They are stored locally on your computer or mobile device. Our Idaho opals come from the Opal Mountain Mine, Inc. in Spencer, Idaho. In 1968, after realizing they were producing more rock than they could work themselves, they opened a mini-mine for amateur gem hunters. Most are very small, but some have been large enough to cut into fine stones. The Spencer Opal Mine, the largest privately owned gem stone producer in the State, is the major producer of Opal. There are quite a few places you can go to harvest opals while you’re in Idaho, we’ve decided to list some of the most popular that are open to the public. Opal helps you see possibilities and helps you discover a broader perspective.
By using this site you consent to the use of these cookies by various third-party partners such as Google and other advertisers. I’m putting this place on my list for next year’s road trip out west. Check out our 15 Sliding Puzzle game! Rock Hounding Idaho: A Map of 99 Locations in Idaho to start finding Gemstones, as well as many other resources for the novice prospector. Today, these superstitions have diminished, but some people still believe it is bad luck to wear opals. Click here to learn more or control your settings. 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. Idaho Opals. Their opal comes in every color of the rainbow and every pattern imaginable, creating a one-of a-kind triplet that is well protected and will give you many years of enjoyment.

They mine opal and sell finished stones and jewelry locally and at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. 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. I wasn't expecting mounds of opals but to go home with one. The brilliant colors and patterns found in Spencer come from the density and uniformity of the silica layers. This websites also uses 'cookies' to give you the most relevant experience while browsing. Privacy Policy | Shipping & Returns | Terms, Living Big Sky Historically, beliefs associated with the wearing of opal have varied. Eastern people regarded it as sacred, and Arabs believed it fell from heaven. The opals are salmon pink or cherry red in color and display great brilliance. 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. About Jim Lewis. Reportedly, opal’s name evolved from the Roman word opals from the Greek word opallios meaning “to see a change of color.” The Greek word was a modification of the ancient Indian Sanskrit name for opal, upala, which meant “precious stone.” If one spoke in mixed tongues, then opal would be opallios upala, “to see a change of color precious stone.” As indicated by the derivation of its name, opal has centuries of history as a treasured gemstone. Spencer Opal Mine . Idaho Gemstones: You Can Dig for Opals & Star Garnets. 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. Spencer Opal Mines Rockhounds and mineral collectors throughout the northwest enjoy visiting the famous Spencer Opal Mine. opal doesn't work for me. Idaho Opals. Every time I had almost convinced myself to quit, a shiny glint appeared underfoot.

Opal is brittle, heat sensitive, and breaks and scratches easily; additionally, some varieties self- destruct through the loss of water. You could camp at Givens Hot Springs and venture out for some opal digging during the day. Most of the opal deposits have been found in the areas around Hardtrigger Creek, Opalene Gulch and Squaw Creek. Visit Our Retail Store:

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. By clicking on or navigating the site, you agree to our use of cookies. The “mini-mine” is actually crushed up rocks from the primary Spencer Opal Mine site, and most people walk away with a decent amount of rough. The derivation of its name even adds to its position. They don’t call us the Gem State just for kicks and giggles. Opal is the most colorful of all gems. In fact, I had to choose some opals to leave behind, although I could have paid a bit extra to take them all. These beautiful opals are just another example of the fantastic gems grown in our location. Just a short drive from our location in Philipsburg, Montana. Also Read: Treasure Hunting in Idaho – Coins, Relics & Buried Treasure, And: Remote Gold Mining Locations in Idaho. Idaho Opals. Precious opal may be subdivided further by color modifiers, white, black, pinks, and blue, which describe the body color of the opal. They mine precious opal and sell rough and cut stones. Yes, my precious, another opal! A fun adventure looking for opals.

Yes, my precious, another opal! About 10% of the material is thick enough to cut into solid gems; the remainder is fashioned into doublets and triplets. It’s big, with tons of rocks, and there’s no way they screen them all in advance.

amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon"; Every time I had almost convinced myself to quit, a shiny glint appeared underfoot.
For another unique rockhounding destination, check out The One Place You Can Only Find This Incredibly Rare Gem In Idaho. If you plan on making a prospecting trip for Idaho gemstones, you’ll find that the some of the finest amazing opals and stunning star garnets are among the finest specimens that you can find anywhere. Gazing into the depths of your opal has been said to improve eyesight and reduce stress.

Interesting place and out of the way, but definitely worth the trip. 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. amzn_assoc_tracking_id = "raregold-20"; 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. Found a few opals, learned a lot, and had a good time. The prices are reasonable but you’ll have to bring your own equipment. After spending about 6 hours on the rock pile, we had a couple of tiny opals, but nothing big enough to make into a piece of jewelry. The Opal is the traditional October birthstone and the accepted gem for the 13th wedding anniversary. So, our plan is to move to an interesting new city, once every three months. He estimated that the gem could probably pay for the kid’s first year of college.

Our first gem show will be October 23 and 24 at the Shilo Inn in Idaho Falls. This Cozy Yurt Tucked In The Woods In Idaho Is The Perfect Base Camp For Your Next Adventure, Golden Wheel Is A Little Drive-Thru In Idaho That’s Been Slinging Burgers Since The ’50s, Idaho Banana Co. Is The Quirkiest Little Gift Shop In The Gem State That’s So Worth A Stop, You’ll Have A Front Row View Of The Salmon River With Your Own Private Beach At This Idaho Airbnb, This Idaho Arcade With 250 Vintage Games Will Bring Out Your Inner Child, This Little Known Exotic Petting Zoo In Idaho Is Fun For The Whole Family, An Epic Dinosaur Theme Park Is Visiting Idaho Soon And You Need To Visit, You’ll Never Forget A Trip Through This Old Gem Mine In Idaho, And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now: Enter your e-mail address for things to do, restaurants to try and much more! We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. 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. The Spencer Mine is the source of pink common opal and pink precious opal. It has been featured in the “Prospecting and Mining Journal” as well as having an article about the mine published in almost every major US paper and the Bankok Post. Please choose a different date. Vegas Flair at Cactus Petes in Jackpot, Nevada, The Wuppertal Schwebebahn (Suspension Monorail) -- Since 1901. amzn_assoc_search_bar = "true";

With hundreds of puzzles featuring our photography from around the world, you'll never run out of new destinations to discover! Next in importance is white opal, which is opal with a light colored body color (white, yellow, cream, etc.) Our Idaho opals come from the Opal Mountain Mine, Inc. in Spencer, Idaho. 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. Near the opal deposits agates of light blue color abound. Our company sells opal jewelry and loose opal gemstones to retail and wholesale markets. For $10, you can scour the stones as long as you want, and keep up to a pound of opal-laden rock for yourself. Idaho opal is estimated to be about 4 million years old. Is this a place or activity you would suggest for, Would you recommend this place or activity to a friend looking for an, Are the prices for this place or activity, Is this a place or activity you would go to on a, Is this a romantic place or activity that you would suggest for, Is this a must-do if you are travelling with a, You used to be able to go up to the mountain and get your own stone, but they do have rocks out back and you can fill a bucket, a five gallon bucket works good. James Lewis is a family man, sportsman and a computer professional. Having a spray bottle would have been nice to know ahead of time as well. This isn’t a pay-to-dig mine, but there are several opal deposits just south of the town of Marsing in Owyhee County. Active Claim Areas: Stands for areas that are on existing gold claims that are actively mined. All rights reserved, copyright may apply. Hiding in Spencer, Idaho is an opal mine where visitors can come and try their luck at finding some precious stones as they dig for opals. There are also many variety names given to the numerous forms of both precious opal and common opal. This is a bucket list item you’ll definitely want to check off soon so take a look! Crazing may also take place when an opal is subject to vibration, as during the cutting and polishing of a specimen. Its splendid play of color is unsurpassed, and fine examples can be more valuable than diamond. Many precious opals, besides being classified as either black or white opals, are further classified based on the distribution and habit of their play of color. Most of the gems we found were fairly common, the shiny white color of quartz, but we ended up with a few colorful opals were suitable to be polished and set into jewelry. The stones themselves come in a variety of sizes, but the main thing to concern collectors is the “stars” themselves. The play of color consists of iridescent color flashes that change with the angle at which the stone is viewed. There are many varieties of both precious and common opals. Thank you! Many opal deposits are located on the south side of Opal Mountain, but some are covered under patented or unpatented mining claims. If you’re looking for star garnets in the United States, this is the only place where they are actually found in quantity and it’s definitely worth the trip whether you’re just passing through or planning a serious rockhounding expedition. Some may find opal very hard to wear. The staff is friendly and the shop is great. ... Idaho Falls, Idaho 127 contributions 21 helpful votes. While the four pointed “stars” are certainly attractive, it’s the rarer six-sided stars that are highly sought after, sometimes fetching over a hundred dollars per karat! The app is totally free and contains no ads. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in United Kingdom. After about an hour, we left the mine with two full bags of rock, our one-pound quotas easily met. Location on our Idaho Map / Official Website.

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