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May-June 2013

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The Rediscovery of Long-Lost Aquamarine from the Sierrita Mountains, Arizona

All specimens from the author's collection unless otherwise noted; all specimen photos by Jeff Scovil

I have been an avid field collector for more than forty years. Most of my efforts have been in Colorado, especially in the Pikes Peak Granite in the 1970s and 1980s, and throughout the San Juan Mountains from 1975 to 2005. During the past fifteen years or so, I have become interested in (and rather successful at) field collecting in Arizona. I am fortunate to have a collecting buddy, Shiela Powell, also of Tucson, and we make a pretty good team.

In September 2008, I purchased an Arizona aquamarine crystal; it was a simple prism, cloudy, sky-blue in color, and associated with a clump of biotite mica along a prism face. The crystal is 2.25 inches long and without matrix. Any 2-inch crystal, even if not gemmy, definitely rouses my interest since I often tell fellow Arizona collectors that I like to collect “Colorado-style” Arizona minerals. By this I mean large and well-formed crystals with associated minerals, on matrix. Although this Arizona aquamarine had no matrix, it otherwise met my criteria for a nifty specimen.

Barbara L. Muntyan, now retired and living in Tucson, Arizona, has published many articles on mineral collecting in Colorado and is also a frequent speaker at mineral events. She is the former director of the Ouray County Museum in Ouray, Colorado.

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