Mineral Descriptions

Mineral Descriptions

Bancroft Mineral Collecting

Amethyst – a transparent purple variety of quartz, it can be found in six-sided crystals or in massive chunks. This is Ontario’s mineral emblem.

Amazonite – this bright bluish-green mineral, a type of feldspar, breaks in straight sides. It has a grid-like pattern of white streaks.

Apatite – this mineral usually occurs as six-sided, brittle crystals. It varies in colour from green and red to brown, blue and yellow.

Calcite – this common mineral comes in a variety of different colours, from colourless to white, ink, yellow, brown , blue, greenish, grey or a transparent black. When it breaks it is hexagonal in shape with straight sides which makes it fairly easy to identify. In its clear, colourless form, it is known as Iceland Spar.

Feldspar – it is one of the earth’s most abundant minerals – white, grey, blackish grey, pink in colour, it breaks in straight sided pieces at right angles to each other.

Fluorite – it can range from colourless to green, purple, blue, bluish-black, rose or yellow and is transparent to translucent. It has a glassy luster to it and is found in a cubic shape.

Garnet – small, translucent to transparent 12-sided crystals. Unlike the red gemstone, natural garnets found in the Bancroft area are usually brownish in colour but can be yellow, greenish-brown to black.

Hematite – a soft, dark reddish-brown colour, this mineral is mined for its iron ore content.

Mica – black or brown mica crystals can be found in a variety of rocks. It can occur as tiny flakes or in layered masses. The layers split into very thin, transparent sheets.

Pyrite – it looks like little chunks of glistening gold and is often called “fool’s gold”. Generally you’ll find pyrite in small cubes or as a massive chunk.

Rose Quartz – it looks like massive chunks of pink glass. The pink is caused by small amounts of titanium in quartz.

Smoky Quartz – this is quartz which has been exposed to nearby radioactive minerals. It is usually found in large chunks but can be in six-sided crystal shapes.

Sodalite – this dark blue mineral is most often found in grey nepheline and is why the Princess Sodalite Mine came into existence. The blue colour is flecked or lined with white or light brown.

Tourmaline – this black, six-sided (hexagonal) crystal is often found in the pegmatite rock of the Bancroft area. It can also be white, blue, green, pink, red or brown in colour.

White or Clear Quartz – it comes in large glassy chunks but look for the six-sided crystals with the sides coming to a point at the end of the crystal.


Mineral descriptions courtesy of the Princess Sodalite Mine Rock Shop


  • Laura ARMENIS| October 2, 2020 at 4:41 am Reply

    Can you link to any website that shows pictures of what can be found in Bancroft? Its frustrating not being able to identify what I’ve dug up. Thanks

  • Ashley Spencer| May 8, 2019 at 4:08 pm Reply

    Hey there. I found this crystal like rock in southern Ontario. I have been trying to look up its identity. But I’m failing. It’s white with shiny greys. It’s not very hard as a normal quartz. I can send a picture. I haven’t found anything remotely close. The area we found it in is off cranberry lake, serous bay. There is a lot of quartz and pyrite and very unusual rocks like I have never seen before.

    • Melissa Lester| May 29, 2019 at 8:09 pm Reply

      Put vinegar on it and see if it bubbles could be calcite.

  • justin| June 1, 2017 at 11:23 am Reply

    Hey im wondering if i would be able to send you a pic of a rock i found in wilberforce onshore of dark lake, i cant figure out wat it is and anyone iv asked has no idea.. it looks like a basic 10lb rock, i noticed a line of metallic on the side so i smashed it open and the inside is just full of rose gold looking metal chunks( i know rose gold isnt that rose colour from the ground so its got me stumped trying to find out exactly wat it is.

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