Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Going to the Azurite Mine


Joe and I went to an azurite mine while in Moab, Utah. We spent half a day hunting for these rich blue stones, they called the round ones blueberries. The picture below is what we found, still very dirty. The picture above is what they look like after I tumbled them.



Here is the different in one picture.


I'm keeping them in a yellow bowl for great contrast.


You can see a few green pieces of malachite. This mine was privately owned so we paid a guide to take us and it was so much fun! This bright color is caused by the weathering of copper ore deposits. On the Mohs scale it is a 3.5 to 4 so it's very soft and fragile. And for centuries it has been used as a pigment.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Bismuth


While on our vacation we came across many rock and mineral shops (thought many many more bike shops)! It was so much fun to come through the different rock shops, it felt like a treasure hunt. I bought this piece of Bismuth, the geometry really spoke to me as well as the color.


Oxidation, in the air, can cause Bismuth to turn pink which is the color in the core of this piece of bismuth. Did you know that is what colors Pepto Bismol? It is also used in cosmetics and pigments.


The many colors are called iridescent oxide tarnish. I wish more metals tarnished so beautifully!


Bismuth is very brittle and this piece is going to sit on my bench as inspiration. I don't plan to use it in a piece of jewelry. In the Earth's crust bismuth is twice as abundant as gold.


Here is a close up, the growth of this metal is just fascinating. It crystallizes in a rhombohedral lattice. What stone or mineral fascinates you?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

And I'm back...


My husband and I went away for two weeks to enjoy the state and national parks of Colorado and Utah! Here you can see my hand next to a dinosaur foot print. We went to Dinosaur Ridge in Colorado.


This pic above is a baby dinosaur foot print.


On this section of rock they have over 300 dinosaur foot prints, they highlight them by painting charcoal water in some of the foot prints. So us regular people can see the foot prints better. It was fantastic to see these fossils. It made me think of the footprints we leave behind. We had a great trip but I'm glad to be home.