|See our BEST finds on our subsequent days of digging after sinking a second hole! Click here to see page two.
|Montana Quartz & Amethyst Scepter Page 1
Updated July 10, 2018
3:30 PM Eastern
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|I decided that for my next project that i would go dig in
the Crystal Park area of Polaris, Montana for Scepter
Crystals. Here are photos of my trip.
The round trip to/from Atlanta, Georgia to Polaris,
Montana (including several days back and forth from
Dillon, Montana and a scenic detour through Yellowstone
Park in Wyoming on the way home) totalled almost five
|The first order of business was to start loading the truck with
digging tools. This photo shows a selection of different sized
"Arkansas Bars" and other assorted implements of destruction.
The digging bars turned out to be ideal for digging the quartz
scepters in Montana. I do sell the digging bars if anyone needs
|The first part of the trip - the first 2
twelve-hour days or 24 hours of driving
is pretty boring. But on the third day
when you start across the Western
section of Wyoming and the Grand
Tetons come into view it is no longer
boring at all. Here was the first sneak
peek of them.
|Below right you see the Continental Divide - Elevation
9658 sign advising of a 6% grade ahead. At this high
elevation, even at the very end of June there was still
snow on the mountain peaks and even in the shady areas
on the sides of the highway. I stopped and let my
daughter Katelyn and her friend get out and make
snowballs in June! - Below left.
|All the above photos were taken with my Samsung Galaxy S7 phone. The next 3 below were taken with my Canon T5i (and then subsequent
photos by my phone again except where noted). The photo at left shows the red rocks as you first near the grand tetons. They are a lower
range and different from the Grand Tetons. The middle and lower right photos are of the Grand Tetons and not far from Yellowstone. What was
especially scenic was how the mountains are so high that the peaks are in the clouds in this photo!
|Time passed and the miles rolled on. First hundreds, then thousands. Yep, "thousands". The collecting area that was my goal is a few miles over 2300
miles away from my house. So I arrived at the scene and had a look around and picked a spot to sink a new hole. I started a fresh new hole where it
didn't appear that anyone had dug before, but it was next to a large hole that had promising discarded rocks and broken crystals laying about its periphery.
So the next few photos show the begining, middle and end of the first hole on the first day. Since I've done this a time or two in wide and varied locations, it
came to pass that I did indeed immediately hit pockets containing nice scepters and larger single smokey crystals in the first hole. Have a look below:
|The 3 photos above show the before, start and middle of the beginning of the hole. There were traces of crystals in the top soil and then virgin saprolitic
granite was observed. Not too deep into the decayed granite I found small pockets with crystals.
While I had to drive to carry the necessary specialized digging tools, my buddy Jeff Lennox flew in. Due to a flight delay he got in later than planned that
morning. It was good to have some help as digging here at high elevation - 7780 feet above sea level - was taking its toll. Shown below is the first smoky
quartz scepter to come out of the first hole. This proved to be one of many from a fairly large pocket that we hit. It should be noted that the first major pocket
was filled with "rust": a grainy iron oxide powder that is often found in crystal pockets. This rust is a good clue and pocket indicator.
|Below is a sneak preview showing some of the small stuff found during the dig. The better photos will be on
page 2. Shown below is a styrofoam plate with some small scepter crystals. Most of these have small defects
or blemishes (some natural - from where the crystals grew into one another or the enclosing pocket, and
some not natural - normal casualties from working in pockets loaded with crystals). The crystals shown below
were soaked in oxalic acid for a day or two and then soaked in soapy water before being rinsed. Most all of
these are scepters and very few are clear and colorless. Most have a smokey or pale amethyst tint and
some have smokey stems with a pale purple termination.
|Here are a couple more photos showing the first hole that Jeff and I dug. As you can see, it ended up being fairly deep! There was a continuing vein/pocket
which ran laterally at the bottom of the hole and would have required moving a lot of overburden in order to follow it since the direction - although horzontal
/lateral - was in a direction running upslope. The Arkansas digging bars that I use are extremely helpful in following such veins and allowed me to safely follow
the vein for some distance. They do have their limits and when that was reached I decided to sink another hole that wasn't on a slope. See page two where
we found a lot more and a lot better crystals!
|Note in the above right photo that I'm wearing a thermal long john shirt on June 24th! The mornings start out at 43 to 45 degrees! It does eventually warm up
to around 70 in the afternoons though.
The air is very dry and there was a slight breeze and even though I was working strenuously I never felt hot or broke a sweat with the thermal top on all day!
Things in Montana sure are different than back home at the end of June in Georgia. I should mention the elevation again: close to 8000 feet above sea level
and there is not nearly the same amount of oxygen in the air as what I am used to at 600 feet above sea level back home.