The allure of gems is so overwhelming that some people find them for a living or for fun. They have been running in the wild all year round, looking for all kinds of rare gems with their keen eyesight and rich experience. This is the mysterious “gem hunter”. What kind of knack do they have? Next let us look at their treasure hunting cheats.
What you need to know about gems
The gemstones in the store are dazzling and sparkling, but finding them in the wild is no easy feat. Although the process of discovering gemstones has a lot to do with luck, “opportunity always favors the prepared mind.” So, the first trick of “treasure hunting cheats” is: keep in mind the typical characteristics of gemstones. Color, transparency, brilliance and hardness, as well as special optical effects, are the most easily observed identification characteristics of gemstones with the naked eye.
The red of ruby and garnet, the green of emerald and peridot, the blue of sapphire, the light blue of aquamarine, and the purple of amethyst are very typical colors, which are unforgettable.
Most natural minerals are not transparent, but gems are generally transparent or translucent, and the higher the transparency, the higher the value. The material composition and structure of the gem itself, as well as the cracks, bubbles, inclusions, etc. contained in it, will affect the transparency.
Different gemstones have different brilliance, which means they reflect light at different intensities. For example, diamond has diamond luster, while the luster of most gemstones such as crystal, tourmaline, emerald, peridot, topaz and aquamarine is similar to flat glass, which is glass luster.
At the same time, the material of gemstones is usually relatively hard, even if it is carved with a knife, there will be no scratches on the surface, because the Mohs hardness of a knife is about 5.5, which is smaller than most gemstones. Non-gem minerals such as calcite and fluorite are difficult to resist depiction, so you only need to try it with a knife.
Rhodochrosite from the “Sweet Home” mine in the United States
In addition, certain gemstones exhibit special optical phenomena when exposed to light. Observing opal from different directions, its color will continue to change, showing colorful lights. Some chrysoberyls have a bright band of light in the middle, like a cat’s eye in the dark. Some rubies and sapphires have intersecting light bands on the surface, like shining stars in the night sky. Inside the sunstone, there are many fine scale-like substances shining, just like the placer gold in the water shining brightly. These characteristics can be used as important clues to find gems in the wild.
If you want to quickly master the knowledge of gemstones, reading alone is not enough. A better way is to visit geological museums. Gemstones are very different before and after treatment. Only those rough and unattractive rough stones in geological museums are their real appearance in nature, which is more instructive for wild treasure hunting, otherwise you will easily rub shoulders with many rough gemstones in the wild. And pass.
Before treasure hunting, you need to bring these
Gem hunters travel through mountains and rivers all year round, requiring rich knowledge of field adventures and good physical fitness. In order to gain something from treasure hunting in the wild and ensure safe travel, some professional equipment is essential.
First of all, you should carry a gem guidebook with you, preferably a pocket book with brief text introduction and pictures of rough stones, so that you can quickly consult and compare them at any time during the treasure hunt in the wild.
Geological hammer and compass
The second is geological tools, including compass, geological hammer and magnifying glass, commonly known as “three major geological tools”. The compass uses the magnetic force of the earth to identify the direction and prevent getting lost. The shape of the geological hammer is blunt at one end and sharp at the other. The flat head is used to strike rocks, which can be broken into small pieces for sampling and observation; the pointed head is used to simply modify the samples to make them suitable in size and easy to carry. If the chiseled specimens are only observed with the naked eye, many tiny mineral particles may be difficult to see clearly, and a magnifying glass is needed at this time. It can usually magnify 10 to 20 times, which is enough for simple observation in the wild. In addition, it is best to bring a few soft-bristled toothbrushes to remove dirt on the surface of the specimen for better observation and identification.
In addition, you need to configure appropriate safety equipment, including gloves, flashlights, helmets, hiking shoes and GPS locators, as well as some necessary food and first aid medicines.
For treasure hunting in the wild, you should go here
The formation of most gemstones is related to magma activities, and they must have suitable external conditions such as temperature and pressure, so that they can gradually crystallize and grow slowly. Therefore, the main direction to look for gemstones is igneous rocks. Only a few gemstones such as garnet, cordierite, and kyanite occur in metamorphic rocks. For example, in the famous “No. 3 Mine” in Keketuohai Town, Fuyun County, Xinjiang, my country, people found emeralds, aquamarines, spodumene and other gemstones here, all of which stem from the great Crystal rock veins. The so-called “pegmatite” refers to a kind of igneous rock with giant grain or coarse grain structure, the mineral grains in it are very large, and the grain size often exceeds 50 mm, so the pegmatite distribution area is often the easiest place to find gemstones place. On September 7, 2019, Keke Tuohai held a special “Xinjiang Fuyun’s First Treasure Hunting Tour”. Many tourists walked into the mine and picked up their beloved gems.
Quartz-like gemstones, including crystal and agate, are easier to find in areas that have been washed and eroded by rivers, lakes, and ocean waves. Although the sand on the coast looks monotonous gray-yellow, under the microscope they are colorful rock fragments, because they are the result of rocks being eroded by waves, which means that there are likely to be larger gemstones in them. According to experience, the best time to look for gemstones on the beach is early morning or evening, when the mild sunlight slant on the beach, those crystal clear gemstones look extraordinarily bright.
The Gobi desert, which is eroded by strong winds, is often a rich place for gems. On the route from Dunhuang to the west through Hami and then to Turpan, there is a legendary place called “Dahai Road”. There are countless agates in the Gobi Desert along the way, with a variety of colors and a dazzling array, attracting “gem hunters” from thousands of miles away.
Abandoned metal mines or quarries are also ideal places to find gems. Even in the randomly piled slag, there are often surprising discoveries. There is a silver mine with a long history in Colorado, USA, which was forced to close in the 1960s due to resource depletion. Later, small pieces of red rhodochrosite crystals were often found in abandoned mines and processed to become the popular rhodochrosite. A businessman in the United States discovered this business opportunity, so he spent a lot of money to rent the mine, and started mining again in 1991, specifically looking for rhodochrosite. This is the famous “Sweet Home” mine.
outdoor activities attire
When treasure hunting, you must pay attention to these
It should be pointed out that treasure hunting in the wild often encounters dangers, which requires us to abide by certain rules, not only to ensure our own safety, but also to protect the natural environment from damage. There are mainly the following six aspects.
One is not to always want to carry many specimens of suspected gemstones with you, which will only increase your load. As far as possible, collected rock specimens should be hammered into small pieces, and only the most useful parts should be brought back for further differential analysis.
The second is not to excavate in various protected areas such as geological parks, forest parks, and natural heritage protection areas, so as not to damage the natural environment and even commit crimes.
Third, although the volcanic rock distribution area is a good place to find gems, do not venture into active volcanic areas.
Fourth, never act alone. The best way is to join a team. You can learn from each other and help each other in case of accidents.
Fifth, try not to enter unknown caves. Although gemstones are formed in many caves, there are many dangerous factors in the caves, including hypoxia and suffocation, abnormal temperature and humidity, rising groundwater levels, unknown biological attacks, getting lost, and no communication signals. Try not to attempt cave treasure hunting without fully understanding the cave conditions.
Sixth, pay attention to protecting the natural environment, not to destroy the habitat of wild animals, and at the same time avoid being attacked by wild animals. When lifting stones, use iron picks or hammers as much as possible, and do not move them directly by hand, so as not to encounter dangerous creatures such as poisonous snakes and scorpions.