This glossary is not meant to be inclusive; for that purpose, extensive Geology, Mineralogy and Mining glossaries exist. This is meant to explain some key words or phrases used by the authors, owners and characters referred to in the book.

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  • Accessory mineral - tba
  • Adit - a horizontal passage leading into a mine for the purposes of access or drainage (Google definition)
  • Beneficiation test – x
  • Chatoyant – β€œshowing a band of bright reflected light caused by aligned inclusions in the stone,” (Google, 2017).
  • Country rock – while this sounds like a musical genre mash-up, in geological terms it refers to the type of rock common a given area. For Amelia County, Virginia, Geehan (1953) defines this as β€œa mixture of feldspar, quartz and biotite, giving it a salt and pepper appearance.”
  • Diamond drill hole – x
  • Gangue – mineralogical material, generally with little commercial value, that is mined
    for gems or for ore.
  • Heavy minerals – x
  • Micromount - term used by mineral collectors and amateur geologists to
    describe mineral specimens that are best appreciated using an optical aid, commonly a
    hand-lens or a binocular microscope. The magnification employed ranges from 10 to 40
  • Outcropping – mineral or rock that projects both above the surface and below the surface.
  • Paragenesis – Google (2017) defines it, as β€œa set of minerals that were formed together, especially in a rock, or with a specified mineral.” Kearns used this term to describe the habits of crystals within the Morefield pegmatite.
  • Pegmatite - tba
  • Perthitic texture – Sam Dunaway used this term to describe how one can tell that certain amazonite comes from Morefield mine, as opposed to amazonite from other
    mines. Imperial College (London)’s Rock Library explains this further: β€œA perthite is an intimate intergrowth of sodic and potassic feldspar resulting from subsolidus exsolution (unmixing of two minerals). Strictly speaking a perthite has blebs or irregular lamellae of sodic feldspar within potassic alkali feldspar.”
  • Schiller - pearly, opalescence in stones. Example: Quartz var. moonstone
  • Stope - tba
  • Rock hound – someone, generally an amateur, who is interested in the fields of geology, minerals and fossils.
  • Tailings - in the mining context, everything that is left at the "tail end" of the process--i.e., the remaining rocks and minerals that were not the original target for the mining. Morefield mine tailings contain many rocks and minerals of interest to rock hounds and collectors alike.
  • Twinned crystals - x 
  • Vuggy (also known as a β€œvug”) – β€œa small cavity in a rock or vein, usually lined with
    crystals” (retrieved 4/12/2017 from
  • Weathered – exposure of a rock or mineral to a range of natural processes, such as extreme temperature, meteorological events, introduction of other chemicals and minerals, or biological factors, that can modify the visual aspect or even its chemical composition



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