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  1. #1
    us
    Feb 2010
    Richmond VA
    1,767
    532 times

    Rock experts - Need help on lithic identification

    I'm working on finding spots to hunt around Richmond VA and was talking to a guy today who agreed to hook me up with some people he knows who have land to hunt. Anyways, he doesn't look for them but has found 2 over the years. One of them was a point that looked like a small Stanly but the material looked like translucent obsidian with irregular light banding. I only just met the guy today so I don't know anything, really, about him, but he seemed credible to me. My question is this - is it possible that there's a local source that could explain this? I've only ever seen one quartz crystal point in person (thanks NCFieldhunter) and I didn't really study the flaking or material closely. Could this have been a smokey quartz piece? I don't think pictures will help, it looks just like obsidian in the picture.

    Bottom line I'm trying to make good with the guy and I told him I'd try to figure out anything I can about the material. I'd hate to come back with "it's obsidian, clearly not from VA". Any thoughts or possibilities at all are appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Joe

  2. #2
    us
    Jul 2012
    389
    149 times
    Trimble Knob in VA is a now extinct volcano and I know there was some obsidian around so I guess it's possible...think I remembered hearing about places in TN and NC that had some but I can't be sure...also, living in Richmond, have you ever looked around Bell Island? I know a guy who found an axe there a few months ago and has found spear points in the past...I can draw up a diagram of where he said the stuff was if you'd like, just let me know...
    Sorry I kinda veered off the path there...
    HH, good luck

  3. #3
    us
    Aug 2009
    Blue ridge mts, Virginia
    1,055
    441 times
    The smell of Nitro in the morning
    An archy that works for the state of V.A. told me that obsidian can be found in V.A. and P.A. I have a pic of a smokey quartz Yadkin if you would like to compare. Good luck finding some new hunting grounds. GTK96 had some good advise regarding Bell Island, I have heard of some nice artifacts coming from that area. H.H.

  4. #4

    May 2012
    13,319
    4500 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Rayholite is a volcanic product. Its all over that area. No reason why obsidian wouldn't be

  5. #5
    us
    Aug 2009
    Blue ridge mts, Virginia
    1,055
    441 times
    The smell of Nitro in the morning
    Quote Originally Posted by GatorBoy View Post
    Rayholite is a volcanic product. Its all over that area. No reason why obsidian wouldn't be


    Not always the case. I think it depends on the type of eruption, the minerals present and how it cools. Rhyolite can be found all over the east coast, but obsidian only in a few locations.

  6. #6

    May 2012
    13,319
    4500 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Just saying the possibility for the right circumstances existed.
    And I'm sure obsidian was highly regarded and traded for long distances.

  7. #7
    us
    Jul 2012
    389
    149 times
    Yeah it all depended on how fast it cooled...i think alot of times obsidian formed when the lava contacted water, but I understand what you meant gator

  8. #8
    us
    Feb 2010
    Richmond VA
    1,767
    532 times
    Quote Originally Posted by GTK96 View Post
    Trimble Knob in VA is a now extinct volcano and I know there was some obsidian around so I guess it's possible...think I remembered hearing about places in TN and NC that had some but I can't be sure...also, living in Richmond, have you ever looked around Bell Island? I know a guy who found an axe there a few months ago and has found spear points in the past...I can draw up a diagram of where he said the stuff was if you'd like, just let me know...
    Sorry I kinda veered off the path there...
    HH, good luck
    GTK - Thanks for the offer, I'd appreciate it - I'll take any help I can get! I actually spend a lot of time on Belle Island with my family doing various things. Could make the trips even funner!

  9. #9
    us
    Feb 2010
    Richmond VA
    1,767
    532 times
    Quote Originally Posted by theviking View Post
    An archy that works for the state of V.A. told me that obsidian can be found in V.A. and P.A. I have a pic of a smokey quartz Yadkin if you would like to compare. Good luck finding some new hunting grounds. GTK96 had some good advise regarding Bell Island, I have heard of some nice artifacts coming from that area. H.H.
    TheViking - I'd love to see it. Right now for me it's either odsidian or crystal smokey quartz, and I don't have any smokey quartz examples to compare against. Thanks for the help.

  10. #10
    us
    Aug 2009
    Blue ridge mts, Virginia
    1,055
    441 times
    The smell of Nitro in the morning
    Hey Twitch, sounds like you are describing obsidian. Not sure I have ever seen banded smokey quartz, but just because I haven't seen it does not mean it doesn't exist. Here is the quartz Yadkin, found by a good friends grandfather across the river from me. He also found the fluted quartzite piece in the same field, just thought I would throw that in for giggles. Good luck.
    Last edited by theviking; Mar 18, 2013 at 05:07 PM.

  11. #11

    May 2012
    13,319
    4500 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    It also sounds like agatized wood with the banding you described. A photo would help.

  12. #12
    us
    Jan 2009
    --------->
    3,315
    206 times
    Although raw obsidian does exist in Va. ( the only eastern state with a dormant volcano to my knowledge ) the only recorded artifacts made of the material were thought to be traded in. Most likely from an Adena culture network from further west. The Potts site in New Kent Co. contained some woodland artifacts made of obsidian. There are materials scattered throughout the state that can be somewhat similar in appearance and texture including the aforementioned smoky quartz. Dark colored chalcedony and translucent high grade black cherts can also look like obsidian to some degree. Translucent Knox chert from eastern Tn. is similar as well. Some locals call it Cinch River obsidian. A really pure translucent piece of Knox can look like obsidian. Just some suggestions, if you can get a picture of the material I can probably be more specific.


    Here's some Va. smoky quartz and some local high grade black cherts.

    As far as finding some hunting spots in that area of the state I'd suggest getting to be friendly with some farmers who still plow their fields along the James.
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    Last edited by Th3rty7; Mar 18, 2013 at 05:19 PM.
    " Stay frosty, gents "

    www.arrowheadtalk.com

  13. #13

    Jul 2012
    4,108
    1467 times
    Joe, if you need some pics of obsidian points found in VA. Let me know. All of the obsidian finds near us that I know of are paleo or transitional. Hardaway/dalton is the latest I have personally seen. If you have a pic of the piece in question, text me a pic of it. It's a long shot, but I may be of some service. Good luck on finding new grounds. Also, look at local petrified wood samples.
    Their were so many fewer questions when stars were still just the holes to heaven

  14. #14
    us
    I collect Artifacts and Vintage Collectibles and Rocks.

    Aug 2012
    South
    Coin Finder
    9,425
    3617 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I have seen what you are talking about and I do believe it is P wood. On Ancient Native American Indian Arrowheads, Indian Artifacts and other ancient Indian relics - Home Page they have some posted under gem quality points. It looks clear but with black lines running through it. Or even Agate.
    Last edited by rock; Mar 18, 2013 at 08:15 PM.
    Personal finds were on private property which I have permission to hunt.

  15. #15

    May 2012
    13,319
    4500 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    They come in different shades of many colors..some show more banding than others. Here is a couple.

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