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Deer Hill Amethyst


See Update: September 2001 AFMS Newsletter

Deer Hill Amethyst Location Closed

    As a miner of one of the major Maine pegmatites I have to tell you that closing like this one should be a wake up call to all mineral collectors around the country to stand up and start being heard. The location is now closed as are many major Maine pegmatites. Maine is well on it's way to being like Connecticut. The next on to go will be a publically held Mt Apatite which the city is slowly closing to collecting. It is the only public tourmaline mine in the world that I know of. Oh well. I hope this info will be passed through he federation and around the country.
    There are three mines on the hill and more prospects than people know on this hill. The mines in order of age are Nevel prospect, Eastman Ledge Mine,Deer Hill Mine, and the Intergalactic Mine (Eastman Ledge Mine extension). The area has produced tons of amethyst in it's history.
    The Deer Hill Mine, Nevel Mine, and Kimball Mine all sit on federal property now and have long been open to collectors.These mines have been prospected since the mid eighteen hundred producing giant pockets of amethyst of deep royal purple color and brilliant smoky quartz crystals. It was not uncommon to find pockets three to six feet long filled with crystals over six inches in diameter. In these mines now called the "government side" the amethyst the amethyst was the richest in color of any of the locations on the Mountain. The fine material also had a pleasant red hue to it to the purple. Some smoky quartz crystals were fifty pounds. The area was worked until the government took over in the mid 20th century.Nice gem beryl was also found in the area.
Kunz first report in 1883b regarding the Deer Hill Mine was as follows "Amethyst is found on Deer Hill, Stow , Maine where there is a vein that has been traced fully one quarter of a mile, and has furnished many thousands of crystals during the last 20 years, scarcely any of them, however being of any gem value:but among some amethysts found during 1885 was one remarkable mass that yielded a gem weighing 25ct, of deep purple color of the Siberian Amethyst." The Mineralogy of Maine further tells that clusters of parallel growth amethyst were common to 50x50cm.
    Half way to the Eastman ledge where the intergalactic mining company is mining is another prospect where large gem blue beryls have been found. On the back side two topaz locations occur and farther to the east in the area of Durgin Mt giant golden and green, sometimes blue beryl have been found. At the base of Durgin Mt is a location for gem beryl and COLORED TOURMALINE BLUE AND GREEN in fact a have a piece of the blue. The beryl is so plentiful in the area that clubs have ventured up Durgin Mt to go to the small prospect and rarely have made it as the have found so much beryl in float boulders. There is also a topaz location in a stream cut on shirley brook. But back to deer hill in recent years people have found tons of gem amethyst digging around the old
pits on Deer Hill. About four years ago several collectors were poking around in the woods about 200ft from the forest service road. they began to find gem material. Some of this has been called black amethyst because it is so dark purple that until it is cut it looks black. When cut it has the richest color and fine red flashes I have ever seen. I have seen crystals up to twelve pounds (of gem that is) being found in the dirt. In fine crystal point I have seen was fully 550ct of flawless rich purple amethyst. The first fine was actually an pocket that was dropped in one spot. As time passed the dig at the 200ft prospect expanded outward.This area of float material has been so rich that it attracted many people. Nice smoky and milky quartz crystals have come out to. Not to much citrine.
     Any way all the attention caused people to dig into the layer of glacial drop and spread out more. Eventually people were trenching and hauling trees down. The area began to be devastated by the activity and with no mineral club or organization able to stop the activity the forest service resorted to collecting a fee to park and collect in the White Mountains Park. The devastation continued and even the rangers with depth,width, and hole filling rules on diggin were not able to slow the desire of people to find these gems. This has lead to the forest service closing the area to let it grow back and recover.

Stephen Welsh

Submitted: January 1999

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