Another Update on The Gemfield Gem Claims in Goldfield, Nevada

Sharon Artlip has been in touch. She and her sister Nadiah Beekum own the Gemfield Gem claims in Goldfield, Nevada.

I’ve written quite a bit about the claims at this site and also in the May, 2016 issue of Rock&Gem Magazine. Another name for the claims now seems to be “The Rainbow Chalcedony Claims.”

Sharon writes that, “It has been a wonderful couple of years.  We are still having fun at Gemfield and always trying to improve it.  If you would like I will send you the current brochure.”

Rocks go for a dollar a pound. Everything is on the honor system. Register at one of several Goldfield businesses before going to the claim. Easy dirt road but not recommended for large RVs.

Wild burro country. Antelope, too.

Here’s a link below to the current brochure in .pdf:

2019-03-Gemfield Gem-Claims-History-pamphlet

This is a link to Sharon’s website supporting the claims:

http://www.gemfieldnv.com

And here’s a postcard photo of the claims. Click here or on the image for a much bigger view:

 

Sharon holding chalcedony in Goldfield, Nevada. She’s at Bryan Smalley’s Hidden Treasure Trading Company at 489 Bellevue Avenue.  Notice her truck’s new personalized license plates.

Follow me on Instagram: tgfarley

https://www.instagram.com/tgfarley/


What Does an Agate Look Like?

Agates occur in nearly every state, along with countries around the world. Their patterns are endless and often striking, sometimes unbelievable. Right now there is a great agate thread going on on the open Facebook group Rockhound Connection:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/169785333057/

Make sure to check out the posts. They are all variations of quartz.

As beautiful as some of these cut and polished specimens are, many beginners are confused as to what to look for. Although not always present, a certain translucence and a wavy character to the rock are good signs. Some agates are so outrageously striped that there is no doubt as to what they are.

Here is a video of an agate that I liked so much that I have never had the heart to cut it open. The second photograph shows another agate from the same location, one I cut into a slab with a rock saw.

Both of these rocks are for examples only, they did not come from the Southwest. But if you are ever in Northern California, you may want to check the riverbed of Cache Creek in Yolo County. Good luck.

https://www.yolocounty.org/general-government/general-government-departments/parks/parks-information/camp-haswell

Uncut agate. Click on image or text link below. (Movie)

Cache_Creek_Agate_green

Cut agate:

Update on The Gemfield Gem Claims in Goldfield, Nevada

My second article for Rock & Gem Magazine was on the Gemfield Gem claims outside of Goldfield, Nevada. The claims are a major source of fine chalcedony. Sharon Artlip, one of the two claim owners, now has a website for the property:

http://www.gemfieldnv.com

A month ago I visited Goldfield. I couldn’t connect with Sharon, who may have been out of town Sharon no longer operates Goldfield Art & Business Services out of the store on I-95.

The present owners of the new store at that location, however, will accept your registration and rock fees. Their names are Sherri and Mike. They have a nice store with some maps and some rocks. When I was there they had locally mined pyrite. Stop in and check out a new business:

Wild Inspirations
306 Crook Avenue
P.O. Box 121
Goldfield, NV 89013

775-485-3789

Wildinspirations@outlook.com

This is the information site at the claims.

Also, when in Goldfield, never miss a chance to check in with Bryan Smalley at Hidden Treasures Trading Company. He may be hard to find away from his store, but ask locals where Bryan is. Try the Dinky Diner. He’s well worth tracking down to visit a one-of-a-kind rock shop:

https://www.facebook.com/HiddenTreasuresTradingCo/

489 S. Bellevue Avenue
Goldfield, Nevada

775-485-3761. Honestly, I have never been able to contact him on the phone.

Points North

What makes up the Southwestern United States? There’s no agreed definition, save that Arizona and New Mexico are always included. For the purposes of my book I’m setting its northern boundary at the 38th Parallel. In Nevada, that border touches on tiny Goldfield and Tonopah.

This week I’ll be traveling two those two towns, before heading further to Hawthorne, site of the largest ammunition depot in North America, and then further into the Sierra Nevada mountains. Its a Holiday week so I don’t know what will be open. But I know Sharon Artlip’s chalcedony claims will be.

I wrote about Sharon’s fee/dig claims in Goldfield in the May, 2016 issue of Rock&Gem. If you don’t have access to that, I wrote some background on that article at my personal writing blog. Click here to go there. Her claims are about three miles out of town and still open to anyone at a dollar a pound. The chalcedony is literally everywhere under foot.

Register first at one of several local shops in Goldfield before heading to the claims. Information on that is at the link above, also be sure to visit Bryan Smalley’s rock shop. It’s called Hidden Treasures and it is truly that. Confused about directions? Find a store closed? Stop any local on the street and ask where Bryan or Sharon are. Goldfield is that relaxed. And fuel up before Goldfield, gas is 27 miles away in Tonopah.

Speaking of which, I hope to visit that city’s mining park and museum once again. They have a silver ledge there that I want a better photograph of. I wrote about Tonopah area when I went on a fee/dig trip to the Royal Royston turquoise claim in November, 2015.  It was the focus of my article in the January, 2016 issue of Rock&Gem. Background on that trip is at this link.

Unfortunately, Dean Otteson, head of the Otteson clan, died shortly after the article was published and public tours of the claim ceased. I knew him for only a few minutes but I immediately considered him a friend. There may be open ground in the Royston Hills near Tonopah but it would take careful research to determine those locations.

I don’t know of any current fee/dig operation for turquoise in the Southwest but I have a lead on a possibility in New Mexico some distance from Magdalena. Perhaps I will have more information on that before my book is published.

Until I check in later from the road,  I wish you the best this Thanksgiving Week! And, as always, check out Rock&Gem Magazine for the latest goings on in this wonderful hobby of rockhounding.

From Rough to Refined

Gold prospectors should be open to collecting other things besides that shiny yellow metal. Are their gemstones at your feet?

My second Rock&Gem article was on chalcedony. (external link). I focused on the Gemfield Gem claims outside of Goldfield, Nevada. To someone not acquainted with lapidary, it might seem that the ground holds nothing but rocks with streaks and swirls of color. How could these be gemstones? It’s all in the process.

The upper left rock is what we call rough. It is exactly that, raw rock. That rough is first cut into 1/4 inch pieces which we call slabs. These flat pieces can be wetted down with a spray bottle or soaked in water, to give the cutter an idea how the rock may look when polished.

After slabbing, a metal template is run over the slab, moved around until the cutter finds a pattern he or she thinks best. An aluminum pencil is used to outline the chosen circle or shape.

The selected area is then cut out of the slab using a rock saw. Finally, a cabochon is fashioned using a grinding and polishing machine. This link shows what these machines  look like: http://www.diamondpacific.com/main%20machines.html (external link).

This rough to refined process is entirely similar for turquoise, moonstone, amber and countless other gemstones. So, the next time you are out gold hunting, look  for any unusual rocks with colorful markings. Your local rock and gem club will have advice on how to work your stones. They may even have a workshop in which you can learn to saw rocks and make cabochons. Here’s a place to start: http://www.amfed.org/club.htm (external link).

Click on the image below for a full size picture.