Tag Archives: jasper

barite

OTHER GEMS

During 30 years at the WGS, I found hundreds of deposits. How did I do this? I used geology as a guide; I looked at things differently and was motivated to look and search for mineral deposits.

While conducting reconnaissance, I discovered jasper in several old mines at Tin Cup, in an outcrop near the south edge of the Rattlesnake Hills, and found jasperoid at Quaking Asp Mountain. Some of the Tin Cup jasper is extraordinary and found in masses weighing several hundred pounds. The jasper in the Rattlesnake Hills contained some fossil leaf imprints.

Nearly everywhere I explored, I followed trends and examined geology which lead me to other mineral deposits. I was curious enough to find out what some of the unusual minerals were that I picked up, and as a result, I identified more than a dozen minerals that had never been reported in Wyoming.
Above – barite from Mine Hills, Shirley Basin. Middle- a group of cabochons cut from various material. Below – beautiful jasper from Tin Cup & me standing in old prospect pit. These prospects were reported as having high-grade gold values. I found no gold & likely these were left over from various gold mining frauds and scams from the 1800s. Note the large mass of jasper to my right (probably a few tons of high quality material).


Left – Labradorite feldspar collected by Norma Beers in the road bed of Albany County 12 in Albany County. This is just one of millions of gem-quality feldspar found in this area – yet this resource remains unexplored.

WMS-LightningRidgeBoulderOpal1

OPAL

A rockhound from Riverton mentioned opal south of town. The Cedar Ridge deposit lies along the highway & is cut by numerous oil field roads, no one had recognized that this place had one of the largest opal deposits on earth! A few old geological reports from 50 years ago briefly mentioned opal, so I was surprised to find opal scattered over 14 mi2, opal masses >79,000 cts along the edge of the road & common, fire & precious opal with scattered Sweetwater agate & some of the nicest decorative stone on earth. All within Tertiary age volcaniclastic sedimentary rocks that had a notable contribution of volcanic ash erupted from Yellowstone in the geological past.

This gave me a clue – nearly all of Wyoming was blanketed by volcanic ash (as was Nebraska and South Dakota). Guess what? There are other opal fields waiting to be discovered. So I found millions of carats of common & fire opal & traces of precious opal (including black opal) that suggest as soon as someone digs, valuable veins of precious opal will be found as depth!
Photos show precious opal, Sweetwater agate, cobbles of opal in oil field adjacent to road. Below are fire and common opal