Cave formations for sale again on Ebay

Cave conservation issues, techniques, questions. Also visit the NSS Cave Conservation and Management Section.

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Postby Teresa » Nov 6, 2006 10:08 am

wendy wrote:some i did not report were cuz they confused me (I am finishing up a bottom of vino right now), they were from a mine, something called cave in rock, in that a cave? some from Illinios know anything bout it

Be careful, Wendy and others. Cave-In-Rock is a town in Illinois, well known for fluorite mines (it is on the Ohio River, very close to Rosiclare). There is also a cave in Cave-In-Rock--it is in a state park, on the riverfront, and the part I've seen is just a big, open, heavily vandalized cave which floods from the river-- I've not been to the back, but I'd be really surprised if there are any stal a collector would be interested in left in that cave.

A 'vug' is like a geode-- a hollow in a rock lined with mineral crystals. Sometimes vugs are large enough to walk into--if you've seen places in caves where the walls are lined with dogtooth spar calcite, you've been in a vug. Vugs usually contain standard shaped crystals, not speleothems, although sometimes there are a mix. Vugs in mines are excluded from the FCRPA.

As I've noted here before, there are botyroidal or mammiform minerals which are often mistaken for cave speleothems, but which do not form in caves. Travertine can form outside of cave environments. Where does 'pencil' or stalactitic iron ore fall? Some of this forms inside large chunks of iron ore, not in caves at all. I've even known people to misidentify processed iron pellets as 'rusty cave pearls.'
Gypsum 'flowers' (curled crystals) form in arid areas, in the dirt.

Sometimes, not even the collectors know what to call stuff-- hence the original confusion between silicate onyx and calcic 'cave onyx'.

If someone is claiming something is a speleothem, coming from a cave, go ahead and nail 'em to the wall. But just because it looks like a speleothem to you-- or it comes from a place with "cave" in its name, it may not be a protected item at all.
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