September Speaker: New Mines and Quartz Crystal Habits in the Herkimer Area, New York

by Cindy Schmidtlein, MSDC Vice President

Our speaker for September is Bill Stephens, President of Stephens Environmental Consulting, Inc., a full-service environmental consulting, engineering, and surveying company serving in the Mid-Atlantic Region since 1995. Bill is a licensed Professional Geologist who will talk to us about new mines and quartz crystal habits in the Herkimer Area, New York.

Bill Stephens, PG

Bill Stephens is the current President of Friends of Mineralogy PA Chapter (FM-PA), EFMLS Region IV VP and EFMLS VP. Bill is also a past VP of Programs for the Delaware Mineralogical Society. Bill started collecting about age 11, after being inspired by a National Geographic article on gems of the Eastern Appalachians. Family outings and later collecting trips in college focused on North Carolina (Hiddenite, Cowee Valley), with incidental trips to southeastern PA locations including Phoenixville, French Creek, and Cornwall.

Bill is currently developing a seminar on new mines and quartz crystal habits in the Herkimer Area, New York, for the  Friends of Mineralogy National Symposium in Tucson, February 2023.  His investigation to date includes pictures and video of crystal mining and pocket crystal recovery, detailed mapping and pocket zone correlation at Mohawk Valley Mineral Mining (MVMM), a member’s only site in Fulton County, New York, and a private site known only to a scant few as “Area 52”.

Bill's talk to MSDC will present, for the first time, new information on Herkimer and some of the new mines, video of excavation and removal of a partially skeletal, “goonie” cluster, and tips on recovering crystals in the topsoil and in the ledge rock (Little Falls Dolostone) including the right tools for the job. Contact information for the MVMM site also will be provided during Bill's talk.