Just for fun: Staurolite crystals otherwise known as cross rocks or fairy stones

images of staurolite crystal fragments showing the right angles and partial cross shapes
Staurolite crystals/cross rocks (fragments)

I recently spent a late September Sunday afternoon hunting down Staurolite crystals, otherwise known as cross rocks or fairy stones. They are found in only a handful of locations around the world. One of those places is along the Mississippi River between the towns of Royalton and Little Falls, Minnesota. The term “cross rocks” refers to the shape of these rare treasures (many consider them to bring good luck). The one and only Charles Lindbergh is said to have carried one, also President Teddy Roosevelt and Thomas A. Edison. This is a link to some local history if you are interested and also numerous images of these natural curiosities.

How did my hunt go? Not bad considering that I didn’t go all the way down the trail to the dam and bridge where the best stones can be found. I will get there when I go again, but there wasn’t time for that on this excursion. Nevertheless, I came home with five pieces which, though not the perfectly formed crosses I was looking for, they were highly encouraging fragments. Look at these. I know. You’re thinking, they look like ordinary rocks. Yes they do at first, but once you get the hang of it, identifying pieces like these will give you the “eye” to spot one of the more sought-after specimens.

I have no doubt my luck will be more exciting when I venture back. It is a bit of a hike to get down there, but I’m up for it and when I do, I’ll have more pictures.

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