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Diameter, mm (1mm - 0,039inch)

Georgia 2019 - only about the stone.

    Did not work out! I went to Georgia for a week to just relax - to enjoy the beauty of nature combined with civilization and gastronomic delights. There were no plans to mine stones, but it didn’t work out! In a country where there are a lot of stones, it is very difficult not to get them ... I will not talk about my whole week-long trip to the natural beauties of Georgia. I will devote a separate photo report to this in two months, when out of several thousand photos taken by my wife, she will select a hundred of the best ones. So for now, only about the stones and the circumstances that accompany this.

    We flew in, checked into a hotel in Tbilisi and went to survey the surroundings. Only the second paragraph of the story - and already cunning ... In fact, I had first-hand information where you can dig up Herkimer diamonds, and I was going to do it. He even brought with him a small-sized "iron" for digging. But this "somewhere" turned out to be almost in the very center of Tbilisi and densely built up, despite the slope of the mountain of 65 degrees.
"Looks like everything has changed a lot in 35 years," the first-hand commented on this information on WhatsApp. The mining program was curtailed, it remained to enjoy everything else.

    But then a misfortune befell us: we ran into Georgian hospitality... It turns out that everything they say about the traditions of Georgian feasts and toasts is true. Luckily, this didn't affect us much. Went for dinner at a local eatery. We ordered Georgian cuisine and a glass of homemade wine. They brought a glass. Only the glasses were half-liter mugs full to the brim ... Then at the next table they heard our Russian speech:
- Where are you from?
- From Moscow.
- Wah! I lived there for 12 years! So let's drink for you - our guests!
And rushed ... For friendship! For Russia! For ordinary people! Of course, it was also not without reciprocal toasts. In general, my half liter quickly ran out ... Then they poured me from his glass, then from his jug. In short, in a short time, I persuaded a liter of wine, hurried to leave, otherwise it would never have ended, and in the morning I got up swollen.
Next, we had a tour of Georgia by car with a driver. While driving, I decided to ask questions on the topic.
- Is it true that for a feast three or four liters of wine are drunk per person?
- It's still not enough. A good toastmaster is one who drinks 5 liters of wine for a feast (5-6 hours) and at the same time does not go to the toilet. How about drinking less? After all, at the beginning there are 13-15 obligatory toasts, and only then ...
No, it's easier to collect stones... We're driving ourselves, we're driving, and suddenly around the corner we find a beige-brick sintered slope of the mountain, along which water flows. Draperies hang down, there are small grottoes. Unexpectedly... This was not in the program. We stop.

- This is a Narzan spring, - the guide says. And below from the pipe is gaining mineral water. It tastes pretty good and, to my surprise, is naturally carbonated.
- Actually, narzan is uv Russia, uv Kislovodsk, - the guide continues. But the locals also call this source Narzan, there are no other names.
Now to mineralogy. The waters of the source, rich in carbonates, precipitate carbonates on the surface, layer by layer, forming a specific rock - travertine. Judging by the red veins in it, the water is also rich in iron. I'm climbing the slope. I collect large pieces of travertine for balls and travertine corallite for samples. When collecting samples, not a single natural monument was damaged - I only take pieces that broke off during a local landslide. Let's go further.

We drove not far, we go out to photograph local beauties. In the grass on the slope I find red stones with white inclusions - porphyry. Well, there will be porphyry balls too...

  After a few hours, we are at the end point of today's route - at the Gergeti monastery, which is on a mountain at the foot of Kazbek.

And here is Kazbek himself:

  I'm not a big fan of temples, although I've seen enough of them. But this temple impresses me. This is the second temple in the world where I want to be. Some kind of aura... A temple of the 14th century, but a stone altar of the 4th century is immured in it, on which the frescoes are perfectly preserved: a large image of Christ, judging by its appearance, is clearly of Georgian nationality. We leave the temple, next to it is a fence made of reddish slate, and square-shaped recesses are found in it. Obviously from crystals, obviously pyrite. I carefully examine the entire fence - not a single preserved crystal. I remember that at the foot of the temple I saw root outcrops of the same rock. There, too, I find traces of crystals. Careful searches are rewarded by finding a single pyrite crystal in the rock, effectively nestled on the edge of the shale. I break out this piece of rock with my hands. My crystal! There are probably more here. But not to dismantle the rock right at the entrance to the temple ... Maybe there are other exits of a similar rock not so close to the route of the pilgrims? And twenty meters from the temple I find these exits. There are also many nests from crystals. To prick, unfortunately, there is nothing and there is no time. I take three large pieces in the car. Already in the hotel, having borrowed a hammer, I split them. I find crystals, though mostly rotten, semi-decomposed. But a few small preserved crystals in the rock can be taken. Pyrite crystals from a holy place!

 At the end of the trip, when we returned to Tbilisi, there was another free day. I read on the Internet that there is a small museum of minerals in the city. We decided to visit. And in vain. The museum is half a room, in the second half they sell jewelry and wine. In this, so to speak, the museum presents samples from all over the USSR. Apparently, this is someone else's Soviet collection donated to the city - there is a photo on the shelf, obviously, of the former owner. The level of most of the samples is such that I would not take myself as a gift ... But that's not the point. Museums can be of different levels, but is it possible to call a collection of stones a museum without lighting and, most importantly, without indicating the places of finds? Didn't even take a picture.

That's actually mineralogy and all. And who is interested in the whole photo report about a wonderful trip to wonderful Georgia - wait and wait.


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