Woodbury is one of the places that seem quite ordinary at first but discover several unique geological features at second glance. Woodbury is located in the North of Connecticut, in the Litchfield County, and is surrounded by Bethlehem (south), Roxbury (west) and Watertown (east) (see Picture 1). Therefore, Woodbury shares some features with the towns above, the minerals being one of the many things in common.
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The town has quite an impressive amount of quartz, Like Watertown and Roxbury (Woodbury Pegmatite Quarry, Woodbury, Litchfield Co., Connecticut, USA para. 1). As far as unique features are concerned, the depths of the Woodbury soil contain pegmatite, a “coarse-grained igneous rock” (Glossary of Geologic Terms “Pegmatite”), which often contains such rare metals as “lithium, boron, fluorine, niobium” (Glossary of Geologic Terms “Pegmatite”)
Pegmatite is a mineral of soft, non-metallic luster, with a mother-of-pearl color on its numerous cleavages. As a rule, the color of pegmatite can be defined as brownish, though there are specimens of pegmatite of a yellowish, grayish, and even reddish colors. The color cast of the mineral is uneven; apart from the general brownish palette, stones often have darker streaks and cleavages.
The range of palette, which the mineral in question has, should be of no surprise – pegmatite is, in fact, one of many specimens of phlogopite; therefore, it shares a number of qualities with other types of phlogopite.
Speaking of the mineral’s hardness, the mineral’s score on the Mohs hardness scale is quite impressive – it reaches 7, thus, approaching calcite (Lutgens, Frederick and Tarbuck 34). As it has been stressed above, the luster of the mineral can be defined as soft and non-metallic. It is quite remarkable that pegmatite is often related to granite (Schumann 44).
Speaking of the use of pegmatite in various types of industry, the mineral does not seem to be a common element of major industrial processes, yet it is far from being useless. Indeed, according to the official data, pegmatite often contains such minerals as topaz, corundum and aquamarine.
The latter, in their turn, are commonly known as rather precious raw materials in jewelry industry. Though most of the gemstones that pegmatite contains are identified as semi-precious, they are still very valuable. Thus, it can be assumed that pegmatite is one of the key elements of the jewelry industry of the state.
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Apart from providing raw materials for jewelry producing companies, pegmatite ore of Woodbury is considered an important source of tin, as well as numerous tungsten minerals, along with bismuth and molybdenum (Schumann 45).
The local entrepreneurs realized very quickly what incredible economic potential the pegmatite deposits contain; as a result, such companies as the New England Mining Company have decided to start exploring the Woodbury pegmatite quarries for an opportunity to benefit financially and promote the town’s economic growth.
The fact that the economic potential of the Woodbury pegmatite mines was discovered accidentally, however, is rather unique. The New England Mining Company, in fact, expected to search for mica and feldspar in the depth of the Woodbury soil; however, after gemstones were found in the process, the famous Woodbury pegmatite deposits were finally discovered (New England Mining Company Quarry (Roebling Mine; Hewitt’s Mine), Upper Merryall, New Milford, Litchfield Co., Connecticut, USA, para. 1).
Though the amount of pegmatite is slowly reducing due to mining and vast use of the mineral, pegmatite deposits are bound to be the key feature of Woodland for quite long.
Glossary of Geologic Terms. Web.
Litchfield County: A Map. Web.
Lutgens, Frederick K. and Edward J. Tarbuck. Foundations of Earth Science. 7th Ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. 2014. Print.
New England Mining Company Quarry (Roebling Mine; Hewitt’s Mine), Upper Merryall, New Milford, Litchfield Co., Connecticut, USA. Web.
Pegmatite with Amethyst (Woodbury). Web.
Schumann, Walter. Minerals of the World. Toronto, Canada: Sterling Publishing, Inc. 2008. Print.
Woodbury Pegmatite Quarry, Woodbury, Litchfield Co., Connecticut, USA. Web.