|Gem-quality pyrope garnet faceted from rough collected at Butcherknife|
Draw near Green River, Wyoming.
|Model posing with transparent |
jade in necklace.
I found dozens of gemstone deposits and possibly the largest colored gemstone deposit on earth. I recovered the largest iolite gemstones on earth (one weighing >24,000 carats and left some in the outcrop that would dwarf these giant gemstones. A few left in outcrop I estimated would weight >100,000 to 1,000,000 carats!). I also found evidence for additional ruby and sapphire deposits in the central Laramie Range, Granite Mountains, Owl Creek Mountains and southern Wind River Mountains after finding seven previously unknown ruby deposits. And I began chasing more opal deposits where ever the countryside had been blanketed by Tertiary to Recent ash falls from past eruptions from the Yellowstone caldera (I had already found one of the largest opals on earth that weighed more than 77,000 carats with larger stones left in the field and also found a large deposit of fire opal). I was searching for other gems including possibilities of emeralds in the Sierra Madre and Overthrust belt, investigating enormous amounts of sky blue kyanite, looking for more iolites, rubies, sapphires and aquamarines, and I had verified Colorado, Montana and Wyoming was underlain by a major diamond province.
|Gem kyanite from Laramie|
and granites that had a wide variety of mineralogy and chemistry that were also subjected to high pressures and temperatures, (3) younger Phanerozoic (less than 600 million years old) sedimentary rocks, (4) Tertiary and Quaternary volcanic rocks and ash falls and (5) rare kimberlites, lamproites and lamprophyres (subjected to extreme pressures), that Wyoming had many potential favorable host rocks for a large variety of gemstones – but no one had bothered to look.
I began to search for different gemstones keeping in mind the geological environments and the rock chemistry. I started to make lists of what I might find and kept extensive files on various gemstones and their geological environments worldwide. While I was mapping, I was also searching for gold, base metals, strategic metals, gemstones and decorative rocks. Soon I was finding many gemstones on my list. Here is the list of what I started searching for and finding in many cases:
|Giant jade boulder from Jeffrey City, Wyoming.|
|A 12-carat, nearly flawless, rough pink sapphire recovered from the Palmer|
Canyon deposit by Vic Norris.
|Flawless pyrope garnet I collected at Butcherknife |
Draw, Wyoming and sent to Sri Lanka for faceting.
I had found many previously unreported kimberlites and kimberlitic indicator mineral anomalies in the Iron Mountain district near Chugwater and this attracted prospectors to dig for diamonds. I visited the Great Diamond Hoax area in northwestern Colorado where I recovered diamonds, rubies, and pyrope garnets salted by scam artists in 1872. But then I was told by a geologist that Diamond Peak actually had conglomerate containing gem-quality pyrope garnet and chromian diopside (both diamond indicator minerals). What was the chance of this happening?
Diamond companies started to show up in Colorado, Montana and Wyoming. And the Kelsey Lake diamond mine opened on the border south of Laramie - but soon closed due to legal problems. Other companies picked up other properties in the same area and found enough diamonds for commercial production. Between 2004 to 2006, the Wyoming Geological Survey was decimated by a sociopath who is still on the loose. For ethical and a reasons, I decided to take early retirement and run US exploration for DiamonEx Ltd, an Australian Mining Company with interests in Botswana. And I had a wonderful time until the market crash of 2008, which put several small mining companies out of business.
|Gem kyanite cut into cabochons from Palmer Canyon, Wyoming. |
There are literally hundreds of billions of carats of this gemstone
in eastern Wyoming at Palmer Canyon, Cooney Hills, Grizzly
Creek and likely in other areas of the state (Hausel, 2009). These and other
aluminum-rich minerals are often found in what geologists call metapelite
(mica-rich schists) that was subjected to moderately high pressures and
temperatures. Using this information, I found dozens of these deposits around
Wyoming. The colors and fractures in these gems actually enhance their
appearance. I am very surprised that someone has not tried to market these
as they are relatively easy to cut. They are a low value gem, but when there
are billions of carats - who cares.
I was considered to be one of the few specialists in Archean gold deposits, diamond deposits, colored gemstone deposits, greenstone belts and more. I was told by the chairman of the Geology Department at UW, that it was only because of my work and research that geologists had a good grasp of the Precambrian Geology. I had been awarded and inducted into two different Halls-of-Fame (nominated for a third) for my geological research, education efforts and communication skills, something that I suspect no other geologist in Wyoming (and possibly the US) could claim.
largest gold deposits in North America, found a whole new gold district with commercial gold mineralization, studied hydrothermal alteration characteristics associated with a large dissimated gold and copper deposit, identified more than a hundred gold anomalies, dozens of gemstone deposits, a couple of massive sulfide deposits, one of the few nickel anomalies ever to be found in Wyoming with some palladium and platinum and more (for which I gained nothing other than recognition and my personal education). I mapped nearly every mining district in Wyoming along with the two largest kimberlite fields in the US and the largest lamproite field in North America, and I was in demand as a consultant for mining companies when I took annual leave from the Survey.
It was time to move on, so I went to work as VP of US Exploration for DiamonEx Ltd, where I found some diamond bearing kimberlites, identified several hundred possible kimberlites for the company to explore and drill. After DiamonEx, Ltd, I worked as a consultant for other mining companies including Black Range Resources, Giant King Gold, Strathmore Resources, Wyoming Gold, Saratoga Gold and others. Personally, I love geology and I love hunting for new mineral deposits.
|Transparent blue barite from Shirley Basin, Wyoming.|
|Cape Emerald from State Line district, Wyoming|
|Banded Jasper from Tin Cup district, Wyoming|
|1.1 carat faceted ruby from Palmer|
|Enormous ruby faceted from rough collected in the Laramie|
|Cabochon of specularite with copper from Charter Oak mine,|
|Gem labradorite from Sybille Canyon,|
|Malachite with specular hematite from the Hartville area, Wyoming|