See Update: September
2001 AFMS Newsletter
Deer Hill Amethyst Location Closed
As a miner of one of the major Maine pegmatites I have to tell you
that closing like this one should be a wake up call to all mineral collectors around the
country to stand up and start being heard. The location is now closed as are many major
Maine pegmatites. Maine is well on it's way to being like Connecticut. The next on to go
will be a publically held Mt Apatite which the city is slowly closing to collecting. It is
the only public tourmaline mine in the world that I know of. Oh well. I hope this info
will be passed through he federation and around the country.
There are three mines on the hill and more prospects than people know
on this hill. The mines in order of age are Nevel prospect, Eastman Ledge Mine,Deer Hill
Mine, and the Intergalactic Mine (Eastman Ledge Mine extension). The area has produced
tons of amethyst in it's history.
The Deer Hill Mine, Nevel Mine, and Kimball Mine all sit on federal
property now and have long been open to collectors.These mines have been prospected since
the mid eighteen hundred producing giant pockets of amethyst of deep royal purple color
and brilliant smoky quartz crystals. It was not uncommon to find pockets three to six feet
long filled with crystals over six inches in diameter. In these mines now called the
"government side" the amethyst the amethyst was the richest in color of any of
the locations on the Mountain. The fine material also had a pleasant red hue to it to the
purple. Some smoky quartz crystals were fifty pounds. The area was worked until the
government took over in the mid 20th century.Nice gem beryl was also found in the area.
Kunz first report in 1883b regarding the Deer Hill Mine was as follows "Amethyst is
found on Deer Hill, Stow , Maine where there is a vein that has been traced fully one
quarter of a mile, and has furnished many thousands of crystals during the last 20 years,
scarcely any of them, however being of any gem value:but among some amethysts found during
1885 was one remarkable mass that yielded a gem weighing 25ct, of deep purple color of the
Siberian Amethyst." The Mineralogy of Maine further tells that clusters of parallel
growth amethyst were common to 50x50cm.
Half way to the Eastman ledge where the intergalactic mining company is
mining is another prospect where large gem blue beryls have been found. On the back side
two topaz locations occur and farther to the east in the area of Durgin Mt giant golden
and green, sometimes blue beryl have been found. At the base of Durgin Mt is a location
for gem beryl and COLORED TOURMALINE BLUE AND GREEN in fact a have a piece of the blue.
The beryl is so plentiful in the area that clubs have ventured up Durgin Mt to go to the
small prospect and rarely have made it as the have found so much beryl in float boulders.
There is also a topaz location in a stream cut on shirley brook. But back to deer hill in
recent years people have found tons of gem amethyst digging around the old
pits on Deer Hill. About four years ago several collectors were poking around in the woods
about 200ft from the forest service road. they began to find gem material. Some of this
has been called black amethyst because it is so dark purple that until it is cut it looks
black. When cut it has the richest color and fine red flashes I have ever seen. I have
seen crystals up to twelve pounds (of gem that is) being found in the dirt. In fine
crystal point I have seen was fully 550ct of flawless rich purple amethyst. The first fine
was actually an pocket that was dropped in one spot. As time passed the dig at the 200ft
prospect expanded outward.This area of float material has been so rich that it attracted
many people. Nice smoky and milky quartz crystals have come out to. Not to much citrine.
Any way all the attention caused people to dig into the layer of
glacial drop and spread out more. Eventually people were trenching and hauling trees down.
The area began to be devastated by the activity and with no mineral club or organization
able to stop the activity the forest service resorted to collecting a fee to park and
collect in the White Mountains Park. The devastation continued and even the rangers with
depth,width, and hole filling rules on diggin were not able to slow the desire of people
to find these gems. This has lead to the forest service closing the area to let it grow
back and recover.
Submitted: January 1999
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