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September-October 2016

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Almandine Garnet from the Red Embers Mine, Erving, Franklin County, Massachusetts

MANY NEW MINERAL FINDS MAKE THEIR PREMIERE APPEARANCE AT ONE OF THE MANY MINERAL SHOWS IN TUCSON, ARIZONA, EVERY YEAR IN FEBRUARY. BUT AT THE 2014 EAST COAST MINERAL SHOW, A SIGNIFICANT AND DRAMATIC NEW FIND OF HIGHLY AESTHETIC SPECIMENS SHOWED UP FOR THE FIRST TIME (POLITYKA 2014).

It consisted of almandine garnet crystals embedded in a shiny, dark silver graphite matrix; these were collected at the Red Embers mine in Erving, Franklin County, Massachusetts. The graphite matrix had been selectively removed from both the front and back sides to expose the garnets, allowing light to shine through, revealing the glowing, vivid burgundy-red color of the transparent gem almandine. These specimens caused a minor uproar and were an immediate success, judging by the buzz of the crowds blocking the aisles around the booth set up by Jay Baskin of Jay's Minerals, located in New Jersey. Throughout the building people were raving about this new material, which has an extremely high “wow factor.” In 2015 Baskin returned to the East Coast Show with a new supply of this material that he had prepared during the previous year. Buyers again lined up to purchase specimens of this extraordinary new material, including major players such as the American Museum of Natural History, the Harvard Mineralogical and Geological Museum, Yale University, the University of Arizona, and others (Polityka 2015).       

Eric S. Greene is president of TreasureMountainMining.com, an Internet mineral dealership specializing in fine mineral specimens. His most recent article for Rocks & Minerals was titled “Collecting Pyrite Crystals at Navajún, Spain” and appeared in the January/February 2015 issue (pages 24–32)

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