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June 17, 2019, 01:25:17 am
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Serpent(ine) hunting in State Line District, Lancaster Conuty PA

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Author Topic: Serpent(ine) hunting in State Line District, Lancaster Conuty PA  (Read 353 times)
Talusman
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« on: December 31, 2015, 03:17:56 pm »

So I took a trip down to the state line district in PA to hunt for a serpentine variety called "Williamsite". Purportedly it's sought after as a lapidary stone, thanks to its transluscent green hue. Since my move, I'm now about 1.5 hours from my old jasper hunting grounds, so I figured a 45-minute trip to hunt a new species would be time well spent.

The area hosts some historical Chrome mines that stopped working in the early 20th century, as well as a Serpentine Barrens preserve that sports unique flora - both owing their existence to the unique (for the area) surface geology of serpentine rocks.

I picked an area that allowed access to a small stream that crossed a drainage that included the old mining areas (where Williamsite had been found). When I arrived, there were two trucks in the trail lot. I stepped out and almost immediatly noticed a gemmy green rock in the gravel lining the lot. Good sign! Then I noticed a man in hunter orange emerging from the trail with a gun over his shoulder. Great - hunters. I've nothing against hunting, but I'd checked the calendar and thought most seasons had ended. I found the owner of the other truck up in a tree stand about 200 yards down the trail. As I wasn't wearing hunter orange, and mucking around in a creek would make me look like an animal, I opted to find a plan B and left. It is a little frustrating that a non-hunter can't take a walk in the woods over the holidays without risking being shot. I think Sundays might be safe - next time!

Nearby, there was a powerline right of way with a "No ATV access" sign. I'm not an ATV - so fair game! I hiked up about a mile and came across some old trailbreaks made of what looked like tailings. A couple of hours picking through them yielded me about 40 pounds of interesting rocks.

Not knowing how to identify the different varieties of Serpentine, I can only guess and hope that the best pieces I found are "Williamsite". If not, they are at least very pretty translucent green Antigorite. Mixed in are black spots of chromite and areas of magnetite. Hopefully they work up into some pretty cabs!

-Jeremy


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Talusman
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« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2015, 04:08:51 pm »

Here's a small slab - nice green and translucent. Easy to cut and carve, too - a nice break from hard Jasper. Nice test-polish, too.

-Jeremy


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lithicbeads
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« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2015, 07:16:08 pm »

Great post! I like this one , good story and great stone.
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asianfire
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« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2015, 07:35:12 pm »

Looking good.
Nice material you found there. woohoo2

Any pics from the surroundings where you found it?
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Talusman
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« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2015, 08:25:12 pm »

Wish I had taken some. The walk in was along a powerline right of way... The dirt road had chunks of serpentine - mostly very dark black/green. In one spot there was an outcropping of serpentine. Vegetation was sparse.

After crossing a stream, the road went up a steep hill where the utility had built trail breaks using rocks from local mine dumps. It's in these rocks that I found this material. I found only two chunks of this quality, but have some bluish-green and much darker black/green pieces as well.

Hardness is 4-5 (didn't scratch with Fluorite)

-Jeremy
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john likes rocks!
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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2016, 12:05:18 pm »

Thanks for posting ... gave me a big smile!  ura
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