New rocks from Arizona

Hey everyone! I finally got back from visiting my family earlier this week, and while I’m still working on sorting through photos and writing a post about my vacation, I wanted to show off some souvenirs I got on my trip:

I picked up these cool specimens at a little rock shop in Jerome, Arizona. The guy who owned the place was a friendly ex-miner who’d found a lot of the rocks himself, and – like me – was a big fan of agate!

I found some amethyst (with a mysterious orange inclusion only visible in the right light)…

…a polished bit of iridescent labradorite…

…pieces of fire agate, bornite (also known as “peacock ore”), and malachite…

…and a tiny garnet, which was so dark that you could only catch the reddish hues of the stone by holding it at certain angles.

These new pieces add a little more color to my rock collection, and I especially like the amethyst, labradorite, and fire agate. Crystals and iridescent stones are my favorites!

Unfortunately, the only rock I wasn’t able to bring home this trip was the only one I found myself:

I found this in a creek in rural Arizona, and was immediately impressed by the layer of crystals that had grown in a band right through the rock. It was hard not to think of a wide, toothy mouth without corners or ends.

The bad thing about the crystals is that they made the rock a little fragile… instead of a solid piece, it was effectively two pieces of rock held together by nothing but crystal growth. Knowing that, the idea of shipping it home made me a little nervous, so I decided to leave this creepy specimen with my parents in Arizona for the time being. When I go back – whenever that is – I think I might try covering it with some sort of resin or sealant in an effort to keep it in one piece.

If any of my readers have suggestions on how to find and apply a protective coating to potentially fragile rocks, feel free to comment below!

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