Saturday, February 25, 2017



     Be sure to read to the end, where there's a great Lapidary poem sent to me by reader Edward Clay!

     Pinolith,(or as Mindat calls it Pinolite) is found only in Austria (and selected rock and mineral shows.😏. It is named for the shapes of the markings which resemble the seeds that fall out of pine cones. The dealer was from Austria and had mined the stone. He called it Pinolith, so that's good enough for me.

     I found mine at the Tucson show.  One huge bin of off-white rock with grey markings like long ovals caught my eye. Chemically, it's a mixture of dolomite, graphite, and magnesite. A big chunk of it not only caught my eye, it followed me home.

    One of the things that originally attracted me to it was the resemblance to Chinese Chrysanthemum rocks. This is my chunk of Chinese Chrysanthemum Stone. It's not a very good quality specimen--which is how it made it into the garden. In fact, it's almost like a Chinese Writing Rock (see below).
. If you want to see a spectacular specimen, check out:

 Actually, from a mineral standpoint, they are nothing like Pinolith since thiis rock is dark limestone with light celestine crystals.

Writing Rock

The Writing Rock here is more like the Chrysanthemum stone than Pinolith, even though the markings are similar, since it is limestone, but this time with markings made of Andalusite.


My Pinolith Cabochon

I'd seen some Pinolith shaped and polished so I knew it would make shiny cabochon.
Pinolith Cabochon
I'm guessing that after seeing so much at Tucson '16 it's probably spread around to quite a few other shows/sales by now. I hope so.

It's great to work with. To me, it was a lot like working a good jasper. It takes a beautiful shine.

 Edward Clay
                      Old rock hounds never die
                       they slowly petrify

                       but when young also spry
                       they find rocks to set by

                       as the years seem to fly
                       the pile grows by and by

                       cut and grind skills to ply
                       rocks and slabs stones to try

                       but the joints that were spry
                       now become ossified

                       then one day with a sigh
                       the rock hound petrifies

                       as you age do not cry
                       old rock hounds never die

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     Check back on March 15 for more musings by your Lapidary Whisperer

Donna Albrecht

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