Recovering skeletal quartz plates without damage is very difficult due to their
size, proximity to other quartz and delicate nature of the crystal points. However, with great
care and a little bit of luck, sometimes we are fortunate to pull out a plate with no damage as was
the case with the following wonderful and huge specimen.
The largest points on the above specimen were pointed completely downward into a
thick red clay. As is often the case with Diamond Hill skeletal quartz hounding, there was no way for
me to tell if the bottomside of the rock was merely more massive "bull" quartz or contained crystals.
Always hopeful, I "cleared the deck" by removing all the overburden above the rock before I used
my large prybar to carefully break the plate loose from one end. I was able to lift the fairly
heavy rock straight up from its resting place. I was elated to find that the underside was, indeed,
covered with large perfect skeletal crystals, although somewhat masked by the clay. I was even
more thrilled when I got the specimen home and was able to wash off all the clay with our handy
To illustrate the thick clay that covers the skeletal quartz specimens, I took
the before and after cleaning pictures of a very large specimen (it took three of us to drag
and lift this bad boy into the back of our pickup).
Before Pressure Wash
After Pressure Wash
Click on each specimen picture to enlarge
More shots of the cleaned up specimen.
Sometimes we have been known to get carried away and have ended up dragging home
monster specimens that take a handtruck just to move around (note: the following pics
don't enlarge - no need!).
Monster Skeletal Quartz Plate
The end . . . for now . . .
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