Searles Lake Gem and Mineral Society
See  Flyer  for dates and times
The Mud Field Trip
The Mud Crystals
Digging the Mud          The Mud Pile

 The mud normally contains a variety of saline minerals.  The SVMC technicians always try to find a good supply of the rarer pinacoidal Hanksite for our field trip.  Other common minerals are cubic Halite, bladed Trona, octahedral Halite (with its double pyramid shape similar to Sulfohalite), and Thenardite.
This collector found a nice cluster of barrel Hanksite during the 2004 show.  It is only partially cleaned at this point.
Here is a large cluster of barrel Hanksite crystals.  Although these look like they are just piled one on top of the other, they have actually grown together. This was collected during the 2004 field trip and is typical of those found in recent years.

 Here is another large cluster of barrel Hanksite dug during the 2004 show. Here are two large clusters of barrel Hanksite.  These have a wide range of crystal sizes from as small an inch to three inches or more. these too were dug during the 2004 show.

Here are four barrel Hanksite just dug from the mud. Here are the same four crystals after a quick rinse in brine.  Most of the remaining mud can be washed off with just a little more work.

Here is an example of a nice pinacoidal Hanksite cluster.  The pinacoidal Hanksite is also called the "flat" or "pancake" Hanksite. These were collected several years ago but because the mud is dug from a different area now, they have not been seen since the year 2000 show.

Some years largely single pinacoidal Hanksite crystals are found by the SVMC technicians.  Other years, mostly clusters are found. 

Two other minerals are sometimes found in the mud
Thenardite, which looks like a flattened sword blade
Trona, which is usually in small, very sharp crystals

Well, you can always clean it later (if you take brine home) .
Brine in 2-liter/2-quart bottles can be purchased at the SLG&MS General Store in show building.
The brine we sell is from wells more than 70 feet deep. This brine is saturated in Hanksite and is ideal for washing your Hanksite crystals.
But three words of caution.
Surface brine can be found on both the blow hole and pink halite field trips. But this brine is not saturated in Hanksite and can etch your crystals.
Don't soak your crystals, even in deep well brine.  Actively wash them in the brine.
Don't wash your crystals in water - it will dissolve them.

Go to   Digging the Mud
Go to  The Mud Pile
Go to  Gem-O-Rama Site Map

Searles Lake Gem and Mineral Society
P. O. Box 966
Trona, CA 93592-0966
Phone (760) 372-5356

Home Page  Site Map  | Revised 04/24/2004

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