A good place for epidote is near Milford, Ut. The name of the mine is
the Skylark mine and you should have a good topo map and 4x4 before
trying to find this one! The epidote is quite nice here. The first
pieces we found looked like green tourmaline! We had to use a 4x loupe
to see the crystal shape to verify it was epidote. The crystals were
growing in bundles so we had to look at the ends of the samples to see
it was not tourmaline. Some of it look clean enough to cut but the
finished stones would be quite small, probably 1/4 carat and less.
This mine also has some excellent garnet crystals up to 1" in diameter. They are opaque brown crystals but very well formed with nice faces. I think they are the grossular variety.
The mine location is northwest of Milford and it is shown on the topo map. The GPS co-ordinates are 38° 31'585" N and 113° 07'025" W. Part of the time you will be driving in a sandy drywash so a 4x4 is highly recommended as is plenty of fuel and something to snack on and drink. Knowing where the mine is it still takes me about an half hour to get there. There are other mines nearby that you may wish to check.
Warning------ this is one area where we've seen large rattlesnakes! Just keep your eyes and ears open and you should have no problems, unless you're half blind and/or half deaf! The largest snake was at least 5 foot long.
Almost all the sprays of the epidote are in the matrix. When you first look at them the long axis appears to be curved like tourmaline but when seen from the end it is seen they are not three sided but six sided. It can be hard to be selective about the pieces one takes home, but do try.
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