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An odd Oregon rough

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Author Topic: An odd Oregon rough  (Read 988 times)
Kaljaia
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« on: February 07, 2016, 02:04:58 pm »

'Rough' is the wrong word, because this stuff fractures fairly glassy, almost ceramic-like. I'm wondering if anyone has seen something like it from Oregon, or would be willing to try some out. I don't have the tools to try it, but I may have a small window of opportunity coming up to acquire more material, and would like to know if it's 'worth' the (eight mile round-trip hike) to pack more out.


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Talusman
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« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2016, 03:43:20 pm »

Hi there. Nice find!

The first pic looks like it has some good patterns and from your description it sounds like it might polish up well. Another thing to check for is how many fractures there are. When you knock a piece off, do you get a clean, smooth break that looks fresh, or does it break apart with many jagged edges and some dark/weathered surfaces? The fewer fractures the better as it allows more and larger stones to be cut and more freedom in how to compose them. I've found many beautiful pieces of Jasper that were just too fractured to work with. Those are the heartbreakers.

Thanks for sharing!

-Jeremy
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jakesrocks
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« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2016, 04:14:19 pm »

Was this found in or near the Owyhee's ? If so it'll be one of the porcelain jaspers. They take a beautiful glass shine.
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Kaljaia
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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2016, 11:49:39 pm »

Thanks for the advice! These were surface-collected, so I expect fragments from frost cracks, etc. but hoping for some solid material in there somewhere. I'm not sure how close is close for central Oregon, but this was picked up on private property (with permission) within twenty miles of Antelope.
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2016, 11:01:50 am »

Great fishing in Antelope Reservoir..
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Kaljaia
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2016, 11:26:33 am »

I believe you, but different Antelope! :) it's a tiny wide spot with about six houses. I used to live between it and Ashwood and it's still the closest landmark/post office/thing on a map. Beautiful country and amazing people down that way, but even I've kicked strangers off property before. "What are you doing?" "Collecting rocks." "Yeah, ok this is private property..." "But I'm just in the ditch beside the road!" "It's a private ditch, sir. Richardsons' is two hours that way." After bottoming out my car in the holes people dug in the road where it crossed over a t-egg bed, I get a little territorial. I don't live there anymore, but still have friends down that way and may be taking a trip south in a few weeks. If the material turns out to have any workable value, the best way to get more is to let me know ASAP. The land it came from is owned by a nonprofit, and while they will probably never open for outside rock collecting, if I can convey the worth of some careful collecting to the people who gatekeep access, it's possible they will be interested in selling larger quantities.
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lithicbeads
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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2016, 12:33:35 pm »

I have seen the pattern in the first two in various places in Oregon. I suspect that it is related to the porcelain jaspers and that like them it is a water lain chert. The pattern in these is just  less interesting.
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Kaljaia
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2016, 06:21:02 pm »

Sent a piece off, and Frank there's some of this in what I sent to you too, along with some of what looks a lot like bogwood from the same place; I don't doubt it about the pattern, too- some of it is good, but a lot is dark, or very weathered, and weathering seems to change the color of the patterning as well. Sometimes I wonder if a pattern goes through, or if it's just a veneer. I have some grey chert as well but it is rather unexciting and I don't know where it's from. This material was very close to a native camp, but none of it showed up in work from that camp. Obsidian, green jasper, polka-dot and other material from much more distant places did, however. I suppose the fracture pattern for the more brittle stone was not suitable for working the same way other jaspers and volcanic glass was. Between the camp and this location was a field of red clay full of petrified wood and wild onions. I found one petrified wood point at the camp.
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55fossil
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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2016, 06:52:00 pm »

Kaljaia:   I know that area pretty well. I was friends with Darrel years back and use to swap rocks with Johnny Jr. The funny part is I have some similar looking material from the Owyhee's. I will try and get some pictures tomorrow. Sometimes the pattern on the skin does go into the rock but more often it is different from the jasper inside. Most often my material like that is blue, gray or just rhyolite underneath. But sometimes it is very nicely patterned. Often it is very brittle and hard to get a cuttable slab to work with.
       Can you show some images of the face where it has been broken open?
PS:  One of Darrell's neighbors used to throw his excess material into the creek. I would find the wildest stuff in the creek and think it was from the area until Darrell finally told me where it came from.
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Talusman
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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2016, 01:29:01 pm »

Kaljaia was nice enough to send me a piece to check out.

Upon initial inspection I saw some neat banding/orby patterns on the surface. However, looking at the fresh surfaces it looked likely that the patterns were the result of surface weathering. For fun, I cut a slab.

A fresh cut revealed that the internal color is a dark purplish gray. In areas fractures have been somewhat altered creating lines of lighter color.

Wetted and in bright sun, there are brecciated patterns as well as veins of orby banded patterns (have to look very closely - small patterns, dark stone and low contrast).

The slab was very fractured... A test drop from a few inches netted several small shards.

Given the dark color, low contrast and heavy fracturing this particular sample won't progress to cab cutting. However, the material itself is very dense, smooth porcelain-type Jasper/chert. I'm confident it would take a fine polish.

If there are lighter deposits on the property I think there's potential for wild patterns - this material has the right structure - it's just too dark to really see the detail. Also, the altered fractures and breccia pattern make me think the material still in the ground might be fractured as well (not just freeze-thaw effects).

Anyway, thanks so much for sharing your find with us and hope my input is helpful!

Cheers,

-Jeremy


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Kaljaia
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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2016, 10:26:41 pm »

Thank you very much for the results and pictures! If I do make it back into the area, I might look for some lighter material, otherwise I'll leave that location alone. Not that I mind too much- it was rather distant, and a long pack back out on foot. It's interesting that weathering can change a rock's color so dramatically depending on the banding. Makes me wonder what in the process of weathering causes it; reaction to air? water? sunlight? Can it be made to happen under controlled circumstances, like sugaring an agate?

At any rate, I appreciate the time you put into cutting and photographing! Thanks again!


To 55Fossil,
Do you know the fellow who owned the Antelope rock shop back in the day? I kept hearing about that place but never quite caught up to whoever owned it and got some hilariously conflicting reports of who it was and what they were still doing. I know which barn it was located in, but despite driving past it a couple times a month for ten years never was able to pin down the owner or see any activity at the place. There used to be managed dig sites at a ranch about a mile away for amethyst, a red/orange/green moss, and small thunder eggs but they were depleted long before we moved down.
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Kaljaia
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« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2016, 12:51:18 am »

A few more Oregon odds and ends. First is a Maury look a like from a neighbor's place; local is played out but the discard piles had some pretty things. Apparently it was a spot on the map in the 60's and 70's but I don't know what it was called back then. I'd assumed it was Maury because it looks the same, but different geographical location. Second is the black-lined blue variant of Sheep Shack (it comes in rust, blue&black, and flat orange, apparently.) Third is a piece of Idon'tknowite probably from a creek or anthropogenic. I have zero memory of how I acquired this rock. and the fourth is a redder chunk of Hummingbird, but still too dark. Still searching my milk crates for colorful pieces of that material. I know I brought some back.
Fifth is a slightly more interesting rock from the same place as the first pieces in this post. If tomorrow's nice I'll try it on the saw and see what happens. Last is a bit of golden moss from... somewhere. I GPS'd that spot but can't remember where exactly it is. Was one of my last hikes before leaving. This is another one I'm excited to try the saw on and see if I can't make a pretty piece for the tumbler.

(See something you'd like to test? I still have a few flat rate boxes and all these are going into storage for the foreseeable future, as I'm returning to the land of rocks soon. Let me know and I'll send you something.) 


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55fossil
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« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2016, 06:23:26 am »

Sorry, I never met the shop owner either. I went to the Ashwood camp outs in the 90's and visited the local ranches for fee digging. I had free run from Darrel for years and was sad to see him go. I do plan on returning to Richardson's Ranch once I am retired and have time to travel again. Johnny and John junior were great people and I am certain things have not changed. I wish everyone in the rock business had the integrity of the Richardson's family.
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Kaljaia
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« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2016, 03:29:48 pm »

Yeah Richardsons is a pretty special place. We went there for a field trip in 7th grade for the first time and stopped by a few times after that. I've gone there more for cutting than for digging, but we do have a few fun things from their beds. All these are from there. The blue was collected by an elderly friend years and years ago; he cut and polished it for my brother and I when we were kids. I took it by Richardsons to confirm it was from them. My mom remembers going and collecting thunder eggs and weighing them with her dad when she was a kid, and that would have been 50 years ago now, back when it was still Priday. They also have a pretty interesting jade carving collection, and a collection of hats :)


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Kaljaia
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« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2016, 11:35:36 pm »

Knocked corners off a few odds and ends today.


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