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Close-up of quartz crystal etched free of calcite that was originally encasing the quartz

Quartz crystals in vug in limestone from Diamond Point near Payson, Arizona

This specimen didn't look like much when originally found in the field. The vug was nearly full of calcite and only the broken ends of the front quartz crystals were showing. Careful and selective application of muriatic acid eventually etched away enough calcite to reveal the pristine quartz crystall hiding in the back of this vug. For the collectors and traders out there, I've put a value of $35 on this specimen ( #M34). As a note to collectors: The US Forest Service, in their infinite wisdom, has now placed severe restrictions on the Crystal Point collecting area. Digging is now forbidden for all but two months each year. Violators are subject to sever fines and imprisonment. The regulations for collecting minerals on federal land (National Forests) are constantly changing and becoming more restrictive. Always contact the local Forest Service office to confirm that collecting is allowed, and whether any tools (e.g. a shovel, pick) may be used.

Click here if you would like to see a short video of this specimen.