The Orchard Pit 1997:
A limited amount of work was done at the Orchard
Pit during this year by Gary and Mary Freeman with the assistance of the
Holden brothers, Ron and Dennis. The Holden's allowed them to work a few
benches on a fee basis.. True to the Orchard Pits past history, beryls
were abundant. These pictures capture some of the activity at the eastern
end of the pit.
This shot of work prior to putting in a bench
gives some idea as to the size of the Orchard Pit in 1997. The picture
is taken standing on the headwall at the eastern end of the pit. Dennis
Holden (orange hat) and Ron Holden (blue jumpsuit) are working with Gary
These 3 photos give and idea of the mineralization
in the eastern end of the pit.
Ron Holden is standing on large microcline crystals.
The center picture is a closeup of these same crystals. The blue beryls
in matrix are just to the left of these feldspar crystals. Immediately
behind these microclines the whole complexion of the OP was about to change.
1998 would provide some surprises here!
The Freemans look like happy campers with their
haul of opaque blue beryl from the eastern end. The left picture is a closeup
of the beryl. At the right is a nice aquamarine trying to be gem.
more to follow soon!
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