Another Wonderful Time In Trona Halite & Hanksite

It was another great year out in Trona at Gem-o-Rama collecting Halite & Hanksite. The 75th annual event was indeed a milestone. To think by the time I was born they had already been hosting the event for over 30 years. So, hats off and sincere thanks to the men and women of the Searles Lake Gem & Mineral Society. Your hard work brings out all the kids, literally and figuratively, and gives us all a mineral digging experience unique to the world.


Now, lets talk about the minerals. I arrived there at about 5:30am on Saturday and secured the 3rd spot in line for the hanksite mud dig. You don’t need to be in these top positions in line to get the minerals, it just gives me piece of mind. No matter your position you will get fantastic specimens. It does matter for the Blow hole event though and I’ll go into that later.

For those that don’t know what hanksite is, it’s a very rare and unique mineral. One of only a few to contain both sulfate and carbonate ion groups. On top of that it occurs very few places on Earth and nowhere on the size and scale of Searles lake. It comes in two distinct hexagonal shapes, pointed and flat topped (barrel).

hanksite twinbarrel hanksite

The big shot though is the pink halite. Another sodium mineral, found in stunning cubic clusters. This year was one of the best years i’ve seen for the dealers. If you were lucky enough to go up Friday for the dealer’s dig I was told the specimens were like mine shown below. Massive crystals some said haven’t been seen in years.

Pink Halite HugePink Halite Huge2

The piece on the right has already been sold. The piece on the right is available in our Etsy shop.

I also picked up some interesting hanksites which looked like contact zones.

2sided hanksite2sided hanksite 2

As always it went by too fast and I didn’t collect enough. I guess we’ll just have to wait another year…