Carpathite Crystals from San Benito Co., California, USA

Rick Kennedy surprised most folks in the FMS Fluorescent Mineral Group (FB) by posting pics of this magnificent cluster of carpathite crystals. Carpathite (karpatite) is a very rare hydrocarbon mineral first described in 1955. In California it appears as a low temperature hydrothermal phase. Locality: Picacho Peak, New Idria District, Diablo Range, San Benito Co., California, USA

The discussion that ensued of folks seeing these pics follows the pics.

(This specimen is noteworthy due to its rarity and unusually large crystal. The UV shot is a quickie cellphone camera(?) shot, but the color is representative.)

Yoshihiro K - I didn’t know these are found in this aesthetic form!

Rick K - When they have enough space to grow, they can grow terminated crystals. Then druzy Quartz crystals coat everything, protecting the much more fragile Carpathite, yet being translucent enough to allow the fluorescence to show!

Yoshihiro K - I always thought these only grew in cracks without freedom.

Yoshihiro K - I just checked mine, and it does have some quartz covered crystals..I never noticed it.

Bruce N - Never seen anything like that, check its birth certificate!

Rick K - I dug it, almost as good as a birth certificate!!

Bruce N - Are you sure of its parentage via DNA or other testing? From a site where that mineral has been found before? Just a most unusually shaped piece. I’ve only ever seen broken off lumps or slightly radiating sprays in matrix.

Bruce N - Looks like you live in the right neighborhood; but if it’s truly what you say it is, it’s certainly a rarity to be branching. Most pieces I’ve seen have come from Bay Area Mineralogists who have dug them themselves, and none were even remotely like that.

Rick K - I am one of those Bay Area Mineralogists! My friend Dan Evanich and I claimed this spot back in 2007 or so. Rarely do the seams open up wide enough for free growing crystals, but when they do, fun things can happen!

Bruce N - The value of that piece is exponentially more than anything I’ve ever seen! The mineral is rare enough in small pieces.

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