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I decided this season to stop full time gold prospecting and concentrate on prospecting for other minerals. I'll go back to gold primarily if dredging restrictions loosen or a machine a league ahead of the GPZ comes out. Here is part of about a 3ftx4ft pocket of black tourmaline (schorl) I found this summer. Can't wait for the snow to melt off to go back and finish removing it.

Anyone else out there switching gears from gold into other minerals? It seems to come easier since we use all the skills we learned and built looking for gold just the same as prospecting for other minerals.

I was hoping for a while that a good geology and minerals forum would pop up sans all the LRL/dowsing hocus pocus that others include in their forums as "geology", so I'm posting what I'm up to and hoping some others do as well. 




Also found a number of different nephrite jade pockets, nothing gemmy yet but still some good stuff.




dendritic jade slice.jpgwhitegreen jade.jpg


And I'm trying to track down the pocket where this big float terminated smokey came from, but no luck yet. 




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Lots of great minerals in Wyoming - nice finds! I have been threatening to make more time to go look for things other than gold but it is hard for me to do when gold can be found. I think one of my new year resolutions will have to be to make at least one expedition at least this year with something in mind other than gold.

Gemstones and Other Unique Minerals and Rocks of Wyoming (Large pdf - Wyoming State Geological Survey)

Gemstones, Minerals & Rocks of Wyoming blog

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It feels refreshing to get out and change it up for a bit! It takes me into some different environments that I don't normally visit with gold which is nice. Found a lot of abandoned homesteads to metal detect too.

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I and my wife did more prospecting for gem and mineral than for gold in 2016. Here's some of our finds fro Colorado.

The largest specimen picture below is a 102 carat topaz.


This is the area we were mining for the topaz.


Here's some smoky quartz we found on one outing.

Ace in the Hole-Smoky Quartz.jpg

Here are some magentite crystals we found on another outing.

Badger Flats-Magentite2.jpg

We hope to get out and do more gem and mineral prospecting in 2017.

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When I lived in Wyoming I actually spent a lot of time looking for Indian artifacts and have a pretty good collection - I'd detect old homesteads but had yet to be bit by the prospecting bug. 

Last year I stumbled across a very nice multiple pocket stringer of large quartz crystals while out for gold - as soon as the snow runs off at higher elevations here this spring I need to go hike back in and dig them out. I have a few here I need to grab some pictures of and I'll post. 

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Nice, those topaz have to be pretty valuable Glenn? The thing I haven't figured out yet with minerals is how to sell finds, with gold we always have the refiner in a pinch. Ebay takes so many fees though and seems like stuff can be listed forever without selling...

AU_Solitude - whereabouts in Wyoming were you? I'm in Central. Lots of arrowheads and stuff, not quite as many as I remember finding out here when I was a kid though. I keep finding these old homesteads and thinking man I'm probably the first person out here in 30 years so maybe the first to detect them...haha but I should know better.

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Thanks jasong - the 102 carat topaz is worth a little over $300 retail and about $140 wholesale. That pricing comes from Krystle Dorris who is the daughter of Joe Dorris who owns the Topaz Mountain Gem Mine near Lake George, CO. The Dorris's were featured on the Prospectors Show on the Weather Channel.

We belong to the Lake George Gem and Mineral Club and they have a annual gem and mineral show every year where individuals and dealers can setup a booth to sell or trade for a reasonable fee. Several individuals and dealers at that show had specimens they had acquired from different areas of Wyoming. Colorado has several gem and mineral shows during the year where you might sell your finds.


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Interesting, thanks for the heads up, I'll get in contact with them.

I used to have a claim on the Arkansas River for dredging right in the shadow of Mt Antero where I think they film some of the Prospectors show, never did manage to get up into the hills around BV looking for gems since I was too obsessed with gold at the time! I've seen a couple of those shows now and it almost seems like I was concentrating on the wrong mineral when I lived down there in Colorado! :biggrin:

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