October 27-28—SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA: 82nd Annual Gem, Jewelry, Mineral and Rock Show; Sacramento Mineral Society; Sat. 10-5, Sun. 10-4
Welcome to the GemologyOnline.com Forum
A non-profit Forum for the exchange of gemological ideas
It is currently Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:49 pm

All times are UTC - 4 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Headed thru Montana in about 2 weeks
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:12 am 
Offline
Gold Member

Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:00 am
Posts: 1233
Location: Wylie Texas but in Alaska for a while
I am driving Anchorage to Dallas starting Aug 14th or so.

That will have us going through Montana, and my daughter wants to try her luck at sapphire hunting.

I am in an RV and pulling a trailer. so I will br bring back my gold mining equipment which is a small gas pump, a "gold hog" set of mats (I know that they make a few, I have several but do not remember how it is set up.

Is anyone interested in doing some mining with us?

Any recommendation on public areas?


or do we just to Gem Mountain and pay their price.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Headed thru Montana in about 2 weeks
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:24 pm 
Offline
Gemology Online Veteran

Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 9:42 pm
Posts: 690
I would go to Gem Mountain -- and then stop by Spencer to look for opal afterward (south in Idaho).


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Headed thru Montana in about 2 weeks
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:05 am 
Offline
Gold Member

Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:00 am
Posts: 1233
Location: Wylie Texas but in Alaska for a while
That sounds line a plan. My daughter also likes opal. and I have a little experience polishing it.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Headed thru Montana in about 2 weeks
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:24 am 
Offline
Gold Member

Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:00 am
Posts: 1233
Location: Wylie Texas but in Alaska for a while
I know that some opal have problems if they dry out. I tried looking it up, but did not find a good reference.

How stable is Idaho opal?

I was given some misc pieces of opal a few years back, no idea here it came from, and it was very stable. It never lost the colot it had when I polished it.

If I am luck enough to find some color in Idaho, will it be stable?

if not, am I better off putting a quartz cap over it?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Headed thru Montana in about 2 weeks
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:20 am 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:31 pm
Posts: 2971
Location: North Carolina
It is totaly stable, but usually fashioned it triplets because the play of color is limited to thin layers in most cases. They are about the best triplets in the world thogh, tied wit te best of Australia. Stones with thicker bands are occasionally found as well.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Headed thru Montana in about 2 weeks
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:50 pm 
Offline
Valued Contributor

Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:04 am
Posts: 115
Location: Idaho
Here are a couple of sites with info about the Idaho opal... "Digging" prices have gone to $20 since the blog was written (second link).

Spencer is right on Interstate 15, so it can be right on your way south!

https://spenceropalmines.com/you-can-dig-it/

https://www.xenite.org/special/treasure-hunting/where-to-dig-for-opals-in-idaho/

You might want to also check area fire conditions - the town of Dubois to the south was evacuated at the end of July, but most likely it's over now. You could call the Cafe/"mine" in the first link. Weather is hot in the summer, especially this year!

Have fun!!!

_________________
Lapidarist by Love
Goldsmith by Necessity

Facetron
GemCad/GemRay
Matrix 8/Rhino 5
REVO A
EnvisionTEC Micro
Indutherm MC-15


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Headed thru Montana in about 2 weeks
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:30 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:31 pm
Posts: 2971
Location: North Carolina
They always have tailings brought down from the mine proper, but occasionally they also have trips up to the mine. We used to go almost every year and had a blast. It's hard work though, since the matrix is super solid rhyolite and obsidian, so picks, sledges and shards aplenty.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Headed thru Montana in about 2 weeks
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:53 pm 
Offline
Gold Member

Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:00 am
Posts: 1233
Location: Wylie Texas but in Alaska for a while
Stephen Challener wrote:
It is totaly stable, but usually fashioned it triplets because the play of color is limited to thin layers in most cases. They are about the best triplets in the world thogh, tied wit te best of Australia. Stones with thicker bands are occasionally found as well.



What do you use for your top and bottom layers?


If I remember correctly (and I do not trust that I do.... I think I have two pieces of synthetic quarts that they grew for electronic c=frequency crystles. I think that they were 2 inches by 4 inches and about 3 inches long. They had bubbles down the center.

I also have some chunks of CZ that I could cut a small slab from as a top plate.

for the backer....

I have some dark black stone.... that someone recommended I keep as a backer for things.....

I also have some green ........ forget the name... picked it up in New Zealand......... not jade but still polished up nice.

I did pick up some Alaska jade offcuts not very good quality but nice to have.....

as well as some offcuts of tiger eye, (might be fun ) and some broken pieces of petrified wood in red and a few other colors.


or I could keep some of the lesser quality opal that has no color to it.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Headed thru Montana in about 2 weeks
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:28 am 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:31 pm
Posts: 2971
Location: North Carolina
You can do almost anything, but traditionally local Idaho basanite (fine-grained black basalt) and quartz caps are used. Black jade, obsidian, anything like that would work, and I imagine CZ or white sapphire/spinel would also be good. Putting a strongly colored or patterned layer behind the opal would likely overwhelm it but you never know, might yield interesting results.
Another nice feature is that occasionally the Idaho opal has pink layers beneath the play of color, so you can get rare pink opals with play of color. That is neat.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Headed thru Montana in about 2 weeks
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:42 pm 
Offline
Gemology Online Veteran

Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 9:42 pm
Posts: 690
I should also mention that the cafe has finished jewelry for very good prices - they make it themselves. When I first went I read their opal is as good as the best Aussie. (It is for triplets.) I didn't believe it until I stopped in a gas station on the way and saw very nice opal rings very cheap.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Headed thru Montana in about 2 weeks
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:27 pm 
Offline
Gold Member

Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:00 am
Posts: 1233
Location: Wylie Texas but in Alaska for a while
We will have to see what I find. The idea of Tiger Eye sonds interesting to me. I have some red tiger as well.

I am pretty sure I have some of the basalt t=for the more traditional gem.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Headed thru Montana in about 2 weeks
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:33 pm 
Offline
Gemology Online Veteran

Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 9:42 pm
Posts: 690
They actually sell both thin slabs of basalt and quartz cabs there for those who wish to do it themselves.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Headed thru Montana in about 2 weeks
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:35 pm 
Offline
Gemology Online Veteran

Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 9:42 pm
Posts: 690
Also you may want to go through Wyoming and look for jade or Sweetwater agates. Or through Delta Utah..


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Headed thru Montana in about 2 weeks
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:31 pm 
Offline
Valued Contributor

Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:55 am
Posts: 452
Sounds like one hell of a pleasant trip, keep us posted on what you find!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 4 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Gemology Style ported to phpBB3 by Christian Bullock