Vugs aka ‘pockets’ are the hollow areas in rock where crystals form. Geodes are a type of vug that can be easily removed from the surrounding rock in one or two pieces. We frequently find small quartz geodes in the massive fluorite veins we mine at Rock Candy, but what we’re looking for are larger vugs that produce “plates” – sections of vug wall on which fluorite, barite & quartz crystals grew. We measure the size of a vug by the approximate amount of water it could hold. A one gallon vug can produce a few small crystal plates. A ten gallon vug will produce a dozen plates or more, and may take a whole day to collect well. A 100 gallon vug often takes us a week or longer to collect.
Exceptionally large vugs are measured in square meters of plates they produced. [1 sq meter = 10.75 sq. feet] A few of our most famous vugs have taken us months to professionally collect and produced more than 10 sq meters of excellent specimens, the total content of which can weigh upwards of 2 tons!
Prior to each Vugs trip we blast to open the same zones from which we collect the high-quality specimens we market to museums, then protect those vugs from subsequent mining so they are accessible for your collecting pleasure!
Freshly mined specimens are partially cleaned to assess quality, then wrapped and boxed for transport to our cleaning & preparation lab. Small, inexpensive pieces may be available for sale within a month of them being collected; large or complexly crystallized specimens may require a year of prep between collecting and being available for sale. Check out our Fresh Sheet to see what has recently emerged from our cleaning tanks or trimming stations.