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Adventure Mine investigating mystery mineral

Greenland’s Adventure Mine is trying to figure out a natural riddle. What is bright blue and found underground in the UP?

The question has drawn national attention and Keweenaw Report wanted to know what the process looks like when trying to identify an unknown crystal. A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum Curator and Director John Jaszczak says it isn’t uncommon for local explorers to ask for his help.

Once in a while they show me some very nice specimens of copper or silver. Especially for some tiny little crystals people may find in some mine dumps, that may pique my interest enough to say, “gee that’s pretty or interesting. I don’t recognize that, maybe I’ll run a few tests.”

The first step of any inquiry is to put the specimen under a microscope. Several campus labs are available to run a spectroscopy, among other tests. Sometimes it is slag or other manmade substances. Other times it’s a fossil or a rock, in which Jaszczak says others in his network have more expertise.

He says he is aware of the Adventure Mine fragment, but has not been asked as of yet to take a look. Jaszczak’s first love in the field of science was minerals, but he also has a degree in physics and is a professor for the department. He says he has yet to find a truly unknown crystal unearthed in the state, but previous curators have.

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