Thursday, August 4, 2011

Wyoming - the TOP GEMSTONE state in US

Author, gem hunter, geologist, consultant,
Hausel prepares to go underground at the
Inspiration mine, at Superior, Arizona
Wyoming is the Equality State, the Windy State, the Coal state? It is now the Gemstone State! How did this happen?

Prior to 1975, only jade and a few agates were known in Wyoming. But within a few decades, Wyoming became the gem capital of North America with the most diverse collection of documented gems of any state in the US. A collection that includes agate, jasper; common opal, fire opal, precious opal, onyx, gold nuggets, pyrope garnet, spessartine garnet, chrome diopside, enstatite, kyanite, iolite, ruby, sapphire, peridot, diamond, specularite, apatite, minyulite, amethyst, aquamarine, jade, almandine, chalcedony, silicified banded iron formation, jasperoid, labradorite, grunerite, amber, chrysocolla, heliodor, varisite, specularite & others.

Emerald jade with quartz inclusions, Granite Mountains area,
Wyoming is filled with diamonds, gemstones, gold, platinum, coal, oil, gas, rare earths, platinum, palladium and copper (and probably some other things we haven't thought of). So we are renaming it the ‘GEMSTONE STATE’.

Chalcopyrite in breccia, Kurtz-Chatterton mine, Encampment
Prior to 1975, a few people knew the state had a few agates and some of the highest quality jade in the world. Jade was even named the state gemstone. Most people figured no other gemstones would be found.

Over the next few years, more than 40 diamond pipes and dikes were discovered – half in Wyoming and half in Colorado. Several properties were mined for diamonds including George Creek, Sloan, and Kelsey Lake. Over 130,000 diamonds were mined including gemstones larger than 28 carats. A 6.5 carat diamond was found in Wyoming and diamonds of 14 and 28 carats were mined from Colorado.

specularite with chalcopyrite from Wyoming
Later, a geologist from Laramie discovered a large group of diamond pipes and a few hundred features termed cryptovolcanic structures that look like diamond pipes from the air. These all could be diamond pipes, they just need to be drilled and include areas known as Lost Lake, Happy Jack, Indian Guide, Medicine Bow, Twin Mountain Lakes! While mapping the Iron Mountain diamond district near Chugwater, many diamond deposits and diamond backs.

Rosasite with quartz, Jelm Mountain, Wyoming
In 1981, Wyoming was unknown for gold even though all of the surrounding states had considerable gold. Gold had been discovered in Wyoming in 1842, but nothing much was ever done. Significant gold was found in the Seminoe Mountains in 1981 by a geologist from Laramie named Dan Hausel. The Rawlins Times reported a gold rush filled all of the motels in Rawlins, Saratoga, Sinclair and even Laramie with people wanting a piece of the pie. It was Timberline Minerals from Dubois who tied up the property. The company president, John Wells indicated they drilled the discovery site at Bradley Peak and picked up samples of quartz and iron formation with visible gold.

Kimberlitic indicator minerals (pyrope garnet, almandine garnet, chromian
diopside and chromian enstatite recovered from anthills.
Another gold discovery made by Hausel will likely result in one or more major gold mines in central Wyoming: gold in the Rattlesnake Hills .

Hausel identified targets associated with breccias, stockworks and veins. Years later Newmont Gold, Canyon Resources and Evolving Gold found a giant gold deposit sitting under a breccia adjacent to an alkalic intrusive named Sandy Mountain. Evolving Gold, started exploring this property and it is now thought to be equivalent to Cripple Creek gold deposits in Colorado. Hausel went on to discover another major gold deposit in Alaska with 6 other geologists – a deposit that has $60 billion in gold and is one of the largest in North America.

For most people, discoveries would have ended here. In 2005, Professor Hausel sat on the cover of ICMJ’s Prospecting and Mining Journal. He had just found and mapped some of the largest gemstones and gemstone deposits in the world.

Kyanite eclogite nodule from the Aultman 2 kimberlite, Wyoming State Line district. Specimen contains gem kyanite,
chromian diopside and garnet.
Over the years, he found a variety of agates including the long sought after source beds of the Sweetwater agate – a beautiful dendritic agate. He discovered and documented jasper deposits including boulders as large as a pick-up truck. He found a variety of banded agates in one of the largest opal fields in the world and started an opal rush! So many people headed to the hills to make their fortunes in opal, that they were tripping over one another to get to the best spots.

Rough diamonds 
He found some onyx deposits - onyx was unknown in the state at this time. While mapping South Pass – a known gold district from the 1800s, he expanded our knowledge of the deposits while mapping major gold anomalies at the Carissa, Wolf, Duncan, Tabor Grand and other mines and identifying more than 200 gold anomalies. Then there was significant gold veins found at Mineral Hill and at Purgatory Gulch. He identified a large gold anomaly at the Kurtz-Chatterton deposit along Copper Creek in the Sierra Madre.

Then he started looking for colored gemstones, it was incredible. Other than jade, the state was not known for gemstones prior to 1977. Hausel found some diamond deposits after McCallum made his mark, discovered at least six ruby and sapphire deposits including two of the largest rubies in the world. Billions of carats of gem-quality kyanite - this gemstone was everywhere and no one had even recognized it although we were all walking on these deposits in the field.

Faceted iolite and ruby from Palmer Canyon, Wyoming
Hausel found at least four iolite deposits including the two largest in the world (one with possibly more than two trillion carats of the gem). He found the two largest iolites in the world – one weighed more than 24,000 carats. Here were fabulous gemstone deposits including the largest gemstones in the world, the largest deposits in the world, completely new discoveries, and this gemstone looked just like sapphire or similar to Tanzanite. Estimates suggested the combined worth of these deposits could be more than our national debt.

Before he was done, the Professor discovered gem-quality apatite, specularite, peridot, pyrope, spessartine, chrome diopside, chrome enstatite, ruby, sapphire, amethyst, Mexican opal, precious opal, common opal, the largest opals in the world (some weighing more than 75,000 carats), aquamarine, helidor, zoisite, epidote, Mexican onyx, onyx, hematite, diamonds, platinum, palladium, hundreds of gold deposits and anomalies, nickel, rare jade pseudomorphs after quartz, and identified the first reported ilsemannite and berthierite in Wyoming. And these discoveries sparked discoveries made by others of jade, tourmaline, labradorite, minyulite and varisite.

Geologist reflected in Wyoming Jade (nephrite).
The opal was fascinating. One of the largest opal and agate deposits in the world was exposed in the Cedar Rim oil field south of Riverton. Boulders of the opal sat in cuts of service roads to the field, and the deposit was scattered over 16 square miles and even had some opal exposed in the US Highway south of Riverton. You would think someone would have gotten out of their car and looked to see what these boulders were made of - some boulders of opal, weighing more than 100,000 carats were recently found in this deposit. The Bureau of Land Management was so upset by this discovery, they wanted to withdraw the property before they knew where in Wyoming it was located!

Fluorite in limonite from Bear Lodge Mountains (low-value
The peridot discovery was also interesting. Peridot is gem-quality olivine. For more than 100 years, olivine was known in the Leucite Hills of Wyoming. Some very famous geologists looked at the peridot, briefly mentioned it in passing, but not one realized that it was gem-quality. Then in 1997, the professor was in the Leucite Hills looking for diamonds when he spotted two anthills that were green in color. He collected these anthills: no diamonds, but instead 13,000 carats of cuttable peridot were collected by these ants adjacent to an access road! By the way, he found minerals in nearby rocks that indicated some of the Leucite Hills were similar to the diamond rich deposits at Ellendale and Argyle in Australia and predicted diamonds would be found here. Yet, no one has looked for diamonds in this area. But, if all goes the way of his other discoveries, you can bet that diamonds will be found there in the future.
Faceted Wyoming peridot surrounded by peridot rough, Leucite Hills

Want to know how to recognize gemstones in the hills, where to look and where to find
many more occurrences? The GemHunter's new guide (published in 2014) tells you
exactly how to find gemstones, what they look like and provides dozens upon
dozens of examples including probable new agate, opal, aquamarine, diamond, gold
and other deposits - many have not yet been investigated. This means you maybe able
to find your own treasure using this book.

Revised and REPRINTED with permission from Planet News

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Ruby encased in zoisite reaction rim, Granite Mountains, Wyoming

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Gemstones, Minerals and Rocks of Wyoming is a book for collectors, rock hounds, mineralogists and prospectors that will provide you with information on what the gems and rocks really look like in Wyoming. Written by the Wyoming's expert on minerals, W. Dan Hausel, this book will even tell you where to look to find these rocks and minerals.

Over a period of 29 years, the author found and discovered several minerals that were previously unreported in Wyoming and also discovered more than a hundred new gemstone and gold localities.

The Planet News notes that prior to 1975, Wyoming was known as the 'Jade State'. But this all changed over the next 3 decades primarily due to the efforts of two geologists - one was W. Dan Hausel.

This book tells you about diamonds and their host rocks, where to find diamond deposits that also include several other gemstones. The book tells you about the sapphire and ruby discoveries by the author and how his research led to these discoveries and why there are more deposits to be found. It tells about the discoveries of the largest gemstone deposits on earth in Wyoming, made because of the author's unique understanding of the geology of the state. Discussions on the discovery of one of the largest opal deposits in North America occurred right under every one's noses, but no one paid any attention. Imagine opals as large as 80,000 carats sitting next to access roads in an oil field being ignored by oil field workers, rock hounds and even many geologists.

Look what others have written about this book that is rated at 4.5 stars -

Buy it, you will like it
Kurt Kephart (Billings, Montana)
If you are into rocks & minerals of Wyoming, this book gives you a 30 year short cut. The author has combined his expertise, experience and passion for geology into a no-nonsense, x marks the spot, book. I recently took several trips to Wyoming from my home state of Montana and found the Sweetwater agates and white opals in the location given in the book. I am looking forward to my next adventure to Wyoming.

Paulette Dilks
Dan puts in more information than the casual reader might be able to assimilate. However I believe the book is useful and interesting to all readers. He literally tells you where to go (you may have to climb a mountain) to find gemstones and his history (and I have followed him on his free blog and on CanadianRockhounder) bears out his personal success at this.
Cecil C. Chittenden   
This is the best book I have ever read on Rouckhounding, For detailed info on specific areas of Wyoming this book can't be beat. Dan Hausel is an expert in this area.

Jill Randolph  
I was surprised that diamonds aren't always found in coal!  This was very informative on different minerals.

Mario Slavinec
I did. I followed him into two field trips. He is very nice, very very knowledgeable and happy to share...

Over 30 years, >1,000 books, papers, maps and abstracts were published, >1,000 square kilometers were mapped in the field (much of it virgin terrain which included four greenstone belts, the two largest diamondiferous kimberlite districts in the US and the largest lamproite field in North America), hundreds of mineral discoveries were made, and the author presented more than 400 public lectures on geology and mineral deposits. The author is considered the authority on gold, diamonds, gemstones, mineral resources, minerals, rocks, Archean geology, and kimberlite vulcanology in Wyoming and on diamonds in the US.

The largest iolite gemstone ever found -
24,150 carats discovered by the author
in Grizzly Creek. However, this gem is
dwarfed by the stones left in outcrop.

A 1,750 carat iolite gemstone found at Palmer Canyon by
the author. The highest quality iolite of its size in he world.

Imagine wearing this gemstone. All of
tan rock behind the geologist is solid
iolite. It extends from the geologist, to
the top of the photo and
down into the earth for an unknown
depth. The author could not figure out
how to get this stone out of the Laramie
Mountains. It likely weighs 10 to 20
million carats!
One of the largest rubies ever found. The
author mapped the Red Dwarf ruby deposit
in the Granite Mountains and found dozens of
large rubies partially replaced by zoisite. A
half-dozen other ruby deposits were found
using geological methods.

One of many large faceted rubies and sapphires from the
Palmer Canyon discovery by the author.

More than 13,000 carats of gem
peridot were discovered by the author
in the Leucite Hills.

Gem-quality pyrope, spessartine, almandine garnet and
chromian diopside found by the author.
How and where to find gold! Available at Amazon. Please check these books outby the GemHunter.