By Jim in Idaho
I spent several years prospecting for diamonds in the Green River basin in Wyoming. never have found one. Last time I was there I left a couple of 8" x 48" sluices in two dry washes. Went back to check them last week. They were completely covered by sand/mud/gravel, so no longer working as sluices...LOL. But I cleaned them out and reset them, and in one, in an area that has produced the most diamond-indicator minerals, produced some nice gem quality chrome diopside, including one 1.46 carat piece, which is pretty rare for Wyoming. Thought you gem-heads might enjoy the pics. Also a pic of some other diamond indicators that were in the sluice, including ilmenite, and spinel.
By Ron Swanson
Hey everybody, glad to have found your forum here. I'm a woodworker and use various crushed materials including soapstone as inlay substrate in some of my pieces, and I thought I'd venture out into the mineralogy world to see if I might find some advice. I'm in search of new color tones of the blue and green type but I'm unfamiliar with what minerals might be of use to me. Would you have any suggestions for what minerals I might take a look at for future potential color sources? Dark / solid hues tend not to work as well with the natural wood colors, but the medium hues certainly do. A material need not be as soft as soapstone to be useful, just crushable (if that's even a word).
Thanks, I'm all ears!
Last month I started to get a bit bored with my usual Snowbird gig of bicycling, paddle boarding, beachcombing, etc, so I decided to check out some creeks and the Peace River about 3 hrs west of me. This area was covered by shallow seas millions of years ago, and more recently saw the Ice Ages....so a cool mix of fossils can be found. Here is one of the creeks I hunted(cue the banjo music from “Deliverance” lol):
So you kayak and/or wade in water of various depths looking for gravels in the bottom, then you dig and sift. All this is done in Gator and snake habitat, so one must stay aware of one’s surrounding while working the gravels:
Here’s some of my favorite finds. A fossilized prehistoric bison tooth and a baby Megalodon shark tooth...the Megs are small here, as these shallow seas were the nursery. The next pic has a fossil tortoise leg spur, a crocodile tooth, and 2 extinct Snaggeltooth Shark teeth.
Here’s fossilized stuff from my last hunt....upper left are turtle shell fragments; upper right turtle nuchal bones, a prehistoric tapir tooth, a broken Meg; then a whole bunch of shark teeth.
I think I’ve discovered a new hobby and passion to enjoy while here in Florida half a year! And as a bonus, it’ll help keep me in gold hunting shape for when I’m back out west!😄
(Author's name is Alexandra Marvar. Title is: Got Crystals? Gem Mining Could Be Your Full-Time Job.) Ugh. More/less the typical article that makes finding gems sound easier and more profitable than reality. Besides jewelry applications, they mention the New Age pseudoscience proponents. (Hey, maybe a good sales opportunity for LRL snake oil peddlers!) I am cutting and pasting one late quote which many of us can relate to:
Among those freelancers is Ron Murray, 58, an osteopath in Seattle who mined quartz at Herkimer Diamond Mines from Memorial Day to Labor Day this year. For his first six years digging crystals, Mr. Murray said he was “too attached” to part with anything he found. But this year, upon returning home to Seattle, he planned to keep the top 5 percent of his harvest, and sell everything else.
“Very few people can do this,” he said. “It takes stamina. It takes knowledge. It takes masochism.”
Like many others who share his passion for crystal hunting, he calls it an addiction — one propelled by the unshakable thought that the next pocket of untold treasure may open up on the next swing.