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July 3, 2010  I met with Shaun Shelton around 10am to dig for quartz in Wake County.  We were on the hunt
for one of my favorite quartz habits, the tessin habit.  Although this habit is common in my reports and in my collection,
it is an uncommon quartz habit that only occurs in specific zones related to continental collision.  Fortunately, for us one of those
zones stretches through the center of Wake County.  This habit is also found in abundance in southern Europe, especially Switzerland
and Italy.
Shaun Shelton hails from High Point, NC.  He's a chemistry professor for a living, and he's got the rockhound bug about
as bad as I do.  
We met at the construction site that has been producing tessin habit quartz crystals.  As a matter of fact this particular
construction site produces only tessin habit crystals.  If we found a crystal here it was going to be a tessin habit crystal.
  We settled in at the lowest part of the construction site, the place where I found my last very nice specimen with Joe.  A small bit of
mica on the top layer of dirt prompted me to scrape the surface in search of a fissure beneath.  Clank!  My mattock scraped and
ricocheted off of a large quartz filled fissure about 10cm in width.  Further, scraping revealed the length of the fissure at roughly one
meter.  Excited, I commenced to excavating the fissure.  Through the whole length of the fissure I found mainly garbage quartz until
out of nowhere this crystal (above) popped out next to the mattock.  Words can't explain how it feels to find something this rare and
beautiful, so I will have to leave it to you and your own experiences to relate.
Just next to that awesome crystal find was another lump of quartz.  It wiggled a little but I couldn't pull it out.  I anticipated that it might
be another nice crystal so I continued to dig around it carefully to free it without damaging it.
I finally worked it out and brushed the clay away.  It was an odd specimen.  The crystal tapered towards what would have been a
termination but it was interupted or stifled before it could finish.  The base of the crystal (on the right) however did form terminations.
Just underneath those large quartz specimens the vein began to pinch off to around 3 or 4 cm thick and it was filled with a black oxide
mixed with mica.  Within this mixture of oxide and mica were many shards of healed quartz.  It was as if a crystal shattered and the
pieces fell to the bottom of the fissure where they continued to grow and heal all the way around.  Eventually the fissure pinched out
entirely, and that gave me a chance to wrap my specimens.  Meanwhile Shaun also found a fissure and recovered three tiny tessin
habit crystals of his own.  After another hour of digging and striking out we decided to move to another quartz location.
This construction site produces smoky quartz with rutile and minor occurances of schorl and goethite pseudomorph after siderite. 
Shaun immediately finds a fissure with a crystal exposed.
Another of Shaun's finds.
And another.
The fissures can be very subtle and easily overlooked, but once you've studied their characteristics they are easily identified.
Shaun points out a rusty red toad within the area of our fissure quest.
Shuan spots this black shiny surface protruding out of the light colored dirt.
It was a very nice crystal with an undamaged point.  Good eye Shaun!
So I guess it was my turn.  At the bottom of what I considered a very non-productive fissure this thing popped out.  I was
very surprised considering everything above and around it was garbage.  No other crystals albeit minor crystal faces were
around this one.  Below it the fissure dissapeared altogether.  It simply reinforced my personal belief that all quartz included
fissures when possible should be completely cleaned out before moving on regardless of the quality of quartz within.  This belief is
the result of this type of scenario repeated many times in my experience with Wake County fissures.
Here is the nice crystal I found at the first location cleaned up.
Here the same crystal on its edge. 
Here is the crystal I found at the second location.  It was attached to was appears to be a section or layer of segregation quartz.
The view from top down.
Two awesome finds in one day.  I was very pleased to say the least.  Soon these specimens and all those that I have not yet found
would have been covered with pavement and houses.  It is my job and all who are interested to salvage them before they are lost
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