Gem Mining – Take II

I returned to Lucky Lake yesterday to pick up the garnet I had cut. I couldn’t resist getting another bucket to dig around in. Have to say, this bucket (the cheaper bucket I might add), was much more impressive than the last one.

As a reminder, here is the before Garnet, in the raw…

Dad's find with garnet

…and here it is after! Ended up being around 6.5 carats or so. Not quite worth what I paid to have it cut, but it’s still special ;-)

Cut Garnet 3 Cut Garnet 4

It turned out to be a kind of dark, red raspberry color. So pretty! Maybe I’ll put it in a setting for my next birthday milestone as a present to myself.

Cut Garnet 6

Cut Garnet 7 Cut Garnet 8

I may just have to have the Amethyst in this latest bucket cut too. I had actually, accidentally, dumped it not realizing it was in a big clump of dirt. The gemologist noticed it in the pile and said “you might want to keep this one!” I have to agree with him, it’s a really deep, dark purple. Notice the difference between it and the other Amethysts in the group.

Amethyst 1 Amethyst group

And I got more quartz…

Rose Quartz

Rose QuartzRose Quartz group 1

Smokey Quartz

Smokey Quartz

Crystal Quartz

Crystal Quartz group Crystal Quartz

More Sodalite

Sodalite group 1

Now for the new stuff

Amazonite (which is actually a variety of feldspar, aka fertilizer!)

Said to promote kindness and practicality, some varieties are also known as the lucky “Hope Stone.”

Amazonite 2

I found some Jasper the last time, but this time I found a lot of different varieties.

Not exactly sure which type this was, keep forgetting to bring a pen and paper and write down what the guy says!

Jasper group unknown

I’m pretty sure this is Ocean Jasper, but he noted the dark red one was something different, so…I don’t know.

Jasper Jasper group

Red Jasper

Said to rectify unjust situations and calm the emotions, it is also the stone of health.

Red Jasper group

Leopard Skin Jasper (this stuff looks VERY cool!)

Said to be associated with shamans, spiritual discovery and is said to assist in self-healing.

Leopard Skin Jasper 1 Leopard Skin Jasper group

Orange Calcite

Said to be the Happy Stone, it helps promote happiness and ward off depression.

Orange Calcite Orange Calcite group

Tigers Eye

Said to be the stone of personal protection, it was carried as a talisman to keep people from wishing ill will on you or casting spells on you.

Tigers Eye 1 Tigers Eye 3Tigers Eye group 1

I think this may be an Agate…I forgot :(

Agate maybe

Group photos!

Jaspers, Ites and Eyes

Jaspers, Ites and Eyes group

Quartzes (and a couple of Ites)

Quartz group 1

One big happy family

Whole group 1

Gem mining is a bit addictive. Despite all of the ones I already have, I want to go back for more! What on Earth am I going to do with all of these, apart from displaying them in a bowl!?!? I have some ideas for making some of them into jewelry, but either way, they are pretty and fun and I enjoy looking at them ;-)


Gem Mining

For Father’s Day 2013, I drove my dad about an hour and a half south to McKenney, VA, to Lucky Lake Gem Mine to mine for gems! It wasn’t quite as adventure-laden as I thought it would be…no pick-axes or spelunking in tunnels…but it was quality Father-Daughter time hunting for treasures from nature. Just like we used to when I was a kid.

We actually ended up “finding” (and I use that very loosely, we “found” it in the bucket of dirt we were given), a Garnet that I’m having cut (which happens to be my birthstone). I’ll post a picture of the after faceted stone once I get it back. The before picture is in Dad’s find, with an arrow ;-)

We also “found” a ton of Rubies, a Citrine, a couple of Amethysts, lots of quartz (including Rose and Smokey), Turquoise, Sodalite, and Silver Topaz, among others.

The Garnet should be ready in a couple of weeks and I can’t wait to pick it up and see how it turned out!


Sluice Box


Sluice Box with our finds


My finds

My find

Dad’s finds

Dad's find with garnet

Gemologist explaining the stones and gems

DSCN4176 DSCN4178


February birthstone – my grandma’s ;-) Said to be the stone of royalty, it can also keep away nightmares if you put it on your bedside table.

2 Amethysts


Said to be a good luck charm, if you hold it in two hands and wish for wealth and prosperity it will all come to your door.

2 Aventurines


Said to stimulate creativity, give courage and promote positive life choices.



November birthstone – Dad’s ;-) Said to be the stone of creativity and is said to bring success in business and commerce.



Said to aid in teaching patience as well as helps eliminate rage and control anger.


Ocean Jasper

Said to be the stone of protection, it also absorbs negative energy and gives one courage.

Ocean Jasper


Said to be the healing stone and is the most commonly used amongst healers and psychics. In order to cleanse a quartz, one must leave it underneath a full moon overnight, then never let another person touch it every again. Dad didn’t want to keep any of the stones, but he was drawn to this one, so it was one of his Father’s Day presents ;-)


Rose Quartz

Said to be the stone of love. Nuff said.

Rose Quartz

Rutilated Quartz

This is my favorite stone that we found. The golden straw-like lines are said to be hairs from Venus! The goddess of love, not the planet ;-)

Rudilated Quartz1  Rudilated Quartz3


Thought to have healing properties, it also helps open the mind and make it more receptive to retaining information.

Sodalite maybe Sodalite2 maybe


Said to help you be true to yourself and help you stand up for your beliefs.


Silver Topaz and I think some Aquamarine

Said to be the promoter of truth and forgiveness, removes stagnant energy and purifies emotion.

Silver Topaz I think with some Aquamarine

Rubies! Lots and lots of Rubies!

July Birthstone – Mom’s ;-) Said to be the most powerful gem in the universe, Burmese warriors used to insert Rubies into their skin before battle thinking it would make them invincible.