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July-August 2018

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Pyrites Mica Mine (Kelly Farm), Town of Canton, St. Lawrence County, New York

The Pyrites Mica mine on the James Kelly farm near Pyrites (pronounced peye-reye-teez.), New York, has been visited in the past century by economic geologists and most serious collectors interested in the minerals of northern New York, but it is largely unknown outside this specialist group. The shiny black scapolite crystals in a matrix of orange calcite are distinctive, possibly unique, but the other minerals are more typical of the significant mica occurrences farther north in Ontario and Quebec. Although the Kelly family has been gracious in allowing collecting for more than a century, widespread interest in this locality for mineral collecting has been lacking. Our recent renewed collecting and study provided the motivation for this article.


Dr. Steven C. Chamberlain, a collector specializing in the minerals of New York State, is coordinator of the Center for Mineralogy at the New York State Museum.

Donald M. Carlin Jr. is a mineral collector who specializes in field exploration and collecting.

Michael R. Walter is an active field collector and mineral dealer specializing in the minerals of upstate New York and Canada.

Dr. David G. Bailey is a professor of geosciences at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, and a research associate at the New York State Museum.

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