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1  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Rough on the bench and slabs off the saw (general minerals board) / Re: Any clue as to what this is? Coprolite? Youngite? on: April 12, 2016, 12:40:19 am
My first thought was limb cast.
2  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Share Our Finished Cabochons and General Cabbing Questions / Tutorials / Re: Owyhee Cabochon on: April 12, 2016, 12:39:24 am
Old man in a teepee. Very cool design choice!
3  The Gathering / Our Place / Re: The Search engine hates me on: April 10, 2016, 10:58:22 am
Search google/bing/yahoo for "black jade" (Edwards or Australian), Thai "black spinel" or "obsidian" if you want it even more glossy.
4  The Gathering / Our Place / Re: T-eggs from Tim Fisher/OreRockOn? on: April 04, 2016, 05:06:46 pm
Please show pics of the white fir jasper eggs. I'm thinking of heading up there this summer to get heat stroke digging!
Nice thing about the White Fir bed is that it's high elevation with the small pits scattered among nice, shady pines. You do need to bring water, but it would have to be unusual weather to get heat stroke. If so inclined, you often don't even need to do any digging to get your limit—it's amazing the number of perfectly good eggs folks throw out of the pits unopened. Same thing happens at Richardson's. Until you get them home and saw, there really isn't any way to be certain about what's inside (unless you hammer them, which destroys most in the process). Pleasant campground down the main road a piece, too, and you can go around the hill and hit Lucky Strike the same day if you want a fee dig where machines do the heavy work.

Thanks Rocks2dust for the great diagram.
Someone else asked how to cut 'em on another forum a while back, so the drawing was still on my photobucket :)
5  The Gathering / Our Place / Re: T-eggs from Tim Fisher/OreRockOn? on: April 04, 2016, 12:54:41 pm
Richardson's Priday eggs are fairly easy to cut. Here's a drawing showing how to orient:
Some folks who are cutting for display halves, rather for gem slabs, prefer to cut nearer to the vertical pressure ridges to try and get a larger face of agate (though at best the agate along the edges will be so thin that those portions won't be useful for slabbing for gems).

For thundereggs from other locations that don't clearly show the pressure lines on the outside, you usually either have to mark the tops as you dig, or determine the bottom based on it being thicker than the top. They sure are fun to cut – sort of like opening birthday gifts. The occasional gem-worthy moss, plume or other interesting interiors just feed the addiction.
6  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Rough on the bench and slabs off the saw (general minerals board) / Re: Burned by baked carnelian? Bummer! on: April 03, 2016, 12:30:11 pm
It looks natural agate to me, too. Unfortunate that it didn't have a redder interior, but that's also characteristic of natural northwest carnelian agates - some have more red-orange inside, some less, than the outside reveals. There is some plume agate with carnelian colors in Chandler Mt. area agates, too (see photo below, which is old Moore Ranch).

All that said, I don't recall having seen pieces with a smooth brown side - almost looks like paint in your photos - though nearly anything's possible.
7  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Rough on the bench and slabs off the saw (general minerals board) / Re: Two more mystery slabs... on: April 02, 2016, 11:59:59 am
From the rind, colors and pattern, I was thinking the top one looks more like African Queen from S. Africa.
8  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Share Our Finished Cabochons and General Cabbing Questions / Tutorials / Re: Old stock Holley on: March 24, 2016, 10:29:20 am
Holley is a wide-spot in the road south of Sweet Home. Most of the "Holley" came from digs along the Calapooia River to the southeast. I've heard that there is still some material up there, but it is private timberland and access and roads have been closed to diggers for years.

I suppose it is "blue" in the same way people have described lavender and grapes as blue. The saturated pieces, like stonemon's cab, do remind me of grape jelly beans.
9  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Rock Hounding Trips, Tips, and Pics / Re: After-work adventures on: March 22, 2016, 10:50:50 am
The green might be copper, but there are other possibilities. When I first saw the photo, my first thought was garnierite (a nickel-bearing material).
10  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Rough on the bench and slabs off the saw (general minerals board) / Re: Jasper ID hep on: March 06, 2016, 11:09:36 am
The color combination of blue green and lavender also reminds me of Skaggs jasper (sometimes called Skaggs Blue or Skaggs Green). It was a ways north of Hampton Butte and you sometimes still see it mislabeled and sold as vistaite (also similar colors, but different material).
11  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Rough on the bench and slabs off the saw (general minerals board) / Re: Pretty pictures - Chicken Track and Deer Sky on: February 28, 2016, 12:31:56 pm
I'm not surprised that there are some still left in stockpiles. I know some rock shops are out of it, though. Someone needs to slice and sell more, as slab and rough prices have gone up over the past 5 years.

My take on the "layers" from talking to diggers was that there was one main layer with the raised "footprints." It varied in thickness, and the thinner stuff was carted away for stone veneer and other decorative work. The patterns and colors varied considerably even within single stones, and I can attest to that myself - some had little or no pattern in most of the chunk, with areas that had blue and nice pattern in one corner. There were also a few small areas that contained other colors. There was a type with opally white skies (the white shades varied from cream to blue-white with no flecks), a bright red, a charcoal gray (not as brown as in the photo below), and a green (emerald to blue-green). I only have some old photos of pieces that are gone, and I haven't come across more:
12  The Gathering / Our Place / Re: Thoughts on Jasper/agate "claims". on: February 04, 2016, 12:03:45 pm
There are still some actual claims for agates (e.g., thunderegg beds) and jaspers on public lands. They used to hand those out with only minimal investigation, but I'm not aware of any new agate or jasper claims over the last few decades, likely because the likely costs exceeded any provable market value. Some older claims have been filed or donated to clubs and public groups (Maury Mt. was given by Hoot Elkins to the Prineville CoC). Some claims have also been abandoned, expired or ruled invalid over the years (due to not being worked, challenged, etc.), and that is also something that it would be nice if there were some central database so one could look up to see if there are active claims in an area. Last I checked, you had to look at a pile of paper maps in a local office. The whole mining law mess needs to be brought into the 21st century (even bringing it into the 20th century would be an improvement). There are a lot of misconceptions (like some claimholders thinking they can bar all access - you can pass through a claim and even look at what is there, though you cannot dig or take anything away with you without the claimholder's permission), and adjusted to eliminate some provisions that currently are no longer used (like converting a public claim to personal real estate ownership) and clarify things that are more important today than they were in 1872 (like not polluting streams and destroying soils). The stopgap regulations and legal patchwork fixes make things unnecessarily muddy.
13  The Gathering / Our Place / Re: Thoughts on Jasper/agate "claims". on: February 04, 2016, 11:32:56 am
Is there a process to document a material has a "distinct or special value" from a legal perspective to make a claim valid?
It is all about establishing value. There has to be both a market and enough material within the claim to justify both a mining operation and reclamation. Some lower-value materials are scattered over such a large area that no single claim could possibly cover the costs on that patch of claimed ground. Higher value material (metals, opal or a particularly unique agate or jasper) might qualify, but you'd have to establish that there was both a real market value and that the claim contains enough material to justify mining. There are laws regulating claims that have fine-tuned the 1872 law, so that is not the entire story. If you do find something very valuable, that is the time to start checking into claims.
14  The Gathering / Our Place / Re: Thoughts on Jasper/agate "claims". on: February 04, 2016, 11:20:07 am
Allowable collecting depends on where you are collecting, how you are collecting and what you are collecting. Some areas which have been hit hard have more restrictive amounts (number of pounds or size of bucket) for personal use than others. Some jurisdictions put the amount collected per person, some per vehicle. Some wilderness, study and other protected areas still allow surface collecting (no digging or disturbing vegetation or natural features), while others do not. Some permits are free, most charge a fee (depending on the amount to be dug).

There has been quite a bit of trashing of public lands by both commercial and hobby collectors over the decades. That has led to many areas being put off-limits, which is less expensive on limited budgets to patrol, restore and protect. Responsible collectors refill the holes they've dug (a real danger to cattle, wildlife and horses who also use those open spaces), don't undercut trees and other vegetation, pack out their trash and waste and leave the area as nice as when they arrived - seem to be fewer of those with each passing year, though.

It is always best to contact the local office of whichever agency oversees the area in which you collect: State, County, USFS, BLM and in some cases city. Their websites can be useful, but dropping by in person for a few minutes can be very productive - get the addresses online before you pack up for your trip. They'll go down the rules for collecting in that area and often also be able to show you (or sell or give you) a map showing boundaries. In short, there are different rules and regs depending on the area to which you will be traveling.
15  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Rough on the bench and slabs off the saw (general minerals board) / Re: rough jasper, last trip of 2015 to the Owyhee's on: January 02, 2016, 12:53:19 am
Some look like reed imprints and others unidentified. I've seen wood casts in Biggs and once some fish bones in Deschutes. Judy Elkins once had a piece of Deschutes with a larger piece of bone. Even though those hailed from halfway across the state of Oregon, they at least illustrated to me that it does infrequently happen in jasper - just as I've found bits of permineralized wood in agate. If there were heavy enough ashfalls or the organic material was carried along by water and deposited/sealed in mud flows quickly enough, then it is certainly possible.
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