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2002, September, Quartz, Adularia, Hematite, Calcite


Earlier that year, in April, I discovered in a slightly higher elevation at this location the good quartz crystals from the last report; in September I returned. For the first time I went through a forest road through the valley, constantly alert for minerals. Right at the beginning of the small valley I noticed a standing quartz band. Although this quartz band showed no areas of rock crystal, small calcite on the walls of the green-schist raised my suspicion. I started working with a chisel. After a long time of laboring, I could open a narrow cavity, which along with the quartz band pulled deeper into the mountain. I was able to remove some of the green-schist, but at some point, I could go no further into the hard rock by chiseling. I felt uneasy leaving what I had begun. All I could do was promise myself, with firm determination, to try my luck again; this time with a long cleft hook.

Znottergraben  ZN 2  (1).JPG

The cleft: untouched, as I left it years ago

A few days later, I took a 1-meter cleft hook with me. When I inserted the hook into the narrow hole, it was still too short! I was nevertheless able to scrape small fragments of quartz out from the hole. Fragments of quartz crystals teased me, but I could not find anything more of interest. Impatient and angry, I wondered how I could get deeper into the cavity. I decided that the only way would be to resume chiseling. After hours of work, I was able to remove about 30 cm of green-schist, and thus get deeper into the cleft with the hook. The work was worth it. Now I managed to scrape out a few pretty quartz crystals and other small specimens. The last crystal I could recover was the cleft king: a rock crystal about 10 cm long! After that I could not find any more crystals: the end of the cleft was too narrow even for the hook. I couldn't see whether the cleft was still continuing or was closing.

ZN 2-6 , 10 x 7 x 3.7 cm(1).jpg

The cleft king: rock crystal with a light cap, 10 x 7 x 3.7 cm

ZN 2-4, 5.5 x 5.5 x 4.5 cm(1).jpg

The first specimen from this cleft, 5.5 x 5.5 x 4.5 cm

ZN 2-2, 4.5 x 3 x 2.5 cm(1).jpg

Single crystal with small iron roses and high-gloss adularia

Two weeks later, I visited the location again with Maria. I wanted to show her the place where I found the crystals. I was aware that the work was finished, nothing more could be gotten out, but Maria wanted to see the cleft. After inspecting it, we began searching the surrounding area more closely. We found an old, cleared cleft that had been exploited years ago. When I examined the cleft closely, I was able to open a side pocket in the rear upper left part and recover 2 rock crystals (the larger one originally measured over 15 cm in length). These crystals show the typical green-schist local character: multiple green phantoms, covered with small adularia and dusted with chlorite and hematite. Some calcite was also present. So a trip planned purely as a leisurely excursion yielded this unexpected find; that is mineral-hunters’ pure happiness.

Znottergraben ZN 3 (4).JPG

 The back part of the old cleft, the rock crystals were found in the upper left area

K1024_ZN 3-1, 7.5 x 4.5 x 3 cm (1).JPG

The smaller of the two crystals with multiple phantoms, 7.5 cm high

K1024_ZN 3-2, 11 x 9 x 9 cm (1).JPG

Quartz crystals with multiple phantoms, 11 cm high

The crystals haunted me. Whenever I looked at them, I could not help but wonder whether the cleft at the back continued or not. In October 2013 I decided to find out. I visited the location again with the firm decision to work on the cleft until I was finally certain. The site was untouched, as I left it eleven years earlier. I started working intensively on the green-schist with chisel and fist. After hours of work I was able to remove about a meter of the left side. Now I was right where I had been scratching around years ago. Unfortunately, the cleft ended there and the quartz band closed.

Znottergraben  ZN 2  (5).JPG

Finally after considerable chiseling in the back of the cleft, in the upper area, the disruption of the green-schist (bulging) can be seen

I could still chisel the quartz, but it no longer opened. But who knows, maybe something will work again in a few years?!

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