Gem and mineral collectors who visit Torrington are mostly interested in the three minerals
quartz, beryl and topaz. Of these, beryl is perhaps the most
desirable, especially in its varieties aquamarine and emerald, both of which
occur at Torrington.
|Various Torrington localities|
I have already written several Blog entries dealing with Torrington which I recommend you should read. Take note of the reference material listed and if you haven’t downloaded these yet be sure to do so. The entries are: DOWNLOADING PDF DOCUMENTS FROM DIGS, TORRINGTON – ESSENTIAL READING, HEFFERNAN’S WOLFRAM MINE TORRINGTON, MINERAMA BOOK DOWNLOADS FROM ALF, and SCRUBBY GULLY, TORRINGTON NSW. Use the search box at the top of the page to locate them.
Other useful references include: The Mineral Industry of New South Wales (6) Beryllium (EO Rayner 1958) and the Grafton-Maclean Metallogenic Data Sheets which can be located in DIGS by a search. Anyone seriously interested in the minerals of northern New England should study this document and the companion volume on Inverell.
The two quotes below from this latter reference provide an excellent background and give locations which can be tracked down using The Mole Tableland 1:50 000 “Geology and Mineral Occurrences” map, also downloadable from DIGS.
Beryl, aquamarine and rarely emerald are present in small quantities in watercourses draining the Torrington Pendant. Notable localities include Highland Home body (502), Diggers Creek and Flagstone Creek and Scrubby Gully mine.”
|The Emerald Mine, Cow Flat|
“Beryl and emeralds.
There are 35 occurrences containing beryl and/or emerald. Most of these occurrences are located on or near the sedimentary rock/granite contact in association with silexite. This is especially the case in and around the Torrington Pendant (Emerald mine, 459; Heffernans mine, 1332; and Griffeys emerald occurrence, 463). The beryl occurs in lodes controlled by vertical joints and shears. The beryl generally occurs as one of several gangue minerals in association with quartz and/or topaz along with, mainly, wolframite and bismuth and, to a lesser extent, cassiterite and other polymetallic minerals.
The beryl is generally found as coarse euhedral individual light green, yellow–green to blue–green to green (emerald) crystals within quartz–biotite–topaz and/or feldspar pegmatites. Rare aquamarine has also been found. Beryl also occurs in banded coarse crystalline veins up to several centimetres wide (Smith's mica [lode], 462) and in massive crystalline pods up to 25 cm in size (Chance Find [prospect], 1130). Light green to clear beryls with multiple emerald bands have also been found at the Emerald mine (459).
|Scrubby Gully Alluvials|
There are three known groups of emerald occurrences, all with a northeast trend. These are de Milhous (1191) and associated mines, the Emerald mine (459), and Griffeys emerald occurrence (463). De Milhous mine is the largest recorded producer and the only known commercial emerald deposit in New South Wales. There the emeralds were found largely in bunches and in many places firmly embedded in a quartz–topaz matrix (Mumme 1982). The lode is polymetallic, consisting of a quartz–feldspar pegmatite that has undergone argillic and kaolinitic alteration. The emeralds are associated with minor cassiterite and base metals, with banded quartz, topaz, fluorite (purple and green), arsenopyrite, kaolinised feldspar, coarse biotite and muscovite. The total recorded production is 26 000 carats of unknown quality produced mainly from 1891 to 1909. Several other lodes have been worked within two kilometres (southwest and northwest) of the mine. These are Goggitts shaft (1183); The Colossal mine (1186), The Glen (1187) and Bald Nob mine (1194).” (NOTE: the de Milhous' mine is the same as the one known as The Emmaville Emerald Mine. I have written a blog on this locality.)
Check out my gem hunting videos from around Glen Innes here . I also have playlists on Glen Innes, the Blue Mountains and New Zealand.
|Specimen 15mm X 4mm. Emerald Mine, Cow Flat (Torrington)|