See the Jewelry

History of Intergalactic Involvement at the Russell Bros. Quarry in Topsham, Maine.

Gary picked up the lease to this quarry sometime in 1992. The quarry was noted for deep blue gemmy aquamarine and therefore was of interest to us. I know very little about the beginnings of the mine except for the interesting, though unsubstantiated (?)(?) rumor that mica from this quarry was ground up and used as theatrical snow for a theater company in New York City many years ago. After the temperature inland fell to the point of shutting down operations at the Intergalactic pit, we moved our equipment to Topsham and began the arduous task of cleaning debris out of the quarry. In some places this layer of brush, leaves, sticks and general muck was ten feet deep and in it, we found all sorts of interesting things. We found street signs, railway beams, various rusted stolen things, a big knife, rotted clothing, a wig, and a few tires. Under the garbage was a layer of mine rubble a few feet thick and under this was virgin ledge. We dug a section of quarry floor bare of debris and almost immediately we were greeted with the sight of a beautiful dark blue aqua crystal disappearing into the wall. Using a small jackhammer, we chipped it out more or less intact and drilled a shallow blast hole behind the area it had come out of. Loading it with a minimum amount of dynamite, we touched it off and waited for the dust and fumes to clear. After several minutes we went into the pit to look. We had blasted a huge aquamarine crystal into tiny bits all over the entire quarry. It looked like someone had smashed a car windshield all over the site. We spent the next few hours picking small, totally clean, deep blue aqua chunks from the quarry floor. In all, there were several thousand carats of this material scattered over a 20 by 30 foot area. A little dismayed at this unforeseeable accident, we set several more holes in the same general area and loaded them even lighter. Several more aquamarine crystals were eventually found but nothing like the blasted one. Later, when the floor of the quarry was cleared some more, another significant discovery was made. Half a garnet was embedded in solid rock. This garnet was basketball sized and completely gemmy. Some sections of it would have cut 15 carat flawless stones had it not been for the darkness of the material. Smaller gems are a deep fiery red. With the arrival of winter, we pulled out and shut the quarry down. In 1995 we again did some limited work at this quarry but found very little of interest and were faced with the problem of excessive overburden covering the productive area of the quarry. Future development is a possibility, time will tell.