A large cluster of opaque, untwinned fluorite crystals on ironstone, collected from the Purple Pocket in July 2010.

Vein Pockets

Whilst most of the fluorite specimens found at the Rogerley have come from the metasomatic flats found on either side of the main vein, some pockets do occur in the vein itself. Fluorite in these pockets is markedly different than what has been found in the flats. Crystals are mostly untwinned, opaque, and much larger in size, ranging up to 8 cm on edge. Dark purple is the most common color, though some pockets containing green fluorite have been found as well. The pockets are usually small, isolated in occurrence, and are difficult to collect. The rock surrounding vein pockets is a hard, dense ironstone, and is usually much less broken up than what is generally found in the flats. As a result, it is often difficult, if not impossible to extract the crystals on matrix without using explosives to fracture the rock. Explosives are rarely kind to fluorite, so the recovery rate of specimens from these pockets was low.

A group of untwinned fluorite crystals with a "snow on the roof" coating of fine quartz crystals, 10 cm across. Collected from the Weasel Pocket in July, 2000.

The largest vein pocket so far discovered was the “Weasel Pocket” named for a former inhabitant (actually a stoat) who was forced to vacate on very short notice. This pocket was collected in 1999 and 2000, and produced a number of large clusters of untwined purple fluorite crystals, some coated with white finely crystalline quartz. The fluorite crystals were, unfortunately, opaque and slightly corroded, except around the edges. Some of those coated with quartz were fairly attractive, however.

An untwinned green fluorite crystal with calcite and galena on ironstone matrix, 15 cm across. Recovered from an unnamed pocket on the Greenbank vein in June, 2004.

During 2003 and 2004 a number of vein pockets containing large, untwined green fluorite crystals were encountered while driving tunnel. The pockets were generally small and tight, and only a few decent specimens were recovered. In 2006, while driving an exploratory cross-cut eastward from the main tunnel, a long, narrow, tube-like pocket, appropriately known as “The Tube” was found. Much of the pocket was lined with massive galena, and several large, crudely-formed cube-octahedral galena crystals were found. Several fluorite clusters of untwinned, pale purple fluorite crystals with quartz were also found, along with some having an unusual pale green color with internal purple layers were recovered from this pocket.

A cluster untwinned pale green fluorite crystals with quartz on ironstone matrix, 12 cm across. Recovered from The Tube pocket on the Greenbank vein in July, 2006.

In July 2010 a fairly large pocket containing purple fluorite was found just south of the Penny’s Pocket flats. This pocket, simply referred to as “The Purple Pocket” was easier to collect than many of this type as the pocket floor was detached from the surrounding rock. A large plate of fluorite crystals was recovered, which is possibly the best purple fluorite specimens yet found at the mine. During the summers of 2014-2015 a number of small vein pockets were encountered while driving tunnel through the Bluebirds #2 Pocket Zone, from which a few specimens were recovered. The fluorite crystals were often pale purple and opaque. Interestingly, a few day's exposure to direct sunlight actually deepened the color somewhat.

A group of untwinned pale purple fluorite crystals with associated quartz. 6 cm tall. Collected from a small vein pocket in August, 2015.

A photo of an in-situ cavity on the Greenbank Vein, found in the area of the Bluebirds Pocket #2, June 2014.

Major Rogerley Pockets The Rogerley Archieves Bibliography and References The Bonny Bits