Monster Skeletal Quartz Specimens and More
Diamond Hill Quartz Mine
Antreville, South Carolina
January - April 2005
By Mike Streeter

Diamond Hill has provided Chrissy and me with many excellent specimens of skeletal quartz. As you will see in the pictures that follow, the skeletal quartz is generally coated with manganese and iron oxide in varying colors of brown, yellow to black. The black manganese oxide can be found as botryoidal masses.

Click on each specimen picture to enlarge

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.

Click on each specimen picture to enlarge

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 pressure washer.

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 . . .