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New Hope Amethyst Claim May 2009

It was a perfect day with good weather and lots of amethyst material.
Trip report is at the bottom of this page. Photos courtesy Robert Boehm
New Hope Amethyst Claim Trip Report

On May 9, about 20 CMS members met Jim Meachum, President of the Canon City Geology Club, on a bright and sunny Saturday morning. Through an initial contact made by Bob Aussprung the CMS field trip committee was able to arrange a trip exchange where we visited the Canon City's club amethyst claim and they will attend a trip to the Missouri Hill mine with us later in August.

The claim is a few miles northwest of Royal Gorge and is on public land but is accessed by roads that cut through a private ranch. Hence the need for Jim to guide us to the claim. When we arrived there Jim gave us a bit of the history of the claim which included its initial discovery in the 1940's and visits to the site by the several famous collectors including Ed Over. The claim features banded amethyst veins up to a couple feet across. The larger veins extends several tens of feet underground and early in its history a shaft was sunk to follow one of the more productive veins. Where the veins opened up large plates of amethyst were taken out with individual crystals up to a couple inches across. Some of these end up in major museums across the country including the Smithsonian according to Jim.

When we arrived a Canon City member by the name of Kit was there to help us out. He helped several CMS members extract nice amethyst specimens from the vein, mainly massive chunks of banded vein amethyst. Accessory minerals in the veins included some nicely formed dolomite crystals and shards and some secondary limonite and goethite. It should be noted that most of the amethyst is a very nice shade of purple with most having a waxy luster and most pieces translucent instead of gemmy. The larger veins we worked were about 4-5 inches in width and generally massive. Mike Arnsten and Howie Houk worked a section of the vein where it was cutting through weathered granite and found some collapsed pockets that had nice crystals up to a 2 inches across. However, most of these had late generation coatings of milky quartz which hid the amethyst. Again, Kit from Canon City was instrumental and helping a few of us (Robert Boehm, John Rowe and myself) extract a large seam of amethyst (see photos taken by Robert). Many thanks to him and Jim Meachum for allowing CMS access to the claim.

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