ROCK HOUNDING ACROSS AMERICA Created by: D. Marie Barlow GO340 Gemstones & Gemology Emporia State University Fall 2011
ROCK HOUNDING ACROSS AMERICA
For this presentation I chose 10 states to identify official state gemstones, state clubs, and places to hunt.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Art of Rock Hounding Getting Started Main State Page with Club Listings I0 identified states with gemstone and location ideas.
Back Pocket Resources Be Green Sources
THE ART OF ROCKHOUNDING Since World War II there has been a rapid growth in interest in the search for rocks and gemstones. These "rockhounds" are attracted by the thrill of discovering a fine specimen and by the fact outdoor pursuit that knows no season requires no license has no minimum qualification age for participation At the end of this presentation is a list of resources to help identify gemstones some state sponsored books of what rocks and minerals to look for!
THE ART OF ROCKHOUNDING, CONT. You can't just head outside, poke around some rocks and hope to find specific types of gems and crystals. Compare gem hunting to bird watching -- if you want to spot a certain species of bird, you wouldn't aimlessly wander around a forest. You'd learn where that bird lives, what trees it nests in, what it eats, and what its migration patterns are -- leading you to make its eventual discovery. (http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/outdoor-activities/hiking/gemhunting2.htm)
I’ve included some items to help collect specimens and locate some likely places to seek your treasures!
HOW TO GET STARTED The beginning collector needs two pieces of somewhat specialized equipment a geologist's hammer a hand lens The hammer is used to dislodge rock and break to display size. A hand lens, or pocket magnifier, is useful to identify small mineral grains and crystals. Other useful pieces of equipment a knapsack to carry specimens, equipment, and food paper sacks and wrapping paper to wrap specimens a notebook for keeping field notes a pocket knife
HOW TO GET STARTED, CONT. It is a good idea to mark your locality on a topographic map as accurately as possible so that you can return on future field trips or direct others to the site. Permission must always be obtained to collect on private property. The following safety equipment is strongly recommended and is required for collecting in a mine or quarry hard hat steel-toed boots safety glasses Information from DirtyRockHounds
10 STATES IDENTIFIED Rock Hounding Clubs:
Arizona: Gem Clubs of AZ Arkansas: Rockhounding California: California Clubs Colorado: Colorado Clubs Georgia: Georgia Clubs Click the
Illinois: Gem Clubs of IL Maine: Gem & Mineral Clubs Montana: Montana Clubs North Carolina: NC Gem Clubs Oregon: Gem & Mineral Clubs
icon to jump to each state’s page then click it to return.
ARIZONA State Gemstone Turquoise was designated the official gemstone of Arizona in 1974. Probably one of the oldest gemstones known, turquoise is an opaque, blue-to-green mineral. Only the prized robin's egg blue color is used to make gemstones. The majority of the world's finest-quality turquoise comes from western and southwestern United States, the largest producer of turquoise in the world. *Information on this page received from State Symbols USA
Turquoise and coral bola tie made by Navajo and Zuni Indians in Arizona / New Mexico © Gold Mountain Mining Company (used by permission) - a silver and turquoise bola tie is considered the official style for Arizona's state neckwear.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT Safford Field Office Black Hills Rockhound Area - From the intersection of Highway 70, east of Safford, travel 10 miles north on Highway 191 to Black Hills Rockhound Area. Follow the dirt road 2 miles to the center of the rockhound area. Round Mountain Rockhound Area - From Highway 70 east of Safford approximately 50 miles, travel into New Mexico to just beyond milepost 5. Take the dirt access road on your right for 12 miles, following the signs to the Rockhound Area.
ARIZONA - WHERE
Kingman Field Office Burro Creek Campground - Located 1 1/2 mile off U.S. Hwy. 93, approximately 60 miles NE of Wickenburg. Yuma Field Office Dome Rock Mountain 14-Day Camping Area Arizona Strip Field Office Virgin River Recreation Area - Located on Interstate 15 (Exit 18), 16 miles NE of Littlefield, Arizona.
Click here for information from Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources
Image from Vector Diary
ARKANSAS State Gemstone According to “Arkansas History & Culture” on February 22, 1967, Governor Rockefeller signed Act 128, designating the diamond as the state gem, quartz crystal as the state mineral, and bauxite as the state rock.
On 26 April 2011, Beth Gilbertson found an 8.66 carat diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas. She named it the Illusion Diamond. Read more about her hunt. http://www.rockhoundingar.com/
CALIFORNIA State Gemstone Benitoite was designated as the official State Gemstone in 1985. Sometimes called the " blue diamond", it was first discovered near the headwaters of the San Benito River from which it derived its name. The gem is extremely rare and ranges in color from a light transparent blue to dark, vivid sapphire blue, and occasionally it is found in a violet shade.
Photo courtesy of: www.benitoitemine.com
CALIFORNIA - WHERE The California coast is an obvious place to seek gemstones. But with about 840 miles of coastline, it can be hard to know where good places are to visit. One of my favorite locations is located between Los Angeles and San Francisco; Big Sur Valley.
Big Sur Valley is found 26 miles south of Carmel on the central California coast, surrounded by Ventana Wilderness Area and the Los Padres National Forest.
Click Here to view a close-up map of the Big Sur Coast to see where all the beaches are in relationship to one another.
COLORADO State Gemstone The aquamarine was adopted as the official state gemstone on April 30, 1971, by an act of the General Assembly. The mountain peaks of Mount Antero and White Mountain in Colorado are among the finest quality localities known for gem aquamarine. They are also among the highest in elevation, located at 14,000 feet. The granite rock of these peaks contains pegmatite bodies that are characterized by large miarolitic cavities containing the gem quality aquamarine crystals. The cavities are found through a vertical area of a mere 500 feet. The crystals in these cavities range in color from light blue to pale and deep aquamarine green, and in size from very small to 6 cm in length. Citation: House Bill 1104, 1971; Colorado Revised Statute 24-80-912.
Photo’s courtesy of: www.statesymbolsusa.org
MONTANA State Gemstone Montana designated both the sapphire and Moss Agate as the official state gemstones in 1969. Agates are found in southern and eastern Montana. Agate is polished (not cut) to make gemstones and jewelry. Agates are usually white with swirls of grey and black spots.
Sapphires cut in heart and oval shapes photo © International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA)
Moss agate pebble Photo by Adrian Pingstone
Montana's sapphires (mostly found in western Montana) look like bright, blue glass and are cut like diamonds to make jewelry. Montana sapphires can be found in the Royal Crown Jewels of England. Sapphires, which were thrown away by miners in the gold rush days, are now the most valuable gemstones found in America.
OREGON State Gemstone
The Oregon sunstone was designated the state's official gemstone in 1987. Oregon sunstones (also known as heliolite) are uncommon in their composition, clarity, and range of colors. Collectors and miners attracted by them have been a boom to tourism and economic development in Oregon.
Oregon sunstones are a calcium-rich variety of transparent to translucent crystal feldspar ranging in color from water-clear to pale Oregon sunstones from Dust Devil Mine in Oregon yellow, soft pink, blood red, and (extremely cut as faceted gems by Martin Guptill rare) deep blue and green. Some stones Photo © Martin Guptill: GemArtGallery.com show two different colors when viewed from different directions. http://www.naturenw.org/rock-sunstone.htm http://www.oregongeology.org/sub/learnmore/learnmore.htm
BACK POCKET RESOURCES Click images for book information from Amazon.com
BE A GREEN GEM HUNTER I’m
not talking about tourmalines or emeralds – be environmentally conscious effects of recreational mining are minor compared to commercial operations… but you need to think about consequences of your hobby Minimize environmental impact where it is not specifically set aside for mining. Chipping at a rock to reveal partly exposed gems is one thing, but don't dig large holes in the landscape! In short, the next person who comes along shouldn't be able to notice that anyone was hunting for gems.
RESOURCES: • http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit/archives/history/symbemb. htm#Gemstone • http://www.library.ca.gov/history/symbols.html#Heading16 • http://www.statesymbolsusa.org • http://www.bigsurcalifornia.org/beaches.html • http://www.naturenw.org/rock-sunstone.htm • http://orerockon.com/ore_rock.htm • http://www.amazon.com/ • http://www.rockhoundingar.com/ • http://www.dirtyrockhounds.com/Beginner.html • http://gemstone.org/ About This Presentation This presentation was created by D. Marie Barlow. It fulfills an assignment for a gemstone and gemology course from Emporia State University, Earth Science Department, http://www.emporia.edu/earthsci/earthsci.htm. For questions and comments, email [email protected]
You can visit other student’s examples at http://academic.emporia.edu/abersusa/go340/students/stupages.htm