Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sapphire Country

Yesterday we drove to Phlipsburg, MT.  Philipsburg is a small mining town, famous for mining sapphires.

The date, 1894, the place, Gem Peak area on Rock Creek near Philipsburg, Montana. The first load of sapphires is shipped from Placer mines and eventually as far away as Switzerland for watch jewels and fine instrument bearings. Here was a world-class discovery and supply to meet a growing demand for corundum; sapphires and rubies,

The sapphire is my birthstone, so of course, I wanted to find a nice size stone.  Laurence knew of a place where we could sift through a bucket of dirt and hopefully find our own sapphire.

One our way to a mine establishment, we passed some beautiful scenery.  The mountains of Montana are just beautiful.

It didn't take us too long to arrive at Gem Mountain.
Here is where we purchase our bucket of dirt.

When you get your bucket, you are given a sifter, tweezers, and a brush.  We were given instructions on what to do and what to look for.  Here Glenn is sifting through some rock and dirt.  When thoroughly washed, he took it to a table, dumped out the sifter and we started searching.

You look for stones that look almost like glass.

We all had a fun time. 
 Here are Sidney, Aisling and Laurence (it was his birthday).
Happy Birthday Laurence!!

Aisling is having a piece of jewelry made out of one she found.

Glenn and I did find a few, but only two were significant enough to get heated and cut.
Maybe someday I will.  At any rate, it was fun searching!