Posted in Bancroft, Bancroft gemboree, book on collecting, book on collecting rocks and minerals, book on crystals, book on gemstones, book on rocks and minerals, books, Buy The Book, Canada, Caves, collecting rocks near Bancroft, crystals, environment, gemology, gems, gemstones, geography, geology, industrial archeology, lapidary, mineral collecting, mines in northern Ontario, nature, Nature/Outdoors, ontario, Ontario geography, Ontario's geography, Ontario's geology, rock and mineral, rock collecting, rockhound, rockhounding, rockhounding in Ontario, rocks and minerals, rocks in Ontario, tagged Bancroft, collecting, crystals, minerals, ontario, rockhound, rocks and minerals, Treasure on April 7, 2016|
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Volume 2 of the ‘Rockhound’ series is now available. This particular volume focuses on the perception of value in mineral resources and the shifting lens through which Ontario’s mineral wealth is seen.
In Rockhound: Opening the Treasure Chest we visit such old collecting classics as the Saranac Zircon Mine, Bear Lake, Grace Lake, Bessemer Mine and Kuehl Lake. The mineral focus is on apatite, rare earths, tremolite, diopside and the more exotic treasures that are displayed at the Bancroft Gemboree. For any rockhound, mineral collector or crystal enthusiast this is without a doubt an invaluable accompaniment to a summer of collecting. Within ‘Rockhound’ you’ll learn how and where to collect. Over 80 mineral locations are detailed along with directions and specifics on the minerals found there.
If you are interested in purchasing a copy or Rockhound: Opening the Treasure Chest visit the Lulu purchasing site here.
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Posted in Bancroft, Bancroft gemboree, book on collecting, book on collecting rocks and minerals, book on crystals, book on gemstones, book on rocks and minerals, collecting rocks near Bancroft, environment, fun things to do in toronto, gemology, gems, gemstones, geography, geology, Interesting, looking for gems, Nature/Outdoors, Ontario's geology, picture of, rockhound, rockhounding, rockhounding in Ontario, Rocks & Gems, rocks and minerals, rocks in Ontario, tagged Bancroft accomodation, Bancroft gemboree, Bancroft Gemboree 2015, Canada's largest, gem, gemboree, minerals in Ontario, rock and mineral, rock and mineral show on August 3, 2015|
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I just attended the Bancroft Gemboree 2015, Canada’s largest gem and mineral show. There are 3 distinct areas where rockhounds can explore their interest, the curling rink and the hockey arena which are both indoors and the outdoors trading stalls. In my experience the trading stalls are the best places to purchase minerals. Dealers come from all across the country, they have incredible stories and the prices are phenomenal. Check out my youtube video on the Bancroft Gemboree here.
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Posted in Bancroft, best things to do in Toronto, books, Buy The Book, Canada, collecting rocks near Bancroft, crystals, gemology, gems, gemstones, geography, geology, Interesting, Nature/Outdoors, Ontario geography, Ontario's geography, Ontario's geology, picture of, rock collecting, rockhounding, rockhounding in Ontario, Rocks & Gems, rocks and minerals, rocks in Ontario, tagged Bancroft, gem, gemology, gemstone, ontario, rocks and minerals on April 26, 2015|
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Well as you’ve probably gathered by the above picture, I’ve just discovered some pretty incredible mineral specimens – a pocket of gem quality tremolite at the contact between quartz and calcite veins. Tremolite evolves to actinolite under the right conditions, and sometimes changes to diopside. Anyway, the finer points of the discovery are detailed on my youtube site (caver461) and within the video details are provided for the purchase of my latest book on minerals – ‘Rockhound: An Experience of the North’. In the book I detail how to find gemstones and something of the experience of finding rocks and minerals in the north.
To see purchase details or for a preview, just type the book name into Google and click on the link, it will take you directly to the print company (Lulu), or click this link here for immediate access to the book on Lulu.
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Posted in abandoned mines in Ontario, adventure in Ontario, best things to do in Toronto, bizzare, book on caves, Buy The Book, Canada, Caves, Caving in Ontario, collecting rocks near Bancroft, cool things to do in toronto, exploration, feldspar, fun things to do in toronto, gemology, gems, gemstones, geography, geology, history, Interesting, looking for gems, mines in northern Ontario, My Book, my life, Nature/Outdoors, ontario, ontario caves, Ontario geography, Ontario Underground, Ontario's geography, Ontario's geology, photo, Photography, picture of, rock collecting, rockhounding, rockhounding in Ontario, Rocks & Gems, rocks and minerals, rocks in Ontario, rockwatching, science, things to do in Toronto, tagged Bancroft, collecting minerals, collecting minerals near Bancroft, collecting rocks, finding crystals, Rochound in Bancroft, rockhounding, rockhounding in Ontario, video on on August 26, 2012|
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I am by no means a professional rockhound. My education is as both a gemologist and a geographer, but I believe both rockhounding (collecting minerals) and my other great interest – caving have been in my heart since childhood. And where better to rockhound than Bancroft, but a word of caution, as both rockhounding and caving appear on my site. Both activities are related to rock, but neither should ever meet. Cave mineral deposits must stay in the caves and a caver who shares both interests (and there are many) should never let their inner rockhound loose beneath the surface.
Wearing my rockhound persona this past Saturday afternoon I headed out to the Bancroft Chamber of comerce to get a vibe on the local collecting possibilities. For a place that styles itself as the mineral capital of Canada, they do very little to encourage that reputation. Remembering back to my childhood, rockhounding was everything in Bancroft – now it is just faded memories and hanging onto loose and fragile threads. Fortunately mother nature takes care of basics and continues giving back. I left the Chamber of commerce disillusioned – not by the staff, not their fault, just the general malaise of the people who call the shots. No effort to justify the reputation.
Anyway I picked up an ice Cap from Tim Hortons and headed off on a kind of aimless ramble, and within about half an hour I’d come upon a spectacular crystal vug (cavity) from which I spent the next few hours scooping crystals.
The cavity is shown in my video – Click here for Crystal cavity in Bancroft video
It was a calcite seam within a road cutting that had been opened by someone else and then abandoned as they obviously did not know what they had found and if they had looked within the cavity when they hammered it open it would be they not me who was posting the pictures.
My point is, you just need to know what to look for. Bancroft is famous for its calcite intrusions, a mineral that solidifies last from molten rock and so it acts as a medium for other minerals to grow in. The vug that I extracted crystals from was predominantly filled with amphibole and feldspar crystals and lying loose in the bottom of the part of the cavity that I dug into were a few doubly terminated crystals – having grown in the medium as opposed to being attached to the cavity wall. In retrospect, looking at the video it becomes obvious that the seam runs on an angle and there is likely to be a lot more to be extracted if rockhounds just follow up and down along the incline of the seam. As this rock cut is in a public place I will just leave its exact location for you to figure out, but there is enough in what I have said and shown on the video for you to quickly pin-point the general vicinity of the deposit.
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Posted in adventure in Ontario, Adventures, Bancroft, Bancroft gemboree, beading, beads, Buy The Book, Caves, caves in Ontario, caving, Caving in Ontario, collecting rocks near Bancroft, crystals, culture, cultures, gemology, gems, gemstones, geology, Interesting, lapidary, looking for gems, My Book, ontario, ontario caves, Ontario's geography, Ontario's geology, Photography, photos, picture of, rock collecting, rockhounding, rockhounding in Ontario, Rocks & Gems, rocks and minerals, rocks in Ontario, rockwatching, tagged Bancroft, Bancroft accomodation, Bancroft fair, Bancroft gemboree, Bancroft show, Book on caving, Caving in Ontario, rockhounding in Bancroft on July 26, 2011|
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One of the more exciting events of my rock-related year is the Bancroft Gemboree where i can schmoose with other rock-focused people. You absolutely know that this weekend the accommodation in Bancroft and for miles around will be booked solid so either I will be staying with my sister or possibly in Peterborough.
At the Bancroft Gemboree there is every natural crystal from the beautiful to bizarre – a booth of Columbian emeralds, Pakistani Peridot dealers and Russian fellow who sells black power pyramids of some unnamed substance. You stand there long enough he’ll have you convinced to put one in your living room – an investment that will turn your life around. Well if you believe that crystals will heal your warts, you’re well advised to see him as you’re likely thinking along similar lines. I’ll get a picture if he’s there this year and see what he has to say.
If you are into crafting, beading, crystals or geology, or just looking for gems, rough or cut, the Bancroft Gemboree is an event that goes beyond the material presentation of those goods, it’s a cultural event that bonds a motley crowd of locals to a throng of rockhound and crafting visitors. There are two huge venues, though I have always found that the better gem-stuff is in the venue lower down the hill. The best deals at the gemboree are typically outside at the top of the hill though last year I was disappointed.
Maybe next year I’ll get a booth and flog my upcoming Ontario cave book there.
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Posted in abandoned, abandoned mines, abandoned mines in Ontario, adventure in Ontario, Adventures, Bancroft, Bancroft gemboree, bizzare, Buy The Book, collecting rocks near Bancroft, crazy things, exploration, gemology, gems, gemstones, geography, geology, history, industrial archeology, Interesting, Life, mine, mines in northern Ontario, My Book, my life, Nature/Outdoors, ontario, Ontario geography, Ontario Underground, Ontario's geography, Ontario's geology, Personal, Photography, photos, picture of, rock collecting, rockhounding, rockhounding in Ontario, Rocks & Gems, rocks and minerals, rocks in Ontario, rockwatching, sapphires, strange places, Travel, tunnels, Uncategorized, underground, underground Ontario, urban exploration, tagged abandoned mines in Northern Ontario, Boulter road near Bancroft, collecting minerals near Bancroft, collecting minerals near Craigmont, corundum, corundum in Northern Ontario, Corundum in Ontario, corundum near bancroft, Craigmont, nepheline syenites, old mine tunnels, Ontario rockhound, rock Hounding, rockhound, rockhounding, Rocks & Gems, rocks and minerals, sapphires in Ontario, Syenite, syenite in Ontario, Syenite under Robillard Mountain on January 29, 2011|
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Beneath Robillard Mountain
Craigmont is about as distant from the reach of the modern world as you are likely to get in the “near north”. Indeed it appears on the map as a substantial settlement but as you cruise up Boulter road you become aware of how far you really are, both geographically and culturally from the bustle of Southern Ontario.
Coasting over hills that stretch off greenish-blue into the summer haze it seems as though you are crossing into a time warp. Meadows are saturated with intense colour and high pastoral fields line the road, strewn with orange and yellow flowers. Beyond this lies the valley of the “Little Mississippi River”. Spike-topped conifers wander unbroken to the horizon and in hillside fields lazy cows watch disinterestedly at the crumbling demise of old log barns.
As a collecting locale, Craigmont is remarkable. Not only is the beauty unsurpassed but its minerals are spectacular. Corundum here is found in large euhedral (perfectly formed) specimens; lapidaries have been known to cut them into cabochons. In their book, “Rocks and Minerals of Ontario” the Ontario Department of Mines say that there are unusual curved mica crystals. Garnets, molybdenite, allanite, uranite, euxenite, magnetite, pyrite and hornblende also appear from time to time.
Blink and you just might glide past Craigmont. The inhabited part is now a private town. It exists as a cluster of houses, barns and sheds and around it the vegetables flourish in earthy rows.
Robillard Mountain is situated within sight of the present habitation; an impressive upheaval of rugged red rock. Some twenty separate excavations scar its slopes.
As a general rule most corundum is found in pegmatites and structures associated with nepheline syenites. In this area north of Bancroft the most abundant deposits (corundum) are said to be sandwiched between scapolite, nepheline andesine and a band of alkaline syenite.
I took a hike beneath the mountain to see the syenite from below.
More on corundum in Craigmont here …
Check out this abandoned mine in Cobalt ... Here
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