Calcite is the most common mineral in sedimentary rocks. The best examples of crystals occur in pockets that geologists call “vugs.” They also occur in quartz-lined geodes, in fractures (where free crystals are usually rare). Finally, they can be found in mineralized areas associated with faulting where they occur in veins.

Calcite is associated with some metamorphic and igneous rocks where they occur in late-forming deposits where voids occur. Those aren’t in the Ohio Valley and won’t be covered further.

Quarries and roadcuts provide good access to specimens whenever conditions are “just right” for vugs to form. Not every limestone quarry is a source for good crystals, but most quarries have something.

The gallery below will describe specimens from my collection (not for sale) with a geological story. Many of these specimens will ultimately be donated to the Indiana State Museum for Indiana specimens and the Cincinnati Museum Center for other locations except the western Kentucky portion of the fluorspar district. Unfortunately, Kentucky holds no natural history museum. The only locations in-state are the Geological Survey and the Clement Mineral Museum (for fluorspar district specimens).

Featured locations:

Corydon Quarry, Harrison Co., Indiana – currently managed by IMI (Irving Materials, Inc.) the quarry is closed to collectors. It has operated northwest of Corydon since the late 1940s. I first visited the quarry in 1969, then again the the late 1970s – 2000, and sporadically after that. Quarry photos will be posted on the Geological Scenes album. Rock quarried is the from the top of the St. Louis Limestone in the bottom of the pit through the entire Ste. Genevieve Limestone & Paoli Limestone. The top of the quarry includes Chester-age (Upper Mississippian) Mooretown Sandstone / Bethel Shale with a thin but persistent coal seam, Beaver Bend Limestone rich in fossils.

Harrodsburg Road Cuts, Monroe Co., Indiana – a famous area for geodes with many minerals include nice calcite crystals that sometimes have millerite inclusions,

Salem Quarry, Washington Co., Indiana – Hanson Aggregates closed the quarry several years ago. This quarry was in the Harrodsburg and Salem Limestones, Middle Mississippian age. The quarry is famous for geodes with large celestine crystals, but also has beautiful calcite, too.

Salem Road Cuts, Washington Co., Indiana – has geodes with calcite and other minerals.

Roadcuts near Owingsville, Bath Co., Kentucky – have limestone vugs in a shale (possibly stromatoporoids). Dominated by brown scalenohedral calcite, a late generation transparent calcite may be perched on the crystal tips; other minerals include dolomite, barite, goethite, & pyrite.

Albany Quarry, Clinton Co., Kentucky – Gaddie-Shamrock / Caldwell Stone – collected by Steve Garza, has a variety of minerals including calcite, dolomite, fluorite, gypsum (selenite) and sphalerite.

Bardstown Quarry, Nelson Co., Kentucky – now closed, was operated by Medusa Aggregates they Nalley – Hayden, then as the Cedar Creek Quarry. The only strata mined was the Laurel Dolostone, Silurian-age. The quarry was famous for complete trilobites and Devonian fossils in the residual soil. Operations ran out of property to mine and was recently sold for development. A new quarry has been opened about five miles away, but I haven’t visited it yet.

Danville Quarry, Boyle Co., Kentucky – Caldwell Stone Company, operating for more than 90 years, mines the Lexington Limestone. Has a vein running through the quarry with fluorite, calcite, barite, and other minerals. The largest collected calcite crystal weighed more the 300 lbs. I’ve collected 18″ crystals that we so etched they are yard decorations.

Flemingsburg Quarry, Fleming Co., Kentucky – operated by Hanson Aggregates, is known for calcite in simple rhombic crystals. The Ordovician limestone contains oil and the calcite sometimes is coated in dried oil.

Georgetown Quarry, Scott Co., Kentucky – Nalley & Gibson Quarry, mostly underground. Mines through the Thomas Vein of the Central Kentucky Mineral District. Ordovician Lexington Limestone is mined.

Irvington Quarry, Breckinridge Co., Kentucky – currently managed by Liter’s Quarry, it was Kentucky Stone Company quarry for a long time. Rock quarried is the Mid to Upper Mississippian Ste. Genevieve Limestone. Quarry has upper and lower pits and has been operating since the 1940s.

Lebanon Quarry, Marion Co., Kentucky – managed by Nalley & Hayden. Now operating its third pit, the first has been abandoned for several decades. The second closed a couple of years ago. That’s the pit I visited on several occasions. The rock contains oil from the overlying New Albany Shale and the calcite sometimes is coated in dried oil. The upper part of the quarry is the Boyle Limestone (Devonian) somewhat dolomitized and brecciated.

Lockport Quarry, Henry Co., Kentucky – managed by Liter’s Quarry, this underground quarry encounters the Lockport vein in the Central Kentucky Mineral District. I’ve had several visits that were quick productive.

Illinois – Kentucky Fluorspar District – includes a number of mines in Hardin & Pope Co., Illinois and Crittenden & Livingston Co., Kentucky.

Corydon Quarry (Harrison Co., Indiana)

A massive calcite crystal with minor dolomite from the lower vuggy zone.
Calcite on dolomite with botryoidal barite.
Calcite in transparent crystals with a thin film of oil. Middle zone between lower & upper vuggy zones.
Calcite in scalenohedral crystals with a thin film of oil. Middle zone between lower & upper vuggy zones. This is an usual form for this zone.
Calcite on dolomite, upper vuggy zone.
Calcite with later forming calcite coating dolomite and early crystals.
Calcite on dolomite from upper vuggy zone. Dolomite crystals tend to be larger in this zone.
Calcite coating earlier-forming calcite. These crystals remained small in size but large in number.
The best self-collected calcite crystal by me – almost 4-inches long. Upper vuggy zone.
Calcite phantom (later crystal growing over earlier one) – note the orange pattern from the earlier crystal. Upper vuggy zone.
Calcite in zoned crystals on dolomite
Calcite variety travertine coating dolomite
Travertine-coated calcite (a large crystal)
Odd-shaped calcite crystal with a little dolomite
A watermelon-size vug removed intact from the edge of a giant boulder; calcite on dolomite
Calcite variety travertine from a blasted cave the runs diagonally through the quarry.
Sharp brown calcite crystals, different than typical specimens from this quarry.

Near Owingsville (Bath Co., Kentucky)

“The Jack O’ Lantern” – calcite and dolomite

Albany Quarry, (Clinton Co., Kentucky)

Pink calcite in sharp scalenohedral crystals

Avoca Quarry (Jefferson Co., Kentucky)

Calcite with inclusions of chalcopyrite, some altered to malachite

Flemingsburg Quarry (Fleming Co., Kentucky)

Calcite with a gas bubble inclusion

Irvington Quarry (Breckinridge Co., Kentucky)

A small transparent crystal
Iron-colored scalenohedral crystal from upper pit
Calcite with casts on anhydrite with barite, dolomite & fluorite, lower pit
Calcite with casts on anhydrite with barite & fluorite, lower pit
Calcite with fluorite, lower pit

Georgetown Quarry (Scott Co., Kentucky)

Calcite from the Thomas vein in the Georgetown quarry
Calcite, doubly-terminated on barite with sphalerite; Thomas vein.

Lebanon Quarry (Marion Co., Kentucky)

Large, iridescent oil-coated calcite rhombs
Calcite with microscopic quartz
Heavy coating of oil (from the New Albany Shale) on large calcite crystals
Calcite vug in a calcareous nodule in the New Albany Shale

Springfield Quarry & Roadcuts (Washington Co., Kentucky)

Calcite with a touch of iron coating
Calcite with hematite-coating

Taylor Co., Kentucky

Highly elongated golden calcite in thin-walled geodes or vugs

Tateville (Pulaski Co., Kentucky)

Large, complex calcite crystals on dolomite in vugs
Steeple-like calcite crystal spans a void lined with dolomite, sprinkled with goethite sprays

Mundy’s Landing, Woodford Co., Kentucky

Calcite with fluorite from the East Faircloth mine. Collected by Alan but now in Ed Rowse’s collection.

Other Calcite Locations