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Cheryl & Richard Sittinger
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Schedule of Upcoming Featured Minerals

Stilbite-Ca, Jalgaon District, Maharashtra, India.

JANUARY 2012 STILBITE-CA  Our stilbite-Ca specimens were collected at basalt quarries in the Jalgaon District in the state of Maharashtra in the Republic of India. Jalgaon is located within the Deccan Traps, a huge volcanic province that formed some 65 million years ago and consists of basalt formations as thick as 6,000 feet. Our specimens were extracted from vesicles that formed from gas bubbles in the original magma. Later, these cavities filled with mineral-rich groundwater that precipitated crystals of quartz, calcite, and various zeolite minerals. Basalt quarrying is an important industry throughout the Deccan Traps region of India. Crushed basalt is used as ballast and fill for roads, rail beds, foundations for buildings and dams, and cement additives. Our stilbite-Ca specimens were recovered by professional specimen miners who contract with quarry managers for permission to extract zeolite specimens when they are exposed by quarrying operations

Muscovite and Fluorite, White Mountains, Inyo County, California

FEBRUARY 2012 MUSCOVITE and FLUORITE A new find! Our composite muscovite-fluorite specimens were collected in the White Mountains in Inyo County, California. The White Mountains are a 60-mile-long, 20-mile-wide, north-south-trending, fault-block mountain range with two peaks above 14,000 feet and six peaks above 13,000 feet. Some 500 million years ago during the Paleozoic Era, the ancient sea that covered this region deposited thick layers of sediments that later lithified into sandstone, dolomite, and other sedimentary rocks. Crustal stresses generated from distant tectonic collisions then slowly, but dramatically, uplifted sections of the crust to create geologically complex mountains. Our muscovite specimens formed during the uplift of the White Mountains when granitic magma intruded country rock. This magma cooled slowly and solidified into large bodies of granite that retained a central core of residual magma enriched with such unusual elements as fluorine. This residual magma forced its way into surrounding fissures and cracks to form pegmatite veins with muscovite in an unusual combination with purple fluorite.
MARCH 2012 Stalactitic Quartz, Maharashtra, India. March 2012 marks the sixteenth anniversary of our Club, and we have very special pieces to send you in celebration! We're still working with the Indian geologist who supplied us the specimens as to how they formed in this unusual way. The March write-up should prove to be absolutely fascinating!


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