Rock hunting in Berslagen -97

This is the description of the 1997 rock hunting trip in bergslagen.
Every year VAGS arranges a mineral fair. This year was the fifteenth in order. It was also the second mineral fair I have visited, and it was the first fair that I had my own table and was selling minerals from this summer.
The fair went well and I got a number of new contacts as well as some money to cover for petrol and equipment for my stoned trips.
This year the fair went off on 4-5 of october.
Under the following week I visited a number of interesting places :
Sala, Granåsen, Norberg ( Tremänninggruvan, Kallmorberg, Långgruvan, Stripåsen ), Älgfallet, Harstigen, Nordmark ( Ormberget, Finnmossen, Agegruvan, Storgruvan ), Persberg ( Gåsgruvan, Svartsången, Assertjärn ), Riddarhyttan ( Bastnäs, Bäckegruvan, Pellegruvan ), Stakaholmen, Selsvitberget.
At last even I had to admit that this season is over when the snow begun to fall when I was at hard work removing a beryll crystal.


The Sala silver mine is an old silver mine of Sweden. It was once called the treasure chest of Sweden. It were mined from .... until ...., first for silver and then for lead. (hubba : continue here)

I tried to find the Glasgruvan mine to collect salite, but for the third time i couldn't find it. I have probably walked right over it a couple of times without realizing it.

( Pictures and description )


The pegmatite by Granmuren (Hylla) were mined in a small quarry
( Pictures and description )


Stripåsen pegmatite


Älgfallet wolfram mine

One of the lessons I learned during this week is to read the description and the map carefully, and not to rush in. ( I will probably forget it until next summer. ) It took one hour running around in the wood until I realized that I took the wrong turn on the forest road about twenty meters before the mine!
I don't think I got any scheelite, except maybe for some microscopic traces, but some great dark red garnets and some green diopside ??? in calcite.


Harstigen is a very small mine, but in mineralogical circles it have a very big name. With 17 type minerals and a world unique locality for crystallised led it's a mineral heaven. Today it's hard to find anything unique since the mine is over 100 years old, but it's still possible to make some findings at the dump pile.
( Pictures and description )

Nordmark minefield

Thursday started with a trip to the Nordmark minefield. I started my examinations in a iron mine, the Ormberget mine. It was easy to find but the minerals were scarce. Maybe I misinterpreted the instructions on how to find the mine dump. I found a couple of minedumps, but only one rock of calcite, and that one was pure.
The second mine visited was unintentional, but when the main road leads straight through the mine, a stop was impossible to avoid.... Good samples of epidote is easy to collect in the Agegruvan.
In Nordmark I visited the Finnmossen mine and Storgruvan, but it was of no use, water and fences stopped me from getting any interesting stones.

Svartsången lime stone quarry

This was a great locality. The road lead straight to the quarry. ( Even straight through it.) The quarry in it self is not so big (20x4 m) and the mine dumps around it was of comparable size. Evenso, I was able to find all the minerals that the description spoke off. The mine dumps were almost untouched and was heavily grown over by vegetation.
I didn't believe I would find something good here, but it showed to be one of the better places I visited during this week.
( Pictures and description )

Assertjärn limestone quarry

As usual, reading the description carefully before starting to seek for the quarry would have saved me half an hour, but eventually I found the place. It is situated in an old deforestation, so it is overgrown with two meters high birches which is very hard to walk through.
The quarry looks like a couple of meters wide ditch, about 30 meters long.


This is an active mine, they are mining for limestone and macadam, so the quarry is quite big. I don't know if there's any mine dumps in the area, but the dirt cover of the rocks is put at the south side of the mine.
I reached Gåsgruvan by the road from Assertjärn, and parked by the hill made of dirt. The I walked to the edge of the mine to get a view over the area. My plans to find the andradite type called "Romanzovite" were litterally crushed, but on the way back to the car I found a small heap of stones with some garnets in it. So in the end I found what I was looking for. I also found some other minerals, so the trip here was not in vain.


This is a great place to look for minerals, the only sad thing is that without help you wouldn't recognise even half of the rare minerals. I had the guidance of Britta and Allan Bäckman, and that is what made this trip so good.
Bastnäs is the type locality for a couple of new minerals : Bastnäsite, Linneite, Lanthanite, and maybe some other too.
( Pictures and description )


Here we just visited the mine dump. I don't know so much about the Bäckgruvan, but I think that they currently are crushing the mine dumps to macadam.
It was easy to find fine pieces of hornblende and leptite. It was also possible to pick up some molybdenite and chalkopyrite.


About 300 m from the Bäckgruvan lies the Pellegruvan. When this mine were active they found nice crystals of coboltite ??? in arsenic pyrite.
A couple of years ago they found some arsenic pyrite when a ditch were digged. In this it was again possible to find cobaltine crystals.
The first rock I broke contained a crystal, but then it became impossible to find any more. I crushed a lot of rocks to sand without finding even one more crystal.

Stakholmen quartz quarry

Stakholmen is a quartz quarry, now recultivated but still possible to search minerals in. It is the only known location in Sweden with prismatine.
( Pictures and description )

Sels-Vitberget, Bålsta bruk

This is an active quarry, they are producing porfyric materials for asphalt and roads.
This was the last trip for the year. It started snowing when I was in the old beryl quarry. I didn't care. I could bring back a great beryl crystal 4x6x30 cm, unfortunately in three parts. I have to get back here in the summer ....
( Pictures and description )

Barted minerals

This is the minerals I barted with people during the fair, and a lot of other that I was given by friends later in the week.
  • Zircone, Norway. (Barted with a lady at the fair)
  • Babingtonite. (Gift from Britta and Allan)
  • This list is not complete yet .... more is coming.

( Pictures and description )

Bought minerals

Ok, I was not always at my table, selling my own stones. I took some time to go around and look on the other minerals of the fair. This is the minerals I bought on those small excursions.
  • Cylindrite, Mina Candelana, Poopo, Bolivia.
  • Apofyllite, Jalgaon, Maharastra, India.
  • Baryte, Alnön. (From Britta Bäckman)
  • Allanite, Bastnäs. (From Britta Bäckman)
  • Grossular, Braxembol. (From Britta Bäckman)
  • Rhodonite, Garpenber. (From Britta Bäckman)

( Pictures and description )
Main index.
To my homepage.
Last changed : 1998-03-08