Thank you for all of this Neil.
You did say philosopher’s stone and not stoned philosopher. When I
am not prospecting I collect gold plated china from second hand
stores. I have an English piece which says 22 carat gold and it is
the yellow I see in nature. I have a German piece which says 24 carat
and it is a reddish yellow.
I have many stone samples of what I also call "patinas"
In ontology they are what they are: thin layers of mineral matter on
a rock face… As for etiology my guess is that they are fracture
faces on which cold and warmer waters have deposited mineral cystals
from plutonic sources. Epistemologically I would say both plutonist
and neptunist forces at work. They are usually metallic but
sometimes vitreous. Assaying for the former is difficult but do-able
while the latter still escapes me. Even if I had the best jeweller in
the world out there in the field I doubt we could figure it out. And
in the lab? Who knows?
So let us say emerald dust is ground up from shaking of the bedrock
(volcanoes, earthquakes etc) and it moves through cracks, fissures,
conduits, faults… call it what you will. It then coats a rock
face. It could be coated by ionic splits from complex mineral
molecules or from charged non-ionic nanoparticles (plasmas?) or from
larger non-charged suspended materials.
The colour range is extended if allotropes are added to all this.
These patinas could be valuable gems in themselves. Suppose I do
have a sample of emerald patina here. My guess is that it would
fetch a good price in the jewelry market.
Maybe we will find that philosopher’s stone among the moon stones.
Gotta wonder how well the Canada Arm robots (reduced in size) would
fare as tele-robotic miners.