Nice photos as usual.
About those "rocks you found near the mine." Do you know what kind of
rocks they are or what kind of mine it was? Nevada was home to lots of
uranium mines at one time, and I wouldn't be surprised if what you
picked up was Torbernite, a high grade ore of uranium that is green in
color. You'd need a geiger counter to verify its identity, since it is
pretty hot (radioactive) compared to other ores (although not
dangerously so). It is mainly found in central Africa, but occasionally
turns up in the United States through whatever geological process that
If my suspicions are correct, you may have several hundred dollars
worth of high quality Torbernite on your hands. It is a hot item (pun
intended) on eBay and with radioactive mineral collectors. You would
need a radiation detector like a geiger counter to be sure though.
If I may, I suggest you bring such a detector with you on future trips,
as there's no telling what sort of valuable hot rocks you may find.
Prospecting for Uranium combined with flying rockets would make for the
ultimate vacation. Just don't go into abandoned uranium mines! The
physical hazards are obvious, but waht is less obvious is that huge
volumes of stagnant and dangerous Radon gas can accumulate, second only
to smoking in causing lung cancer.
Torbernite contains copper, so it isn't completely out of the question.
Geiger counters can be found on ebay, ranging from a few tens of
dollars to over $500, depending on the quality of the meter and probe.
Some models to keep an eye out for would be the CDV700 or Ludlum Model
3 (must have a probe). There are also a bunch of small, Russian-made
units that are cheap, sensitive and reasonably accurate, but the range
is very low. You want something that can measure Alpha, Beta and Gamma
radiation, with Beta and Gamma being the bare minimum.
I have in my bedroom an old geiger counter (with radioactive sample)
that my grandfather had back in WW-II (he might have had it before
then) The manual is long since lost and it has no power source
(requires a battery from 1940's time)
I keep it because its kinda cool....and it was my grandfather's.
Beautiful pics, Ray! Gorgeous country as well! Personally, I've never
been to Nevada (or west of eastern Texas, for that matter). Hopefully,
my wife and I can arrange a trip to go see her uncle in AZ sometime in
the near future...maybe it can coincide with NARAM..wishful thinking :]
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