In the Turrett Mining District, in the southern part of the state, there is an interesting corundum locality.  It's nearly 10,000 feet above sea level (park about 9,000'; dig about 9500'-9700') on "Graphite Hill", not far from the historic Calumet Iron Mine.  Matrix specimens contain tiny blue sapphire crystals in matrix.  The crystals are usually wafery and doubly terminated (resembling miniature Yogos) so these specimens can be quite striking.  However, they do not seem to contain crystals thick enough to be facet grade and the material tends to be crumbly; so it is probably is of little interest except to mineral collectors (and geologists).



     In 2007, I visited the site with Colorado geologist Robert Zartman (he and his son are pictured in front of the site, which is in the background on the left side).  In a cold drizzle we managed to collect maybe 50 pounds of material.  The best specimen I found on this trip appears on the right. 
   On he way home, we took our time driving along Forest Service and County Roads, looking at other mineralizations and the scenery.  The aspen groves were striking and the columbines were in bloom, making us forget how cold and wet we had gotten.  It was a great day which left me with the commitment to return in 2008.


   In 2008, I returned to find rocks of almost pure dark blue corundum.   The far left picture shows the road into the Calumet Mine.  Graphite Ridge is the second slope, visible directly behind the Calumet Mine.  The view from the digs, showing the trail up, is in the second photo.  On the right are the actual hole that produced the specimens and a detail of one rock, about a foot in diameter, which I packed out.  Once it is cleaned, I will post more pictures of this unique material.