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Great Places I've collected minerals

The Northern New Jersey Traprock Quarries

Upper New Street Quarry (Burger's Quarry),  West Paterson,  Passaic Co.,  New Jersey,  USA
Ref.: Mineral Collector 2:138-139, Ehrman, A.H. (1895); Mineral Collector 15: 113-118, Papke, H. (1908); NJ Geol. Survey Bull. #64, Trap Rock Minerals of NJ, Mason, B. (1960); Min. Rec.: 9:157-179., Peters, T.A. & Peters, J.J. (1978); Rocks & Min.: Triassic Traprock Minerals of Northern New Jersey, 59:157-183 (1984), Peters, Joseph J.. A trap rock quarry in Watchung Basalt worked between 1893 and 1925. The New Street quarries exploit an area of the basalt that was extruded over a probable shallow wetland or lake, thus the lava cooled in pillows. The large interstitial spaces between the pillows yielded superb minerals. Housing units were constructed over the quarries in recent years but not before the blasting and excavations to "trim" the quarries for the construction yielded more superb specimens in the late 1980's.

The Lower New Street Quarry:
Ref.:Mineral Collector 15: 113-118, Papke, H. (1908); NJ Geol. Survey Bull. #64, Trap Rock Minerals of NJ, Mason, B. (1960); Min. Rec.: 9:157-179., Peters, T.A. & Peters, J.J. (1978); Rocks & Min.: 59:157-183, Peters, J.J. (1984). A trap rock quarry in Watchung Basalt worked between 1900 and 1936.

Minerals (52 SPECIES) that have been described from the Upper or Lower New Street Quarries are at MINDAT.ORG

The Summit Quarry

The Prospect Park Quarry

The Millington Quarry

The Boundbrook Quarry

I must have been 12 or so when I first collected the Upper New Street quarry with my father. We really didn't know much about collecting, didn't have the heavier tools and didn't know what to look for to get into pockets. I remember it just looked like a lot of very hard rock! But I managed to pick up some bits of amethyst, pretty nice quartz and calcites with anhydrite casts, some pectolite. This was great was fun! As a teenager I later collected at the Upper New Street, then at Summit and Boundbrook, finding prehnite, stilbite, natrolite, calcite, copper, bornite, chrysacolla. Years later I've restarted my New Jersey traprock collection with the help of John Betts, John Lally, Eric Stanchich and others who've been fortunate to find and/or acquire some very nice specimens. I've also been able to get a couple very interesting specimens from longer ago, including a double prehnite cast after anhydrite, a so-called "spearhead", from Larry Conklin.               
                               John K. Nash, Ph.D., L.P.

Here's a recent aerial shot of what's left of the Upper New Street Quarry:


Very fine, gemmy and large calcite for the locality, clear twin line makes it that much more unusual. 4 X 2.5 cm.


A lustrous, complete, undamaged prehnite ball, 2.2 cm from the lower quarry. This olive-green prehnite sits on yellow prehnite, making lovely contrast. `The specimen is roughly 9 X 7.5 X 5 cm.

This beautiful plate of chabazite crystals to 1.2 cm is on the thinnest of matrix. It's longest dimensions are 6 X 8 cm. I acquired this from John Lally, who collected it.

Next, sheaves of classic New Jersey Stilbite:

I do love stilbite.
  This is a close-up of part of the pretty piece, below, roughly 5 X 8 X 6 cm.

Pectolite, Self collected, Upper New Street, circa 1960, actual size is 6 cm.  I was about 14 then, didn't know much, but managed to pick up some little specimens. Didn't have my 16 lb. sledge hammer then, too bad!

Very rare blue prehnite. An old specimen, very little of this wonderful color and crystal definition was found.

Click image to enlarge     Click image to enlarge

Apophyllite on pectolite. Prospect Park, not Upper New Street, but so pretty I had to include it in this collection! Click image to enlarge.  

An amazing, strange "spearhead" of prehnite, a double spearhead, prehnite after anhydrite (or glauberite?) pseudomorph, thanks to Larry Conklin.


Here's a beauty. It's a huge prehnite cast from the Lower New Street Quarry, really rare material.  Ex-A.C. Hawkins collection, collected between 1938-39. Collection was purchased by Eric Stanchich, who was kind enough to provide this superb 18 X 16 X 8 cm specimen. The shapes you see are prehnite that grew over huge glauberite crystals, which then dissolved away. Glauberite is Sodium Calcium Sulphate, which dissolves easily enough in hot fluids. The specimen is completely hollow behind the surfaces you see.  Below you can see actual glauberite from a salt mine in Arizona. Notice the shapes of the crystals and compare with the shapes of the prehnite casts, above.

Click HERE to see some places we've collected in Ontario, around Thunder Bay