The late '99 Pocket zone -Bertrandites, Columbites, Beryls,  acicular Phenakites and Quartz Crystals

A large pocket zone emerged from the back of the pit late in '99. This pocket zone was perhaps  10' beyond and 10 ' below the golden beryl pocket of July '99. The schist slab that had dropped into the pegmatie pointed to this pocket. The walls of the pocket consisted primarily of salmon colored foliated feldspar and was signicantly curved almost like the interior of an eggshell.. Above it 2 chambers projected high into the headwall for at least 5'. These chambers radiated left and right from the top of the pocket. The pocket continued into the floor and the bottom was not reached in '99. The radiating chambers were choked with crude quartz crystals. Lower in the pocket albites and q. xtals were covered with pin cushions of acicular phenakites of unusual habit. Stll lower beryl casts were abundant in the pocket walls as well as in the occasional microcline crystal or feldspar chip. Still lower there were fragements of severely corroded beryls in the casts and free in the pocket. In the picture Doug Smith is standing beside the pocket shortly before work stopped for the season.

An interesting feature of the beryl casts low in the pocket was when they were opened a creamy white toothpaste like exudate ooozed out. This material was nearly all bertrandite. Below left is a few of the bertrandites to be removed from these casts. Contrast these with the bertrandites from the golden beryl pocket at the right and below. As is often typical from Maine, the bertrandites from the Orchard Quarry are often associated with blue apatite.

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