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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Gemstone Occurrences in Vermont

Vermont is a beautiful state, but when Mother Nature was handing out gemstones she passed over Vermont handing out very few of these stones. Finding any quality gemstones in the state is more then a little like looking for a needle in a haystack.

The Vermont Gemstone is the grossular garnet that is found at Eden Mills from the Belvidere Mine.  This mine has produced some of the best specimens of this kind of garnet that have ever been found. 

There are no extensive pegmatite deposits in Vermont although beryl crystals are found with albite in Fairfax.  Beryl crystals are found penetrating the albite at this locality.  Lake Willoughby in Orleans County is one of the few places in Vermont that does have gem bearing pegmatites.

Blue Quartz is contained in the Precambrian gneiss found in road cuts along Rt. 9 east of Bennington as you are climbing out of the valley. Smoky quartz crystals are found in the vicinity of Lowell.

Corundum has been found on Granite Hill in Cuttingsville and Shrewsbury in Rutland County Vermont according to several authorities.

Jasper is found along the East Coast of Lake Champlain in the town of Colchester.  In this locality these is a ledge sticking up in the center of a farmer’s field of jasper.  It is also found as glacial float in some of the sand & gravel deposits in the area.

Some of the marble and metamorphosed Dolostone found in western Vermont in a strip extending for the length of the state affords some fine cutting material for cabochons.

Serpentine is found in several deposits along the eastern flank of the Green Mountains extending southwards from the Canadian Border to the Massachusetts Border.  Associated with the serpentine are deposits of asbestos, soapstone and talc.  One of the best places to find soapstone is in the town of Chester.

Gold is found in the rivers and streams that drain the eastern flank of the Green Mountains.  Throughout this area placer deposits of gold have been miner for generations, and although for the most part gold is sparse one lucky miner in the 1970s reportedly hit a pocket where he recovered $2,800 worth of gold in an afternoon.

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