Mineral Identification

VISIT our sluice, and see what you can find!

Tourmaline

Apatite

Apatite, both manganese and flourapatite, come in various colors and are U-V flourescent. Watch this space for updates.

Blue Beryl

Beryl

Mt Mica produces two colors of Beryl. The blue variety is called Aquamarine and is found in rock surrounding a mineralized zone. It can be gem quality, usually a very light blue color. A variation of beryl is Morganite, (pink or salmon color)  found in pockets,  usually etched with imperfect crystal structure. Etched crystals are very bright, quite different from quartz. Both aquamarine and morganite really show their colors on a pure white background!

cassiterite

Cassiterite

This mineral is a Tin ore;  resembles black tourmaline except that it is very heavy. Good crystals of cassiterite can be worth a lot of money.

Cookeite

Cookeite

Cookeite color ranges from cream color to dark brown, and is grainy and quite soft. Can contain voids and crystals of quartz, tourmaline, flourapatite, etc. Inspect carefully!

Feldspar

Feldspar

There many varieties of this common mineral family. Granitic pegmatites have two feldspars plus a mix of the two: (1.) Sodium rich (Na) feldspar called Albite is usually found around mineral pockets.  In pegmatites featuring colored tourmalines albite may be in a bladed form called Cleavelandite. Pegmatites that do not contain colored tourmaline may feature a blocky rather than bladed albite. (2.) Potassium  rich (K) feldspar can be Microcline, found in deposits rich in colored tourmaline, or  Orthoclase, (orange) in others. Squiggly lines seen in some feldspar are 'blebs' of sodium rich feldspar in potassium rich feldspar; the combination is called Perthite. Potassium feldspar was mined for ceramics industries from the 1920s to the early 1960s.

Lollingite

Lollingite

Looks like pyrite ("fools gold") on a fresh break but discolors in air quickly. It is an iron sulfide similar to pyrite.

Mica

Mica

A thick chunk of mica is called a "book" and thinnest pieces are "sheets". Silver colored mica is called Muscovite and is used today in kitchen toasters, in many hi-temperature applications and in electronics. A black form of mica is called Biotite and has no practical use. The most sought after mica is Lepidolite.  Usually purple, it is often found in association with colored tourmaline and can be cut and polished beautifully!  

Montebrasite

Montebrasite

(pure white) A somewhat heavy mineral found with lepidolite and spodumene. Sometimes this mineral is host to watermelon tourmaline crystals.

Quartz

Quartz

Found in various shapes and sizes including: 6-sided crystals with a point; in massive forms (more waxy in luster); and in pieces or shards. Mt Mica quartz can be very clear and bright, (optical quality) milky, smoky or in various colors. Mt Mica also produces a pink variety of quartz in crystalline form which is very rare and is otherwise found only in Brazil. Other Maine mines have produced a purple quartz..

Siderite

Siderite Tourmaline

This is a beautiful combination of tan color siderite and dark blue tourmaline. The combination sometimes resembles a feather, with alternating siderite and tourmaline. Siderite is produced by a corrosive fluid that causes secondary minerals to form. Siderite/tourmaline can have voids, (vugs) that may contain microscopic specimens of kosnarite, eosphorite, fluorapatite, roscherite, quartz and sometimes zircon. Look very carefully!

Spodumene

Spodumene

Crystal faces feel greasy. Found mostly as white fragments of crystals; a few pieces were nearly clear enough to be faceted for either a blue or purple gem. Spodumene is a lithium mineral found in association with lepidolite and montebrasite

Tourmaline

Tourmaline (many colors)

Tourmaline has a glassy luster and is harder than quartz. Gem tourmaline is free of inclusions and can have a great value. Black is most common and is called Schorl. Colored tourmaline is named Elbaite after the island of Elba, Italy where it was first discovered. Green tourmaline is the most common but red, pink, blue, watermelon and  bi-colors, have also been found recently.