Central Montana Prospectors
Central Montana Prospectors

Featured Rocks Make Life Interesting

Barite Crystals: Where can they be found in Montana?

       Looked this question up on the internet and here is what it said: Boulder River Barite Nice cubic crystals of barite can be found about five miles west of the Whitehouse campground along the Boulder River. Take the Bernice exit off I-15 between Basin and Butte. It is about five miles to the campground. For information, call Montana Tech at 406-496-4395

     Just sounds like to me, this might get put on a list for 2019 prospecting for the summer. If you can buy them at Rockin' Rudy's in Missoula, why not go out in Montana and dig your own? It's worth a try. If you want more ideas of where to go in Montana, check out this website; it has some good ideas with specifics: http://southwestmt.com/maps/gw_rockhoundingmap.pdf

Just What Is This?

     Um, when you find black sands in ribbons in the small cliffsides you know some chemical changes had happened long ago to bring about the formation. Wherever there are black sands, often gold is nearby.

      So, you bring home your buckets of dirt and decide to process it in your variety of mechanisms that you have. When the metal fragments go up the spiral of the gold genie that allows the nuggets to fall through the hole in the back of it and the heavy metal shows up silver instead of gold. What do you have?

     Definitely an investigation is launched. Osmium in the mountaintop dirt? Or is it rhodium? Why did we find this in the Montana dirt? Always something new while out prospecting. Just would it be antimony or silver itself? Heavy stuff.

Know Your Rocks!!

      Don't be like a family in Michigan and use a 100K meteorite as a door stop! Explore, learn, and hear about the value of rocks by attending a symposium in Butte, Montana October 10-13 and learn about rocks everywhere. So, now that it is over, you can still search out the dandies at the Montana Bureau of Mining and Geology Museum. Lots to see.

  You will not only see rocks from around these parts, but there are. African rocks that are gorgeous and unique. On display is the huge gold nugget taken right out of the ground in Butte. Check out what the news is on the meteorite, however, right here: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/a-rock-used-as-a-doorstop-for-the-past-30-years-turns-out-to-be-a-meteorite-valued-at-dollar100k/ar-BBNXE3R?li=BBnb7Kz

Bringing the Rocks Home

      When those shiny pieces of rock call out to you from a shelf, you ask yourself, "Can I go find them in Montana?" Names fall off websites of rocks that can be found in the search that one has never heard of: scheelite, epidote and argillite. Places to find these are listed and those definitely need researching. 

      Rock searching means that your Montana exploration mode gets kicked on and in the middle of winter, we are getting ready to make prospecting plans for the summer.

      With memories of stories told at the Montana Bureau of Mining and Geology seminar, a presenter spoke about Gold Creek being the first place for prospectors to find gold in Montana, one wants to search too, now.  With a website giving details of phone numbers to call, more interest is peaked. Hmm...not to repeat the adventures of before, new details work to bring the carrot in front of the donkey. Just how many different places can one person go every weekend through the prospecting season? 

       Looking forward to bringing some interesting specimens home in the new year of 2019 and not just from a Missoula rock shop, but from the deep recesses of the great Montana outback. Building the list right now.

I Got a Fairy Stone!

     The vendor at the Helena Gem and Mineral Show said, "The fairy stone can be found on the sandy shore and is a formation made of calcite."  He said you can read about it on the internet.

      The internet search sends one to the shores of Virginia, to the bottom of Canadian lakes, or to read about a Cherokee lore of healing qualities of this unusual touchy feelie light weight stone.  Learning about the healing effects of this unique piece is also spell binding. 

     But really, to have and to own a fairy stone puts you on a new threshold of ownership found nowhere else in the world! Soon you will see a write up on our healing page. But for now, know that fairy stones flourish!!


Rock Hounding on the City Streets

      While on a lunch break from the Woodcarvers Finishing Party we decided to hit a garage sale in Great Falls. While shopping Paxton Tutor gazed down in the yard among all the items for sale and spotted this dandy choked full of crystals. It was better than anything she had in her sale.

      Soon more rocks were discovered and the home owner knew where each and everyone came from. Mine is from Pioneer Mountains near Crystal Park. But this is true, rock-hounders pack their rocks home, put them in their yard just like the guy in Billings, and they are there for their beauty or to buy when they are making a mad dash out of town. 

Agatized Pine Cones Come in All Forms

      A rock trader in Butte offered to provide a fossilized pine cone cut at an angle for a reasonable price. Just like the mini rocks with all the data written on a little card made for a shopper the personalized purchase of pine cones over 160 million years ago in the desert of Morocco or found in Argentina, the lure is to possess these and people trade them all over the world.

      It's not just rocks and minerals that have their attraction, it is the plants too that thrived at one time. In the hands of rock-traders you can find savvy and happiness in ownership of the unusual. Just gotta have mine. Special orders abound.

Jewels in the News

      A lady from Colorado, digging only for 10 minutes in the Arkansas Diamond Park, found this 2.64 carat diamond, changing her richness forever. The USA is full of semi- precious stones, and it's not just in Montana. Maybe a trip to the south to dig in this state park might be on your docket as a place to prospect soon. Our world is always unearthing gems, like gold, every day. Here's living proof. It's the size of a pinto bean but very valuable.

     Check out what it says: https://www.msn.com/en-us/video/peopleandplaces/woman-finds-nearly-263-carat-diamond-at-arkansas-state-park/vi-BBNE5hG

Bought Some Rocks at....

      This October at the Symposium in Butte sponsored by the Montana Bureau of  Mining and Geology  there was an entire day devoted to the rock  with a used book sale on all rock topics and a sale of minerals, gems and certificates with a variety of choices. Filling up my larder I am. Love owning  Rocks especially ones that were sought after by rock hounds they had found.

MBMG Mining and Mineral Symposium Mineral Show

held on: October 10, 2018




Amber is in more than one color; it's blue too!!

     Had the flashlight shone on my new rock; saw how it glowed blue. Apparently blue amber was discovered in Indonesia about 3 years ago according to the mineral sales woman in the Bozeman Gem and Mineral Show recently. But online it appears it has been around from the Dominican Republic for awhile. 

     With a simple search of the stone it appears it has many qualities of healing and emotional balancing. It is very interesting to see the developments of this stone on the human psyche so we will create some entries into our healing stone page for your reference. It appears to be a good one to own and carry. Here it is: Healing Stones



 Moldavite: The stone of transition

      Moldavite, a stone that was made by the impact of a asteroid that smashed into the earth 15 million years ago. The impacting bodies hit with such strength that there was melting and splatter across Europe. Most of the splatter solidified in mid air and then fell to the earth in the Czech Republic.


     Meteorite experts have named such materials "impactites." Moldavite is also considered to be a mineraloid because it is a naturally occurring, inorganic solid that does not exhibit crystallinity.


      Extensive mining in the Czech Republic has largely depleted the supply of moldavites, so authenticity of a stone you might purchase has to be checked out for fakeness because reproducers can manufacture glass to look like it. The real deal is expensive and lovely.



Telling Where Rocks Came From

      How would you know where these garnets came from?

      Color makes a difference.

      Both bowls represent different continents of the earth.  Which one do you think came from the US? Where do you think the full, dark colored bowl of garnets came from on the counter of Blaze N' Gems Rock Shop on York Road. Find the answer on the tips page at the bottom.


Do you know what a Botryoidal is?

       I didn't until I was shown one on the hillside of White Earth hills when the rock hounder, Andrew Luna grabbed one and held it close for me to see.

      I had to say, "What is a botryoidal?" Even though I saw it and heard about it, I still had to look it up and learn more about it. It basically is any stone that likes to look like grapes. Kinda cool. But here's where you can learn more besides on wikepedia. https://www.gemselect.com/other-info/botryoidal-gems.php

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