Gems are cut from both the precious and common forms, but precious opal is the primary gem form of this stone.

Visit Our Retail Store: Most of the opal deposits have been found in the areas around Hardtrigger Creek, Opalene Gulch and Squaw Creek. A condition called crazing affects certain opals, causing them to form internal cracks. Idaho is actually called the Gem State, which might surprise some people, but the astounding variety of precious and rare stones found there are enough to put pretty much any collector or amateur prospector there at some point or another if they’re serious about the hobby. We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. The chances of discovering a truly valuable opal in the Spencer Opal Mines aren’t that bad. You can clear up to six permits, or thirty pounds of garnets, per year and that can make for a huge amount of these rare Idaho gemstones. The severity of the crazing and the time it takes to “craze” varies among specimens. James Lewis is a family man, sportsman and a computer professional. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in United Kingdom.

They don’t call us the Gem State just for kicks and giggles. From Queens to Missoula Idaho Opals. Just a short drive from our location in Philipsburg, Montana. 11-7 both days Opals “Opal is the world’s most popular phenomenal gem. I'm not sure I would go back because you don't get much for all your effort. Its splendid play of color is unsurpassed, and fine examples can be more valuable than diamond. Having a spray bottle would have been nice to know ahead of time as well. There are many varieties of both precious and common opals. Opal is a highly sought after stone, and for good reason.

The sun was hot on the back of my neck as I crouched down over another pile of rocks, wielding my hammer and garden fork.

It’s big, with tons of rocks, and there’s no way they screen them all in advance. With it’s fiery display, opal has been said to spark creativity. Digging for opals was a fun experience. The origin of the specimen is often a determining factor to its resistance to crazing. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. The quality and beauty of the opal we offer is so impressive that Specimens from this mine have been donated by request to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Most are very small, but some have been large enough to cut into fine stones. The prices are reasonable but you’ll have to bring your own equipment.

Idaho is home to approximately 72 different kinds of gems and you can get your hands on some of your own when you visit this one-of-a-kind park. Location on our Idaho Map / Official Website. The play of color may consist of large, individual flashes of color (known as schillers), or may be of tiny, dense flashes. Opals displaying play of color are known as precious opals, and opals lacking play of color are known as common opals. They mine opal and sell finished stones and jewelry locally and at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. The opals from the Spencer, Idaho deposit differ from other well known deposits in the United States,Australia, Mexico and Brazil. This is the only commercial opal mine in Idaho that is open to the public for the opportunity for folks to search for their very own opals.

By clicking on or navigating the site, you agree to our use of cookies. At Spencer the precious opal occurs as one or more thin layers within common opal partially filling gas cavities within a rhyolite-obsidian flow. While demonstrating how to water the stones down and bring out their full color, the mine’s owner told us about a 10-year-old kid who had recently found a huge pink opal in the public mine. So, our plan is to move to an interesting new city, once every three months. We're Jürgen and Mike, from Germany and the USA.

There are a wide array of different Idaho gemstones, some of which are very valuable. ... Idaho Falls, Idaho 127 contributions 21 helpful votes. Spencer Opal Mine. Whether you’re looking for massive opals, or just want to add a couple of the ultra-rare star garnets to your collection, Idaho is definitely worth a trip and you might just want to set aside some time to get out there during your next vacation. GPAA: Stands for Gold Prospector Association of America gold claims. Although it can occur at random, it usually strikes when an opal removed from damp conditions is allowed to dry too quickly, or when an opal is exposed to sudden intense light — or a combination of these factors.