Maine Mineralogy Takes Center Stage

This specimen of fluorapatite, from the revered collection of Kay Robertson, was discovered in the Pulsifer Quarry, West Mount Apatite District, Androscoggin County, Maine, a well-known deposit for incredible purple fluorapatite crystals. THE ARKENSTONE GALLERY OF FINE MINERALS, WWW.IROCKS.COM

By Antionette Rahn

“Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture, you can change a person’s life.”
~Jane Wagner, writer, director, and producer

As is reported by the media often lately, there are various examples of the above statement occurring in our society.

The idea of helping one another and sharing information, resources, guidance, and sweat equity are commonplace within the rockhounding community. Additionally, these gestures are not taken for granted by the members of the community.

Routinely, the month of May attracts people from across New England and neighboring states to gather for the annual New England Mineral Conference (NEMC) hosted by the New England Mineral Association (NEMA). However, quarantine and lockdown measures — in response to the coronavirus pandemic — still in place to varying degrees, prompted the cancelation of NEMC, like most – if not all – shows and events the past few months.

Now for a good bit of news. To inspire rockhounds to keep fueling their love for mineralogy, and hopefully entice people with a passing interest to dig in and learn more, the NEMA group has constructed the Maine Geoscience Portal as part of its website (, according to recently released information. The group continues to add new information to the portal regularly and aims to create a few dozen sections within the portal.

Within the currently active sections of the portal, the Maine Mineral Mines certainly provides inspiration and fodder for learning more about Maine’s mineralogy. While the mines listed are privately owned and closed to the general public, in many cases, a link to each mine’s Facebook page is provided, where one can communicate with mine owners and purchase stones. Plus, as suggested on the home page of the portal, there is also the option of booking a visit to some of the mine destinations through renowned dig guide companies, Poland Mining Camps and Dig Maine Gems.

Construction of the portal, as explained in the communication, is the result of extensive work by a group of people, specifically project coordinator NEMA President Jeff Morrison. The impetus of this valuable resource, which is coming to fruition during this unusual time in world history, was the result of Morrison’s desire to “spark creativity for this and future generations in discovering the mineralogy, geology, mining, and gemology worlds.”

To learn more about NEMA and its Maine Geoscience Portal, one example of a potentially life-changing gesture, visit


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