Richard J. Jacquot

In the beginning...

Hello, I thought it would be neat to post some pics of the first mineral specimens I found and collected as a child which eventually led to me devoting all my spare time and basically my life to gem and mineral collecting. These are not impressive specimens but they have great stories behind them.

This is the first piece of amethyst I ever found, it was collected in Mt. Holly Springs, Pennsylvania in 1970. I was 8 years old, unfortunately I doubt I will ever be able to find the exact location again. The piece was collected during a family camping trip in the mountains.

6.5 x 5.5 x 5 cm

11 x 8.5 x 7 cm

This piece of milky quartz is just that, milky quartz, nothing else. When I was around 10 years old I would go hunt rocks in a creek behind the local high school. Much of the quartz I found would have small streaks and veins of a gold colored mineral which I found out later from a local nature center was actually gold. Being a kid, I decided the gold would make me rich if I could get it out of the quartz rock. Of course I destroyed numerous specimens and ended up with a few small scraps of gold. This was the last piece of quartz I had from those early trips and since I did not see any gold showing in the rock it survived being smashed by my hammer.

11 x 6 x 5 cm

This large dogtooth calcite crystal was given to me by my father when I was about 10 years old. He kept it in his desk drawer and I would always go into his office while he was working and ask to see the crystal. Finally he gave it to me to get me out of his hair ! The crystal was clear when he gave it to me, being a child I knew little about rocks, hardness of mineral specimens etc. I decided to clean the specimen. I took hot water and clorox to the crystal which gave it it's nice cloudy appearance. Of course this upset me so I tried to return it to it's original state by pouring gasoline on it. This didn't work either so I settled for the cloudy crystal seen here. Oh well, you live and you learn.

9 x 6 x 5.5 cm

This next piece I acquired through a trade with a friend at school. The year was 1974 in Wheaton, Maryland. I was starting to learn a little more about rocks and minerals and what was valuable etc. During a ball game at gym in Jr. High School, my friend was digging in the dirt bank next to the ball field killing time when he unearthed this piece of jasper. He did not know what it was, I knew it was unlike any other rocks I had found and wanted it for my collection. I had a huge assortment of multi colored glass slag from the old civil war furnaces in Pennsylvania. The next day I brought some of this material to school and my friend was impressed with the nice blue and purple rocks, he traded me the jasper for the slag. Today this site is covered by a drug rehab center.

15 x 9.5 x 8 cm

This last rock is one of my favorites. When I found this I was around 8 years old, I picked it up on a camping trip, I was sure I had found a dinosaur egg. Actually it is just a creek rounded piece of granite but nobody could tell me otherwise, I kept this rock and named it " Wolf " as my new pet rock. I made a collar for it and kept it on a chain. At one point I carved an " X " in the bottom of the rock and buried it in my friends yard in the neighborhood. For 3 or 4 years I forgot about it, one day when I was around 10 or 12 my friend said he was moving away and I remembered my rock, I went back to what was now his mothers garden and dug a 3 foot hole to retrieve my treasure! Today, Wolf lives a quiet life on a shelf in my living room.

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