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September-October 2015

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Collector's Note: Lilac-Colored Amethyst “Flowers” and Other New Finds from Jacksons Crossroads, Wilkes County, Georgia

A SELECT GROUP OF FIELD COLLECTORS, LED BY MANAGING PARTNER PAUL GEFFNER, REORGANIZED IN MARCH 2015 TO PURSUE SPECIMENS FROM AMERICA'S FINEST AMETHYST DEPOSIT, JACKSONS CROSSROADS IN WILKES COUNTY, GEORGIA (Bowling, Moore, and Ledford 2005; Cook, Ledford, and Gray 2008). It has been seven years since the last great find of crystals from this famous locality was reported (Geffner 2008), but it hasn't been for lack of trying. The amethyst-infused Jacksons Crossroads granite (Young 1985) has been mined on numerous occasions with sporadic success since the discovery of the Treasure Chest cavities in May 2008 (Geffner 2008). However, the small mine, located about 8 kilometers from the sleepy town of Tignal, Georgia, was worked again in March 2015 and resulted in the recovery of a wide variety of amethyst specimens, some rivaling the best quality the mine has ever produced. The owners of Jacksons Crossroads, Christopher Ledford and Purple Haze Partners, have a revived hope for the future of this great deposit.

Ian S. Merkel received a master's degree in geology in 2007 and has spent the last eight years as a professional geologist in the western United States. He has been field collecting specimen minerals since 1998.       

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