|Ben and Cindy, in a place unofficially named "Garnet Hill"|
I had been blathering on and on about this site for years, so finally one day one of my geology buds (I’ll call him “Ben” because that’s his name) blurted out “Well, I’ve never been there. Let’s go rock hounding!”
So last month I went back to that hillside for the first time in eight years. I’ll never know why it took me so long to return, because I was still that kid in that garnet candy store.
|Garnet schist. All those red spots are garnets! Hammer for scale (duh).|
We didn’t even need a rock hammer, there were so many easily accessible rocks containing so many easily accessible garnets. We moseyed around the hillside and just picked them out of the gravel.
|Gravelly blood red garnets easily weather out of the schist.|
For some reason I thought this spot looked appealing so I walked over to investigate…
|There was a gem of a surprise awaiting to be discovered, just beyond the big white rock.|
…and waltzed right up to the mineral discovery of my life!
|My garnet beauty is near the tip of the hammer. Every single other red spot is a garnet, too.|
This mineral specimen is a beauty, without a doubt the best I have ever found in the field. It is maybe the size of half of a ping–pong ball. Moreover, although it isn’t a completely intact garnet but appears to be sliced along a center plane, its dodecahedron shape is obvious (or perhaps it’s trapezohedral? I never was very good with shapes), its crystal faces clearly visible.
Now, these garnets are by no means gem quality. They barely fit into the category “of interest to collectors” because the specimens are so totally chewed up and spit out. Wouldn’t you look a bit ragged, too, if you were nearly two billion years old?
Well…they certainly interest me and my geologizing friends, that’s for sure! When it was finally time to go, once more our pockets and packs were packed to overflowing as we stumbled gleefully down the hillside and back to the car.
|This schist is chock full of blood red garnets.|
|Watching for garnets on Garnet Hill.|