'RING', ring, ring. 'RING', ring, ring. 'CLICK'. Scratch, scratch, scratch...... Voicemail answers:
"Sorry, Can't get to the phone right now - just found another gem deposit. You should see these - they'll knock your socks off. Just need to figure out how to get 'em out of the rock."
"Sorry about last week. I found a cashe of gems! Visualize a plethora of Cape Emerald, Cape Ruby, chromian enstatite, picroilmenite, chromite, diamond, and fancy diamond so saturated in color that Mother Nature had to of worked overtime to produce these? Yep, found them near... well let's just say somewhere in North America."
"The previous month? Well, you must admit when you find water sapphire as large as Smart Cars, it can make you forget appointments. Why do you suppose they call them Smart Cars anyway? Can't be too smart paying full price for half a car - must be another government program. I suspect the larger stones will yield tens of millions of carats in iolite gems. Did haul out a small one: weighed 24,150 carats, the largest ever found in the world, but tiny compared to those I left in outcrop."
"What? You can't find any rubies? Did you read my latest book on FINDING GEMSTONES? I put together 368-pages of information that tells you where to find gemstones including rubies. I even gave GPS locations to most deposits as well as locations to areas where YOU likely will find new deposits".
"GOLD? My son and I wrote a 365-page book telling you exactly where gold is found. Yep, proud of him, my son is also a geologist: graduated from UW with degrees in Geology, Physics, Astrophysics & Astronomy with a Math minor all at the same time. Huh? You can't identify a green mineral you found near Jeffrey City? Did you see my other book on GEM, MINERAL & ROCK identification?"
"Yep, remembered my 44-Magnum and boots. The gun does make better bear repellent: the boots are not bad for kicking diamondbacks off the kimberlites. Why do you suppose those snakes are so attracted to diamonds anyway?"
"Oh, one more thing - if you're a telemarketer, you have the wrong number! A politician? You already stold my money! A CEO for a mining company and need information on gold or diamonds - you know my rates. A rock hound? Leave a message and I might get back to you after I get this boulder out of my pickup".
I'm working on another book that has a working title of "Prospectors Guide to Arizona's Gold & Gemstones". Not too long ago, I finished a book entitled "Gold: A Field Guide for Prospectors and Geologists" co-authored with my son. It describes many known gold anomalies and gold deposits I found in Wyoming. Over the years, I mapped the 450-square-mile South Pass greenstone belt and discovered commercial gold deposits in the Rattlesnake Hills gold district after igniting a gold rush to the Seminoe Mountains greenstone belt.
I also searched for gold, diamonds and colored gems in Alaska, Australia, Canada and all over the US. We found one of the largest gold deposits in North America at Donlin Creek-Snow Gulch in the Kuskokwim Mountains in southwestern Alaska. The deposit, discovered by 6 other geologists and myself (three from Wyoming) back in 1988 contains more than 41 million ounces of gold: more than twice the amount of gold mined throughout the entire history of the Klondike, and more than 120 times the amount of gold mined throughout the entire history of Wyoming. I also found some gold and gemstones right under your nose adjacent to highways; even along I-80. At one place, believe it or not, Albany County (Wyoming) used road-bed material filled with high-quality labradorite (spectrolite) gemstones to grade some county roads and Highway 34 from Bosler Junction to Wheatland. And sitting next to two of these gem-paved roads are two diamond pipes! Can you visualize those Wyoming Albany County bureaucrats taking 3-hour lunch breaks with their dump trucks full of labradorite gemstones while sitting on a rock in the middle of a diamond pipe complaining about their rotten pay.
I spent summers in a tent. During one, I mapped the Radium Springs and Lewiston Lakes quadrangles at South Pass and didn't see another person all summer. Over the years, I mapped more than 1,000 square kilometers of complex geological terrain along with more than 3 dozen underground mines. To be in the middle of nowhere (I do not use the term wilderness because it's a term for wantabe environmentalists and politicians who think the earth is a sentient being) with my tent and rock pick while singing in the local coyote band - I loved it! Sorry, don't like environmentalists - they have an agenda that doesn't include people (wonder how they classify themselves?).
I enjoy writing. Not too long ago, I published my 1,000th paper and abstract and contributed to a 97th book. My bibliography of publications on geology, gemstones, diamonds and gold lists many of my pubs. I enjoy sharing ideas with prospectors and rockhounds as most are my kind of people. Someday, I hope to write a book about some of these unusual personalities.
Once, I was in demand for field trips and led more than 400 excursions and lectured to local mineral and rock clubs and national professional associations to educate the public on finding minerals, gemstones, gold and diamonds. I won an American Association of Petroleum Geologists award for best talk at a conference (and I'm not even a petroleum geologist), was presented the Wyoming Geological Association's "Distinguished Service Award". I was a "Distinguished Speaker" for the Laramie Lycem and "Distingished Lecturer" for the University of Wyoming Department of Geology and Geophysics. I was even inducted into the "National Rock Hound Hall of Fame" for communication skills. Not bad for a kid who use to be afraid to talk in front of a group of people. Now get this, I was told by my last boss at the Wyoming Geological Survey "I did not know how to communicate". So where does Wyoming find these bureaucrats? This guy, supposedly had a PhD, yet he could not access his email - his secretary had to access it for him and read his one or two emails he received each month. Ah, now I get it, he was a democrat appointed by a democrat governor who were best buds.
Ok, Ok, I agree, I'm a workaholic. People describe me as a polymath. I'm good at things that interest me but just as bad at things that don't. I'm a geologist, gem hunter, gold prospector, diamond prospector, martial artist, public speaker, artist, writer, former astronomer, and former professional musician. Why martial arts? When I hunt rocks and forget my hammer, I'm still prepared to break things! And if I ever run out of ammo, I have karate!
Did I mention I write books? There's a few other things that even I don't know about myself that I'm good at. Not a mechanic: can't fix anything without a hammer and duct tape. Good business management escapes me and computers dumbfound me. Not good at being politically correct and never will be. I'm not a democrat or republican - like everything, I'm independent. Guess I'll stop talking about politics in case your kids are reading this.
I worked among mountain lions, bobcats, bears, rattlesnakes (no not politicians - but the creepy crawly... hmmm, guess they're all creepy crawlers) and ranchers. At one place in the West Cooney Hills of Wyoming, I found billions of carats of a gemstone known as kyanite. Now this is a very good example why people miss so many gemstones. Kyanite doesn't look like much, but some stones produce extraordinary gemstones - one just needs to look at these minerals and see their potential! At a nearby abandoned mine, I walked into a rattlesnake den. The mine floor was alive and moving, so I did an about face and labeled my map - "Rattlesnake Den mine". At another mine at South Pass, I labeled the diggings "Wet Dream Mine". I never heard the end of that one after I met the mine owner. Some people have no sense of humor.
I love old gold mines and found most still have significant gold. I once offered a couple prospectors mugs of beer to dig out some mine adits so I could get in to map them (prospecting old mines and finding new gold and gem deposits is better than sex - well, not really, but almost). I was the first person to climb inside many mines in 50 to 100 years. In one - the "Tabor Grand", I could see where some old miner wrote in mud on the mine rib '1890'. Amazing it was still there and looked like it had been written yesterday. I explored an old mine in California where miners in 1911 and 1939 did the same, but instead they burned numbers on the mine ribs (walls) with candles. I mapped mining districts to find precious metals and stones and provide basic geological information for prospectors and mining companies. I even discovered a major gold district west of Casper.
To the east of Rattlesnake Hills district, scam artists reported gold at Pine Mountain. I was asked to assist the Postal Inspector's office in the investigation of this property. Later, a university professor reported the property had a 287-million-ounce gold reserve where there was no gold! Nope, the university didn't fire the professor, instead she was promoted: next thing you know, she'll run for governor - then if she murders somebody, she'll have credentials to run for president.
In 1871 and 1872, one of the greatest mining scams took place in the Wyoming Territory at a location now known as Diamond Peak, Colorado. Politicians (seems like if there is easy money to be made, politicians flock to the area like rats) tripped over one another to invest in this great diamond-ruby-emerald discovery. More than a 100 years later, I panned 4 diamonds, 17 rubies and 24 pyrope garnets from the location: all 1872 salt! Amazingly, those scam artists of old accidentally picked a place not far from three diamond districts that I mapped.
I took my annual leave (vacations) each year to consult around North America. When I left the WGS, all that remained of the geological survey was a sports center, an Iowan farmer who thought he was General George Armstrong Custer, an editor who never edited, a director who thought he was Napoleon, and - I kid you not, a Chinese and a Russian Commie who could speak little English. So, I left the job I loved and went to work as VP of US Exploration for an Australian diamond company. While working for the Aussies, I found a few hundred cryptovolcanic deposits in Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming; told them to pick up placer ground (where dozens of diamonds were panned from the area I suggested the Aussies pick up) and got them an actual diamond mine, but the economic crisis of 2008 put the Aussie company out of business. Well, there goes another finders fee! If I could have collected all of the finder fees I was promised over the years, I could have bought the Wyoming Geological Survey and sent the managers to a state institution where they belonged. As is, I can hardly pay for my 10 cups of coffee every morning.
In 1975, Wyoming was the jade king. Today, Wyoming has jade, diamonds, pyrope garnet, almandine garnet, spessartine garnet, peridot, chromian diopside, Cape Ruby, Cape Emerald, blue barite, aquamarine, helidor, common opal, fire opal, precious opal, gold, iolite, ruby, sapphire, apatite, jasper, agate, onyx, epidote, kyanite and many other gems. Where were all of these gems hiding? Well, I hope to tell you not only where they were hiding, but also how to find others in my books.
Well, got to go! Oh, by the way, you can get weekly tips on prospecting at the GemHunter's Facebook. And check out Google+. When you forget your rock-hammer, I also provide ideas on how to break those rocks without a hammer, and give you some self-defense tips for Rock Hounds.
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