The Rock Hound's Corner

Deep Red Oregon Sunstone


This webpage features articles and information on rock hounding in Nevada and Oregon. I am a individual prospector and I have been searching the hills of Oregon, California and Nevada for many years, and I have found some nice gems. I have a degree in Mining Engineering from the Mackey School of mines, and I write a monthly series of articles for the ICMJ Mining Journal covering various aspects of prospecting for gold, collecting gems and minerals as well as other similar activities. I hope you will find the information I am presenting here useful. I enjoy getting out into the hills, camping in the wilds and experiencing the beauty of the great outdoors. Finding something a beautiful gem while out hunting on the rock ribbed mountains is a special experience, and if you try it your self, I am sure you will experience the same thrill. I thought I'd put together these pages to share some information with my rockhound friends on the internet. I expect to be adding more information here in the future. Each topic below has a wealth of pages rich in information, so make a selection and take a look...... Damali green turquoise

Nevada Opal Mining - Part One -Virgin Valley

Nevada has become famous for it's fantastic Black Opals. the best-known Opal field in Nevada is located in northern Humboldt County at Virgin Valley.  This is the first of a two-part feature on Nevada opals, and covers what you need to know about the Virgin Valley opal field and the beautiful gems found there.  Also included is information for rockhounds on the various pay to dig sites located there.



Nevada Opal Mining - Part Two - Other Nevada Locations

Nevada has a number of other lesser known precious opal fields located throughout the state.  This is the second of a two-part feature on Nevada opals, and covers those lesser-known opal fields spread throughout Nevada. This article covers a little bit about the location and geology of each these different opal producing areas.


Nevada opal Pic

Digging Oregon Sunstone

Beautiful feldspar gems, known as sunstones, can be found in several places throughout the state of Oregon.  The location best known by rockhounds is found north of the small town of Plush in Lake County. This article provides considerable information about the famous Oregon sunstones with a special emphasis on the deposits at Plush and the pay to dig mines there.

Plush, Oregon sunstone pit

Godber Mine Turquoise Mining

In the late 1960s there were a large number of commercial turquoise mines operating in Nevada. Today, only a few of these mines remain in operation.  One of these is the Godber mine in Lander County. The Godber continues to be worked by Bruce and Jeri Woods in this article gives interesting information about their operation.

Godber turquoise mine  

Gemstone Encyclopedia

Many people have a lot of questions about gemstones, their various properties and their origins. Here is the web's best encyclopedia pages of gemstone information covering the basic facts about each gem.  Probably everything most folks would want to know about gemstones can be found by looking in here.


Dameli green turquoise ring

Nevada Turquoise Mining

Historically, Nevada has been the largest producer of turquoise in the United States. many different colors and patterns are mined here. This article describes a bit about the turquoise found in Nevada, it's geology and how it is mined. 


Royston turquoise Nevada

Nevada Turquoise Deposits

This article is the most extensive listing of Nevada turquoise mines to be found anywhere on the Internet.  Each district and location as described together with mine names and the qualities of turquoise, Variscite or Faustite which are found there. More than 120 turquoise mines and districts are described.


Nevada turquoise rough  





Austin, Nevada: Rockhound Haven

The little town of Austin, Nevada, located in the central part of the state, is of great interest to rockhounds and prospectors, and is well worth the stay. There are historic buildings old mines and many other items of interest. Besides the old silver mines, the whole region is surrounded by turquoise deposits, as well as interesting prospects for agate petrified wood and similar materials.


Austin, Nevada

Garnet Hill Rock Hound Recreation Area near Ely, Nevada

Just west of the town of Ely, Nevada, located in White Pine County, is the Garnet Hill recreation area, source of many beautiful garnet crystal specimens. It is a designated rock hound recreation area, so it is open with no fees. Many folks come here to collect, and most are successful in finding some of these beautiful garnets, which occur in small holes or vugs in the rhyolite host rock..


Berlin - Ichthyosaur State Park, Nevada

In a remote part of west central Nevada is one of the most unusual state parks in all of the United States.  It is the Berlin - Ichthyosaur State Park which combines the old historic silver mining ghost town of Berlin, together with a completely unique display of Ichthyosaur fossils.


Montana Gem Sapphires

Up in Montana are a number of sapphire mines. Several are open to the pubic to allow tourists to find their own sapphires. As the photo at right shows, with proper treatments, they can be spectacularly beautiful. Its an exciting adventure for the whole family, so check out my information sapphire photos and maps. Everything you need for your Montana rock hound adventure is right here.


Mineral Collection and Photo Identification Page

Check out this mineral collector's dream - a collection of beautiful mineral photos  with loads of detailed mineral identification information. Hardness, colors, density, industrial uses and special characteristics for more than 100 minerals. Special emphasis on gem and ore minerals, including those that make for showy specimens.

Mineral collector's Photo Gallery

Library and bookstore

Want to learn more?  This website has loads of information, but there is always lots more to learn. Here is a large list of books I recommend on Prospecting, rock and mineral collecting, geology, jewelry making, etc. Each has a link where you can make a purchase from Amazon if you wish. 


Return To The Prospecting Encyclopedia Page Return To The Basic Placer Mining Page Return To The Miner's Reference Page Return To The Nevada Outback Home Page

PLEASE NOTE: ALL ARTICLE ON THIS SITE ARE COPYRIGHTED BY THE AUTHOR AND MAY NOT BE PRINTED OR DISTRIBUTED IN ANY WAY WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR. Want to know a little bit more about this crazy prospector guy? Well, here's a little bit more about me, and how I got into prospecting: Chris' Prospecting Story  

Nevada Turquoise, Tanzanite and Tourmaline Jewelry

Nevada Outback Gems

Find out more by checking out All of Our links below:
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More Info about Turquoise, the Beautiful Gem Nevada Outback Gems Homepage
Take a virtual tour of our Nevada Turquoise mines Our Free Colored Gemstone Information Encyclopedia
Chris' Adventures Prospecting for Gold, Silver, Turquoise and other Gems Nevada Outback Library and Bookstore - Learn more!
Nevada Outback Gems Website News More Info about Gem Cutting
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