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May-June 2015

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Connoisseur's Choice: Fluorapatite, Acushnet Quarry, Bristol County, Massachusetts

North America has produced some of the world's finest apatite specimens, and there are many well-known localities for this mineral. Certainly the best-known specimen from anywhere is the “Roebling apatite” from the Pulsifer quarry in Auburn, Maine. Formerly in the collection of Col. Washington A. Roebling, builder of the Brooklyn Bridge, the specimen now resides at the Smithsonian Institution and can be seen on display in the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals. The gemmy, intense purple apatites from this pegmatite mine have made Pulsifer the premier locality for fluorapatite in the United States (Wilson 1977; Francis and Dallaire 2013), and when faceted, they produce some of the most sought apatite gemstones (see Mauthner and Ottaway 2015, this issue). The Connoisseur's Choice for this issue is in my opinion, and the opinion of many others, another of North America's finest fluorapatite specimens. It is from a locality, however, that is much less known to collectors worldwide, the Acushnet quarry (also currently known as the J. Keating Company stone quarry), Bristol County, Massachusetts.

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