Wednesday, August 28, 2013
During the East Coast Gem, Mineral, and Fossil Show at West Springfield, Massachussetts, John S. White gave me the story. Two weeks later, he sent a picture. Upon seeing it, the first thing to enter my mind was manganese oxide on feldspar. Had I heard John right? Indeed yes, at least insofar as that the black material was schorl (tourmaline group). I don't remember how he'd described the matrix. Feldspar maybe? John did have to tell me, I suspect for the first time, that it was the quartz and feldspar bearing intrusive rock known as aplite.
John had visited the the Greenspring Quarry many years ago with the cooperation of the engineer, who was very friendly toward collectors. At the floor level, he'd noticed a good bit of the schorl-bearing aplite lying around and tossed a chunk of it into the trunk of his car. Much later, he had the beads cut at Idar-Oberstein for the necklace. He gave the necklace to his lovely wife Merle, who is Editor-in-Chief of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist magazine. At this point, they realized how attractive and special the material was.
But alas, there was to be no more. John laments: "The next time I learned of a club sponsored collecting trip in the quarry, I decided to go because I wanted to load up on this rock. Wouldn't you know it, we could not find a crumb of it this time.
This, and the fact that the quarry has long since been closed, makes this piece of jewelry all the more unique. Thanks for the scoop, John.