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Frequently Asked Gemstone Questions


6. What About Digging Your Own Gemstones?

Can You Actually Dig Your Own Valuable Gemstones?

There are folks who wonder, can you really dig up your own gemstones?  The short answer is yes you can. Many folks would be surprised to learn that there are locations in the United States where one can dig for their own rubies, sapphires, Topaz, opals, diamonds and a variety of other gems.  A few of them are free, but most of these locations are located on private property and do charge a fee, but some of the gems which are produced are very fine and of good quality.  It takes some work as well as good luck to find a nice gemstone.  Depending on the location, you will need shovels and screens, picks and sometimes other equipment.  Many of the facilities which offer the tourist a chance to dig for his own gems also provide the necessary equipment, or least make it available for rent. The facility operators will also tell you about what you need to look for while working at their site.  Most of the sites are family friendly and gemstone digging is just the type of adventure that is easily fitted in the annual family vacation.

Making a nice find is a very special occasion and one that most people will remember for the rest of their lives. Certainly any jewelry produced from a gem which you doubt yourself would be very sentimental.  Of course, all gem rough requires cutting and polishing before it can be used in jewelry and unless you also cut your own gems, you will need the services of a lapidary. Some gem digging sites also have arrangements with cutters to help you get your gems polished.  Most of these sites are also located in remote parts of the country where you will need a vehicle capable of traveling on backcountry dirt roads, and the equipment to camp out at the site.   Some are located close enough to towns that it's not difficult to drive back and get a hotel room, but a good number are remote enough that camping is the preferred option.



Those of you who are interested in digging for your own gems are choosing to enter the world of the rockhound. I have been a rockhound for many years and have enjoyed the many trips I've taken out to the backcountry across the US, and I have made some very nice gem finds.   I have a whole set of webpages devoted to some of these sites where one can dig for their own gemstones.  Be sure to check out my webpages and you will learn more about where these sites are located and what it will take for you to actually dig up your own gem.  You can find my rockhound page at:

      Digging Gems At The Rockhounds Corner



Nevada Outback Gems

Find out more by checking out all of our links below:
Our Free Colored Gemstone Information Encyclopedia Amethyst and Citrine info Aquamarine information
What Really Is A Gemstone? Apatite information Chrysoberyl information
How are Gemstones Mined? Diamond information Emerald information
What About a Gemstone Makes it so Valuable? Garnet information Morganite information
What About Investing in Gemstones? Opal information Peridot information
Nevada Outback Library and Bookstore - Learn more! Ruby information Sapphire information
The Rockhound's Corner for Gem Hunting Spinel information Oregon Sunstone info
Take a virtual tour of our Nevada Turquoise mines Tanzanite information Topaz information
Rare Crystals and Gemstone Rough, including Turquoise Tourmaline information Tsavorite information
Natural Gold Nugget Photos: Big Nuggets, Crystal Gold Turquoise information Zircon information
Chris' Gold Prospecting Encyclopedia Nevada Outback Gems Homepage Nevada Outback Gems Site Map