Delaware mineralogical society

A Delaware 501(c)(3) non-profit earth-science educational organization

 

Mt. Pleasant (Bart Township), PA Amethyst Trip

Minerals

Field Collecting Trip (Family & Kid-friendly)
We've been invited back! (Lots of photos on facebook!)
Saturday, October 20, 2018
9 am - 1 pm

Field Trip: Mt. Pleasant Amethyst Trip

We have again been invited to collect amethyst and quartz crystals at the Mt. Pleasant site, Pa.

Date: Saturday, Oct 20, 2018 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

(If the weather looks bad, I'll send an email on Friday, October 19.)

Where: We'll carpool from the meetup location to the site a bit after 9am.
PLEASE DO NOT DRIVE DIRECTLY TO THE COLLECTING SITE UNLESS YOU ARRIVE AFTER 9:00 AM

LIABILITY WAIVER: I've attached a Liability Waiver. Please print out, sign and give to me at the Fire Station before we go to the site. Family members may all sign a single form.

Please reply to me by email. I will return a confirmatory email. If you don’t get the confirmation please contact me again.

I set a 70 participant limit for this site due to parking limitations.

Collecting:

NEW: I’m setting a collecting limit to avoid depletion of this very limited resource and popular location. I ask that you keep no more than 15 amethyst or quartz specimens (crystals). If you collect 15 specimens, you may keep searching but if you find a 16’th you want to keep, please return one previously kept to the ‘land’, or give it to someone.

Most collecting here is by walking and looking, but a garden rake to scratch the surface helps and last Spring digging (with and without screening) produced some great finds.
The site is an open farm field, hopefully freshly plowed with a couple of cleansing rains, followed by nice warm, sunny weather. You may did down a bit, but please refill your hole and tamp it down firmly. This field is plowed by mule-team and we want to keep them safe and healthy.


DONATION
I asked for donations previously and will so again.


Note from Tom: DMS visited this site 4 times; 40 people went on the first trip and 50 people on each of the next two, and perhaps 70 on the last. There are 2 collecting sites here. Our first 2 trips were at the lower field and the last two trips at the middle field. The lower field had smaller crystals and was perhaps less productive than the middle field. A lot was found on both fields. A few people who dug in the middle field came away with some really nice smokeys and amethysts. This year, 2018, we’ll again be in the middle field; hopefully after a fresh plowing and a nice rain or two……

Comments from previous years trips:

Best technique was using hand rake. Sifting box was ok but tedious. I think its the design of the box. So, I'm looking at redesign of the box to make it more user friendly.
LIKE I SAID IN THE FIELD…EVERYONE WAS CHATTERING…AND THEN SILENCE WHICH ATTESTED TO CONCENTRATION LOOKING FOR CRYSTALS. I listened to what people were saying going back to their cars and they had a blast.
For those of you that went straight home, three of us went to the restaurant that was across from the fire house. It was an Amish restaurant and the food was good, inexpensive and the service just great.
It's such a wonderful way to spend a morning: fresh air, exercise, meditative atmosphere and all shared with terrific people!

Thanks again and I am "in" for Round 2 if it comes about. Sadly I did not find much in the way of color but I do have an amazing assortment of smokey points to share with the Blue Rockers ....

We had the greatest time! I cant wait to see how you all did with the screening. Our method was more of a search and scan, but it was very fruitful, finding big amethyst pieces at the entrance of the field, and lots of quartz crystal in the sandy, uphill, center area.

By the way, Around 11:30am I think, while we were grabbing snacks from our truck, a tour bus pulled up and stopped. I talked with the driver and tourists, all of whom were excited to ask what we were doing on the farm. The driver asked if we were digging for fishing worms.
We told them we were with DMS, and were granted special permission by the land owner to search for Amethyst crystals. They were impressed, and thanked us for talking with them.

We used a two-pronged hand-held garden rake, scratching the top 3-inches of soil. The best finds were at the bottom of overturned grass root clumps, which came up from about a foot underground at the bottom of the field, near the wire fence.

I have a feeling the sand bodies are the undifferentiated weathered quartzite, and the clays are the weathered gneiss and schist probably the Octoraro Formation. The quartzite has been hydrothermally altered and a lot of the material resembles a pegmatite intrusion in the Schist/Gneiss. There was a decent amount of Feldspar, albite and plagioclase. I was also seeing chlorite, tourmaline, hisingerite, , muscovite, and some other odd minereals an assortmant of either edipdote group and or iron/sulfide minerals, and I think I found a large a magnetite crystal as well. I ran my field finds under a black light (nothing) but i also used a magnet and one quartzite with some black minerals turned out to be very attracted.
*everything* in these photos was found within proximity of multiple footprints. These little crystals are shy; they hide in the small shadows; in the cracks between trodden clods. they disguise themselves by exposing their ugly, 'leaverite' side shielding bright color buried in the dirt.
hotspots ARE worth screening if you have good equipment and are patient.
these tiny gems are a long way from thunder bay, but there is one thing very special about this site: the amazing variety of shape and color. these tiny gems really come into their own when well photographed, then screen enlarged so the fine details show.
I got a handful of worked chips as well. Go to the very far right corner opposite where we parked the cars. Go out 30-35 yards from that corner in an arc and within that area is where the majority of the pieces were found. The first arrowhead was about 10 yards from the corner and about 10 feet downhill from the unplowed edge. Arrowhead #2 was about 15 yards from the corner and about 15 feet downhill from the unplowed edge. All of the other worked pieces (8 of them) I found were between the arrowhead area and within the 30-35 yard arc from the corner -most on the downhill side. Bill’s arrowhead was a clear quartz whereas mine were a white milky quartz as were all the chips I found which is why they stood out. The creek parallels the far edge of the field and I did not look along it which someone ought to do.
I’ve attached a few photos of last week’s great finds. Mostly we found amethyst, smoky, milky and crystal quartz. The most unique specimens had crystal termination edges that were smoky (or amethyst in one) while the faces were milky or clear. I’m calling these crystals ‘asteric’ because, end on, they look like an asterisk. We also found a few specimens with schorl tourmaline and others with magnetite.

Tom Pankratz
tjpankratz@verizon.net
(302) 766-0127

________________________________________


Those who have signed up (and aren't on the waiting list) will get an email with a Liability Waiver. Please print out, sign and give to me at the Fire Station before we go to the site. Family members may all sign a single form.

Please reply to me by email that you are still on for this date. I will return a confirmation to you; if you don't get one, please recontact me. I will not open this trip to other clubs until I've heard back from you...hopefully within a week.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me.

Collecting: Most collecting here is by walking and looking, but a garden rake to scratch the surface helps and last Fall digging (with and without screening) produced some great finds.

The site is an open farm field, hopefully freshly plowed with a couple of cleansing rains, followed by nice warm, sunny weather (like last Spring). As this is a specially-arranged fieldtrip on private property, we encourage only visiting the site with DMS at the pre-planned times.

 --Tom Pankratz, V-P of Fieldtrips

From past fieldtrips to this locale:

Everyone had such a great time collecting amethyst, smoky and crystal quartz at the Mt. Pleasant farm site that I’ve arranged a return trip. Part of my reasoning for a ‘quick’ return trip is that once the field is planted in the next week or so, it will be unavailable for collecting for the coming 3 years.

The return trip is scheduled for this coming Saturday, October 21, 2017, 9:00 am until 1:00 or thereabouts.
Several of you (more than a dozen) have already told me you’re interested in a return trip. Please send me an email to confirm you are able to come next Saturday.

If you haven’t already indicated your interest, send me an email to get on the list.
I’ll send the final details for this return trip Thursday evening.

I’ve attached a few photos of last week’s great finds. Mostly we found amethyst, smoky, milky and crystal quartz. The most unique specimens had crystal termination edges that were smoky (or amethyst in one) while the faces were milky or clear. I’m calling these crystals ‘asteric’ because, end on, they look like an asterisk. We also found a few specimens with schorl tourmaline and others with magnetite.

A few days later Ross Elliott and I spent a day mapping the site and we now have a pretty good idea where crystals are to be found (of course, they can be found pretty much anywhere on the site but there are ‘richer’ areas). And, to top things off, the recent hard rains have exposed more. Presently the field is plowed, some or all may be disked by Saturday.


Tam's finds from the March 25, 2017 fieldtrip

Field Collecting Trip
Saturday, March 25, 2017 [As of March 23rd, we are a 'Go' for the trip!]
9 am - 1 pm

After a lengthy search, I finally found this site. I found it yesterday, met with the owner and have permission to collect. The collecting window is fairly short as the site is in a farmed field. Right now the site has a winter cover crop and an additional healthy layer of barn waste. All of this will be plowed in the next week or so and the land will be planted about the end of the second week of April. Hopefully we’ll get some good rains to wash things off for great collecting.

I collected a bit yesterday and got about 2 dozen pieces; mostly clear to milky quartz crystals, some smokey’s and a couple of light amethyst. Given that the ground is 95% covered, this wasn’t too bad. I also bought several much better pieces from the land owner (he doesn’t collect, but does pick things up; in addition to the types I found, he has some really nice amethysts and a small handful of arrowheads). The quartz crystals vary from miniscule to about 1”. I have no doubt there are great plates just beneath the plow zone. However, we will be surface collecting only; well, perhaps some shallow digging like with a hoe.

If you are interested, please get back to me via email at: tjpankratz@verizon.net. --Tom Pankratz