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Topaz Mountain Area, Utah

By Jay Bates, member SFGMS

July 2003

I left my home in Northern California for Nevada at 4:00 am. I was traveling by myself on US Route 50, the so-called "Loneliest Highway in the World" until I reached a site for Blue Agate in the middle of no-where. I stopped there and collected several pounds of deep blue agate.

I travel on and spent a night at a reservoir west of Ely with some rockhound friends from the club who are also birdwatchers. They spent a couple hours scoping the birds while I watched the fish jump, wishing I had gotten a fishing license.

The next day we drove to near Ruth where we collected garnets in the morning with some other rockhounding club members. Ruth was once a large copper mine and tailing piles are everwhere. In the afternoon we drove on to Delta, Utah where we set up camp at a RV campground with showers. The next day we went out to the "U Dig Trilobite" site and split shale looking for trilobites. Many nice ones were found. In the afternoon we went to the house of an owner of a red beryl mine in the Wah Wah Mountains. He showed us several trays of red beryl collected by him and his father at their mine.

Red beryl collection

He showed us a huge specimen of red beryl that he had for sale.

Huge red beryl specimens

I bought a couple septurian nodules for spheres, and a small red beryl specimen.

Septarian Nodules

The next day we left for Topaz Mountain stopping along the way at Drum Mountain to collect some agate. I got about 100 pounds of agate. We stayed at Topaz Mountain for three days digging for topaz, red beryl, and pseudobrookite. I found over a hundred topazs, four small red beryls and a small specimen of psuedobrookite. Someone also found a Bixbyite specimen.

Topaz Mountain, Utah

Digging for topaz, red beryl, and pseudobrookite

After three days of heat and playing desert rat I headed home stopping in Delta going to the "Bug House" and bought two huge Dugway geodes that are hollow that I am going to sphere with windows. They should be spectacular when I am done. I also bought a nice piece of dino bone - a red hip joint piece. The people of Delta were very friendly and have become friends with many in our club, inviting us into their homes, giving us good deals on material, and allowing us to dig on their claims. If you go there, be sure to go to the "Bug House" and U Dig.

The San Francisco Gem & Mineral Society, Inc.

4134 Judah Street

San Francisco, CA 94122


Guests and visitors are welcome at all meetings which are usually held
on the first Friday of each month, 8 pm at the clubhouse.

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