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Old 09-29-2019, 07:33 PM   #1
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Summer gem hunting trip

This from this past August on our annual Father-Son trip. Didn't take many pictures, but had a great time.


First stops at Fool Hollow campground, outside of Show Low, AZ. Really nice campground, great restrooms. I will STRONGLY recommend "The House" restaurant in town. Charcoal grilled hamburgers. Used the campground for a day trip into Petrified Forest, including a stop at a private petrified wood quarry where we dug up some petrified wood, and bought a huge piece of petrified wood for our front yard (~200lbs).



Second stop was at Duck Creek campground in southern Utah. Nice campground. A little big, but there's at least some amount of space between campsites.







Last stop was near Topaz Mountain, Thomas Range Utah where we went to a private claim and worked with the owners to dig for Red Beryl (more than 1000x rare than diamonds, but not much market as a lot of red beryl is not gem quality), Topaz, Bixbyite (sometimes all together). We dug up more topaz that we knew what to do with (a lot was very cloudy, but some was beautifully clear. At a second mine location, we dug up more topaz but this time it was pink topaz with Bixbyite, (the topaz found at this mine is clear/light amber until long term exposure to sun during which it turns pink). I'm still working on cleaning this topaz before setting it out for long-term sunlight









Herb
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Old 09-29-2019, 09:47 PM   #2
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Wow! Be sure and post pics when you have those gems where you want them. Exciting!
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Old 09-30-2019, 05:29 AM   #3
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Beautiful landscape photos Herb---looks to be gorgeous country.
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Old 09-30-2019, 04:00 PM   #4
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Great trip loved the campsite info and pics
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Old 09-30-2019, 11:19 PM   #5
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Red Beryl

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Originally Posted by BroncoHauler View Post

Last stop was near Topaz Mountain, Thomas Range Utah where we went to a private claim and worked with the owners to dig for Red Beryl (more than 1000x rare than diamonds, but not much market as a lot of red beryl is not gem quality), Topaz, Bixbyite (sometimes all together). We dug up more topaz that we knew what to do with (a lot was very cloudy, but some was beautifully clear. At a second mine location, we dug up more topaz but this time it was pink topaz with Bixbyite, (the topaz found at this mine is clear/light amber until long term exposure to sun during which it turns pink). I'm still working on cleaning this topaz before setting it out for long-term sunlight
Herb,

My Geologist wife would really like to dig for Red Beryl. Is this a private claim where you pay to dig, or is this something you were able to do because you know the owners? Any information you can pass on that might gain us access would be appreciated!

TIA,

Fitz
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Old 10-01-2019, 09:25 AM   #6
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Herb,

My Geologist wife would really like to dig for Red Beryl. Is this a private claim where you pay to dig, or is this something you were able to do because you know the owners? Any information you can pass on that might gain us access would be appreciated!

TIA,

Fitz
Fitz, it's a fee dig site, so just contact Jeremy at Gem Tours, a two person mining operation. Both he and his business partner John are outstanding and they really did the hard-rock work while my son and I did the rest. They are also two of the three authors of a book on the Thomas Range.
Maybe plan your trip other than the heat of Summer like my son and I did. It was 100 degrees when we were out there, but my son's school vacation time dictated when we could go. We would both like to make a return visit.

https://gem.tours/

https://www.amazon.com/Field-Guide-A.../dp/0967492009


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Old 10-01-2019, 05:55 PM   #7
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Herb,

Thanks for the info, into the trip planning file this goes. We’re thinking next spring, tbd.

Tim
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