Amethyst and Other Minerals
Diamond Hill Quartz Mine
Antreville, South Carolina
March 2005
By Mike Streeter

As I have written before, one thing that Chrissy and I enjoy about the Diamond Hill Quartz Mine is that just about every time we go there to collect, we end up bringing home something new or different. Our last several trips to the mine this month have been no exception as you will see below.

Amethyst is the prize of Diamond Hill as it is, arguable, the most difficult variety of quartz to find there. While working a deeply buried milky white quartz vein last week, I came across some pockets that contained quartz crystal plates and clusters that were completely covered in black and brown manganese and iron oxides. Although the coatings completely masked the the crystals so that I couldn't really tell what was hiding underneath, the crystal shapes of some of the larger blockier crystals resembled amethyst that I had previously recovered at the mine. After cleaning and "cooking" the specimens in boiling oxalic acid, I found that I had, indeed, recovered quite a number of pale amethyst specimens. Yippee!

After cleaning, inspecting and cooking dozens of specimens, I was reminded of the spotty nature of Diamond Hill amethyst as only about 5% of them turned out to be amethyst. But, I am certainly not complaining as this was my best amethyst haul ever from Diamond Hill and the regular milky and translucent quartz is quite beautiful. Moreover, the black and brown coatings on the quartz make for very striking specimens.

Some of the specimens had an thin white dusting of what I believe is kaolinite on the tips of the crystals.

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