PRECIOUS STONES. 77o
Gold quartz. When clear, compact, white quartz contains veins, streaks, or spots of fine gold, it is worked into jewelry and souvenirs on a considerable scale in San Francisco. The mines in California, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana have furnished very fine specimens, especially when the quartz is clear and the gold penetrates in compact stringers. The gold found in California quartz is worth about $16.50 an ounce, but jewelers willingly give $20 to $30 for each ounce of gold contained in material that they can thus use. The price of specimens is governed by their beauty, varying from $3 to $40 per ounce of quartz. The specific gravity of the mineral is first taken, after which the gold value of the quartz is ascertained by Price's table. The amount of this material sold in the rough for jewelers' purposes is variously estimated at from $40,000 to $50,000 a year, $1,000 to $2,000 worth being often purchased at one time. One lapidary at Oakland, California, where most of the cutting of this material is done, bought nearly $10,000 worth within a year; and a large jewelry firm in San Francisco, during the same time, purchased nearly $15,000 worth. A clever imitation of this was patented some years ago by a San Francisco lapidary, who put grains of gold from common gold quartz in a magma of molten white glass the color of a milky quartz.
Novaculite (whetstone or honestone) is a fine grained, compact, sandstone-like substance, found in large pieces at Hot Springs, Arkansas, and employed to a limited extent for cutting into figures such as birds for jewelry. It is extensively used for whetstones, which have a worldwide reputation as Washita whetstones. Its compactness and the purity of its white color make it a very pretty ornamental stone and it should be used for this purpose more than it has been.
Sagenite. Butilated quartz of unexcelled beauty (rutile in quartz, Fleche d'amour, or Venus' hairstone), the rutile usually brown, red, golden, and black, has been found in many places in Randolph, Catawba, Burke, Iredell, and Alexander counties, North Carolina. Fine pieces of quartz, 4 inches square, containing acicular rutile of a rich red color, have been found near Amelia Court House, Virginia. Cut specimens command prices ranging from 25 cents to $5 each, and at one time about $500 worth was sold annually. The specimens found here are quite equal to the variety found in Japan, and are even better adapted for use in jewelry than the remarkable transparent masses over a foot across, procured from Madagascar, in which the crystals of hornblende are too large. Quartz crystals with inclusions of goethite have been found in the Tarry-All mountains 40 miles west of Colorado Springs, and cut into beautiful ornaments resembling quartz penetrated by acicular rutile.
The most magnificent specimen known was found in bowlders from the vicinity of Hanover, New Hampshire, during the years 1830 to 1850.
Thetis' hairstone, of Dr. Charles T. Jackson, is found near Sneatch Pond, Cumberland Hill, Ehode Island, is occasionally met with in fair