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Old 01-31-2014, 12:47 PM   #1
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Oregon rockhounding?

Planning my Summer trip with my son, and was wondering if anyone has done any digging for Sunstones near Plush, OR, or for obsidian at Glass Buttes? Trying not go go any further north as I'm already having a hard time trying to fit everything into a two week trip.

I was hoping to dig for Fire Opal, but the one place (located between Klamath Falls and Lakeview) that offers fee-digging doesn't seem to be open and hasn't returned any e-mails.


thanks,
Herb
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:53 PM   #2
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Re: Oregon rockhounding?

Herb,

Last June my wife and I were in the Hart Mountain, Plush Or. area and we spent the night at the free sunstone digging area, BLM. We dinked around in the wash next to the parking area for a couple hours and picked up some nice Sunstones. I didn't have any my sifting screens with but still had a nice find. We plan to go back up with the right tools and spend a couple days. If you go I would recommend a 1/2" mesh and a 1/4" mesh sifting screens. Of corse a shovel and a pry bar.
I have attached a picture of the Sunstones we found.



Talking about Fire Opal, We use to go to Royal Peacock Opal Mine quite often, in Virgin Valley, I think about 25 miles west of Denio, NV. The last time I went it cost me $50.00 a day and you keep everything you find. I think now it is up to $100.00 or $150.00 a day. A little to much for me. You can dig tailings for a lot less cost. Still not cheep. I always did ok. The opals are mostly for display and not cuttable, but are still beautiful.
I think they open in March and close in October.

Good luck,
Woody
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:37 PM   #3
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Re: Oregon rockhounding?

Nice sunstones Woody. I have a 1/4" sifting screen that I made the last time I went digging for sharkteeth at Sharktooth Hill. I will also be bringing shovels, rock hammers, a pry bar, and gloves. Haven't decided if we'll stick with the BLM collection area, or go to one of the fee-digging sites.

I looked at the possibility of digging opals in Nevada, but what turned me off is how fragile true opal is. You need to let it dry properly over a long period of time, and even then it can be fragile.


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Old 01-31-2014, 04:33 PM   #4
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Re: Oregon rockhounding?

You can find decent obsidian in California near the border.
In the Warner Range (Just east of Goose Lake there are three open mines that are legal for amateurs. One has very cool obsidian needles. Nice colors from red brown green and black.

About 70 miles to the west is Glass Mountain (near Medicine Lake) and surrounding areas. Probably not gem quality but you can shop to your hearts content. I have watched people take trailer loads full (as in ton size rocks) out of there. Just north of there is Lava Beds National Monument. Well worth a visit.

Coordinates given upon request.
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:21 PM   #5
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Re: Oregon rockhounding?

Sunstone I cut back in '06. Red color spot is in the culet, and just a bit of sheller (sparkles) are showing on the bottom section.

Be sure to show any pieces you get with color spots!

later,
jan

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Old 01-31-2014, 08:42 PM   #6
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Re: Oregon rockhounding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by janliness
Sunstone I cut back in '06. Red color spot is in the culet, and just a bit of sheller (sparkles) are showing on the bottom section.

Be sure to show any pieces you get with color spots!

later,
jan
Did you cut that yourself? You've got skills!


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Old 02-01-2014, 06:22 PM   #7
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Re: Oregon rockhounding?

Yes, and thanks! Started in '04 and still cut today. In fact, I'm now cutting a nice peridot I collected here in Colorado last year

If you find something worthy feel free to ask me if it'll work. I always like to cut stones for people who find 'em...

later,
jan

p.s. I've got more pics on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CraftstoneArts of stuff I've done. Disclaimer: cutting gems is just a hobby for me!
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Old 02-01-2014, 07:12 PM   #8
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Re: Oregon rockhounding?

Very impressive. Great work.
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Old 02-01-2014, 07:14 PM   #9
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Re: Oregon rockhounding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by janliness
Yes, and thanks! Started in '04 and still cut today. In fact, I'm now cutting a nice peridot I collected here in Colorado last year

If you find something worthy feel free to ask me if it'll work. I always like to cut stones for people who find 'em...

later,
jan

p.s. I've got more pics on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CraftstoneArts of stuff I've done. Disclaimer: cutting gems is just a hobby for me!
Thanks Jan. After having a fossilized sharktooth made into a necklace for my wife last year, there's a definite "plus" in giving a gift that's been made from something I found, even if I'm not the one crafting the item. I had already started looking at the possibility of having a rough sunstone cut if we were lucky enough to find a special one.

Drooled over some of these cuts:
http://gemstoneartist.com/shop/


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Old 02-01-2014, 10:35 PM   #10
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Re: Oregon rockhounding?

Very cool. That is a nice talent to have. Reminds me of the show Gem Hunters
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