New Mineral Named After GIA’s John Koivula
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 Post subject: North Carolina Hiddenite
PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:21 am 
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I recently saw a 9 carat faceted hiddenite reported to be from North Carolina offered for $360 ( on line) Color was gray green like the irradiated stuff from Brazil. I didn't think hiddenite from North Carolina came that size or color, and certainly the price was unbelievable. Have I missed something, like a new find in
North Carolina? Seller was supposed to be a reputable source for buyers on line.


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 Post subject: Re: North Carolina Hiddenite
PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:10 pm 
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1) It certainly does (in exceptional cases) grow to be that big. At least I have seen even bigger ones. Now they would not cut a 9 carat clean stone by any means.\
2)I frankly would be shocked to see a NC hiddenite that size, and it certainly wouldn't be that cheap. The green of the hiddenites I have seen are not what I could call "green-gray" either.

Any pictures?


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 Post subject: Re: North Carolina Hiddenite
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:46 am 
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NC does still produce some hiddenite but prices are still relatively astronomical. The richly colored real Cr-bearing Afghan stuff isn't being actively produced as far as I can tell --everything I have gotten seems to be old material. A 9ct stone would likely be possible from that deposit but it would be a real rarity.
I actually think I may know the seller you're referring to. If so they seem to have a pattern of listing items with blatantly false details and provenances. Either way, though, I would agree it's probably one of the irradiated Afghan stones that are so easy to come by cheaply.

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 Post subject: Re: North Carolina Hiddenite
PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:58 pm 
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Stephen, I am going to add some random ruminations and thoughts to this thread.
If not for your comment about the price of Hiddenite, I wouldn't have even stopped in and kicked my shoes off to stay :mrgreen: . It got me thinkin' about some things regarding it's pricing and market presence and where things are at with it, as a gemstone and mineral specimen in today's current situation.

The prices of Chromium spodumene from N.C., have...well, let me say this instead...they did bottom out for a while. Not sure what the market is today, but 3-4 years ago, give or take, they flooded the market with Hiddenite.
Who be they, you say??(that rhymes actually...sounds like something from Alice in Wonderland or Dr. Suess)
Mark Randall and Terry Ledford let loose bunches of hiddenite back then. It was everywhere. As someone who grew up somewhat near there(Hiddenite), I have been intimately familiar with Cr spod. for years. I couldn't afford squat for hiddenite back when I first got into rocks and gems. It was the creme de la' creme, of stones mined in the South-East(not counting emeralds).
I didn't own a single shard of it, because of cost, until 3-4+ years ago when someone hit a big strike while digging. They killed the market, with the amount of stones that let loose. I recall buying crystals of N.C. Hiddenite for $2-$3 each at the Franklin show 3 years ago. Many were a halfway decent green color too!
Granted, they were tiny shards, not much bigger than a mouse dropping, but what did you expect for only paying $2-$3 a piece!! Heck, if you found one for under $50-$100 back in the day, you were one lucky person!
It was typically..."$1200...$850....$300..etc...etc." for Hiddenite crystals if you bought back in the day. I am not sure how things fare in the present day, in regards to pricing and scarcity, but ever since Terry passed away, his son has offloaded bunches of his material and stock he had. I saw some fantastic ones they were selling a few months back, that were a great green color and had some size to them.
Back in the day, you wouldn't see many Hiddenites at the shows or for sale online. Now, I see them everywhere.
I recall hearing vaguely, that Terry and Mark hit a big strike of hiddenite crystals at Adams farm, right before or after they found the big emeralds up there. This may be why so many came to market at one time and/or why the prices fell so sharply.
They are hard to find when digging. The small sizes and thin shapes that Hiddenite tends to have, makes spotting them while in the mud and dirt a real challenge. Rodney once told me that the hiddenite miners up at Adam's Farm, will just empty the entire pocket contents into/or on a screen to be hand sifted later on. It's always a bunch of mica and quartz covered in dirt and clay, that you have to sift through and sort, all the while looking for these tiny green slivers of spodumene, that may, or may not, be sprinkled here or there.
It's not like pegmatite mining, where your pocket is fairly well defined and its contents don't move very far from where they formed....all being still stuck in the cavity they formed in. Being a metamorphic/alpine-type mineral deposit up in Hiddenite, N.C., makes the challenge of mining very difficult. "No rhyme or reason" is the thought process when mining those alpine type veins up in North Carolina. The Hiddenite/emerald deposit runs along for roughly 55 miles, I was told. Don't quote me on that....I am off the top of the head and may be mistaken on some facts.
Even though it's quite a lengthy distance in miles,(or whatever number it is)
it doesn't make anything easier. The deposit tends to dip and rise wildly, all along it's course/length.
This is why places like Adams Farm and the spots that Frederick Kunz used to collect emeralds and Cr Spodumene from, all had surface finds and weathered stones. At the NAEM mine, on the other hand, they have had to dig down a great distance to reach the crystal zone.

So now what about the name? This one question has had a few lengthy and heated debates over the years.
Can any green spodumene, regardless of coloring chromophore, be called a "hiddenite"??

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 Post subject: Re: North Carolina Hiddenite
PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:03 pm 
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Yes, the price is certainly down and availability up over the past few years as you say, especially in smaller sizes--I mostly meant that nobody is selling 9 carat faceted stones for 360 dollars (or probably for any price).

There isn't a chromophoric difference between real Afghan hiddenite and NC hiddenite. This isn't the unstable irradiated material colored by Mn or the slightly greenish yellow iron-colored material, it's Cr/V colored just like NC material. They look essentially identical to the NC stones except many show a distinctive matrix which is quite different. In my opinion, T=trying to make a distinction on the baseline gem variety when they're gemologically indistinguishable ends up as a pretty untenable position, though there are plenty who fall on that side regardless of what I think.

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 Post subject: Re: North Carolina Hiddenite
PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:39 pm 
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I got your meaning, Stephen. :D Your reply brought up some questions and thoughts I hadn't had in a long time. Hiddenite used to be a big deal when I was just starting out. Everyone wanted some, yet no one could afford them, generally speaking. Nowadays, it seems like everyone and their brother has some.
I even sent Miss B(Barbra) a small shard that I had gotten in a small parcel I bought a few years back.

I think the miners would have been better off holding the majority of crystals in reserve/storage, and releasing them a little at a time.

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 Post subject: Re: North Carolina Hiddenite
PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:24 pm 
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Jason Barrett wrote:
I think the miners would have been better off holding the majority of crystals in reserve/storage, and releasing them a little at a time.


Yep. This is their downfall.. You simply can't flood the market and expect prices to stay up!
Once in a while, I will come into deals where I have to buy a large hoard of highly collectible or sought after items.
Rather than dump them onto the market and kill it, I will trickle them onto the market slowly, even as low as a dozen a year, and take breaks in between the times I offer them.
This maximizes profit, and keeps the market stable.
Interesting topic... I hope to be back in NC again later this year, and go out and add some more specimens to my collection.


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 Post subject: Re: North Carolina Hiddenite
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:54 am 
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Lots of good info in this thread! I bought a gorgeous 9ct. green "Hiddenite" from the seller Stephen is speaking of, I believe, for a stupidly low price. I do not trust this dealer, as I did not trust his father before him, but very occasionally they have come through so I thought I would at least find out. Sure enough, one afternoon on the windowsill and it had already turned into a very light minty green :(
So the only piece of genuine hiddenite I own continues to be a little shard I got from Christopher Ledford. The color is amazing! It does seem that he flooded the market with Hiddenite and Jackson Crossroads Amethyst after his father tragically died in a mining accident :cry: His intentions seem good, and that's the only nice thing I can think of to say about that transaction :-#

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