flood, including a bent and very rusted smoothbore rifle barrel, in the vicinity of .70 caliber, that had been forged of several layers of iron wire.  By that time in life I was trying to lighten my load of rusty stuff, so I gave it to a neighbor who collected colonial-era artifacts.  I once read a study in which the author proposed that the average diameter of rifle bore produced in any particular frontier region of the world could be correlated to the amount of lead available.

Galena was an important mineral, not just as a source of lead for projectiles, but also for sheathing ships and making presidential teeth.  You have what appears to be a nice specimen of that mineral and, as Wodu Bob mentioned, it would be a good piece upon which to practice standard identification procedures.

 

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