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Minerals & Gemstone 480x104
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Shades of Blue



In recognition of the 2016 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show®, we are proud to present "Shades of Blue," a compilation of photos of some of the most well-known blue minerals. "Shades of Blue" is the theme this year at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show®, which will feature public showcase exhibits of some of the best blue minerals of the world from museums and private collections. Some of the blue minerals in the mineral kingdom are truly fascinating in color, and this years show theme is sure to dazzle. A special thank you goes to John Betts for supplying us with the exceptional photos for this compilation.



Apatite (Fluorapatite)
Antsongombato, Madagascar



Azurite
Copper Queen Mine
Bisbee, Arizona



Barite
Stoneham, Colorado



Benitoite
San Benito County,
California



Beryl var. Aquamarine
Erongo Mountains,
Namibia



Boleite
Amelia Mine
Boleo, Mexico



Carletonite
Mont Saint Hilaire,
Quebec



Celestine
Sankoany,
Madagascar



Chalcanthite
Planet Mine
La Paz Co., Arizona



Chrysocolla
Lubumbashi,
Katanga, Zaire



Corundum var. Sapphire
Ratnapura
Sri Lanka



Cyanotrichite
Grandview Mine,
Grand Canyon,
Arizona



Fluorite
Minerva Mine,
Cave-in-Rock,
illinois



Halite
Carlsbad
New Mexico



Kyanite
Barra de Salinas,
Minas Gerais, Brazil



Lazulite
Graves Mountain,
Georgia



Lazurite (Lapis Lazuli)
Sar-e-Sang, Afghanistan



Linarite
Blanchard Mine
New Mexico



Pectolite var. Larimar
Filipinas Mine
Barahona,
Dominican Republic



Shattuckite
Kandesi, Kaokoveld
Namibia



Sodalite
Princess Mine, Bancroft
Ontario



Topaz
Mursinka, Urals
Russia



Elbaite var. Indicolite
(Paraiba Tourmaline)
Sao Jose da Batalha,
Paraiba, Brazil



Turquoise
Kingman,
Arizona



Zoisite var. Tanzanite
Merelani Hills,
Arusha, Tanzania


Chromite Mining History in Maryland

The Baltimore area lies within an important Serpentine region, stretching all the way from Baltimore and over the Maryland state line into Pennsylvania. Many important Serpentine deposits lie within this area, which is also the source of the discovery of Chromite. The Cylburn Arboretum is a park with gardens and a preserved mansion in Baltimore. The mansion, known as the Cylburn Mansion, belonged the Tyson family, the owners of the Baltimore Chrome Works. In the mansion lies a specimen of Chromite with a nice description of the history of Chromite and its mining in the area. A picture of this with the plaque can be seen below.

Cylburn Mansion Chromite

Here is the text of the plaque:

This sample of chromite, also know as Iron Chromate (FeCr2O4) is from a lens of ore in the Arundel Corporations's Delight Serpentine Quarry, located in Reisterstown, Maryland. The Calhoun chromite mine of the Tyson Mining Company was located on the quarry site and last operated around 1880.

Chromite was first discovered in the United States in Bare Hills, Baltimore County, circa 1808 by Isaac Tyson, Jr. Later discoveries were made in the Serpentine Barrens of Soldiers Delight, Harford County, Cecil County, and Southeastern Pennsylvania. This region provided most of the world's chromite until discoveries were made in Turkey in the 1850's. Isaac Tyson, Jr. virtually monopolized the supply and exported chromite to Europe in barrels via Baltimore clipper ships via Fells Point.

In 1845, he established Baltimore Chrome Works, the first chromium chemicals plant in the United States, after developing and patenting a process to manufacture potassium bichromate. Chromium chemicals were primarily used to manufacture paint pigments, dyes, and mordant for tanning leather. Isaac's son, Jesse Tyson, followed in his father's footsteps, serving as president of Baltimore Chrome Works in Fells Point. Jesse built Cylburn Mansion with his fortune. Isaac's other, son, James Wood Tyson, ovresaw the Tyson Mining Company, which mined chromite in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and California. James, like his father, also was involved in a number of copper mines and iron furnaces in both Maryland and Vermont.

The renowned Tyson mining family dominated the chrome industry and contributed significantly to the copper and iron mining and smelting industry during the nineteenth century.

- Johnny Johnsson, March 1995

Cylburn Mansion Chromite Tyson