FrOg On-Line #2001-01

Welcome to FrOg On-Line #2001-01, Thursday, February 22, 2001
(I read the wrong file into the e-mail a few minutes ago; sorry.  This is the
correct file.)


1. Introduction
2. Big Limecrest Quarry Chondrodite/Norbergite Crystals
3. The Glowing Future
4. "Subscriber" List

1. Introduction

Greetings.  I hope this year is off to a better start for you than it is for
me.  2001 is *not* off to a good start for me.

This issue features a discussion of crystals, mainly Chondrodite/Norbergite
crystals, found in various locations in and near the FrOg area.

I am still seeking "featured specimen" articles.  Just describe an especially
interesting specimen from your collection, highlighting what's special about
it.  Share with us what you've learned from it.  I wish we could include photos
with the article, but I cannot yet handle that.  Someday, I hope.  Someday.
Meanwhile, you are welcome to include in your article URLs for photos, as Dave
Slaymaker did in his FrOg On-Line #2000-03 "featured specimen" article.


2. Big Limecrest Quarry Chondrodite/Norbergite Crystals

Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2001 21:39:44 -0500
From: Jeff and Terry Osowski <>
Subject: chondrodite/norbergite


I have what I believe to be one of the largest best formed
chondrodite/norbergite crystals ever found.  I found it at the Limecrest Quarry
at the spring 2000 field trip.  It is euhedral, 4.0 x 2.5 cm in size on a
compact pure white limestone matrix.  The crystal is complex forming two
isosceles triangles connected at the bases.  Do you know of any records re such
large crystals?  Not only is it large, but it is very well formed, and nicely
perched on the matrix of limestone.


Jeff Osowski


Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2001 18:04:18 +0000
From: William Mattison <>
To: Jeff and Terry Osowski <>,
        Dick Bostwick <>,
        John Ciancuilli <>,
        Steve Kuitems <>, Earl Verbeek <>,
        Gary Grenier <>
Subject: Re: chondrodite/norbergite

Jeff, Dick, John, Steve, Earl, and Gary:

[Jeff's message was here]

I pulled out my Dunn monograph last night, and as I was searching for
Chondrodite, I remembered the the Limecrest Quarry is not within the "official"
FrOg area.  Thus it would be unlikely something about Limecrest crystal sizes
would be fould there.  Regardless, I continued the search anyway.  Here's what
I found...

Dunn reported Chondrodite crystals of 1 cm., locality not specified.  I looked
up Norbergite: Dunn reported Nicoll Quarry crystals of 2-3cm.  I looked up
Diopside: Dunn reported Sterling Mine crystals of 1.5 cm.  I looked up
Corundum: Dunn reported crystals of 13 cm., locality not specified.  I vaguely
recall reports of large Graphite crystals and/or spheres in the Picking Table,
but I don't recall which Picking Table, nor do I recall the locality.  I think
the best place to find reports of Limecrest crystal sizes would be the Picking
Table, but I don't have the time to search through 40+ years of Picking Tables.
By the way, I myself have never been to Limecrest.

I doubt anyone else has the time to search 40+ years of Picking Tables, but
perhaps someone remembers or knows something without having to do serious
searching.  Perhaps someone has something in his collection (ahem, ummm Steve,
what'cha got?).  If anyone has anything to contribute, please chime in.  I'm
looking to put this in the next FrOg On-Line.



Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2001 17:26:00 -0500
Subject: Re: chondrodite/norbergite
To: (William Mattison) <>
Cc: (Steve Kuitems) <>,
        (John Ciancuilli) <>,
        (Jeff and Terry Osowski) <>,
        (Earl Verbeek) <>,
        (Dick Bostwick) <>


It is an interesting question: "Do I have the largest chondrodite ever found?"
You were correct to scan the reference materials for help.  However, the issue
is confusing since the mineral species names chondrodite and norbergite have
been used interchangeably for some time.  Dr. Dunn attempted to resolve some of
the confusion in his monograph, however without positively identified materials
with color photographs to share confusion will persist.

It has been reported that chondrodite forms the center of every norbergite
crystal.  So which is the correct species name: chondrodite or norbergite?  And
saying "the specimen came from the Limecrest" determines the species is no
help.  Chondrodite and norbergite have come separately and together from the
local quarries to the north in Hamberg for ages and can still be found there.
The Tilly-Foster mine (now a parking lot) produced some of the world's best gem
red-orange chondrodites.  Unfortunately, this fact usually confuses the mineral
collector who is trying use sight identification skills.  Chondrodite from the
Franklin and Sterling Hill areas is usually a lighter color than the
norbergite.  However, this trend is not diagnostic and should be relied on
about as much as the Indian rain dance in a drought.

I do seem to recall a particularly large cluster of two parallel crystals on
calcite matrix appearing to exceed 4 cm in the George Elling collection.  They
were labeled, an old label, as chondrodite.  I am sure that Dr. Kuitems has
collected large and complete chondrodite/norbergite crystals from the Limecrest
as that quarry is his "stomping ground".  You might check with him and ask Jeff
to take a picture of the specimen.

About 15 years ago I came across some white boulders (12" +) of calcite
containing liberal grains to several centimeters of norbergite/chondrodite from
the Limecrest quarry in Mrs. Palsulich's basement.  After purchasing them and
subsequently HCl etching the calcite away from the orange grains I revealed a
handsome 2 cm crazed translucent glassy and gemmy doubly terminated and
brightly fluorescent twinned crystal in a field of lessor crystals.  It was a
very nice specimen and as bright as Sterling Hill wollastonite from the 340'
level.  So, it would stand to reason that others have done likewise and have
come across large norbergite/chondrodite crystals.  After all, this material
has been mined for aggregate and road stone more consistently over the last
100+ years than the ore bodies.

Hope this helps,
Gary Grenier
Laurel, Maryland


Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2001 23:07:25 -0500
From: "Steven M. Kuitems" <>
To: William Mattison <>
Subject: Re: chondrodite/norbergite

[Bill's message was here.]

Dear Bill, Just got your message and pulled out my ruler to measure two
chondrodite specimens pulled out of the same area and time at limecrest quarry
(fall 2000).  The results are one 5.5cm by 3.5cm crystal of chondrodite and a
second 6cm by 5.0cm sharply terminated crystal.  Both are dark brown and
terminated but missing some of the bottom half of the crystals and both grew in
the same type of calcite pockets in the otherwise massive up to one meter
thick!  chondrodite vien formation.  This material is associated with a green
unanalysed micaceous minerals that superficially resembles clinochlore.  I did
see on other hand size intact crystal specimen in about the 4 by 4 cm range but
significantly more intact and three dimentional in appearance.  My two
specimens were a bit flatter looking but this may be an artifact only because
parts were missing.  Please refer to the upcoming Picking Table isssue's field
trip notes.

Hope this helps. Steven M Kuitems DMD


Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2001 16:34:40 -0500
From: Gary Grenier <>
To: "(William Mattison)" <>
Subject: Norbergite


I found an interesting story titled the "Minerals of the Franklin Quarry" by
Phil Betancourt, Ph.D. in the Fall 1986 issue of The Picking Table, page 2.
You might want to read it and include some of the information regarding the
Norbergite-chondrodite reported and pictured.

I do not believe that it has changed since then and the picture may help
everyone anchor the discussion if it is the same material as what your friend



The article is about the Franklin Quarry, not the Limecrest Quarry.  But it
reports a 4 x 11 cm Chondrodite/Norbergite grain (not crystal) in a specimen
owned by Dick Bostwick.  Also, imperfect Chondrodite/Norbergite crystals were
found in 1982 associated with Hercynite and Phlogopite crystals.  The best
specimens were reported to be in Fred Parker's collection and Steve Sanford's

3. The Glowing Future

I have not received any additional information since the publication of FrOg
On-Line #2000-07.  See that issue for a schedule of events.  Past issues may be
found on the web at url "".

4. "Subscriber" List

NJ   Larry Berger
NC   Alan Borg 
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
NJ   John Corsello
CT   Denis De Angelis
CA   Fred Devito
FL   Sandra Downs
NY   Howie Green
MD   Gary Grenier
MN   Tim Hanson
NY   Tema Hecht
CA   Andy Honig
CA   Mark Isaacs
MI   John Jaszczak
NY   Carl Kanoff
NJ   Steve Kuitems
FL   Roy Lambert
NY   Donald Lapham
NY   Greg Lesinski
PA   Jay Lininger
PA   Mike Logan
CO   Peter Marikle
MD   Bill Mattison
CA   Dan McHugh
NJ   Dan McHugh Sr.
VA   Curt Michanczyk
CA   Doug Mitchell
CO   Pete Modreski
WA   Don Newsome
NJ   Jeff Osowski
AZ   George Polman
NJ   Nathan Schachtman
NY   Paul Shizume
MD   Steve Shramko
NJ   Dave Slaymaker
CT   Charles Sloan
CA   Jane Grover-Smith
CA   Kent Smith
NJ   Chris Thorsten
NJ   Jim Tozour
NJ   Earl Verbeek
PA   John Vidumsky
NM   Dru Wilbur
VA   David Woolley
FL   Herb Yeates
CA   Wayne Young

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