UV Color Shifting

Decent color shifting from this darkish looking piece of quartz I picked up off the ground near the La Paz County Fairgrounds a few days ago. Most minerals don’t show different colors under different wavelengths although color shifting is not uncommon. It’s just nice to see.

I had been looking for gold signs but I pick up anything odd. When you are interested in radioactive materials, fluorescent minerals, fossils, unusual rock occurrences (such as flow banding, differential weathering, or strange fracturing), you’re probably going to come home with something.

This is visible light, long wave, and short wave. 18 watt Way Too Cool Lamp. I find quite a bit of lime green colored fluorescing quartz in the desert, we all do, but color shifting and afterglow make ordinary quartz more exciting. This one doesn’t have any afterglow.

Notice the reddish/brown in the center of the rock under shortwave. I may break the rock open to see what’s going on. I don’t usually see this color in common field quartz.

Visible light:

Long wave:

Short wave:

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Gold’s Power

Little is more coveted than gold. It has been that way for thousands of years and it will continue for millennia yet to be. Man’s attraction seems genetic. Civilizations have risen on acquiring it and maintaining it, individuals have risen to great prominence with it and an equal number of societies and people have been destroyed by it. On first discovery, gold fever infects and does not leave. `

More findings set a miner’s path. A miner may know family, work, love. But hills and streams now command a melancholy longing unknown to others.

As Kipling put it in the Explorer

Till a voice, as bad as Conscience, rang interminable changes
On one everlasting Whisper day and night repeated—so:
“Something hidden. Go and find it. Go and look behind the Ranges—
“Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you. Go!”

The miner goes. If only in their mind, they go. Their last discovery may be two weeks old and two thousand miles away. They may now be at a desk or talking with friends. But they are still in those hills or on the banks of that river. You may hold a miner as friend. But understand they want to leave, if at least for a while. If they are not already gone.

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Prospecting for New Areas

NOTE: The following are some general observations on what I look for. If you are in the Quartzsite or Parker area, the easiest way to look for gold is to pay $20 to the Quartzsite Metal Detecting Club. Doing so gets you access to over 360 acres of claimed ground. You can prospect worry free without the hassle of researching, staking, and recording. And paying over $150 just to file one 20 acre claim! I am a member. You should be one, too. Pay in person at Miner’s Depot, not by mail. You are going to Quartzsite anyway, correct?


Prospecting for New Areas

Some of you may have seen some of my sampling in my Instagram posts. That area was so typical of how a prospector looks at an area. First, the crazy looking ballast. Next follow the paved road to see where it goes into this unknown area. The video shows how things began.

Railroad_Ballast_Parker_Blvd from Thomas Farley on Vimeo.


One turn led to the La Posa County Fairgrounds. Boring. Other turn, “Dead End”. Yes! I follow all dead end roads and ones with signs that say “No Outlet”. At the end of the pavement I got out, not having time to follow the dirt road which continued past the pavement. I was hoping for some fluorescent quartz, maybe field agates if I was lucky.

Getting out, I immediately see rolled or rounded rocks. Some chunks of rock, some fragments, but mostly tumbled stones. Yes, streambed stuff on a hill, no doubt an ancient stream bed lifted up over the eons. There’s not enough rain in Arizona to have ever tumbled those stones in situ. So, I am thinking hillside placer of a sort. Maybe that’s why the railroad embankment had pebbles. I began then looking for my old friend black sand by eyesight and without my GMT with its black sand tracking feature. I found a few dark spots but not streaks like I want to find. None-the-less, I collected. My sample bucket later produced a goodly amount of black sand. My sign for looking further. Black sand doesn’t guarantee placer gold but no black sand seems to rule out placer gold.

I always advocate thorough research but we are all looking at ground as we drive city to city, never mind the text books. I’ll read up on that area now and there may in fact be nothing there but it is now an area to look into further. I am soon driving to Las Vegas from Kingman. The last time I went I pulled over for a bathroom break past a sign marked Kingman Wash — No Services. I always take those turnoffs. I picked up a piece of vesicular andesite that was glinting at me. Not used to sparkling volcanics. Pyrite or mica in the vesicles? No collecting area as it is in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

I will have a rock looked at even if collecting is in doubt. As a road cut, I wasn’t sure if it was AZDOT that had control of the roadside or the LMNRA. And collecting may be permitted at Lake Mead if the superintendent gives permission. Although no mining, of course. Speaking of doubtful ground, I still have to research the difference between Arizona Land Trust lands and “regular” state owned land. Maybe collecting is permitted in non-trust land even if no claiming is permitted. Another subject for another day, here I was just looking at an area.

After I got that andesite home I was so puzzled that I sent it off for XRF and fire assay. Both said decent values of gold and silver although XRF is unreliable, of course, for Au and AG. I was expecting copper from the XRF but no. Yet the assayer for the fire assay said there was an indication of copper by the colors he saw. Great, first conflict. I then collected some more andesite from the _exact _same spot a few months later to satisfy my curiosity. Reed Labs, another reliable fire assay group. ND: nothing detected. The mystery remains. And that is gold prospecting!

Looking at the area

Looking For Clues After The Railroad Ballast from Thomas Farley on Vimeo.

Quick tailgate look at a sample

Panning out the Sample from Thomas Farley on Vimeo.

January 22, Update

Sample Update Regarding Prospecting New Areas from Thomas Farley on Vimeo.

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From Quartzsite, Arizona

I’ve been doing some social media reporting for Rock&Gem. I’m not sure when they will be able to post all of the videos I have made. I present a few here for now.

The Keadys of Rockchuck

The Keadys of Rockchuck in Schurz, Nevada from Thomas Farley on Vimeo.

David Bintliff of the Rock Broker

David Bintliff of the Rock Broker at Desert Gardens in Quartzsite, Arizona from Thomas Farley on Vimeo.


Geologist on Board in The Geo Mobile AKA Flint from Thomas Farley on Vimeo.

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So Much for Trying to Help

I’m not going to help answer rock related questions on Facebook anymore. I’ll use FB to report on Quartzsite next week and I will keep posting cat pictures to my personal account. But helping is done.

I got dragged into a political discussion yesterday and I am ashamed. Trolls are stupid, of course, but I obviously have a deep character flaw that made me respond.

I cited an Australian newspaper article in defense of my view. The troll responded by citing a NYT article critical of the that newspaper’s reporting. The Australian is owned by Rupert Murdoch.

No researcher or reporter would give credence to the NYT criticizing a Murdoch publication any more than they would accept the criticism of Murdoch against the Times. You may believe the Times on the facts of a story but you cannot accept their criticism of a hated rival’s reporting of the story as proving those facts.

Instead, you step away from the decades of hate between these two groups to determine the facts from other sources. This would be like siding with the National Review when they criticize the reporting of Mother Jones. Check the facts first, then decide. But realize that any information presented from two bitterly opposed groups will probably be in favor of that publication’s editorial positions.

Orwell wrote that “All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.”

How I could respond to such idiocy still upsets me. Trolls are everywhere, trolls are stupid, trolls are a waste of time. I have tried to help people but I can’t allow myself to get drawn in again to ungoverned, hateful thought that works against careful research and analysis.

People can e-mail me if they have a question. Otherwise, I am out.

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The New Convoy C8 Dragonfly LW Ultraviolet Flashlight

Just got this handheld from Patrick Bigos at Midnight Minerals in Maine. I paid around $130 for my setup. That included an extra set of batteries and I also ordered a holster. The base unit is $85.00 but always order more batteries.

This Convoy is an amazing upgrade to my previous Convoy, a four year old S2+. That was a sad thing, underpowered, battery draining, finicky charger. But let’s not dwell on the past, technology has moved on.

This lamp produces recordable afterglow from even marginal rocks. With its concentrated beam it produces afterglow better than my 18 watt bench lamp.

This is just a first look. If you want to try night hunting for the first time or if you have some troublesome rocks to light up, give this Convoy a try. It is very impressive.

Here’s the URL”


Convoy C8 Dragonfly Long Wave UV Flashlight from Thomas Farley on Vimeo.

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Casts, Molds, and Impressions

Can we have a bit of fun here? I thought my rock and mineral backgrounds were boring so I went retro to 1964. This is from my Instagram account which I know many of you do not follow.

Casts, molds, and impressions are confusing terms. Molds are impressions. Casts are relief. To explain, let’s say you wanted to make a beaver footprint cast down by a creek. With some plaster of Paris, you would fill in the footprint the animal left behind. This is an impression or mold in preferably moist soil. Once dry, you would pop out the hardened compound. You now have a cast. A mold needn’t be a track left by a live creature, it can also form when a body fossil decays or dissolves, leaving an impression.

In this video we have a puma track cast. As Authentic Wild relates, “This cast was made from a captive lion taken in as an orphan by the caretakers at the famous Sonoran Desert Museum in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. An impressive cat.” The simulated impression of a dinosaur track comes from the museum store at the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site in St. George, Utah. Artist David Slauf replicated the track of a small Grallator, also known as a Katiebell track. SGDS is the place to see all sorts of real casts and impressions. Even the impressions of dinosaur tail dragging!




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