Chris Tucker Minerals
Specializing in minerals from Montana

Now that I had a chosen target, I set about digging the beast from the hillside.  After exposing the concretion I note any unusual features, a slight swell can mean a vuggy area and a slight pinch can indicate a solid area.  On this particular concretion a noticeable swell is present on the right; I carefully chose a place for my chisel and drove it home.  Soon a crack appears and I am able to pry the end off exposing some tight seams of calcite.  Now I move to the other side and repeat the action this time exposing a small but open vug containing honey-yellow calcite with colorless overgrowths of a second generation of calcite.  Quickly I set about collecting these specimens and note that the open vug trends under the swell.

Here I have removed most of the front of the concretion.

Here is the first sign of anything good coming from the days efforts.

The first real specimen of the day, this is the upper half of the vug exposed in the previous picture.

Here I have pursued the concretion back into the hillside.  The vuggy areas lie to both sides of the slight swell and hopefully will continue below the swell.

As work progressed more and more vugs were exposed, some of which showed promise of producing specimens.  Sadly no barite has been seen and the prospect of a few good barites was slipping away.  Carefully I set about removing the area above the swell and the hope of a large pristine crystal lined cavity danced through my head.  With careful placement of chisels and the proper amount of force I soon peeled off the thick covering of the area of the swell.  While no monster cavity lay below it, the first of the days barites showed itself.

Here is the cavity that lay below the swell.  Yellow calcites sprinkled with flattened rhombs of colorless calcite lined it's depths, a single etched barite is present on the left side of the photo.

Here sits the first specimen form the cavity.  Thick elongated rhombs of yellow calcite topped with flat colorless rhombs, very cool! 

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