1999, April, Calcite, Quartz

 

The location for this discovery is relatively high, on the right side of the Fellergraben, approx. 150 meters above the 2nd forest road, in a zone of green-schist. If you look straight down from the site, the forest road divides in the valley floor.

This find was my first major one in the green-schist. That day I searched the green-schist a little further down the valley, but I couldn't find any signs. Finally, after much time, I decided to end my search. Since I didn't want to repeat my exact steps returning, I moved a little further into the Fellergraben. The green-schist was hardly accessible anymore. The deeper I walked, the more I found myself in a forest. I descended towards a small stream where I could see some rock outcrops. In the middle of the forest, I finally came to a moss-covered overhang of green-schist of about ¾ meter, where water dripped sparingly.

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The finding place 15 years later: the small overhang where the calcite stuck to the rock in the clay. The forest has now been cut down

At the foot of the overhang I happened to see a small calcite crystal of about 0.5 cm. I started scratching something there. I soon had a 2 cm calcite crystal grown on matrix in my hand. My attention was now riveted. I looked closely at the overhang. In the uppermost area I could see small calcite crystals that disappeared in a clay-filled gap behind the green-schist.

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Freshly recovered calcite, with the typical hematite coloration

I tried to remove the front part of the overhang to see what was behind it. I hung my cleft hook on the stone and pulled on it. To my delight, the stone were easy to move. After pulling and pushing back several times, a larger chunk could be removed with an audible smacking sound. When I turned the stone over, I had an excellent, uninjured specimen of calcite in my arms. This find was so unexpected that I didn't even know what was happening to me. As I admired the sample, I was overcome with incredible joy.

The calcites were completely protected by the clay. The crystals gleamed between the clay. They had a pearl-like sheen and were white to transparent, colored slightly light green by chlorite in some areas, and reddish in other areas by hematite. I admired the specimen for a long time before I concentrated on the actual site. There were now single, larger crystals on the floor. By the overhang, I saw another half-loosened slab of green-schist. I gently pulled on it. I found an even bigger slab with bigger calcite crystals. I estimate this specimen to be half a meter wide and over 20 kilos. Since it was already late, I packed the smaller of the two slabs and the larger individual calcite crystals in my backpack. I hid the larger specimen to bring down later.

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Surprising find: calcite specimen 43 x 20 x 17 cm, 11 kg

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The larger specimen: 44 x 30 x 17 cm, weighing 22 kg

The next time I visited the site, I started to clear the area thoroughly. I was able to recover a large crystal of 3 kg and many smaller crystals; then the cavity was exhausted. There was only a narrow, inconspicuous band of calcite in the rock.

It is also worth mentioning that a narrow quartz band was emerging from below in the lower area of the cleft. It was enough for a few small greenish chloritized quartz crystals. The largest of them measures 7 cm.

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Calcite crystallized as a floater specimen, coloring by chlorite and hematite, 9 x 5 x 3.5 cm

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Single crystal crystallized as a floater specimen, colored by chlorite and hematite, 9 x 8 x 8.5 cm

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Matrix specimen with calcite and quartz crystals colored green by chlorite, 12 x 9 x 7 cm