San Pedro Valley - Selenite
Roger Weller, geology
St. David area
Clusters of selenite crystals can be found
in the lake bed deposits near the Apache
Powder plant in St. Davis, near Benson in
Cochise County, Arizona.
The following directions are
from another website:
"This site is based in the
hills just west of the town of St. David, Arizona. The minerals of
here are the selenite roses and
selenite clusters. To get to this great spot, take highway 80 that runs
towards Bisbee and Douglas south
from Benson. After going about 5 miles, you will be at a sharp
curve in the main road at which
there is a small paved road southbound, marked Apache Powder
Plant Road. Take this road
for 3 miles, where it turns into a dirt road. The dirt road along here is
not bad, but is a bit washboardy.
After going another half mile, turn right to the west on a road
marked Desert Rose. You
should stay on this road for a little ways until you come to a "T"
intersection, where you should
turn right to the north. This road is not the greatest but you should
be able to make it. Go a
little further and turn let towards the hills to the west. Work your way
you can drive right up to the
base of the hills, where you can park.
It is not important to go to any special hill, so search around for areas of
erosion. In the softer
eroded dirt that is trailing
down some of the hills, you will find the classic selenite balls like you see
in rock shops, ranging from
pea-size to golfball size. Finding large clusters is uncommon, but the
single ones are everywhere.
Remember that the ones you see for sale have edges that look white
because they use a blowtorch on
There will also be chunks of broken selenite which are usually clear with
transparent brown mixed
in. These can be quite
neat looking and can range to almost 4 inches long. Last, clusters of of
selenite can be found below the
surface in certain areas. Try to find spots where the ground under
the shallow top soil is a hard,
dark, reddish-brown clay-like material. Pry through it with a
screwdriver and a shovel.
Carefully pull out the crystal clumps which are very fragile. These
resemble the regular selenite
roses, but are more transparent and have much thicker blades."