Sweet Home No More

The Sweet Home Mine, Alma, Colo., is closed for good. Bryan Lees, owner of The Collector's Edge Minerals Inc. in Golden, Colo., and the driving force behind reopening the 132-year-old mine in 1991, made the announcement on Oct. 18, 2004. The Sweet Home Mine had been the source of the world's finest transparent rhodochrosite mineral specimens (see "Sweet Home Rhodochrosite," JCK, June 2003, p. 103). The mine's history dates back to 1873. It was a silver mine, and the rhodochrosite was a byproduct of silver-ore production. Early mining techniques—i.e., pickax and dynamite—left few crystals untouched, so much of the broken gemmy material was traded for drinks at the local saloon. The crystals that survived intact were carved, faceted, or left as mineral specimens that ended up in museums and private collections. The mine was worked off and on throughout the last century, but its mos

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