Central Montana Prospectors
Central Montana Prospectors

All About Crystals

     When setting up the 2017 schedule for gemstone searching Rollin Personnette offered to lead us to his former find outside of Elliston area. He had torn down and old Forest Service cabin in the hills outside of Helena and found crystals readily where he worked feverishly.

     Due to the time element no one on board with this venture had the time or vehicles to get to our destination. So we are about to tell you about where you can go and give you information about crystals as you can find them most anywhere if you stop to look.

     But first we are going to give you details to go on an adventure for crystals besides going to Crystal Park or the radar station up top of Maiden for smoky quartz crystals. And even though they are on the hillside of the Zortman dump, they are the most common stone on the earth and our web designer Taigen Pyne just found crystals at the Sluice Boxes outside Great Falls.

      Be adventurous and see what you can find.


In search of the crystal


Here are Rollin’s specifics.

       1. Drive up over MacDonald Pass out of                   Helena

2. On the first opportunity to turn left that is a road, take a left turn.

3. When the road forks, one to the right and one straight ahead, go straight.

4. After you go past the YMCA Camp Child, you will see a pathway to take off to the left.

5. There is a hillside that you can scale and walk to that has amethysts and crystals for you to pick. It was just a little past where the Forest Service cabin was torn down.

6. Scale the area and you will find as many crystals as you would find in Crystal Park and you won’t have to go as far.


Places I have found crystals in Montana


At a meeting on Stemple Pass on the Horse Laugh Gold Claim where visitors from Switzerland brought huge crystals they had dug on the mountains of the Alps.


At Eclipse Beads, a store in Great Falls, when I really needed one for healing.


While teaching a class in a business center.


While garage saling a couple wanted to sell their finds they owned from their many trips to Crystal Park.


In the Gift Shop of the Museum of the Rockies there were many crystals to purchase.


In a pan of gravel while sapphire panning.


On the side of the Zortman dump while waiting to pan for gold up the creek. Each year at the Big Dig I have scaled the hillside for treasures exposed by the rains and erosion.


The Trex Agate Shop in Bynum I have long crystal chard sticks for a long time cherished.


At an art show with the CMRussell Art Auction that I was in with Nikci King at Applebees.


Given to me at lunch from a high school friend as she scrounged in her drawer to give me some of her finds from Crystal Park.


In my computer room when my web designer gave me his finds from the Sluice Box camping trip.


At the farmer’s market when patrons come up and try to sell you their collectables.


In a garage sale in Billings, MT from a rock hound who was getting rid of his stuff. He had a big bucket of smoky quartz from the Radar Station near Maiden, MT out of Lewistown.


While riding in my canoe on Canyon Ferry Lake just out of the White Earth Campground on a trip to look for agates.


At pay for dig sites for other stones.


Check Out Giant Crystals!!!


What to Choose?  





     When I stopped in the local rock and bead shop downtown, I asked the advice of the owner. What do you think of the Crystal Bible when we were on the top of crystals.


      She immediately went behind her counter and pulled out both of these books. I had thought the Crystal Bible was a go-to book as I had seen it so tattered and thread bare with other rock enthusiasts.


       However, it was said that the Crystal Bible is just basically paraphrased from the book Love is in the Earth and that Melody is the real guru of all things crystals. Apparently information was “lifted” almost word for word from Melody’s book for the Crystal Bible.


      From this information I figured the better book is Love is in the Earth as the information comes from a long standing knowledge from an author who has inherent interest and experience with expertise to talk about the subject of crystals.


      It was mentioned that there was so much updating after the first book was printed that there is an addendum published to accompany this edition.


     I feel the advice was well taken from a gal who happens to be in the know about crystals. I figured I now know the book of import on the topic of crystals. I was glad to get this first hand information before I invested in a mediocre book but really needed a different one.


      Some are better than others.


What is a crystal and how are they formed:

A crystal is: a solid figure that is made up of a repeating pattern of geometric shapes is known as a crystal. Crystals form when a liquid cools and hardens. During this crystallization process, molecules within the liquid pull together in a pattern. Some crystals, such as emeralds, form when magma cools very slowly.

What Shapes do Crystals Form? There are all sorts of shapes that make crystals so cool.


Cubic shape – these look like a box and can have 6, 8 or even 12 sides. Wow!

Hexagonal or trigonal shape – these have 3 or 6 sides. 

Monoclinic shape – these look a bit like a box with lots of different sides.

Orthorhombic shape – these almost look like two pyramids are stuck together.

Tetragonal shape – these look like a cube but have one longer side.

Triclinic crystals – these have a random shape and most likely aren’t in equal proportions.




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© Central Montana Prospectors Coalition, Site Created & Written By Alma Winberry