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I have owned a few claims. Made a little money off of some of them but my best paying claim was not for gold but Amethyst Quartz Crystals.  I discovered the location by accident. I was leading a weekend rock hound group to search an area for stalactites , it was in karst area and they were found in the soil from eroded  caves and crevices  along a canyon wall. Most of them have filled in solid with different colors ans when sliced made nice little cabochons. The area had recently clear cut and replanted by ripping with a bulldozer and then hand planting replacement seedlings , one of the planters  had tipped me off to the find.  The cleared area  was several 100 acres and everyone was finding lots of material. I started back to the road where we were parked with one of the people who was exhausted  and needed to rest, now the road had between the site and and area declared as Endangered  area  so we had to cross above or below it. I knew some clear quartz crystals had been found  in the general area but most of it was heavy brush and some was private property. We where following the dozer path back to the road it was loaded from and while crossing a deep gulch the person had to rest and sat down on a large stump to rest. I saw a crystal sticking up from a clump of grass in the dozer trail . I raked it out and it was a hand sized chunk with deep amethyest  color!  digging around some more exposed a large vein. By the time it got dark the group had way more than they needed and we had nearly 75 miles of mountain roads with a lot of it gravel. The next day about 20 people showed up and started digging, many of them didn't pay any attention to the Critical endangered area and drove across it.  Most of them I did not know and I heard one group tell one of them to go to town and call  a brother in Texas to come and get in on the find. I left because I knew the FS rangers would be writing some hefty tickets. This was on a Sunday and local ranchers lived near by and it was less than a mile to the state line and all of them had mutual aid law enforcement. Well I didn't get off the gravel before seeing the rangers and sheriffs officers heading up. They seized about 600 Lbs of crystals and gave tickets to those they caught driving in the critical area. Later after all was settled down and all the diggers moved on I filed on it, had to put up a bond on the critical area and went to digging. I was supplying every rock shop I could between Silver City , NM and  Springerville , AZ . Got tired of it and sold it to H Glen Carlson  of Deming  ,NM the book publisher be cause his wife had a doll company that made Birthstone dolls and needed a good source. More on this to follow about this and a later claim. There have been many claims filed in this area since  including some club claims .

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Great story Max! I really miss old Glen. He was one of the most inspiring writers I used to read when I first started :black_knight_standing:

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Choice pieces of amethyst can be stunning when cut well. It's my birthstone though...so I'm biased. I have never found any in the wild, but always keep my eyes open when I'm in crystal country.

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9 hours ago, BMc said:

Great story Max! I really miss old Glen. He was one of the most inspiring writers I used to read when I first started :black_knight_standing:

Glen was one of the first persons I met when  I moved to Deming , I was driving down the road and saw this house with some  artifacts just setting out on the porch so I stopped and  knocked on the door and told him we needed to get acquainted that I was a fan of his and the Metal Detectoredist , rock houndist, bottle digger he had ever met ! Well this was before cell phone days and my wife had no ideal where  I was so about 3 hours later  I went home just before she was going to walk to a pay phone to call the sheriff who we where renting an RV spot from. Glen was one of a kind, for instance he owned a silver mine in a roadside park. He knew every miner and rock hound in the  state and had sold books to most of them from out of state. He had a local guy who was a miner and helped him out on his claims but I don't remember his name. He ran his book selling business from home , I don't know how he kept up with it all but the mailman was busy!

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7 minutes ago, Gilaoro said:

Glen was one of the first persons I met when  I moved to Deming , I was driving down the road and saw this house with some  artifacts just setting out on the porch so I stopped and  knocked on the door and told him we needed to get acquainted that I was a fan of his and the Metal Detectoredist , rock houndist, bottle digger he had ever met ! Well this was before cell phone days and my wife had no ideal where  I was so about 3 hours later  I went home just before she was going to walk to a pay phone to call the sheriff who we where renting an RV spot from. Glen was one of a kind, for instance he owned a silver mine in a roadside park. He knew every miner and rock hound in the  state and had sold books to most of them from out of state. He had a local guy who was a miner and helped him out on his claims but I don't remember his name. He ran his book selling business from home , I don't know how he kept up with it all but the mailman was busy!

Sounds like somebody that anyone would want to meet. I will always regret that I didn't look him up during the time he lived in Deming or even later when he moved over to to Dona Ana Co. He had a lot of experience and insights about MD searching, less obvious places to go, and details that I was able to benefit from. Another guy I always wanted to meet who lived in Deming, was Skeeter Skelton, who worked as a Customs BP officer. He was a well known Pistolero and gun writer for Shooting Times. He turned out some great gun articles as well as a lot of stories based on life experience and loaded with home spun wisdom. The Ill Gotten Gains of Me and Joe, The Golden Spurs of Dobie Grant. and others. He was on the Border Patrol pistol team along with Bill Jordan, who gave shooting exhibitions by placing an aspirin on the back of his hand waist high, then drawing and shooting the aspirin before it hit the ground!

Great nostalgia. Keep 'em coming Max!

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2 hours ago, Sonoran Dave said:

Choice pieces of amethyst can be stunning when cut well. It's my birthstone though...so I'm biased. I have never found any in the wild, but always keep my eyes open when I'm in crystal country.

Dave, Most of the amethyst we where digging was in plates and some in bigger geode form , they faded when exposed to direct sunlight. I donated 1/2 of a large geode to the NM Mineral Museum that weighed 70 Lbs . I recently asked them for a picture of it explaining that I had lost most of my pictures in a home fire. They replied that the museum had been taken over by the university and had been moved twice and they could find no record of it and it was not one of their displays , in fact they were not even aware that Catron county even had any Quartz crystals at all! How little they know of the history of their own state. N of Luna there is a ranch that includes and entire 1800,s era town with all the building still intact and in use and the grave yard has many historic grave sites including one covered by hundreds of quartz crystals collected and placed on the cowboys grave by his spouse all from the local area. NO VISITORS ALLOWED. IT"s all private property and a working ranch and they don't let many people in with out a warrant. They ( the Museum) don't know that Silver City in Grant county has a court house built on the site ( in the actual pit)of one of the biggest silver mines ever, that Kingston had big gold rushes, that Uranium was mined just to the S of Silver City  and the copper mine  there is the oldest operating mine in the US and was mined by people before the Spanish.

 I guess what really set me off on them was that they destroyed  all the  assay records for the state  and no longer do assays or maintain them for historic reasons. One of mine in particular that I had done years ago before REE"s became valuable  , now this one that I found is selling for .75 an OZ not much compared to gold but the location is available but with out an assay  and some testing it is not marketable .

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2 hours ago, Sonoran Dave said:

Max, I bet your donated geode is decorating somebody's collection. Backdoor museum sales are probably common. 

 

Dave, I would hate to think that but they should also have accountability. In their email they suggest that the former assessor (He is retired) may have kept the state 's records and I should contact him  to maybe get a copy ? something smells  about the whole deal, no accountability for a state museum collection ? No records ? O'well that seems to be the norm these days.

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You are talking about Abe Gundtlier at NMMMR I think Max. He knows everything about everything in New Mexico.

He is the head assayer and metalurgist at Soccorro School of Mines. You can still contact them and get in touch with him.

All things mining in New Mexico is done in Socorro and not by State Agencies. They will have what you are looking for. If they don't then you can't get it. And if Abe Gundtlier doesnt know about it it didn't happen.

I don't know about collections but NMSU and Socorro gobbles up rock specimens and collections.  For years they were well funded and had a department set up to curate minerals and artifacts. Lots of stuff winds up there. Branson Library, Zuhl library and the Zuhl museum have many hundreds of tons on display and more than that stored. So there is a good chance those rocks wound up there. 

I am sure you can get a name at NMSU that could tell you what is cataloged in their database and where it came from and where it resides. 

Email Dennis Daily at ddaily@nmsu.edu . He is in charge of special collections. I bet he can point you in the right direction if they wound up in a State collection.

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Thanks Bob,  Its no biggie I guess, I just wanted a picture of it , the other half was just as good and I sold it at the Deming Rock show for a $100 and a sack of BIGGS jasper, wish I had both of them back but selling finds paid for the travels to hunt more!

 The assay I will just give the approximate location to anyone if they are interested . I called it my inside/out geodes because that what they looked like , the crystals , small yellow were on the outside of  a core of material that was assayed by the referenced people and the report  " Don't quote me" said that the "core"?  contained (11% ?) of Yttrium which was recently quoted at .75 an OZ. . The deposit I found was shallow and abundant and worthless at the time at least I was never able to market it , while Luna Blue sold well . 

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There are lots of excellent ree deposits in New Mexico. There is not much market for minerals so far from a process.

I know a spot where a pegmatite neck is just loaded with rich mica. And another where monazite crystals are as big as your thumb. Not far below is a strip of monazite sand three feet thick and extends for miles. All claimed by big corporate interests and never to be mined. 

Wind Mountain and Alamo Hueco is rich in ree metals. They proposed a big operation there a few years ago when the Sierra Blanca mine opened. But that never came to fruition.

I located a spot where there is mica and black crystals in quartz pegmatite that assayed well. Lots of columbium and tantalum with yttrium and other ums. But unless there is somewhere to ship the ore it is worthless.

The Caballos have ree in mica as well. And the chupadera hills. Gallinas has monazite sand and rich mica. Uranium in mineable quantities in dozens of sandstone formations up north. But none of it is worth mining. And the State has tightly regulated all of that since the United Nuclear disaster at Gallup in the 80s.

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Max, 

A few years ago when coltan was big you could sell it to the Canadians. There is lots of that stuff up by Tierra Amarilla in the Tusas range. We specked many pounds at $100 per pound. 

You can drywash and suice it but we just speckled it in float at the base of the pegmatite necks in the volcanic rock. East side of the Tusas just west of Tierra Amarilla in the National Forest.

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