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Crystal Park Quartz Crystal Locale in the Beaverhead National Forest


Crystal Park is located in the Pioneer Mountains at an elevation of 7,700 feet, approximately 70 miles by road from Butte, Montana. The site is under claim to the Butte Mineral and Gem Club and is jointly maintained and supervised by the club and the Beaverhead National Forest. Because it yields exceptionally well formed quartz and amethyst scepter crystals, this site has been a favorite with amateur collectors for many years. Shown above are two scepter crystals: one is amethyst, the other shows a fine pattern of smoky color banding resulting in a scepter with "phantoms." This site is strictly reserved for amateurs; the length of stay is limited, and crystals can be collected using only hand tools. The ridge that has produced the best specimens has been heavily dug and now resembles a crater-scarred battlefield. Although commercial operations are forbidden, amateurs can sometimes be induced to part with a few of their prized specimens (The "golden pick" is difficult to resist). The ridge producing the crystals overlooks a beautiful alpine valley that is blanketed with wildflowers in the spring and early summer. Because this crystal site is relatively small, and collecting is strictly controlled, cut gems from this lovely light amethyst are rarely seen on the market. For further information on Crystal Park, read "Crystal Park," by Earl Spendlove (Rock & Gem; March, 1993:8-16).