FrOg On-Line #1999-03

Welcome to FrOg On-Line #1999-03.


1. Introduction
2. Old Business
3. Picking Table
4. The Glowing Future
5. Thomas S. Warren Day
6. Collecting News
7. Featured Specimen
8. Acknowledgements
9. "Subscriber" List

1. Introduction

I wanted to get another issue out before Thomas S. Warren Day, so here it is.
God willing, I'll be there.  I hope to see many of you there, too.

A comment on editing: all submissions are "re-wrapped" and reformatted to fit
within 74 characters per line.  While I do not have a spelling checker, I do
correct spelling errors I happen to catch.  Starting with the next FrOg
On-Line, I will no longer mark a submission edited if it was merely
"re-wrapped" and/or spelling-corrected.

This issue is rich in contributions from readers, making it a much better issue
than this year's previous issues.  We're moving in the right direction.  Keep
it up.

Picking Table staff and Doug Mitchell: you are welcome (as far as I'm
concerned) to use material from these FrOg On-Line messages in the Picking
Table, FMS Online, and the UV Waves, provided it is also ok with the original
author of the contribution, and appropriate credit is given.


2. Old Business

Earl wrote the following (slightly edited) regarding the featured specimen (a
Sterling Mine piece with a vein of massive Hydrozincite):

     Date: Mon, 13 Sep 1999 19:35:18 -0400
     From: Maureen Verbeek <>
     Subject: Re: FrOg #1999-02.

     Hi Bill,


     Congratulations on FrOg 1999-02!  I will read it in detail later, but for
     now a quick comment about the featured specimen, specifically the
     statement about willemite having "the appearance of exsolution lamellae"
     in some franklinite grains.  I've seen this in numerous specimens, and the
     tiny willemite veins do indeed resemble exsolution lamellae, but they're
     not.  In most specimens of this type the "lamellae" have the same
     orientation in all the franklinite grains, which is one hint that
     exsolution is not what is going on here--instead the willemite has
     precipitated as a secondary mineral in minute, post-metamorphic fractures.
     These are extension fractures, the same things that, in larger examples,
     we call common joints.

     Franklinite embedded in calcite is a splendid example of a strong, brittle
     mineral in a weak, ductile host.  Whenever such a compound medium is
     stressed, the usual mode of deformation is fracture of the strong mineral
     and plastic deformation ("flowage") of the weak one.  You may have
     noticed, in natural outcrops or road cuts, that firmly cemented sandstones
     often are highly fractured (jointed), whereas interbedded shales are not.
     This is the same effect, greatly magnified from the example you've
     described.  That the strong mineral breaks and the weak one does not has
     wonderful parallels in other walks of life, notably in sayings that
     probably all of us grew up with but that I now forget, something to the
     effect that a mightly oak may be toppled by the wind whereas a flexible
     birch tree will not, etc.  In any event, one of the things I like best
     about collecting Franklin-Sterling Hill minerals is the magnificent
     stories they tell about the forces that have operated on them since their

     More on that later--publication in preparation!

						     Cheers-   Earl

One of the primary things I want to see in FrOg On-Line is just what Earl gave
us above: good scientific discussion.  I also commend Earl for putting a warm,
personal touch in his message.  I am seeking more such messages for future

3. Picking Table

In response to my request for an update on the Picking Table, Dick Bostwick
sent me the following message (slightly edited):

     To: "William C. Mattison" <>
     Date: Wed, 06 Oct 1999 14:06:32 GMT

     The 40th Anniversary issue of "The Picking Table" is on the verge of going
     to the printer as of Oct. 6, and should be in print by late October.  This
     issue (Vol. 40) is a double issue covering the spring and fall 1999
     seasons, and will be 88 pages long including an 8-page color section.
     This makes it twice the size of any prior "Picking Table."  About half of
     the 80-page text is devoted to the usual columns and technical articles:
     the President's Message; news from the Franklin Mineral Museum and
     Sterling Hill Mining Museum; coverage of local field trips, mineral shows,
     and events;  a Jaszczak article about graphite from Sterling Hill;  and
     brief notes about cuspidine from Franklin and znucalite from France.  The
     rest of the text is approx. 50 "collector's stories" sent in by FOMS
     members for the 40th anniversary issue, a truly remarkable anthology by
     authors ranging from FOMS co-founder Richard Hauck, N.J. Zinc geologist
     and Franklin Mineral Museum curator Jack Baum, and UVP founder Tom Warren,
     to some prominent mineral dealers such as Tony Nikischer and Fred Parker,
     and several of our younger collectors who are building their collections
     with material available today from the local dumps and quarries.  The 8
     pages of Gary Grenier's color photos are "eye candy" for Franklin/Sterling
     Hill fanatics, with some of the best shots ever taken of many local
     crystal and fluorescent classics:  franklinite, willemite, zincite,
     rhodonite, hardystonite, esperite, and so on.  All in all this "Picking
     Table" summarizes neatly both the Franklin-Sterling experience and the
     attractions of its minerals:  both what we collect, and why.  It is a
     landmark issue in the history of the FOMS, and will be a key document for
     current and future collectors of our local minerals.

     Whether or not the FOMS could afford a color section was only settled on
     Sept. 26, the last day of the 1999 Franklin-Sterling Gem & Mineral show.
     Simply put, the FOMS cannot afford color based on membership fees and
     income from its Swap-and-Sell events, so the money has to come from the
     Color Fund, which in turn relies entirely on voluntary donations from FOMS
     members and friends.  This year the income from the FOMS auction on Sept.
     25 was also dedicated to the Color Fund, and throughout the show FOMS
     officers and members solicited cash donations as well.  By the end of the
     show enough pledges had been received - in addition to donations and
     auction revenues - for the FOMS to risk authorizing a color section.
     Needless to say, this required courage on the parts of treasurer John
     Cianciulli and president Steve Kuitems. Anyone within the reach of the
     FrOg Newsletter who has not contributed to the Color Fund in one way or
     another is urged to do so - no joke - and heartfelt thanks are extended to
     all who have made this PT possible.

4. The Glowing Future

Saturday, October 16, 1999:
     Thomas S. Warren Day, four events including two collecting opportunities,
          see "Thomas S. Warren Day" below.

Sunday, October 17, 1999:
     FOMS field trip, 9 A.M. to 3 P.M., Lime Crest Quarry.

Saturday, November 06, 1999:
     7 P.M. to 10 P.M., night dig on the Buckwheat Dump, poundage fee charged,
          benefits the Franklin Mineral Museum.

Saturday, November 20, 1999:
     FOMS field trip, 9 A.M. to noon, Franklin Quarry.
     FOMS meeting, 1:30 P.M., speaker and topic to be determined.

5. Thomas S. Warren Day

A correction and an invitation, but first, by way of review, here's the

9 A.M. to noon - collecting on the Mine Run Dump at the Sterling Hill Mining

10 A.M. - dedication of the new Thomas S. Warren Museum of Fluorescence in the
GeoTech Center (which is in the basement of the old mill site).

1:30 P.M. - FOMS meeting, Kraissal Hall at the Franklin Mineral Museum.  The
speaker will be Bill Mattison; his talk is titled "The Chilling Side of

6:30 P.M. to 9:30 P.M. - collecting in the Passaic and Noble Pits, and the Mine
Run Dump at the Sterling Hill Mining Museum.

There was one error in this section of the last FrOg On-Line.  The following
correction is cut and paste from a recent FMS Online message, Doug Mitchell

     -------------------------------------- Warren Museum dedication error

     Subject: Re: Tom Warren oopsie
     Date:    20-Sep-99 at 07:46
     From:    [Richard Bostwick],

     There is an error in my recent announcement of the dedication of the
     Thomas S. Warren Museum of Fluorescence at the Sterling Hill Mining
     Museum on Oct. 16.  Tom Warren will be accompanied there by his
     daughter Bethany and her husband Don Griffiths (not his daughter
     Virginia and her husband as I originally stated).   This announcement
     appeared in FMS115 e-mail dated Sept. 4, 1999 and in the May..Aug '99
     UV Waves.  I sincerely regret this error.

     Richard Bostwick, NE VP, FMS

Now, an invitation.  Those who attend this FOMS meeting are invited to bring a
specimen or two to dunk in liquid nitrogen, to see if its fluorescence changes
when chilled to about -320 degrees Fahrenheit.  Do not bring specimens that are
delicate (fragile), gemmy (translucent or transparent), or water soluble.
Specimens will be dunked as time and liquid nitrogen supply permit.

6. Collecting News

Five great collecting reports from four collectors follow.  All self-collectors
are invited to report to me by e-mail the results of their diggings within the 
"official" "Franklin-Sterling Hill Area" as defined by Dr. Pete Dunn on page 71
of his 1995 monograph "Franklin and Sterling Hill, New Jersey: the world's most
magnificent mineral deposits".

A. Sterling Hill

Four readers reported their recent collecting experiences here.  Their reports
follow (slightly edited).

>From Chris Thorsten:

     From: Chris <>
     Subject: Noble / Passaic trip report 

     Hi Bill,

     This Sept. 11 trip to the Passaic-Noble Pit was really great, in my
     opinion: here are some of the things I found...

     1. wollastonite in association with non-fluorescent calcite, pyrite,
        diopside, and sometimes galena; this wollastonite came from a new find
        in the Noble Pit that's separate from the one that came out a couple
        years ago.  This newer find is characterized by richer wollastonite
        coverage, and the fluorescence is a bright as the best of the previous
        find.  Bob Hauck wouldn't tell us where the new find was exactly, so we
        sniffed around the Noble Pit for a while.  (He wanted us to enjoy the
        search).  After a short time I happened upon a large specimen of the
        "right kind" of rock, and sure enough, there was the good wollastonite
        which revealed itself after my 20-lb sledge hit it a couple times!  I
        also found a piece of this rock in a place where it couldn't have been
        put by a person, leading me to believe that the outcrop was also
        there... Bob gave a couple of hints and finally confirmed that yes,
        this was the outcrop.

     2. more of that scapolite-group mineral, which is probably meionite (you
        might want to ask Dick Bostwick about this;  he told me that most
        "scapolite" from the area is meionite).  Mixed with a red-orange
        fluorescing calcite, this meionite fluoresces a beatiful magenta color
        under short wave.

     3. a few pieces of apatite or fluorapatite, characterized by a dull orange
        fluorescence SW, and a bluish color under visible light.  Mixed with
        calcite and sometimes meionite, this makes for some nice (but
        unfortunately small) specimens.    

     4. for micromineral collectors, there's an unidentified mineral in the
        weathered magnetite rock, forming white, acicular sprays of micro
        crystals.  I had thought this mineral to be cerussite, but it could be
        natrolite or something else.  I would really love to know what to label
        this stuff, since I have several specimens of it in micromount boxes.

     5. also for micro collectors, there was some unidentified green, secondary
        copper mineral which occurred as tiny spots in a decomposing
        calc-silicate type rock, along with goethite / limonite and several
        other minerals.  This copper mineral looks like malachite, but who
        really knows?

     6. The Passaic Pit has some very interesting things lurking in its rock
        piles.  I found fluorescent sphalerite, and of course nice willemite
        and calcite combinations.  There is also a biotite-like mica, sometimes
        in large plates, and also massive gahnite, plus the occasional
        andradite crystal.  Dave Slaymaker was walking along the road in the
        Passaic and kicked up a large, weathered franklinite or magnetite
        octahedron with modified faces.  Nice find!  There were also some good
        crystals of the weathered augite ("jeffersonite") in the pits.

     As I sort through the 108 lbs of rock I brought home the other day, I'll
     let you know if anything else surfaces...

     Chris Thorsten

>From Mark Boyer:

     From Tue Sep 28 15:38:30 GMT 1999
     Subject: RE: collecting.
     Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 11:43:03 -0400


     I carried out 70 pounds of material, mostly wollastonite from the recent
     find in the Noble Pit.  One specimen with complete coverage of
     wollastonite with patches of calcite weighed 30 pounds.  Other items I
     collected were some hemimorphite botryoidal masses and some scapolite with
     fluorapatite.  Also collected a beautiful 4-inch diameter circular


>From Dave Slaymaker:

     Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 10:41:09 -0700 (PDT)
     From: David Slaymaker <>
     Subject: Re: collecting.

     Hi Bill,


     I didn't get much at Sterling this time.  I spent a lot of time digging in
     Passaic for apatite but only came up with a few small pieces.  But a nice
     peachy flourescence none the less.  Also found a nice solid chunk of
     phosphorescent willemite - which isn't unique but is new to my collection.
     Hoping to get more of that next time.

     I know those two hardcore diggers Mark and Chris will have more for you.

     Best wishes,
     David Slaymaker

>From Nathan Schachtman:

     Date: Mon, 27 Sep 1999 09:30:34 -0400
     From: "Nathan A. Schachtman" <>
     Subject: FrOg #1999-02.



     I was at the Franklin show, but I didn't get a chance to see you. I
     apologize. I did participate in the Passaic and Noble Pit collecting 
     adventure on Sunday, and it was very exciting. It's been a long time,
     perhaps too long, since I have been collecting in the Franklin area.

     There was abundant zincite, hydrozincite with good blue SW FL, willemite 
     with the expected green FL and PH.

     Away from the zinc ore areas, there seemed to be lots of hemimorphite, 
     sulfide vein minerals (galena, sphalerite, bornite), accessory minerals 
     such as gahnite, pyroxenes, apatites, etc.

     I found one very nice magnetite octadedron with hoppered faces, which made 
     my day. There will be lots to look at under the scope and under the UV
     lamp for a while.


     Nathan A. Schachtman
     Haddon Heights, NJ

B. Buckwheat Dump

Chris Thorsten submitted the following (slightly edited) report about a day of
Buckwheat Dump collecting:

     Date: Thu, 07 Oct 1999 10:13:50 -0400
     From: Chris <>
     Hi Bill,
     I'd like to add on another mini-report of a Buckwheat trip, this time from
     last weekend:
     Claude Poli and I searched all day for the elusive, exotic "orchid
     apatite" (which may not even be apatite anyway, but something "weirder",
     if that's a real word)... but we found virtually none.  I hunted the dump
     for "the right type of rock" and found some promising looking chunks,
     which I handed to Claude as he sat hunched over with his battery-powered
     lamp beneath a black canvas bag to keep the sunlight out.  Specks, just
     specks, that was all we found of the "orchid".  That stuff is elusive, to
     understate things.  

     Meanwhile, Mark Boyer was digging away in the Second Massive Crater, which
     had appeared earlier this summer.  That hole produced nice sphalerite &
     calcite combinations, and also a pyroxene-containing rock that had calcite
     and exsolution willemite.  Well, Mark came up with a few nice pieces which
     Claude checked under the lamp. We still don't know what the vitreous /
     resinous matrix is that the willemite is embedded in, but it makes for an
     intriguing piece with streaks of forest-green fluorescing willemite
     running through it.

     Upon abandoning hope of finding the "orchid" this time, I went down
     towards the shed and, in a frenzy of sledge hammering, uncovered some nice
     powder blue-fluorescing microcline.  Some of that stuff is almost as
     bright as margarosanite.  Since I can't afford margarosanite, this will
     make a decent substitute on my display shelves.  Some of it also had tiny,
     tiny specks of yellow-fluorescing powellite/scheelite in it, making one
     wonder what on earth happened beneath the then-nonexistent town of
     Franklin 800 to 1300 million years ago...
     The three of us divided up our finds at the end of the day.  Each of us
     put in a lot of work digging, hammering, and overturning rocks while the
     Franklin marching band played and played up top.  Still, somewhere on or
     in the dump, sits a boulder of the "orchid" material... I will find it,
     or my name isn't Yosemite Sam.  Wait a minute... 
     Chris Thorsten

7. Featured Specimen

Specimens do not have to be mineralogically complex or expensive to be or look
interesting.  This specimen was chosen to illustrate that.

The specimen, from the Sterling Mine, has a roughly triangular display face
with edges measuring about 9.5, 10.5, and 11 cm.  It consists mainly of very
light gray Calcite matrix.  Embedded in the Calcite are numerous irregular
Franklinite grains up to 8 mm across, numerous irregular tan-gray Willemite
grains mostly under 3 mm across, and several irregular yellowish brown grains
of Tephroite (probably) up to 3 mm across.  About a third of the way up from
the bottom of the display face, and approximately centered left/right-wise is a
roughly elliptical grain of yellowish brown Tephroite about 4.5 cm long and 2.5
cm wide.

Under short wave ultraviolet light, the Calcite fluoresces bright orange-red,
and the Willemite fluoresces bright yellowish green.  Closely spaced lines of
Willemite exsolution lamellae appear in the large Tephroite grain.  There are
also a few bright yellowish green fluorescing fine hairlike crack fillings of
Willemite running through the specimen.  The Willemite crack fillings and the
exsolution lamellae have a bright enduring greenish phosphorescence.  The
overall effect is an orange-red matrix with numerous small black and yellowish
green spots, plus a large black "eye" with closely spaced parallel yellowish
green lines running through it.  This eye is to me the highlight of this

I purchased this specimen late this summer for under $10.

Readers are invited to submit featured specimen write-ups.  Specimens must be
from the "official" "Franklin-Sterling Hill Area" as defined by Dr. Pete Dunn
on page 71 of his 1995 monograph "Franklin and Sterling Hill, New Jersey: the
world's most magnificent mineral deposits".  Featured specimens need not be
fluorescent, unique, complex, exotic, or expensive.  The write-up needs to do
two things: (1) paint a picture of the specimen with words, and (2) highlight
what's special about it.

8. Acknowledgements

I'd like to thank Chris Thorsten, Earl Verbeek, Dick Bostwick, Mark Boyer,
Nathan Schachtman, and Dave Slaymaker for their contributions.  This issue
would have been short, dry, and boring without them.

9. Subscriber List

NY   Dick Bostwick
NJ   Mark Boyer
CA   Kevin Brady         kbrady@cslanet.cals
PA   Bob Carnein
VA   Peter Chin          Peter.Chin@USPTO.GOV
NJ   John Cianciulli
MD   Gary Grenier
MN   Tim Hanson
NY   Tema Hecht
     John Jaszczak
     Jay Lininger
CA   Dan McHugh
CA   Doug Mitchell
CO   Pete Modreski
WA   Don Newsome
AZ   George Polman
NJ   Nathan Schachtman
NJ   Dave Slaymaker
NJ   Chris Thorsten
NJ   Jim Tozour
NJ   Earl Verbeek
     Herb Yeates                    Japan

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