For a valid reason, Montana is recognized as the Treasure State. That’s because, over 150 years ago, the highlands of Montana were teeming with gold prospectors enticed by the prospect of striking it rich.
In regards to gold, copper prices skyrocketed as electricity became more widely available, making far more people wealthy.
Many precious stones, such as sapphires, have recently drawn prospectors to Montana. Today, rockhounds and prospectors have a plethora of options in Montana. There is something for everyone, from gold to agates, sapphires, and even fossils. Many of these sites are also free and open to the public all year.
But first, let’s take a brief look at some of the gemstones that could be discovered in Montana.
Because of its close resemblance, it is utilized in jewelry as a gemstone to replace jade. This mineral can be sculpted and used for ornamental purposes. It can also replace green marble and be used as a fertilizer. Gorgeous Serpentine has been discovered in many locations throughout Montana, but there is no specific location where you can go; choose a mining site.
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It is the hardest known material, chemically resistant, and has excellent thermal conductivity due to its composition.
Diamond’s optical properties include a high refractive index, high dispersion, and brilliance, earning it the title of the world’s most well-known gemstone.
Gemstones, industrial abrasives, diamond windows, speaker domes, heat sinks, low friction micro-bearings, wear-resistant parts, and cable manufacturing are the most common applications for diamonds.
The sapphire stone is among the most sought-after precious stones globally; it has outstanding resistance properties, stunning beauty, and relatively low prices in the jewelry market.
The sapphire stone is a mineral that naturally shows up with vibrant blue colors; however, it has some variants that range from bluish green, green, and almost white; all of these color changes occur due to impurities.
Where To Find Gemstones In Montana?
In this post, I’ll list some of Montana’s finest rockhounding dig sites for you to visit. So scoop up your rock hammer and gloves and start work!
Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine
Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine is located at mile marker 38.4 of Montana Highway 38, Skalkaho Pass Road, between Hamilton and Philipsburg. If you make a reservation, you can visit the mine and wash through gravel to find your own Montana sapphires.
They offer you all of the necessary equipment and guidance on what you’re looking for. The Cooney Family operates Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine, a family-owned business, to entertain treasure-seeking visitors worldwide.
The mine is located in an area of spectacular natural beauty that is rarely visited or seen by millions of visitors.
Butte Mineral and Gem Club
Butte, Montana Obviously, this is a club, not yet a mine, but they do have field trips to mines all over the state year. They’re also a savvy group that hosts the Butte Mineral Show at the Civic Center.
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If you’re a rock hound, joining this club could be the ideal place to get more regular involvement in all things gems.
Spokane Bar Sapphire Mine – Helena, Montana
Helena, 5360 Castles Road. Don’t be misled by the name. This mine is located just outside Helena, making it a feasible day trip for almost everyone.
” A man from Idaho discovered the most significant known sapphire from the Spokane Bar, weighing 155 carats.” You can order a bag of gravel to sift through at home or go to the mines themselves.
Spencer Opal Mines – Spencer, Idaho
Spencer, Idaho, 27 Opal Ave. OK, yes, it Could be a fun road trip! To dig here, you must be at least 16 years old. Digging is only permitted on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, but please get in touch with them ahead of time as opening days and times may change.
Yellowstone Gemstone Mining
Yellowstone Gemstone Mining Company is located at 105 South Faithful Street in West Yellowstone, Montana. This is more of a tourist attraction than a severe mine.
However, the mining option is ideal for small children, whereas the other options are not. Other activities that are more of a focus here include ziplining, rafting, and horseback riding.
The region around Anaconda has hard been a favorite of rockhounds. Cable Mountain, northeast of Georgetown Lake, has old scheelite and epidote tailings.
West of the lake, argillite, and quartzite can be found. However, gems and precious minerals aren’t the only things to be discovered in the ground in Southwest Montana.
Madison County, in southwestern Montana, is one of the best places to rockhound. From here, you can travel to the Ruby River, where you can find almandite garnets in red, orange, and even pink hues.
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This state region has many sapphire deposits, making it a popular choice for gem hunters.
Whenever it relates to amethyst, the Crystal Park in Elkhorn Hot Springs Area, Pioneer Mountains, Montana, is among the best places to discover it and its smoky derivatives.
Other beautiful places to look for amethyst include Bald Mountain, Little Gem Mine, Homestake Pass, Delmoe Lake, and Wissikihon Creek.
Montana is one of the wealthiest states for rockhounding due to its abundance of precious, semi-precious, and rare variants of prevalent rocks such as agates.
It is not a place you want to miss, with its eastern parts filled with magnificent world-class dinosaur fossils and its western parts abundant in numerous rare minerals.