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October TGMS Field Trip

TGMS Member Post: Kerry Towe

On Saturday, October 25th, four TGMS members traveled to the Carlyle mining district for a field trip. Merritt Simmons led the trip. Merritt and his mother have collected quartz crystal, agate jasper, chalcedony and fire agate in this area for years.

Carlyle New Mexico Field trip+10-14 015.JPG

We met in Lordsburg, New Mexico and then proceeded north to Duncan. From there we took the Carlyle road to the mining area. The first site we visited was accessed by following the Imperial Mine road. We parked near the Imperial Mine and searched there for quartz crystals and jasper. The nicest piece found was a druzy quartz covered piece of Rhyolite.

Near the Imperial Mine was a very old gold mine with an outstanding head frame and the remains of the ore processing tables and storage facilities. The pictures show how very old and scenic the mining area remains. We do not know the name of this old mine. It was a lot of fun to explore.

From there we traveled on the Carlyle road again toward the Carlyle Mine. In a saddle above the Carlyle Mine we stopped and proceeded on foot a short distance to the quartz crystal collecting site where Merritt has collected numerous times. The host rock is a very hard and cavity filled Rhyolite. Extracting the crystals requires hard work and time but we were rewarded with excellent results.

The quartz crystals are clear and often amethyst tipped and quite remarkably shaped. Perhaps the best piece collected by Bruce Kaufman was a rose quartz barbell extending above the matrix on a single clear crystal. This crystal exhibited excellent pseudosymmetry.

This pocket was lined with a pure white calcite over quartz. We spent the rest of the day breaking into these cavities and removing very fine specimen material. After a long and productive day, we drove back to Lordsburg where we all met at the Kranberry Restaurant for dinner and spent a couple of hours relaxing and discussing future trips to the area.