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

"Chrysanthemums" of Staritsa, Vazuza fluorite. Tver region 2018

Why have you traveled far away more than once, and only got close this summer?

Nearby for me, a resident of Moscow, is the Tver region. Certainly closer to the Kola Peninsula or Altai.

But in the Tver region, milky quartz is found in cool stomachs and fine-crystalline fluorite, turning into ratovkite.

Some many years passed, and I finally matured.

On Saturday, early in the morning, I started on the Novorizhskoye highway by car, since the speed limit there is 110 km / h, i.e. in fact 129 km / h without the threat of a fine. However, the freeway ended near Volokolamsk ... I naively thought that it goes all the way to Riga. One way or another, in the end I got to the point - a small limestone quarry on the outskirts of the village of Staritsa. From this quarry, I already had in my collection a crystal of milky quartz, surprisingly large for this manifestation, bought somehow in St. Petersburg at the exhibition "The World of Stone". Typical samples are brushes of small crystals of milky quartz in geodes of brown-orange chalcedony. The geodes themselves deserve special mention. They are very decorative, especially from the back side adjacent to the limestone. On the back side, certain centers are clearly visible, around which concentric formations of brown-orange chalcedony are located. The edges of these formations are white due to the rim of milky quartz crystals. The result is small "chrysanthemums". It is still unknown which side of the specimens is more interesting: the inner side with crystals or the back side with "chrysanthemums". But are geodes entirely made of chalcedony? There is a hypothesis that these formations contain quartzine. Quartzine is a "relative" of chalcedony, differing from it only in optical properties, in particular, in its optical sign. The assumption that these formations contain quartzine was made by B.Z. Kantor based on the external similarity of the Staritsa and Rusavka samples. The Rusavka samples have been well studied, and quartzine has been identified there. I don’t know about the staritsa samples that anyone would study them using the instrumental method. Well, this is not a new mineral to discover ... This is pure ontogeny - no one is interested in doing this. But even without scientific study, these geodes look very decorative and quite a collection material.

That's what I came for.

The first step is to inspect the quarry - fortunately it is small - in search of the most "capable" places. At first they were not noticed. The first find is huge oversized pieces, and in them there are nests of rock crystal brushes. Very pretty, but in solid, not limestone rock. That's why they survived - they can't be chipped off with a sledgehammer. Loved it and moved on. In the end, "catching" places were found. In some walls of the quarry, vertical long thin voids were observed in the limestone, which were lined from the inside by chalcedony, forming tubular geodes, inside which, in turn, milky quartz grew. I thought about it ... The limestone voids of the Golutvinsky quarry were explained as the result of the action of sulfuric acid. The acid was formed from pyrite FeS2 contained in black Jurassic clays located above the limestone layer. Here there are no black clays, but there are voids. Mystery though...

      The difficulty of mining was that these chalcedony pipes are very thin-walled. And it was necessary to disassemble the breed very carefully. It is very problematic to separate a large sample from the rock, because at the same time, he strives to split into small ones. I dismantled the breed for almost a whole day. At the end, the thickest tube opened. I would hate to lose her... And I redoubled my caution. With the help of a crowbar and patience, the adjoining blocks were separated without anything falling on my head. And then - a chisel around, and a fourteen-centimeter geode with centimeter crystals in it fits intact into my palm. Good sample. I'll keep it for my collection. Although I have seen a lot of things, but this example is picturesque. No wonder he came!

The sun is already approaching the edge of the quarry, it will soon begin to get dark. But there are other minerals in the quarry. For example, rancieite, which I met while walking around the quarry. From this phrase it may seem that when I saw something, I immediately determined that it was ranseit. Unfortunately no. I'm not that advanced. The impromptu was carefully prepared, and I went already knowing what is in the quarry and how it looks. Rancieite is a mineral, a complex hydrated oxide of manganese and calcium, the birnessite group, which forms an isomorphic series with tacanelite. Outwardly - nothing interesting: the allocation of an earthy, powdery substance of black color on the surface of limestone. However, this is a whole mineral with an unhackneyed name! Once arrived - you must take it! And took.

In parallel, I came across a bunch of smaller oversized geodes with crystal brushes. I had to wave a sledgehammer, but I also took crystal.

Evening has come. It's time to think about where to camp for the night. The quarry is dusty. I went to the nearest river, which flowed picturesquely in a lowland. And the nearest river was, among other things, the Volga ... A steep slope led to it along a dirt road. And then I was drawn to exploits ... "It seems I'll get back," - I decided and slid down. Immediately I decided to check whether I really get out. In the middle of the rise, my car, far from being an SUV, ran out of power. The driving wheels are spinning, there is a column of dust, the smell of burning rubber, but the car is in place - it does not pull up. I had to roll down and look for a detour. Fortunately, he was found. But by morning, a flat tire with a side cut on the stones was discovered. Subsequently, the rubber turned out to be chewed - I didn’t notice that the wheel was flat while I was taxiing over bumps almost on virgin soil from the river. Disposal cover. But I had a spare with me!

  Day two, Sunday. In the morning an impudent cat came and begged for a sausage. I leave the quarry on the spare tire and advance to a new point: manifestations of ratovkite on the Vazuz River. An hour later, I'm there. I am crossing a dam that blocks the river, forming a picturesque large reservoir. The weather is beautiful, and everything around looks very picturesque: a large expanse of water with islands above the dam, and a narrow stream winding among white boulders below it. The only thing missing is white sails over the surface of the reservoir. And the dam is also serious: along the edges of the barriers and pillboxes, security and surveillance. I work up the nerve and stop in the middle of the dam to take a photo - it's too beautiful. "Stopping is prohibited on the dam! We are passing!" - immediately rushes from the loudspeaker. You can’t enjoy the beautiful, you have to keep moving. It was not possible to find a point with a ratovkit the first time. But cellular service and a local stone lover known to the world as "The Passerby" helped - thanks to them. Soon the point was found.

Ratovkit - an earthy variety of fluorite of sedimentary origin, forms small layers and accumulations in dolomitic limestones. The right place was found in the specified area on several pieces of bluish rock. While dismantling the river bank in this place, I found other pieces. In the end, a block of rock was turned out, which, when split, showed voids lined with fine-grained dark blue fluorite. In some places, the voids were partially filled with earthy fluorite - and this is already ratovkit.

That's actually all. The program of the trip was completed.

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