|Author, gem hunter, geologist, consultant,|
Hausel prepares to go underground at the
Inspiration mine, at Superior, Arizona
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,|
|Chalcopyrite in breccia, Kurtz-Chatterton mine, Encampment|
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|
|Rosasite with quartz, Jelm Mountain, Wyoming|
|Kimberlitic indicator minerals (pyrope garnet, almandine garnet, chromian|
diopside and chromian enstatite recovered from anthills.
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.
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|
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).|
|Fluorite in limonite from Bear Lodge Mountains (low-value|
|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
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Revised and REPRINTED with permission from Planet News