Did You See The New Gallery?

New Gallery

Update! – June 3, 2020

My good friend Linda Dodge has gone ’round the rock garden to take pictures of rocks and description signs I  missed. She has also taken better pictures in many cases of rocks I had already photographed. 78 photos in total, of which I suspect at least twenty will be posted here. Time to start processing. Captions will take a long time to do.

Original Article Below:

I’m still working on it but a new gallery is up, this one on the rock garden at U.C. Davis in Davis, California..

Parking is expensive at U.C. Davis during the weekdays ($10!?) but you can use that parking pass all over campus. Have a picnic in the Shields Oak Grove where I volunteered for many years. All of the arboretum is first class.

They have a fine equestrian center and if you are quiet and not too suspicious looking, you can walk through the stables and consider whether you really want to own a Percheron.

Most campus buildings are probably closed to the public, but when they reopen there are a variety of places to eat. You don’t need to be staff or a student to eat at most of them.

There’s a science library, a law library, and a main library.

If you have a bicycle you will fit right in.


My friend the practicing geologist confirms that I indeed found leucogranite with altered garnet in the Utah Hill area and that it is suitable for study use. I go back to the area this week to look for a pegmatite pocket. Follow me on Instagram, that’s where I report on my field trips.


Rolf Luetke has closed Sunshine Gifts and Gallery until further notice. Business is too slow because of the pandemic.

Follow me on Instagram: tgfarley

At The Rock Garden at UC Davis, California

Beautiful marble boulder from the Lucerne Valley in San Bernardino County in California. Solidly in the Southwest. The red-pink color is due to rhodochrosite. The first two pictures are my own.

“Originally a limestone formed in a tropical sea, this rock was later metamorphosed at high pressures and temperatures into marble during mountain-building processes.”

More information on the rock garden here.

Well developed rhodochrosite crystals easily sell into the hundreds of dollars. Rhodochrosite without crystal faces fetches only a little money, the material looking like sad red lumps. It is only with a defined crystal form, in this case rhomboidal, that this mineral goes from being merely a formless rock to a prized collectible.

Rhodochrosite slabs for cabbing are available, but nothing sells for more than crystal forms. Condition is everything in the mineral hobby and the beginning collector may have to settle for micro mounts before affording anything better. Like antique cars, the finest examples belong to museums and private collectors with extraordinary budgets.

The only way around this, perhaps, is to self-collect. But that relies upon access to open ground. All these mineral collecting considerations will be discussed in my book.

The boulder itself, a closeup, and the mineral in fine crystal form.

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