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D&J Rare Gems, Ltd.
P.O. Box 824
Salida, CO 81201
1.719.530.0628

raregems@amigo.net

North American Gemstones

North America is often overlooked as a source for gemstones being overshadowed by locations such as Sri Lanka, Brazil, Tanzana, and others where huge quantites of gem rough are mined and often cut. Still, many fine gems are found here and we have decided to dedicate a webpage specifically for gems from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The gems you find listed on this page are from one of these three countries. Some of them have been collected and cut by us while others may have been collected by us and cut elsewhere and others still were purchased from reliable sources that indicated they came from North America. We have been to many of the location where these gems were mined and will continue to travel to experience first hand the sources for North American gemstones. We share some of experiences and photos of our adventures on this page.

New North American Gems for September 2016  
   

4 Peaks Amethyst Mine, Arizona

This location east of Scottsdale, Arizona was known to the Spaniards and it is reported that gems from 4 Peaks are in the Spanish Crown Jewels. The mine is privately owned and is made accessible to the public twice a year. Information on these tours is available through Sami Jewelers in Fountain Hills, Arizona.

Access to the 4 Peaks Amethyst Mine during its twice annual open house is by helicopter, an exciting experience in itself. A foot trail takes hikers 3 to 4 hours to reach the mine from the nearest road access.

19344 Amethyst,
Md Dk Reddish Purple, 16.72 cts split ended keystone brilliant cut measuring 22.2x16.2x10.9 mm, v lt incl, from 4 Peaks, Arizona. A very fine gem of excellent clarity with only a single, very minor pit blemishing.
Priced at $35/carat or $585.20/gem

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18605 Amethyst,
Dk Reddish Purple, 9.48 cts cut corner triangle brilliant cut measuring 13.5x13.3x10.0 mm, eye clean, from 4 Peaks, Arizona. A rare, eye clean gem from this classic North American location. This gem displays the top “grape jelly” color for which this location is known.
Priced at $40/carat or $379.20/gem
18443 Amethyst,
Dk Intense Reddish Purple, 20.65 cts round 16 main brilliant cut measuring 17.8x13.1 mm, lt incl, from 4 Peaks, Arizona. This gem displays excellent color for this location. A light veil crosses the gem but does not affect the intense color that matches the best from any location in the world.
Priced at $25/carat or $516.25/gem
18683 Amethyst,
Md Dk Purple, 15.01 cts square brilliant cut measuring 14.7x14.6x11.5 mm, eye clean, from 4 Peaks, Arizona. Eye clean gems from this location are quite rare and this one in particular also displays the deep purple color with red flashes that makes them so popular.
Priced at $35/carat or $525.35/gem
18341 Amethyst,s
Md Dk Purple, 18.97 cts hexatacular cut measuring 21.0x17.3x12.8 mm, v lt incl, from 4 Peaks, Arizona. We had not cut a gem in the hexatacular pattern in quite awhile and decided to cut one in an amethyst. This gem pattern makes an excellent pendant.
Priced at $30/carat or $569.10/gem
17975 Amethyst,s
Md Dk Intense Reddish Purple, 15.83 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 15.8x13.9x11.6 mm, eye clean, from 4 Peaks, Arizona. A very fine amethyst of exceptional color from this classic North American location for amethyst. We acquired a large quantity of this material at this year's Tucson Show and will be offering exceptional cut gems from that lot for a long time to come.
Priced at $30/carat or $474.90/gem
18017 Amethyst,
Md Dk Intense Reddish Purple, 16.56 cts split sided brilliant cut measuring 17.7x15.3x11.8 mm, eye clean, from 4 Peaks, Arizona. The finest of the 4 Peaks amethyst we cut this month. This gem displays a strong purple hue with the characteristic reddish overtones.
Priced at $30/carat or $493.80/gem
18553 Amethyst,
Md Dk Purple, 24.82 cts oval brilliant cut measuring 22.8x16.9x12.9 mm, eye clean, from 4 Peaks, Arizona. A larger, eye clean 4 Peaks amethyst that displays some zoning common among gems from this location. We offered this gem previously and are now reducing the price to sell.
Priced at $20/carat or $496.40/gem

Little Gem Mine, Montana

The Little Gem Mine is a priviately owned gem mine located near Butte, Montana. The gem grade amethyst mined here is some of the finest in the world. Rough and cut gems are very limited in availability. Other gem rough from this location includes colorless quartz, citrine, and smoky quartz.

This specimen was named the "Sleeping Donna" as it resembled her during her overnight stay on the claim in 2013. The specimen consists of two parts that grew together but did not fuse. Gem grade amethyst deposited on top of the two crystals on the left.
An in situ amethyst crystal that grew in a cavity within the pegmatite.
Working the pockets in the main body of the pagmatite at the Little Gem Mine.

19342 Amethyst,
Dk Intense Reddish Purple, 12.84 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 15.7x12.4x10.3 mm, v lt incl, from the Little Gem Mine, Montana. We consider this gem as displaying some of the finest color to be found in an amethyst from any location. We featured this gem on our new business card that was just returned from the printer.
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19388 Amethyst,
Md Dk Intense Reddish Purple, 9.58 cts round 16 main brilliant cut measuring 14.2x8.6 mm, eye clean, from the Little Gem Mine, Montana. This gem is one of the finest John has cut from this location. The color is an intense purple with strong red flashes. The perfect gem for a collection of amethysts from various locations.
Priced at $40/carat or $383.20/gem
19385 Amethyst,
Md Purple, 3.86 cts fancy emerald brilliant cut measuring 11.5x7.7x6.6 mm, eye clean, from the Little Gem Mine, Montana. We have been fortunate to have been associated with this private mining claim in Montana that produces some of the finest amethyst in the world. This gem is of medium color tone with a unique cut by John.
Priced at $100.00/gem
19387 Amethyst,
Md Pinkish Purple, 3.29 cts fancy triangle brilliant cut measuring 13.7x11.5x6.2 mm, eye clean, from the Little Gem Mine, Montana. This gem is aceted in a unique pattern by John. It was cut to recover the most from the rough and required an original cut to do so.
Priced at $100.00/gem
   
18840 Amethyst,
Md Dk Purplish Pink, 13.28 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 15.6x12.9x10.2 mm, eye clean, from the Little Gem Mine, Montana. We have been most fortunate to be guests of the owner of the Little Gem the past few years and have found quite a few specimens, although cutting rough is rare. This is the finest amethyst from this location that we have offered for sale although we do have two very fine gems in Donna’s collection.
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Several Smoky Quartz Gems from the Little Gem are listed below in our "Smoky Quartz" section  

Crystal Park, Montana

Crystal Park is located in southwestern Montana, northwest of Dillon. It is a joint venture between the National Forest and local rockhound authorities to permit digging for crystals at this location that has been known for years. Crystal Park is best known for the abundance of clear, colorless quartz crystals found there as well as smoky quartz and prized amethyst. These often occur as scepter crystals. Crystal Park is open to the public and only costs $5/day per vehicle. The digging season is from late May until September when the first snows make it difficult to dig. All digging equipment must be provided by the visitor as this is a very primitive site. Rest rooms are located on the site. Elkhorn Hot Springs and the Grasshopper Inn along with several campgrounds are located nearby for your lodging requirements.

John holding a fine, colorless, clear quartz crystal from Crystal Park.
The entrance to Crystal Park is well marked. Arrive early on weekends as the parking lot fill up quickly.
Jackson Crossroads, Georgia Amethyst Jackson Crossroads produces some excellent crystal specimens as well as excellent quality rough for cutting fine amethysts. The location is owned and controlled by mineral dealers and thus the quality of the material is superior to other areas. We have an extremely limited amount of rough to cut gems from this area.
18924 Amethyst,
Md Dk Intense Pinkish Purple, 11.89 cts split sided square brilliant cut measuring 14.3x14.2x10.7 mm, lt incl, from Jackson Crossroads, Georgia. This gem displays top color for this location or for that matter for amethyst from any location. This is a rare opportunity to acquire one of these gems from this well known North American location.
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Maine Amethyst Maine produces amethyst from several locations. Deer Hill is most notable as a huge pocket of amethyst was uncovered there during the 1990's. This location is now closed to mining but quite a bit of rough is still available.
17243 Amethyst,s
Md Dk Purple, 15.41 cts Portuguese round brilliant cut measuring 15.9x12.3 mm, v lt incl, from Deer Hill, Maine. We acquired a small parcel of rough from this location during the mid-1990’s at the time a large pocket of amethyst was uncovered. The location has since been closed to mining to allow it to recover from the digging that occurred after the pocket discovery.
Priced at $20/carat or $308.20/gem
Mexican Amethyst Mexico produces amethyst from two principle locations, Vera Cruz and the state of Guerrero. The Vera Cruz amethyst is generally pale but intense in color while the gems cut from the Guerrero location can be some of the finest found from any location in the world. Unfortunately the current drug wars in Mexico have curtailed mining in the state of Guerrero.
19395 Amethyst,
Md Dk Purple, Md Dk Purple, 10.00 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 15.9x10.5x9.2 mm, v lt incl, from Guerrero, Mexico. This gem was cut from rough from this famous location for unusual amethyst specimens. Current production of either gem rough or mineral specimens is suspended as it is located in an area of very high drug cartel activity.
Priced at $30/carat or $300.00/gem
18879 Amethyst,
Md Lt Silverish Purple, 7.13 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 14.7x8.9x8.1 mm, v lt incl, from Vera Cruz, Mexico. This gem is most noted for the location from which the rough was mined. Vera Cruz is known for its lighter color amethysts that often contain multiple fluid inclusions. The color is a fine medium light purple with a silver overtone.
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Nevada Amethyst

Peterson Mountain, also known as Hallelujah Junction, north of Reno, Nevada is known for producing some fine amethyst as well as other quartz gems. We visited Petersen Mountain in May of 2012 and again in May of 2014. Most of the mountain is claimed and permission should be obtained before entering the collecting areas.

A large elestial amethyst and smoky quartz crystal mined by John in 2012.
A large piece of facet grade amethyst rough found at Peterson Mountain in 2014.
18517 Amethyst,s
Md Intense Pinkish Purple, 22.15 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 19.3x14.1x12.5 mm, v lt incl, from Petersen Mountain, Nevada. We pictured the rough from which this gem is cut on our June 2014 website. Although the tone is only a medium color it is intense with strong pinkish overtones and represents an exceptional gem from this location.
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18645 Amethyst,
Lt Pinkish Purple, 18.34 cts compass brilliant cut measuring 16.5x16.4x12.4 mm, eye clean, from Petersen Mountain, Nevada. A "Rose de France" amethyst from this classic, North American locality. A well cut gem in a compass brilliant which is an original design by John.
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Citrine and smoky quartz gems from Peterson Mountain are found further down the page.  

Mt Antero, Colorado

Mt Antero was first discovered as a gem location in the 1880's. It is known for producing gem grade aquamarine, beryl, phenacite, fluorite and quartz gems. Recently is has been made famous by the TV show "The Prospectors". Most of the mountain is now claimed and permission must be obtained to collect on the may claims that now dot the mountain. This photo was taken in 1984 while the bronze sign indicating its designation as a "Mineral Park" open to collecting was still in place. The sign was removed by vandals in the ensuing years and it is no longer open to collecting as it was at the time of the designation.

In September of 1991, John with Horace O'Donnell opened a substantial pocket of colorless bery known as goshenite as well as some pale yellowish green beryls. A 13 carat flawless gem that John found and faceted now resides with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. The rough this gem was cut from was found by Horace's knee a few minutes after this photo was taken.
18870 Aquamarine,
V Lt Blue, 1.25 cgts emerald cut measuring 8.6x5.3x3.5 mm, lt incl, from Mt Antero, Colorado. An inexpensive gem from this location that is featured on “The Prospectors”.
Priced at $40/carat or $50.00/gem
18911 Aquamarine,
Lt Greenish Blue, 0.91 cts emerald cut measuring 8.4x4.1x3.2 mm, v lt incl, from Mt Antero, Colorado. An attractive small gem from this classic North American locality for aquamarine.
Priced at $70/carat or $63.70/gem
19389 Goshenite,
Colorless, 5.45 cts square emerald brilliant cut measuring 10.6x10.5x7.9 mm, v lt incl, from the California Mine, Mt Antero, Colorado. This gem was cut from rough mined during September 1991. This gem is cut in the perfect pattern to display its fine brilliance. Priced at $60/carat or $327.00/gem
18842 Goshenite,
Colorless, 4.45 cts square emerald brilliant cut measuring 9.6x9.6x7.5 mm, v lt incl, from Mt Antero, Colorado. This gem was cut from rough John mined during September of 1991. The find was quite significant and produced the finest goshenites ever found at this classic North American location. Pictures of John mining this material can be seen on our webpage, www.djraregems.com/NorthAmericanGems.html.
Priced at $50/carat or $222.50/gem
Mt Antero has an elevation of 14,269 feet with the collecting area between 12,500 and 14,000 feet making it the highest gem location in the US and one of the highest in the world. Collecting and mining takes place between June and September when snow melt is sufficient to allow access. This picture is of John in 1984 sitting at approximately 13,900 feet in elevation.

Grand Junction, Colorado Barite

One of our favorite locations for collecting gems is the Book Cliffs located northwest of Grand Junction, Colorado. This location is different from many we visit as the barite crystals are found in a low temperature sedimentary environment. This location has been known and has produced for many years and evidence of heavy collecting can be seen over a wide area. Gem grade, colorless barite and calcite are found in concretions that are weathering out of the Mancos shale. Although one hopes to find an undisturbed nodule, occasionally fine crystals will be found on the surface where they have either weathered out or were missed by a previous miner. This area is free to collect but as in all areas on public land there are claims that one should respect unless they have permission to trespass and collect.

This is one of John's favorite pictures of Apache and him collecting at Book Cliffs.

Early season collecting is a must as the area becomes unbearably hot during the Summer months and also brings out the scorpions and rattle snakes. Here Donna, John, and Apache explore an exposed nodule for barite and calcite in the cooler weather of March.

Harding Pegmatite, Dixon, New Mexico

The harding pegmatite is a world famous location for the variety of minerals that have been found there. It is currently owned by the University of New Mexico and permission must be obtained before one can visit. Once there you are limited to five pound of material per day. Faceted gems from the Harding pegmatite are few and difficult to find. Cabochon grade lepidolite is very common and quite attractive when cut. Near the pegmatite is an exposed lense of facet grade calcite that can be faceted.

Pictured is some of the gem grade calcite that can be found at the Harding pegmatite. There are limits to the amount that can now be collected. Check with the caretaker who will meet you in Dixon as to current quantities.

Peterson Mountain Nevada

18688 Citrine,
Lt Golden Yellow, 9.18 cts square brilliant cut measuring 12.4x12.3x9.7 mm, v lt incl, from Petersen Mountain, Nevada. A light golden, natural citrine from this location also known as Hallelujah Junction.
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18973 Citrine,
Md Lt Golden Yellow, 46.46 cts double hexagon brilliant cut measuring 22.9x22.7x17.6 mm, eye clean, from Peterson Mountain, Nevada. This gem was cut from rough that was mined during the 2015 mining season in May of this year. It is one exceptional, natural, unheated gem with an original facet pattern by John.
Priced at $25/carat or $1,161.50/gem
19101 Citrine,
Lt Golden Yellow, 6.24 cts cut corner triangle brilliant measuring 12.1x12.1x8.7 mm, v lt incl, from Mesa Grande, Arizona. The rough from which this gem was cut came from a collection that a dealer friend had acquired. Details as to its origin indicated that it was mined in this suburb of Phoenix in either 1950 or 1951 when it was being developed. Obviously this location is no longer accessible for minerals or gems and represents an extinct location for a collector.
Priced at $20/carat or $124.80/gem
18998 Fluorite,
Md Lt Green, 50.71 cts split sided triangle brilliant cut measuring 24.0x24.0x17.0 mm, eye clean, from Westmoreland, New Hampshire. This location is well known for producing fine green fluorites. This is a larger gem for the location and was cut by a talented, American cutter.
Priced at $20/carat or $1,014.20/gem
19335 Hessonite Garnet,
Md Orange, 2.89 cts checkerboard oval cut measuring 9.7x7.7x6.8 mm, v l incl, from the Jeffrey's Mine, Quebec, Canada. This gem is cut from crystaline rough that does not display the roiling effect found in Sri Lankan gems. It is bright and well cut with only two minimal inclusions.
Priced at $100/carat or $289.00/gem
18996 Hessonite Garnet,
Md Yellowish Orange, 2.49 cts trilliant cut measuring 8.0x8.0x6.0 mm, lt incl, from Quebec, Canada. A rare Canadian hessonite garnet of very fine cutting. Faceted hessonites from this location are rare as most of the material suitable for cutting is also fine mineral specimens that should not be cut.
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Moonstone from Mexico
18827 Moonstone,
V Lt Yellow w/ Blue, 1.07 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 7.1x5.7x4.1 mm, v lt incl, from Mexico. A fine, Mexican moonstone with an attractive blue moon sheen. We recently made a new contact in Mexico and are hoping it leads to more gems being avilable from that country.
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Juniper Ridge, Oregon Opal

We had the good fortune of visiting and mining at the Juniper Ridge Opal location several years ago. Here the opal occurs as fillings in cracks and cravasses of olden intrusive igneous rocks. The fee at the time was $200 for a one gallon bucket. Since this time the mine has been sold and the public is no longer allowed to visit this location even on a fee basis.

A rough opal nodule from Juniper Ridge. The opal was very unstable and much of the material that appeared transparent and cuttable cracked and became cloudy over time.
18859 Opal,
Md Orange, 46.76 cts round flower brilliant cut measuring 24.3x19.5 mm, v lt incl, from Juniper Ridge, Oregon. This gem was cut from rough mined many years ago and was given an opportunity to cure. It has a veil along the edge that appears to be a swirl. This location is no longer accessible to collectors.
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19111 Opal,
Md Orangish Yellow, 7.52 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 13.2x11.9x9.2 mm, v lt incl, from Juniper Ridge, Oregon. A faceted, transparent opal from this location that is now private and no longer accessible for collecting. This rough was mined seven years ago and has had time to stabilize.
Priced at $50/carat or $376.00/gem

Peridot Mesa, Apache Indian Reservation, Arizona

Peridot Mesa on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation east of Globe, Arizona produced most of the world's peridot until the discovery of deposits in Pakistan during the 1990's. The location has been opened up to visitors who pay a $10/day per vehicle fee to the San Carlos Apache Tribe and an additional $35/person per day fee to the mine owner who must accompany you while on the mesa.

Steve Joey can be contacted through www.peridotdreams.com to arrange visits to his mine.
A fine specimen of basalt with a peridot xenocryst. The large piece of peridot rough in this photo weighed over 61 carats and was found by Steve Joey in November of 2014
Peridot occurs as nodules or "bombs" embedded in the basalt that caps the mesa.
18682 Peridot,
Md Dk Yellowish Green, 9.52 cts cut corner triangle brilliant cut measuring 12.5x12.2x8.6 mm, v lt incl, from Arizona. We cut this gem from rough we acquired prior to our visit to the famous peridot deposits on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation. It is of darker color and larger size than is commonly found at this location.
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19118 Peridot,
Md Intense Yellowish Green, 4.56 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 10.5x8.3x6.6 mm, eye clean, from Arizona. This gem was cut from rough we have had for many years. The color is quite exceptional along with the clarity. We do not see many of this caliber coming from Arizona.
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19112 Peridot,
Md Dk Yellowish Green, 4.55 cts oval brilliant cut measuring 11.5x9.2x6.6 mm, v lt incl, from Arizona. A very fine oval brilliant cut peridot with a very minor, difficult to see inclusion. The color of this gem is strong green and less yellow than most Arizona peridot.
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19089 Peridot,
Md Dk Yellowish Green, 2.95 cts cut corner triangle brilliant cut measuring 9.1x9.0x5.9 mm, v lt incl, from Arizona. This gem was cut from rough mined at Peridot Mesa on the San Carlos Apache reservation. The cut is exceptional and the color typical for Arizona peridot. The very light inclusions are typical "lily pads" found in peridot from this location.
Priced at $50/carat or $147.50/gem
18726 Peridot,
Md Dk Yellowish Green, 3.59 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 11.0x6.2x5.8 mm, v lt incl, from Arizona. A very fine gem from this North American location. This gem displays a very strong, yellow overtone.
Priced at $40/carat or $143.60/gem
18719 Peridot,
Md Dk Yellowish Green, 2.55 cts split sided emerald brilliant cut measuring 8.9x6.9x5.3 mm, v lt incl, from Arizona. We will be offering more of these gems from the world class peridot deposit located on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation as we have acquired quite a bit of rough during our two visits there. This well cut gem displays classic, strong yellowish green color for which the deposit is known.
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18918 Peridot,
Md Dk Yellowish Green, 4.91 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 10.8x8.1x6.9 mm, v lt incl, from Arizona. A deep, yellowish green gem with fine cutting and very light inclusions that are typical of Arizona peridots.
Priced at $80/carat or $392.80/gem

Peridot Mesa, Colorado

Peridot Mesa, Colorado straddles the Fremont and Park County lines just east of Chaffee County. This photo was take from an airplane in 2002. The location produced gem grade peridot in small size as xenocrysts in basalt. Other gem material found at this location includes quartz, amethyst, and enstatite as well as a few unknown transparent mineral that have yet to be identified.

A days collecting efforts by several individuals. The largest piece is in the hand on the left and weighed just over 5 carats. The largest confirmed gem cut from this location weighs 2.87 carats although a recent report indicates a gem of 4.8 carats was found and cut this past season.
Apache taking a break from herding the collectors who can be seen in the background.

Kilbourne Hole, New Mexico Peridot

Kilbourne Hole is a volcanic marr that is located southwest of Las Cruces, New Mexico just a few miles north of the Mexican border. A volcanic marr occurs when magmatic fluids rising towards the surface of the earth come in contact with ground water with explosive results. In this case the rising magma contain numberous olivine nodules that when the explosion occurred were strewn about around the crater that was formed. Over the years collectors have removed these "bombs" in some areas to the point where they are no longer common. Other, more remote areas can still be searched with success.

Rockhounds are a strange group! I am in this picture and I still cannot figure out what was going on.
Holding a peridot "bomb" at Kilbourne Hole. Most of the nodules contain tiny grains of olivine or peridot. Probably fewer than 1 in 500 contain grains large enough to facet. These nodules are very similar to the knots of peridot found at the San Carlos Apache Indian Peridot Meas except there they are frozen in the basalt.
Nyika (1994 to 2009) holding down the dust at Kilbourne Hole.

Calumet Iron Mine, Colorado

The Calumet Iron Mine is located approximately 15 miles from Salida, Colorado. It produced iron ore for the steel mills in Pueblo, Colorado. This mine also is known for producing fine specimens of epidote and uralite. Gem grade crystals and fragments of clear quartz containing inclusions of actinolite and epidote can still be found at the mine. The mine is located on private property and permission to collect can be obtained through the Everett Cattle Company in Chaffee County, Colorado.

 

John and Shadow at the Calumet Irong Mine in 1989

The view from the Calumet Iron Mine is quite spectacular. This picture taken from the mine is of Mt Antero, located across the Upper Arkansas River Valley from the mine.
18556 Actinolated Quartz,
Colorless, 10.43 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 15.6x10.8x9.3 mm, moderate inclusions, from the Calumet Iron Mine, Colorado. A colorless quartz gem with inclusions of green actinolite needles. This location is known for its mineral collecting and occasionally a quartz fragment is found that contains actinolite needles as in this gem.
Priced at $15/carat or $156.45/gem
18978 Quartz w/ Actinolite,
Colorless w/ White and Green, 7.81 cts cut corner triangle cut measuring 12.9x12.8x9.2 mm, v lt incl, from the Calumet Iron Mine. Colorado. This is a well known location for skarn minerals in Colorado. Within the mineralization zone there occurs pockets of fine quartz crystals, many of which contain needles of actinolite. This gem was cut from a recent pocket discovery of a number of crystal fragments containing the needle inclusions.
Priced at $20/carat or $156.20/gem
19001 Quartz w/ Actinolite,
Colorless w/ White and Green, 12.52 cts split sided emerald brilliant cut measuring 17.2x12.1x10.2 mm, lt incl, from the Calumet Iron Mine, Colorado. Another inclusion gem from this classic Colorado mineral location. This gem contains quite a few needle inclusions as well as some minor epidote.
Priced at $20/carat or $250.40/gem
   
Quartz Gems from Other North American Locations  
18839 Quartz,
Colorless, 16.92 cts square emerald brilliant cut measuring 15.4x15.4x11.9 mm, eye clean, from Corral Canyon, Utah. We heard of this location from one of the rockhound books on locations in Utah and decided to take a trip there at the end of March. The site is quite scenic but collecting is difficult and not very productive. We did manage to locate a few pieces of clear quartz that are cuttable and a few small pieces of smoky quartz to cut as well. Overall it was a very enjoyable trip even if it did not produce a lot of cutting rough for John.
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19065 Quartz,
Colorless, 12.13 cts kite brilliant cut measuring 17.7x16.0x10.3 mm, eye clean, from the Little Gem Mine, Montana. Colorless quartz gives the gem cutter the opportunity to be creative with their facet designs and this gem is no exception. John designed this cut to fit the piece of rough that was mined at this well known quartz location. An original cut with spectacular, brilliant results.
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19366 Quartz,
Colorless, 11.50 cts pentagon brilliant cut measuring 15.5x15.4x10.7 mm, eye clean, from the Little Gem Mine, Montana. The Little Gem Mine produces rough quartz in colorless, brown, yellow, and amethyst purple colors. The colorless piece of rough that this gem was cut from provides John the opportunity to do a unique and very attractive cut.
Priced at $12/carat or $138.00/gem

North American Sapphires

Gem grade sapphires have been mined at several locations in North America. The sapphires mined at Yogo Gulch, Montana are considered some of the finest in the world. Additional sapphires are mined at a number of locations in southwest Montana. In addition to Montana, sapphires, along with rubies, have also been mined in North Carolina in the vicinity of Franklin located in the western part of the state.

 
John sorting through washed gravel at the Gibson Ruby Mine near Franklin, North Carolina in 1982. John found a very fine native ruby that when cut weighed 2.10 carat as a cabochon.

Montana Sapphires

Sapphires are found in Montana in many locations. It is reported that almost all the streams and rivers in the western part of the state contain some rough. The Missouri River northeast of Helena has historically had several operating sapphires mines such as the El Dorado bar and Spokane bar. Further west, Rock Creek has produce quite a few sapphires over the years. Currently the Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine operates seasonally and allows visitor to wash gravel for their own sapphires for a fee.

 

Gem Mountain Sapphires

Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine is located in the western part of Montana approximately 28 miles from the historic town of Philipsburg. It is open from mid May until mid September. Visitors can purchase buckets of gems gravel that has been sorted to remover larger rocks but not sapphires. Workers at the mine will give instructions to new comers. We have visited the Gem Mountain Mine every year since 2007. Are last visited we averaged 25 carats of sapphires per bucket. Most sapphires are small but occasionally a large fine one is found. In 2013 a visitor found a 23 carat sapphire that sold for $20,000!

John and Donna searching for sapphires at Gem Mountain in the pouring rain in June of 2007.
A small pink sapphire in the gravel as it was found. Another sapphire can be seen in the gravel to the right and behind the tweezers.
Most of the sapphires found at Gem Mountain are pastel color and rounded in shape. Heating these gems can produce spectacular results. The heating and cutting of the sapphires you find is offered at the mine.
   
   
Smoky Quartz Gems from various North American locations  

Smoky Quartz from Topaz Mountain, Colorado

18014 Smoky Quartz,c
Md Dk Yellowish Brown, 31.94 cts split sided brilliant cut measuring 21.9x16.7x14.0 mm, eye clean, from Colorado. The rough that this gem was cut from was mined on the topaz claim that is featured in the Prospectors TV show that can be seen on the Weather Channel Tuesday nights through May 15th. The gem is beautifully cut with a slight taper in color from one end to the other.
Sold

Smoky Quartz from Mt Antero, Colorado

18153 Smoky Quartz,c
Md Dk Yellowish Brown, 31.74 cts double hexagon brilliant cut measuring 19.8x19.6x16.3 mm, v lt incl, from Mt Antero, Colorado. We cut this gem from rough collected during the 1990's. The cut has proved to be one of our most popular custom patterns. This location has been made famous by the recent Weather Channel show, The Prospectors.
Sold

Smoky Quartz from the Little Gem Mine, Montana

17799 Smoky Quartz, Bi-tonal,s
Dk Orangish Brown/Md Brown, 11.14 cts emerald cut measuring 16.9x11.0x8.5 mm, eye clean, from the Homestake Pass, Montana. When we preformed this rough this gem was cut from it displayed two distinct brownish tones which we decided to capture with an emerald cut. The gem location in Montana is producing some very fine gem rough.
Sold

19386 Smoky Quartz,
Md Dk Yellowish Brown, 19.78 cts cut corner triangle brilliant cut measuring 22.7x22.7x17.7 mm, eye clean, from the Little Gem Mine, Montana. A very attactive gem for this common quartz variety from the famous Little Gem Mine. This gem would make an excellent pendant. Priced at $15/carat or $296.70/gem
18519 Smoky Quartz,
Md Dk Yellowish Brown, 31.28 cts cut corner triangle brilliant cut measuring 17.5x17.3x13.3 mm, eye clean, from the Little Gem Mine, Montana. This gem would make a very attractive pendant center stone with its bright yellowish brown color and excellent cut. This location produces very little gem grade rough.
Sold

Smoky Quartz from Peterson Mountain, Nevada

18491 Smoky Quartz,
Dk Orangish Brown, 12.10 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 14.6x12.5x10.5 mm, eye clean, from Peterson Mountain, Nevada. This gem is of a darker tone and has more of a coffee color appearance. A very attractive gem with a strong orangish overtone.
Priced at $15/carat or $181.50/gem

18922 Smoky Quartz,
Md Yellowish Brown, 19.19 cts oval brilliant cut measuring 20.9x15.6x11.5 mm, eye clean, from Peterson Mountain, Nevada. A gem cut from rough we found during our visit to this location in May of this year. A beautiful, champagne quartz with fine brilliance and a most attractive color tone.
Priced at $18/carat or $345.42/gem
18492 Smoky Quartz,
Md Yellowish Brown, 7.71 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 13.0x10.3x9.0 mm, eye clean, from Peterson Mountain, Nevada. A very attrative gem that could best be described as "champagne" quartz (don't give the gem shopping channels any ideas!). A very reasonably priced gem from this classic North American gem location.
Sold
18738 Smoky Quartz,
Md Dk Brown, 20.41 cts hexatacular cut measuring 21.8x17.4x13.7 mm, eye clean, from Peterson Mountain, Nevada. This location is also known as Hallelujah Junction as it is the closest landmark to the border straddling the mountains north of Reno, Nevada. This is another of John’s original facet designs.
Priced at $18/carat or $367.38/gem
18615 Smoky Quartz,
Md Yellowish Brown, 9.66 cts cut corner chevroned brilliant cut measuring 13.7x13.7x10.0 mm, eye clean, from Peterson Mt, Nevada. A champagne quartz of exceptional brilliant from this classic location for quartz specimens and gems located just north of Reno, Nevada.
Sold

Smoky Quartz from Devil's Head, Colorado

18737 Smoky Quartz,
Md Dk Brown, 24.25 cts split end keystone brilliant cut measuring 22.5x18.2x11.8 mm, eye clean, from Devil’s Head, Colorado. This location is a well known collecting area in Colorado for smoky quartz, amazonite, and topaz. The cut is a unique design by John that would make an attractive pendant gem.
Sold

   
   

The Little 3 Mine, Ramona, California

The Little 3 Mine near Ramona has historically produced some of the finest spessartite garnets from anywhere. These rich orange garnets resemble similar garnets from Nigeria and Namibia. The mine is now closed and will no longer be producing. A number of years ago we were approached by an individual who had 4 ray star garnet which he claimed came from this mine. We have not been able to verify this claim.

 
18780 Spessartite Garnet,
Md Intense Orange, 5.21 cts round brilliant cut measuring 9.8x6.5 mm, v lt incl, from the Little 3 Mine, California. This is a very exceptional spessartite garnet from this well known California location that is now closed. Color wise they do not come better and the size is very large for a gem of very light inclusions from this location.
Priced at $800/carat or $4,168.00/gem

Southern California Gemstone

17615 Spessartite Garnet,s
Md Intense Orange, 2.71 cts split sided emerald brilliant cut measuring 9.7x6.1x 4.8 mm, v lt incl, from the Little 3 Mine, California. This gem was cut from rough obtain from an old collection. Gems of this size from this location are rare and command a premium price.
Sale Pending

18213 Spessartite Garnet,
Md Lt Orange, 1.24 cts oval cut measuring 7.3x5.4x3.5 mm, v lt incl, from the Little 3 Mine, California. We offered a few spessartites from this location that were eye clean and that sold very quickly. This gem displays only very light inclusions and is bargain priced for a location that is no longer producing.
Priced at $100/carat or $124.00/gem
18261 Spessartite Garnet,
Md Intense Orange, 1.89 cts cushion cut measuring 7.6x6.3x4.6 mm, lt incl, from The Little 3 Mine, California. A well cut and bright gem from this classic American location for spessartites. During our recent visit to California we heard that there will be no more production from this mine.
Priced at $80/carat or $151.20/gem

Sunstone, Plush, Oregon

The sunstone area of Oregon is located in the south central part of the state approximately 65 northeast of Lakeview, Oregon and 25 miles north of Plush, Oregon. The deposit covers an area of many square miles and probably is the largest gem deposit in North America. Sunstone is a variety of the mineral labradorite. The presence of copper in the labradorite imparts colors of orange, red and green and rarely blue and then can be called sunstone. Sunstone is found as xenocrysts in an ancient basalt flow that covered the surrounding area. Much of this area is privately claimed although the state of Oregon has put aside two square miles of public area that is accessible to the casual collector without charge. We have visited this area on numberous occasions and have found gem grade labradorite and sunstone during these visits.

The Dust Devil Sunstone Mine in Oregon. This is a private mine where fee digging is permitted.

The Dust Devil Sunstone Mine is open from May until late October, weather permitting. It is a commercial mine so one must be aware of operations at all times while on the mine. Here John is working a productive area he found in September of 2014 with Apache guarding in the background.
This piece of sunstone rough was found at the Dust Devil in September of 2014. It weighs 66 carats.

Sunstones from the Dust Devil Mine

18687 Sunstone,
Md Intense Reddish Orange, 11.03 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 15.0x11.99.6 mm, eye clean, from Oregon. This is the finest sunstone John has ever cut. It is over 10 carats in size and is eye clean without the schiller so commonly found in these gems. A stunning gem of incredible beauty with the color of a Burmese spinel that would sell for ten times this price.
Priced at $500/carat or $5,515.00/gem

18882 Sunstone,
Md Dk Intense Orange, 5.61 cts split sided brilliant cut measuring 13.4x9.0x7.5 mm, v lt incl, from Oregon. A very exceptional gem with an intensity of color that must be seen to be believed. It contains just enough schiller to confirm its natural occurrence.
Priced at $500/carat or $2,805.00/gem
18575 Sunstone,
Md Intense Reddish Orange, 5.46 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 13.4x8.2x7.1 mm, v lt incl, from Oregon. An exceptional gem that was cut from rough we mined during our recent trip to the Dust Devil Mine near Plush, Oregon. This gem contains a very light amount of natural schiller which is an indication both of the location it was found and its natural origin.
Priced at $300/carat or $1,638.00/gem
18620 Sunstone,
Md Dk Intense Orangish Red, 5.85 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 12.5x8.9x7.7 mm, v lt incl, from Oregon. An exceptional intense orangish red sunstone with a very light amount of schiller to authenticate its natural origin.
Priced at $300/carat or $1,755.00/gem
18847 Sunstone,
Md Intense Pinkish Orange, 5.06 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 12.9x7.9x7.0 mm, eye clean, from Oregon. An exceptional sunstone in both clarity and color. A gem this free from schiller is quite rare and worthy of the finest jewelry.
Priced at $400/carat or $2,024.00/gem
18850 Sunstone,
Md Pinkish Orange, 4.68 cts split ended keystone brilliant cut measuring 17.3x8.1x6.3 mm, v lt incl, from Oregon. John developed this cut for long and narrow pieces of rough and it would make a stunning pendant. This gem contains a very minor amount of natural schiller.
Sold
19373 Sunstone,
Md Pinkish Orange, 3.05 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 9.8x7.2x6.5 mm, lt schiller inclusions, from Oregon. The schiller in these gem is composed of fine copper platelets and is an indication of the natural origin of these gems. A fine gem of excellent color and priced to sell.
Priced at $100/carat or $305.00/gem
18606 Sunstone,
Md Orange, 3.53 cts square brilliant cut measuring 9.2x9.0x6.9 mm, lt incl, from Oregon. A bright orange sunstone that displays light schiller for which these gems are known and authenticates their natural origin.
Priced at $125/carat or $441.25/gem
17452 Sunstone,s
Md Intense Orangish Red, 6.86 cts split sided triangle brilliant cut measuring 13.0x12.9x 8.7 mm, eye clean, from Oregon. A very fine sunstone with intense color and only the slightest presence of schiller.
Priced at $200/carat or $1,336.00/gem
18101 Sunstone,
Md Orange, 4.56 cts square emerald brilliant cut measuring 9.9x9.9x7.5, eye clean, from Oregon. The rough this gem was cut from was found while John was on the telephone with Donna to report his arrival at the sunstone area in May of this year. The gem is exceptional in cut and of a medium tone but free of any visible schiller.
Priced at $100/carat or $456.00/gem
17215 Sunstone,s
Md Orangish Red/Yellow/Green, 5.94 cts cut corner triangle brilliant cut measuring 11.4x11.4x8.5 mm, eye clean, from Oregon. A unique sunstone with a reddish orange center surrounded by yellow and with flashes of green.
Priced at $100/carat or $594.00/gem
17309 Sunstone,s
Md Reddish Orange, 7.73 cts split sided brilliant cut measuring 17.0x10.0x7.8 mm, lt incl, from Oregon. A bright orange sunstone with a single light inclusions that did not cut out.
Priced at $80/carat or $618.40/gem
18736 Sunstone,
Md Pinkish Orange, 3.06 cts square emerald brilliant cut measuring 8.5x8.4x6.5 mm, v lt incl, from Oregon. An attractive sunstone with very light inclusions to indicate its natural origin.
Priced at $150/carat or $459.00/gem
17108 Sunstone,s
Md Reddish Orange, 4.53 cts split sided triangle brilliant cut measuring 11.4x11.4x7.6 mm, v lt incl, from Oregon. A bright orange sunstone with red highlights and very light schiller.
Priced at $100/carat or $453.00/gem
18878 Sunstone,
Md Lt Orangish Pink/Yellow, 7.26 carats split sided brilliant cut measuring 17.4x8.4x7.8 mm, eye clean, from Oregon. This gem was cut from the last piece of rough John mined during his recent trip to the sunstone area of Oregon. It contained a small patch of reddish orange color that imparts a medium light orangish pink color to the gem.
Priced at $80/carat or $580.80/gem
16496 Sunstone,
Md Intense Orangish Red, 3.78 cts trilliant cut measuring 11.3x11.3x6.4 mm, v lt incl, from Oregon. An exceptional sunstone in both color and clarity. A single inclusion is visible in one corner.
Priced at $150/carat or $567.00/gem
15557 Sunstone,
Md Reddish Orange, 3.43 cts marquise cut measuring 17.5x7.4x5.3 mm, lt incl, from Oregon. A larger, marquise cut sunstone with fine color and a light amount of schiller inclusions.
Priced at $80/carat or $274.40/gem
16240 Sunstone,
Md Reddish Orange, 3.51 cts cut corner triangle cut measuring 10.4x10.4x6.3 mm, v lt incl, from Oregon. A bright orange sunstone in a cut that is well suited for a pendant setting.
Priced at $90/carat or $315.90/gem
18324 Sunstone,
Md Pinkish Orange, 2.35 cts oval cut measuring 10.6x7.6x5.3 mm, v lt incl, from Oregon. A well cut sunstone with just a very slight amount of schiller. Great color for the price.
Priced at $70/carat or $164.50/gem
Sunstones from other mines in the area  
17884 Sunstone, Bicolor,s
Dk Green/Md Orangish Red, 8.07 cts oval brilliant cut measuring 15.9x11.6 x8.6 mm, v lt incl, from Oregon. This is quite the exceptional sunstone with dark green dominating the gem with patches of orangish red on the sides. There is only a very slight amount of schiller in a thin band that authenticates its natural origin.
Priced at $300/carat or $2,421.00/gem
19392 Sunstone,
Md Dk Bluish Green, 6.16 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 12.9x8.7x8.0 mm, v lt schiller inclusions, from Oregon. This is an exceptional sunstone of very fine bluish green color with an occasional orange flash while the gem is being handled.
Priced at $300/carat or $1,848.00/gem
18016 Sunstone,s
Md Dk Orangish Brown/Green, 5.01 cts split sided emerald brilliant cut measuring 11.9x9.3x7.7 mm, eye clean, from Oregon. A bicolor sunstone with a bronze body color and green highlights.
Priced at $200/carat or $1,002.00/gem
18523 Sunstone, Dichroic,
Dk Green/Red, 3.82 cts square emerald brilliant cut measuring 8.9x8.9x7.4 mm, eye clean, from Oregon. A dark green sunstone that displays flashes of red due to the dichroism.
Priced at $300/carat or $1,140.00/gem

Colorado Topaz

Gem topaz is found at a number of locations in Colorado. Topaz Mountain, a private mining claim operated by Joe Dorris, has gain fame after appearing on "The Prospectors". We have been Joe's guest during several digs on the claim and have always experience success. Other locations such as Spruce Grove, Glen Cove, Crystal Park, Cameron Cone, as well as others have produced gem grade topaz over the years.

 

Topaz Mountain Gem Mine. Pinnacle Peak in the background.

Topaz Mountain, Colorado

Topaz Mountain produces gem grade topaz in colorless, blue and sherry colors although the sherry when exposed to light will fade to colorless. It also produces gem grade smoky quartz and clear quartz. A gem smoky quartz from this location is listed above in our section on "Smoky Quartz".

Rough topaz and smoky quartz from a day of hunting at Topaz Mountain.

Topaz from Colorado as seen on "The Prospectors

18328 Topaz,c
Md Pinkish Orange, 37.04 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 27.3x20.3x17.2 mm, eye clean, from Colorado. The rediscovery of the pocket from which the rough that this gem as cut was mined was featured in the last episode of the second season of "The Prospectors" on the Weather Channel. Unfortunately the color is light sensitive and should be kept out of direct sunlight if one wants to maintain its fine color. We obtained some of the rough in exchange for cutting several gems for one of the participants in the show. Topaz of similar color from Brazil that is not light sensitive commands $200 to $300/carat!
Priced at $60/carat or $2,222.40/gem

19056 Topaz,
Colorless, 11.22 cts cut corner triangle brilliant cut measuring 13.7x13,7x9.3 mm, eye clean, from Topaz Mountain, Colorado. The popularity of these gems have sky rocketed with the appearance of "The Prospectors" TV show on the weather channel. This gem was cut from rough mined at one of the locations featured in the show. The facet pattern is an original design by John.
Sold
18849 Topaz,
Lt Brownish Orange, 3.49 cts cut corner triangle brilliant measuring 9.1x9.1x6.1 mm, eye clean, from Colorado. This topaz is cut from rough that was mined and featured on “The Prospectors, Season 2”. It is well cut and sherry in color but will fade if placed in sunlight.
Sold

Mexican Topaz

18834 Topaz,
Md Orange, 7.76 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 12.2x9.4x7.7 mm, v lt incl, from Mexico. This gem has been cut from old rough from the state of Guerrero. We tested it in direct sunlight both before and after cutting and are confident that the color is stable and guarantee it as such. An excellent cut in a fine orange hue.
Priced at $80/carat or $620.80/gem

18164 Topaz,
Md Dk Orange, 1.55 cts oval cut measuring 8.0x6.2x4.3 mm, eye clean, from Mexico. A rich orange topaz of stable color. A lot of topaz with color will fade in sunlight where this gem will remain a deep rich orange in color.
Priced at $80/carat or $124.00/gem
18137 Topaz,
Md Dk Orange, 1.27 cts oval cut measuring 8.2x5.9x3.5 mm, v lt incl, from Mexico. We found a parcel of rough topaz from Mexico that we acquired in the late 1980's. We tested it to see if the color is stable and were pleased that we saw no fading when exposed to sunlight over a period of time. This is a fine orange topaz that rivals Brazilian imperial topaz in beauty.
Priced at $60/carat or $76.20/gem
18244 Topaz,
Md Dk Orange, 1.63 cts oval cut measuring 8.4x6.2x4.2 mm, eye clean, from Mexico. A color stable orange topaz that was cut from rough mined many years ago.
Priced at $80/carat or $130.40/gem
18278 Topaz,
Md Dk Brownish Orange, 0.81 cts pear cut measuring 7.8x4.9x3.1 mm, v lt incl, from Mexico. A color stable topaz that was cut from very old rough that is no longer being mined.
Priced at $50/carat or $40.50/gem

California Gem Mines

The area around the tiny community of Pala, California is known for its gem and mineral deposits. Gems such as kunzite and morganite were first identified there. Today most of the mines have closed, however, mines such as the Oceanview and Stewart are still open and producing.

A view of the Pala area from the Oceanview Mine.

The Oceanview Mine located a short distance northeast of Pala is currently operating and producing gem grade tourmaline, kunzite, quartz gems, and morganite. They are open for digging on certain days of the week for $60/person. Reservations must be made in advance. A tour of the operating mine is included with the fee.
Fee digging at the mine consists of sifting through a pile of ore that has been brought out from the mine. All equipment is provided with the fee. We search through the pile during two visits in 2012 and 2013 and found gem grade spodument (kunzite and triphane), quartz, and tourmaline and witnessed a fine morganite crystal found while we were there.
18610 Tourmaline, c
Md Intense Pink 7.74 cts split sided emerald brilliant cut measuring 16.7x9.7x7.1 mm, lt incl, from the Stewart Mine, Pala, California. A fine bubble gum pink tourmaline from this classic location that produces some of the finest pink tourmaline found any where in the world. This material rarely occurs clean and commands a much higher per carat price at the souce.
Sold
16853 Tourmaline,
Md Lt Pink, 1.84 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 9.5x5.1x4.7 mm, v lt incl, from Pala, California. This is one of our favorite gems that was cut at the cutting retreat. This gem displays excellent color in a well cut pattern for a California tourmaline.
Priced at $125/carat or $230.00/gem
18877 Tourmaline,
Md Lt Pink, 1.30 cts square brilliant cut measuring 6.1x6.1x4.5 mm, eye clean, from the Stewart Mine, California. A rare, eye clean tourmaline from this famous mine for producing gem grade tourmalines.
Sold
16629 Tourmaline, Bicolor,x
Md Lt Green/Pink, 2.12 cts emerald cut measuring 8.9x5.9x4.7 mm, lt incl, from California. A bicolor tourmaline from the gem mines of southern California.
Priced at $80/carat or $169.60/gem

The Himalaya Mine, California Tourmaline

The Himalaya Mine is world famous for its fabulous tourmaline specimens along with a host of additional minerals that are found there. The mine is currently active and still producing gem rough after many years of production.

 

17097 Tourmaline, Bicolor,x
Md Green/Pink, 2.25 cts emerald cut measuring 14.6x4.6x3.7 mm, eye clean, from the Himalaya Mine, California. A native American gemstone of exceptional bicolors and clarity. The color is split 50/50 between green and pink.
Sold

19377 Tourmaline,
Md Orangish Pink, 1.70 cts square emerald brilliant cut measuring 6.8x6.7x5.1 mm, v lt incl, from the Stewart Mine, California. Tourmalines of this clarity are rare from the Stewart Mine which is known for producing some of the finest pink tourmaline in the world. Priced at $150/carat or $255.00/gem
17114 Tourmaline,s
Md Pink, 2.39 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 12.9x5.0x4.4 mm, v lt incl, from the Himalaya Mine, California. A well cut gem from this classic North American gem location.
Priced at $90/carat or $215.10/gem
18786 Tourmaline,
Md Dk Pinkish Brown, 1.94 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 9.0x5.4x4.8 mm, eye clean, from the Himalaya Mine, California. A well cut tourmaline from this classic North American location for fine gems.
Priced at $100/carat or $194.00/gem

Maine Tourmaline

Maine tourmalines were first reported in 1811 and are some of the oldest known gemstone deposits in the country. Locations such as Newry, Mt Mica, and South Paris have produced gem rough sporatically for years. We visited the area in 2013 and conclude that additonal gems will be found for many years although rarely in any quantity.

 
19379 Tourmaline,
Md Gray Green/Orange, 3.04 cts emerald cut measuring 13.6x5.7x4.5 mm, eye clean, from Maine. This is a very unusual tourmaline in that the core of the crystal from which it was cut was orange while the skin was a grayish green. The combination when cut produces a gem that is grayish green from one angle and orange from another.
Priced at $150/carat or $456.00/gem

19393 Tourmaline, Bicolor,
Md Dk Red/Pinkish Orange, 2.49 cts emerald cut measuring 11.8x5.7x4.3 mm, lt incl, from Maine. This gem display two exceptional colors and we would love to acquire a large piece of clean rough displays just the ruby red color. Another unusual bicolor tourmaline for the collector.
Priced at $125/carat or $311.25/gem

18853 Tourmaline,
Md Dk Brownish Pink, 1.54 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 10.2x4.5x3.9 mm, eye celan, from Maine. The rough that this gem was cut from was given to us as a gift from a tourmalne miner in Maine. Maine tourmaline rough is difficult to come by and we have very little remaining from which to cut future gems.
Sold
18855 Tourmaline,
Dk Green, 2.30 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 8.1x6.5x5.3 mm, v lt incl, from Maine. A fine green tourmaline that was cut from rough that was a gift from the same miner as #18853. The color is very fine despite the dark tone.
Priced at $100/carat or $230.00/gem
18281 Tourmaline,s
Dk Bluish Green, 8.51 cts emerald cut measuring 13.9x10.1x7.5 mm, v lt incl, from Newry, Maine. We acquired this gem from a collection that included a label indicating this gem came from the famous discovery at Newry in 1972. We had to touch it up a bit to remove a small chip and it now represents a very fine tourmaline from Maine.
Priced at $150/carat or $1,276.50/gem

North American Rare Gems

North America produces a very large number of rare gems. Many of these are from small, obscure locations. Some are better known such as the benitoite from the San Benito Mountains of California or the extreme rarities of Mont Saint Hillare, Canada. We are always searching for these elusive gems either to purchase or collect.

 

 
18128 Analcime,
Colorless, 1.05 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 7.3x6.0x4.3 mm, hv incl, from Nova Scotia. We purchased a small parcel of analcime rough from Nova Scotia hoping to obtain at least a few small lightly included gems. So far we have been unsuccessful and have only been able to offer moderate to heavily included gems. This is one of the few we have that weigh over a carat.
Priced at $40/carat or $42.00/gem
18815 Apatite,
Md Yellow, 9.31 cts antique cushion cut measuring 13.7x11.2x7.8 mm, v lt incl, from Mexico. A larger, well cut gem from this location that is well know for producing very fine apatite crystals and rough.
Sold
18811 Apatite CE,
Md Yellow, 3.68 cts round cabochon measuring 8.8x8.5x6.6 mm, v lt incl, from Mexico. This location in Mexico has been known for many years for its yellow apatite. A few years ago larger rough was discovered that produced some of the largest faceted gems that were ever produced. More recently a small amount of cat’s eye rough was found with this gem being cut from some of that rough. The cat’s eye is strong and resembles much more expensive chrysoberyl cat’s eyes.
Sold

Mexican Axinite

18493 Axinite,
Md Dk Orangish Brown, 2.33 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 9.7x5.3x5.1 mm, lt incl, from Mexico. This gem was cut from rough from an old location in the northern Baja California penninsula that is no longer producing. The rough comes from an old collection.
Priced at $60/carat or $139.80/gem

18531 Axinite,
Md Dk Orangish Brown, 0.68 cts round flower brilliant cut measuring 5.5x3.4 mm, v lt incl, from Mexico. A very fine, smaller axinite from this classic location in the northern Baja, Mexico. This gem displays a very strong orangish overtone.
Priced at $60/carat or $40.80/gem
18139 Axinite,
Md Dk Pinkish Brown, 1.04 cts emerald cut measuring 8.0x4.7x2.9 mm, mod incl, from Mexico. A pleochroic gem that displays a different color depending on which direction one views the gem.
Sold
19127 Benitoite,
Dk Blue, 0.55 cts pear cut measuring 6.2x4.0x3.1 mm, eye clean, from California. A well cut benitoite of fine blue color. We are seeing fewer and fewer benitoites being offered on the market and those that are are getting smaller and smaller in size.
Priced at $1,200/carat or $660.00/gem
19155 Benitoites (5),
Md Blue, 0.82 cts round brilliant cuts measuring approximately 3.3 mm each, eye clean, from California. Each year we visit our regular suppliers for benitoite at the Tucson Show and with each passing year it seems that what they have available diminishes and that those they do offer are smaller in size. This is a fine parcel of five matching gems from this unique location.
Priced at $1,000/carat or $820.00/parcel of gems
18775 Benitoite,
Md Dk Blue, 0.42 cts cushion cut measuring 4.7x3.9x2.6 mm, eye clean, from California. A well cut and clean gem for benitoite. We saw very few benitoites over 1/2 carat size in Tucson as it appears that the gems being cut are from smaller and smaller rough from old stockpiles.
Sold
18140 Beryllonite,
Colorless, 0.65 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 6.5x4.8x3.0 mm, eye clean, from Maine. We had this gem cut from rough we obtained years ago from the now exhausted deposit at Stoneham, Maine. A clean and well cut gem.
Priced at $150/carat or $97.50/gem
18162 Beryllonite,s
Colorless, 0.89 cts rectangle step cut measuring 10.0x4.4x2.5 mm, eye clean, from Maine. This is a rare phosphate gem that was mined years ago in the gem rich state of Maine.
Priced at $150/carat or $133.50/gem
18630 Colemanite,
Colorless, 2.59 cts fancy shield cut measuring 11.8x8.4x6.1 mm, v lt incl, from California. We have not offered faceted colemanite very often in our history. This is a very well cut gem with only the slightest of inclusions.
Priced at $125/carat or $323.75/gem

Charcas, San Luis Potosi, Mexico Gems

The mines in the vicinity of Charcas in the state of San Luis Potosi are well known for producing gem grade danburite. It is reported that the gem grade danburite came from a single zone that has been mined out for years. We still see quite a bit of rough on the market. In addition to the gem grade danburite we have also seen gem grade datolite in small sizes from this location. It is also known that gem grade topaz comes from this area although it is notorious for fading when exposed to sunlight.

 
16810 Danburite,
Colorless, 17.19 cts checkerboard rhombus cushion cut measuring 18.6x13.4x9.1 mm, eye clean, from Mexico. A larger danburite with an unusual cut for the collector or a designed custom piece of jewelry.
Priced at $20/carat or $343.80/gem
18420 Dolomite,
Colorless, 3.71 cts square brilliant cut measuring 8.5x8.5x7.8 mm, eye clean, from Canada. A well cut gem that displays flashes of dispersive colors.
Priced at $60/carat or $222.60/gem
18998 Fluorite,
Md Lt Green, 50.71 cts split sided triangle brilliant cut measuring 24.0x24.0x17.0 mm, eye clean, from Westmoreland, New Hampshire. This location is well known for producing fine green fluorites. This is a larger gem for the location and was cut by a talented, American cutter.
Priced at $20/carat or $1,014.20/gem
18999 Fluorite,
Md Green, 23.26 cts brilliant fan cut measuring 22.7x18.5x16.9 mm, eye clean, from Westmoreland, New Hampshire. This is a classic location for green fluorite in North America. This gem was cut by Buzz Gray, a well known gem cutter.
Priced at $25/carat or $581.50/gem
18883 Fluorite,
Lt Yellow/Purple, 17.45 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 20.2x10.8x9.9 mm, v lt incl, from Mt Antero, Colorado. The rough this gem was cut from was mined during the 1990’s. This gem is a fine light yellow with a patch of purple in one corner.
Priced at $20/carat or $349.00/gem

Labradorite

Labradorite is a member of the plagioclase feldspar family and is found in gem qualities at many locations throughout the world. The sunstones found in Oregon are actually labradorite that contain trace amounts of copper.

 

Mexican Labradorite

Labradorite is found in multiple locations throughout Mexico. Most notable are the deposits in Chihuahua from which gems of up to 300 carats have been faceted. Other locsation include the El Pinacate Volcanic zone. Labradorite forms deep in the earth and is brought to the surface as xenacrysts in molten magma that hardens into basalt.

 
19092 Labradorite,
Lt Yellow, 2.19 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 9.9x6.9x4.9 mm, eye clean, from El Pinacate Volcanic area, Sonora, Mexico. This area is known for its past volcanic activity which brought to the earth's surface gem grade labradorite. Most of the rough we have seen is highly fractured or included. This is a rare, clean two carat gem that should be noted for the location from which it originates.
Priced at $35/carat or $76.65/gem
16970 Labradorite,s
Md Golden Yellow, 35.57 cts hexatacular cut measuring 26.2x21.0x15.7 mm, eye clean, from Mexico. This gem is cut in an original facet pattern by John. This gem would make a stunning pendant set in gold.
Priced at $25/carat or $889.25/gem
18326 Labradorite,
Md Golden Yellow, 32.58 cts double hexagon brilliant cut measuring 19.9x19.9 x15.6 mm, eye clean, from Mexico. This gem was originally intended to finish out at over 70 carats but during the cutting process it literally exploded. The remaining piece was cut to produce the gem listed here. This is one of our most popular original cuts from rough that comes from the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. We have noticed that the gem channels are calling this "golden sunstone".
Priced at $30/carat or $977.40/gem
18579 Labradorite,
Md Lt Yellow, 11.64 cts cut corner triangle brilliant measuring 15.1x14.8x10.3 mm, eye clean, from Mexico. A very fine gem from the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. These gems are being highly promoted as "canary sunstone" and at much higher prices on the TV stations that promote gems.
Priced at $30/carat or $349.20/gem
16241 Labradorite,
Md Lt Golden Yellow, 12.71 cts rhombus step cut measuring 21.0x13.2x8.1 mm, eye clean, from Mexico. A custom cut gem for this member of the feldspar mineral family.
Priced at $25/carat or $317.75/gem

Oregon Labradorite

Oregon labradorite is the main gem mineral found in the sunstone area of south central Oregon. There are places where the ground literally sparkles from fragments of gem grade labradorite. It is an attractive golden yellow color and facets beautiful gems.

 
18875 Labradorite,
Md Lt Golden Yellow, 9.33 cts round flower brilliant cut measuring 13.2x9.9 mm, lt incl, from Oregon. A bright and attractive gem despite the light inclusions. These gems are being sold for up to $100/carat on the gem shopping networks.
Sold
18837 Labradorite,
Md Lt Yellow, 4.55 cts split ended keystone brilliant cut measuring 13.9x10.1x7.0 mm, eye clean, from Oregon. Call it what you like, “golden sunstone or canary sunstone” it is still labradorite, a member of the plagioclase feldspar family. This gem is cut in an original pattern by john and would make a stunning pandent.
Sold
19115 Labradorite,
Md Lt Golden Yellow, 8.33 cts square emerald brilliant cut measuring 11.9x11.8x9.4 mm, v lt incl, from Oregon. A well cut member of the feldspar family that was mined at the Dust Devil Mine in Oregon. Check out the prices for these gems that are offered under a different name on the shopping channels.
Priced at $30/carat or $249.90/gem
19108 Labradorite,
Md Lt Yellow, 6.00 cts cut corner triangle brilliant cut measuring 11.4x11.4x8.3 mm, v lt incl, from Oregon. A well cut gem from the sunstone area of Oregon. This gem contains some very tiny black crystals that may be olivine. Prices for these gems are much higher when they are called "golden sunstone" or "canary sunstone" on gem TV.
Priced at $30/carat or $180.00/gem
18026 Labradorite,s
Md Golden Yellow, 6.05 cts split sided emerald brilliant cut measuring 17.0x8.7x7.1 mm, eye clean, from the Lost Apache Mine, Oregon. This is a very brilliant gem cut from rough that was found on our claim in Oregon. These gems are becoming very popular as inexpensive, natural alternatives for today's jewelry designs.
Priced at $30/carat or $181.50/gem
18871 Labradorite,
Lt Golden Yellow, 1.80 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 8.3x6.2x3.5 mm, eye clean, from Oregon. This gem was cut by someone with excellent cutting skills. An excellent example of a gem from the sunstone area of Oregon.
Sold
 
15917 Labradorite,
Lt Yellow, 2.30 cts pear cut measuring 13.7x6.9x4.0 mm, eye clean, from Oregon. A clear and clean member of the feldspar family from the same gem deposits that sunstone is found.
Sold
18496 Labradorite,
Lt Yellow, 3.42 cts pear cut measuring 13.7x8.3x5.9 mm, eye clean, from Oregon. These gems are being promoted heavily as "canary" sunstones on the gem shopping channel and subsequently are being offered at a much higher price per carat. A nice and affordable North American gem!
Priced at $30/carat or $102.60/gem
18246 Labradorite,
Lt Yellow, 2.93 cts oval cut measuring 11.4x9.0x5.6 mm, eye clean, from Oregon. Each year we travel to south central Oregon to do the assessment work on our claim and each year we return with more gem grade labradorite. This gem was cut from rough that was found on our claim. A very fine and affordable rare gem.
Priced at $18/carat or $52.74/gem
18479 Labradorite,
Lt Golden Yellow, 2.61 cts antique cushion cut measuring 9.6x8.3x5.6 mm, eye clean, from Oregon. These gems are now being heavily marketed as "Golden Sunstones". We have personallhy collected this material from locations in Oregon, Utah, New Mexico, and Mexico.
Priced at $30/carat or $78.30/gem
18408 Labradorite (2),
Lt Yellow, 3.28 cts oval cuts measuring ~9.1x7.1x4.2 mm, eye clean, from Oregon. A matched pair of these golden "sunstones". The gem shopping stations are now offering these gems at unheard of prices. This pair is available at a price that will make setting them not seem so expensive.
Sold

The Lost Apache Mine, Oregon

We purchased a mining claim in the Oregon Sunstone fields and dug an exploratory trench hoping to encounter the pay zone. Our estimates were off and we are still hoping to find red sunstone in the future. The Lost Apache Mine as named after Apache after he becamse lost in the area for 17 hours in September 2009.

Donna at the Lost Apache Mine

Rough labradorite found on the Lost Apache Mine. Our largest gem to date is a 17 carat monster, now in Donna's collection, that was faceted from a 50 carat piece of rough found on the surface.

Pueblo Park, New Mexico Labradorite

Pueblo Park is located in wester New Mexico in the vicinity of the town of Reserve. Like similar occurences of labradorite the gem rough occurs as xenocrysts in basalt. Here the basalt is quite tough and it is best to restrict one's search to loose gems that have weathered out of the basalt over the years. As far as we know the area is open to collecting without a fee. Parking is available nearby and camping for a small fee is also nearby.

This area was devastated by a wild fire in 2011 and although the area around Pueblo Park was spared one should always be careful with fire no matter where one visits.

The labradorite is found in washes and exposed ground. Little or no digging is required.

18660 Labradorite,
Lt Golden Yellow, 3.27 cts oval cut measuring 13.6x8.1x5.5 mm, eye clean, from New Mexico. This gem was cut from rough that we collected at the Pueblo Park location in western New Mexico. The color is similar to labradorite from Oregon. This is a large size for labradorite from this location.
Priced at $30/carat or $98.10/gem
17898 Labradorite,
Lt Yellow, 2.52 cts pear cut measuring 13.1x7.6x5.3 mm, eye clean, from Pueblo Park, New Mexico. Another labradorite from an American location that is open to the public. For directions to visit this location obtain a copy of "Gem Trails of New Mexico".
Sold

Sunstone Knolls, Clear Lake, Utah

Sunstone Knolls is a state recreation area approximately 17 miles southwest of Delta, Utah. There is no fee for one to collect here. The knolls are a rather small area encompassing approximately one square mile. Gem grade labradorite is generally found where it has weathered out of the basalt. The best collecting seems to be on the southwest side of the knolls where the ground literally sparkles with tiny fragments of gem grade labradorite. Although the name of this location is "Sunstone" we prefer to describe the material as labradorite as it does not contain copper and does not exhibit much color.

 

Looking north towards the knolls, the best collecting was in the forground in the exposed gravel

Most of the gem labradorite found in this area is small. Pieces up to 2 carats in size are common, 2 to 5+ carats in size not so common and anything larger is considered rare. We have visited this location about a half dozen times and have found at least one 5+ carat size piece of rough each time. Our largest piece of gem grade rough was found in 2014 and weighed over 24 carats. It has yet to be faceted.

John and Apache scouring the ground for labradorite. (Apache is more interested in the lizards!)

17725 Labradorite,
Lt Yellow, 2.13 cts pear cut measuring 12.8x6.9x4.9 mm, eye clean, from Clear Lake, Utah. This is a large size for a labradorite from this location. During a recent visit to this deposit we found less then six piece of rough that would cut over two carats in size.
Sold
18413 Labradorite,
Lt Golden Yellow, 2.03 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 9.6x6.3x5.0 mm, eye clean, from Clear Lake, Utah. This gem is most noted for its location. Sunstone Knolls located south of Deseret, Utah produce gem grade labradorite but mostly in very small sizes. It takes a lot of searching to find a piece of rough that will cut out at over two carats. Priced at $25/carat or $50.75/gem

 

Natrolite from Bound Brook, New Jersy

17301 Natrolite,s
Colorless, 2.70 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 14.9x5.6x5.3 mm, v lt incl, from Bound Brook, New Jersey. John Sinkankas reports that these gems were found in a single pocket that was open in the Chimney Rock Quarry in Bound Brook, New Jersey during the mid-1970’s that produced over 5,000 crystals. We acquired some of the crystals from that pocked years ago and recently faceted one with wonderful results. If you are interested we will include a crystal from this deposit for an additional $25.
Priced at $60/carat or $162.00/gem

Rhodochrosite from Colorado

The Sweethome Mine near Alma, Colorado is famous for producing fine mineral specimens of rhodochrosite. Clear fragments of this mineral have been faceted by skilled gem cutters into very attractive gems. Unfortunately these gems are soft and fragile and are best left in collections. The mine is now closed but enough rough exists to provide gems from this location for many years. Rumor has it that a nearby location also has gem rhodochrosite and may be producing in the future.

 
18653 Rhodochrosite,
Md Intense Orangish Pink, 3.49 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 8.8x7.2x5.9 mm, v lt incl, from Colorado. This gem was faceted from rough that we have had since the mid-1990's when the Sweethome Mine near Alma, Colorado was in full production. A recent recommendation from another gem cutter as to a good polishing lap enabled John to impart an exceptional polish on this gem.
Sold, other will be forthcoming!
19102 Rhodochrosite,
Md Intense Pink, 2.32 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 9.5x5.1x4.7 mm, lt incl, from the Sweet Home Mine, Alma, Colorado. Rhodochrosite is probably the most popular rare gem that is found in Colorado. This location produced fine mineral specimens for many years with occasional rough becoming available through mineral dealers. This is a well cut gem of classic color for this location.
Priced at $250/carat or $580.00/gem
18841 Rhodochrosite,
Md Intense Pink, 2.45 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 9.1x5.6x4.8 mm, v lt incl, from the famous Sweethome Mine near Alma, Colorado. We cut this gem from old rough that we have had since the 1990’s. The mine has since closed but there is plenty of rough out there for cutting gems for many years. This material is quite tricky to cut due to its softness and multiple directions of cleavage.
Sold
17483 Rhodochrosite,s
Md Intense Pink, 3.82 cts emerald scissors cut measuring 11.0x6.5x5.2 mm, lt incl, from Colorado. A well cut rhodochrosite which is one of the most popular rare gems that we offer.
Priced at $250/carat or $930.00/gem
18081 Rhodochrosite,
Md Intense Pink, 2.01 cts emerald brilliant cut measuring 7.8x5.2x5.2 mm, v lt incl, from Colorado. A well cut rhodochrosite from the now closed Sweet Home Mine near Alma, Colorado.
Priced at $250/carat or $502.50/gem
19136 Scheelite,
Colorless, 2.76 cts oval cut measuring 8.2x5.8x4.0 mm, eye clean, from California. We saw quite a bit of colorless scheelite rough from California, however, little is being produced today. This is a very fine gem from this North American location.
Priced at $125/carat or $345.00/gem

Creede, Colorado Sphalerite

Creede, Colorado is mostly known for its silver mines but in addition to its metallic ores, produced some gem grade sphalerite and a little amethyst. The mines around Creede are closed but with the rising price of silver and other metals are rumored to be opening again in the future.

 
16744 Sphalerite,s
Md Yellowish Green, 12.41 cts oval brilliant cut measuring 15.2x11.3x8.5 mm, v lt incl, from Creede, Colorado. The rough this gem was cut from was obtained from an old miner who worked in the silver mines at Creede for many years. The color is characteristic for Creede sphalerite and the cut an unusual, oval brilliant.
Priced at $50/carat or $620.50/gem
18812 Sphene,
Md Brownish Yellow, 1.35 cts square brilliant cut measuring 6.2x6.1x4.2 mm, v lt incl, from Mexico. The location in Baja Californian where this gem was mined is no longer producing. This gem was cut from old rough that is no longer available.
Priced at $125/carat or $168.75/gem

Asbestos, Canada

The mines around Asbestos produced several notable gems. Vesuvianite and hessontite garnet are two of the most notable gems to originate at this location.

 

Franklin, New Jersey

The area around Franklin, New Jersey was a rich mining area for zinc for many years. In addition to the zinc ores, many rare minerals, some of which were only found there, were mined as well. The mines have been closed for years, however, old collections still produce some rough from which rare gems have been cut. Willemite is one of the better known rare gems. Zincite from this location is extremely rare but does appear from time to time. Other gems such as friedelite and hodgkinsonite also appear from time to time.