Pikes Peak Pebble Pups

Pikes Peak Pebble Pups

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Fluorite: Mineral of the Month at the Western Museum of Mining and Industry

 By Ben Elick, CSMS Junior Member 

This fluorite specimen was found outside of Cripple Creek, on the Shelf Road. These massive* specimens of purple fluorite can be found throughout a greater area, known as the Cripple Creek Mining District. The fluorite from the district can be found in massive form or in crystalline form, with light to dark purple colors. This fluorite is often referred to simply as Cripple Creek fluorite because of its abundant presence in the district. Finding this fluorite while mining was often met with excitement, as gold-rich tellurium minerals form in veins near the purple fluorite. Purple fluorite was a likely indication of gold-bearing minerals, although fluorite specimens that did not contain gold-bearing minerals were considered worthless. Therefore, these specimens would commonly be discarded in the mine dumps along with the other waste rock. 

Figure 1. The Shelf Road fluorite specimen is on display at the Western Museum of Mining and Industry. The specimen may have been brought to the Shelf Road area through the development of the Roosevelt Tunnel that drained water from the district mines. Photo Kaitlyn McGann. 

Figure 2. View of the top of the fluorite specimen. Scale for size. Photo by Kaitlyn McGann.


* Massive - minerals found with no internal structure or habit

About the author: Ben Elick is a junior member of the CSMS and former Pebble Pup. He is now one of the instructors of the Pebble Pup and Earth Science program. He volunteers at the Western Museum of Mining and Industry and recently helped finish the digitization of the historic photos at the Cripple Creek District Museum. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The Ruby

I chose a ruby to study because it is pretty. A ruby is red or pink. You can find them in many places, including Thailand, Nepal, Taiwan and East Africa. They are also located in the United States. Rubies are made from the mineral corundum or aluminum oxide.

A naturally occurring ruby crystal.
Photo public domain

For thousands of years, a ruby was considered the stone of love, energy, passion, and a zest for life. Like no other gemstone in the world, ruby is the perfect symbol for power.


Agata Kania age 7
Lake George Gem and Mineral Club Pebble Pup

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Paint Mines

Sculptures formed by wind
Painted by oxidation
Nature’s museum

Haiku by Gavin Seltz, age 10

Tuesday, April 28, 2020


By Elkan Normandin

Do you like onyx? I like onyx. Onyx comes in many colors such as blue, green, red, yellow, purple, and black. Onyx is used in rings, necklaces, and other jewelry. It can be cut and polished or kept just as it is found. It is a natural stone, although most natural black onyx today is dyed black.

Onyx is a variety of quartz. The full chemical compound is SiO2 (silicon dioxide).It forms in layers with sediments. It is 6.5-7 on the hardness scale. The luster is a bit waxy. Its value ranges widely. That is why onyx is nice.
A layered black and white onyx cabochon.
Photo by By Rob Lavinsky. Courtesy Wikipedia Commons.
Author bio: Elkan is in 4th grade and a member of the Lake George Gem and Mineral Club.

Friday, April 17, 2020

An Acrostic Poem

By Elkan Normandin      

       Never Seen
               WIll return
    In a fossiL     

Friday, April 10, 2020


By Jaydin Burrous

Malachite is a type of mineral. It forms a pretty mineral. It is green and the mineral has really cool patterns. Malachite is cold to the touch, it’s heavy and feels very hard.

An example of malachite formed into a circle by an artist. Photo by Jaydin Burrous. 

Do not ingest malachite because it’s poisonous in its raw state. It releases a toxic cloud when made into stones for jewelry.

Malachite can be found at the Guffey Mining district, Teller County, Colorado.

Malachite is used for health properties and balance if you wear it on the left hand. You can also wear it on the left hand for luck.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Poems by Rigel (9 years old)


I am a rock
Hard as can be
Not alive not dead
Can you find me?

Wind Carried:

Oh the smell carried by wind
Hot, cold, and moist
If you tune yourself in
Does it smell like life
Or death
Or sad
Where do we begin


And blue
How do you do
They float in the air
Even on a bear
Colors are everywhere


Search your dreams and in a jiffy you’ll find
A place
Your happy place
To fly and run free

Welcome! This is the gateway to adventure and discovery

Through this blog pebble pups and junior members of the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society can access their lessons, work on assignments and projects, and receive details about field trips in the Pikes Peak Region. This Internet program is also suitable for young people who are interested in Earth science but do not live near a rock club or gem and mineral society or for young people anywhere who want a deeper dive into these topics. The only requirement is that all participants must be members of the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society and must fill out the CSMS membership form (under important websites) and send their registration and membership fee in. Steven Veatch is the senior instructor and will need an email from you with your name, address, phone number, and permission from your parents to participate in this program.