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Calcite from Rucks’ Pit
 (a closed location for new finds)

Okeechobee County, Florida, USA

To see the largest single plate of calcified Mercenaria permagna clams ever recovered from Rucks’ Pit, CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO THE RIGHT.  This piece measures 35 x 25 x 6.9 inches (89 x 63.5 x 17.5 cm), and is home to over 40 Mercenaria clams.  Call 850-443-0504 to inquire.

The specimens depicted below came from a relatively new find of gemmy honey-amber calcite crystals filling and replacing Mercenaria permagna clams.  First discovered by Dr. Thomas Scott of the Florida Geological Survey, the clams were found in living position, and were largely confined to a stratigraphic zone 0.3 – 0.6m thick throughout the pit. Because these Mercenaria were found in hinge-up living position, it was suggested that they died in place due to a catastrophic event, such as sudden burial or freshwater poisoning resulting from a hurricane, tsunami or other causes. The age of these Mercenaria fossils is late Pliocene to early Pleistocene (1 – 1.5 million years old).

 The size of the crystals (to over 3 cm in length) and the occurrence of many complete articulated crystal-filled clams make this occurrence unique. In all crystal-bearing specimens, portions of the sides (and sometimes tops) of the clam shells have been dissolved by ground water. This creates “natural windows” into each clam, allowing the internal crystallization to be more easily seen. The largest crystal clusters grow downward from the hinge area (top) of the clams. When found broken away from the rest of the fossil clam, these hinge pieces make outstanding thumbnail to small cabinet - sized crystal specimens.

    The calcite from this site fluoresces a light yellow-green color under shortwave and longwave UV light, and also phosphoresces for a second or two once the black light is extinguished.

 

 

This site produced other calcified pelecypods, including Busycon rucksorum (Whelk), Anadara (Ark shells), and others. Most calcite crystals within these mollusks were drusy, and lacked the deeper color and transparency of the larger crystals found growing within Mercenaria permagna clams.

Through an agreement with the owner, Apalachee Minerals and The Fossil Geode had exclusive commercial collecting privileges at this site, collecting from 2002-2005 The Fossil Geode's web site has additional photos of this site.

Rucks’ Pit was an active mine, worked primarily for limerock used for road base material. The stratigraphic zone mined for aggregate was the same horizon from which the calcified Mercenaria occurred. Unfortunately, mining ceased in 2007 and the pit was allowed to completely flood. The property is currently being converted into an RV campground. Prior to flooding, a large amount of limerock material was removed from the pit and stockpiled on the surface. The Rucks family allows recreational collecting from these piles on a fee basis. Contact Mr. Eddie Rucks, Jr. at 863-634-4579 for current collecting information.

 

If you are interested in purchasing any of these minerals, or if you have a question, you can e-mail us at order@apalachee-minerals.com

  You will need to know the specimen number, the specimen name and the price. 
If you have any questions, feel free to
contact us.

Please click on Thumbnail Photos to view larger image and more details on each mineral.

 


  
 SEE CALCITE CLAMS IN MATRIX DOWN BELOW

OR click here to go straight to the MATRIX page

 
CAL3065- $50
 (c)

 
CAL3100- $200
 (c)
 
CAL3103- $180
 (lc)
 
CAL0414- $200
 (c)
 
 
RUC2033- $120
 (c)

 
RUC2828- $140
 (c)

 

RUC2868- $148
 (c)

 
CAL3104- SOLD
 (c)

 
   
  RUC2971- $120
 (c)
 
RUC2973- $110
 (c)
 
RUC2897- $100
 (c)
 
 

 

   
RUC3801- $56
 (c)
 
RUC3807- $58
 (sc)

 
RUC4035- $180
 (lc)

 
RUC4387- $80
 (c)
 
   
     
RUC4448- $42
 (sc)
 
RUC4449- $180
 (lc)
 

 

     

 

 

Calcite in Matrix from Rucks’ Pit

Okeechobee County, Florida, USA

Please click on Thumbnail Photos to view larger image and more details on each mineral.

                                             

                                                    RPC0126- $750                                                            RUC4037- $260                 

                                                                 

                                             

                                                   RPC0139- $386                                                                RUC2432 - $245

 

                                               

                                                   RUC2794- $220                                                                  RUC3567- $180

                                                                                                                                              

Thumbnail (t)                3 cm or smaller
Miniature (m)                3 – 6 cm
Small Cabinet (sc)        6 – 8 cm
Cabinet (c)                    8 - 12 cm
Large cabinet (lc)          > 12 cm

All Measurements are in centimeters; 1 inch equals approximately 2.5 centimeters.

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