The GemHunter

Professor Hausel's Guide to Finding Gemstones, Diamonds, GoldRocks & Minerals 

The GemHunter's Books - On Amazon

"Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay were we are."
- Mason Cooley

Next to martial arts, finding new gemstone deposits, making gold discoveries, and prospecting old mining districts, my next favorite thing to do is write. Currently, I'm working on a new book with a working title - 'GOLD PROSPECTORS GUIDE TO ARIZONA'. See Arizona Gold and Copper, Arizona Gold, Prospecting in Arizona.

I wrote and published many books and maps when I was the Senior Economic Geologist at the Wyoming Geological Survey at the University of Wyoming. I even got to walk around and map more than 1,000 square kilometers of complex geology and more than 3 dozen abandoned mines. Then wrote many articles for the Mining Journal and moved on to writing my own books after I left the Geological Survey. 

My last book describes many gemstone occurrences in Wyoming. I feel it is a one of a kind book as it has already led prospectors to finding diamonds in Colorado, North Carolina and Wyoming, rubies in Montana and Wyoming, agates, jade and opal in Wyoming, labradorite in Wyoming, iolite in Wyoming, gem-quality garnets and chromian diopside in Wyoming and elsewhere, and other gemstone deposits. Can you name any book that has done that? It is based on years of research on the geology and gemstones of Wyoming - their settings, geological environments, and how to recognized the gems. My book points out that Wyoming should be called the Gemstone State thanks to discoveries made since 1975.


Nothing comes close. By Earl Newland, Laramie, Wyoming, April 5, 2015"Excellent book. Important for the serious rockhound" 

Five Stars. By Karl von Heimburg on April 3, 2015. "Excellent Guidebook. Extremely Well written, numerous examples, and the author has a wealth of field experience."

Great book By Yar, March 19, 2015. "I love this book. If you're a prospector or a rockhound you will love it too. I am reading it through for the second time. Thanks for writing it".

You can count on Dan Hausel to give you the ... By Shelley Carlson Fredrickson, March 5, 2015. "You can count on Dan Hausel to give you the information you need in this area of interest. He knows his stuff and information is practice and presented well. Dan will deliver what is important and tell you how to apply it. Thank you Mr. Hausel."

Great book. By WY "Queen Bee" on February 20, 2015"W. Dan Hausel is clever and so Informative. Great Book".

Another great book for the serious prospector. The seasoned prospector and geologist can still learn some new tricks. By Kysar January, 2015, "Excellent book, Dan's books give information to the prospector not available to the general rock hound found anywhere else. From Gemstones to gold to diamonds. He helps you learn what to look for and why. It may seem like this book is about Wyoming but is is just as useful in any part of the world. I found several gemstones just by reading this book and realized I should take a second look at my collection. His Years of experience are at your fingertips without the years of school and field work".

Very Impressive Book By Jackalope 007 on January 4, 2015. "To write a book like this required decades of experience as it contains very impressive summaries for all kinds of minerals and rocks. No other book brings together the rocks, minerals and chemistry needed to to find gemstones deposits and predict where they will be found. If you are new to gemstone and gold prospecting or if you are an expert - get this book as it will tell you where to find these - and I mean it will tell you exactly where to find these using GPS coordinates. This is a very nice compendium that complements the Gold Book by the author, as well as his Mineralogy book. Both the Gemstone and Gold books are 360 to 370 pages and the Gold book provides considerably more information about gold. The gemstone book focuses on the localities where one can find gold nuggets for jewelry and the gold book covers hundreds of gold occurrences. The author hit another home run with this one: after reading posted comments on his blogs, it sounds like a few people have already been successful - one found a cache of diamonds including a 5-carat diamond, another found sapphires, another found lamprophyres (potentially diamond-bearing), another found some opals and jasper, and another found a large iolite gemstone. And the book has only been out a few months."

Well Done! By Amazon Customer on Dec., 2014, "Extremely well written! Incredible amount of information packed between the covers of this book".

Good book, worth the price if you don't have his others. Great gemstone geology reference. By Peter Welty on December 19, 2014. "I'm going to start by saying that if you have bought Dr. Hausel's books in the past, this one is too worth buying - but if you have NOT bought his other books, start here. A large amount of the information is repeated; it appears to be edited somewhat, and in most cases, additional information added that makes it worth the price for those of us who are "once or twice a year prospectors" and not professionals. That said, his information is world class and adds pieces of knowledge to amateur prospectors' tool kit that you cannot get anywhere else. I would say that this book has most of not all the information from the other books and makes owning some of his earlier works pointless, but if you do any kind of rock-hounding at all regardless of location the geology information that he presents is well worth the price of the book.

On the good side, the inclusion of GPS coordinates for locations should make my next expedition out to Wyoming (at 1200 miles each way, I can only go there at best once a year so planning is important) make my next trip more successful. The new section on lapidary work is probably the best things I have seen in a book aimed at amateur prospectors/rockhounds or whatever because the value of the materiel is only there when it's usable - otherwise it's an expensive trip to gather driveway gravel. The book is well written with the target audience in mind, but the inclusion of those two pieces of information have made the difference between it being another rock-hounding book and a better piece of reference material for prospectors in general. In addition, the anecdotes and writing style prepare you for dealing with the people of Wyoming and other parts of flyover land in general - it can be enlightening to travel to what is essentially the definition of 40 miles north of nowhere and interact with folks of such limited perspective on the world that they think Cheyenne is a "city." No, I'm not knocking the incredibly friendly, nice and helpful folks there; everyone I have had the pleasure of interacting with is wonderful, and being able to go to an auto parts store and having the person behind the counter know what you are looking for to fix a problem is very refreshing. However, it's clear from the writing style that the author has the perspective of someone who has lived in those areas and it is very helpful for knowing how to deal with say, getting through locked gates placed across forest service roads. Keep his perspective in mind as you read it because knowing the etiquette of the rural areas becomes useful knowledge when you get out there.

Down sides of the book - it is repeated information on the geology, but again, it's relevant. I don't think there is a way to write this book properly without the information included but it probably upped the page count by quite a bit. It's a bit pricey for a "fun" book, but then, if you have ever had to buy college text books, the book is a bargain. The information is easily worth it. Compared to what it will save you if you decide to go out there and prospect, a wise investment to make if you want to actually find something. Some of the additional things added, such as the references to himself and his martial arts hobbies take you out of perspective of the relevant contents of the book - but that's forgivable as writing style. (I guess that if I was to put that in literary terms, the switch from first to third person perspectives - the objective geology is written in a very scientific format and the sudden jumps to his own perspective and experience in a narrative style - throws me as a reader, but?)

If I was to add anything to this book, it would be only about the experiences in the area and how to prepare for them. Getting your truck stuck in the mud (really, a description of the viscosity of the mud in parts of Wyoming is best described as warm grease) while getting to or from some of these locations can involve a 10+ mile "fun walk" to get help, if you can find it. (Of course, the locals laugh at you while bending over backwards to help you out because they all have been there and done that - still learning a good winch, 8 foot boards, and a high lift jack absolutely don't cut it in Wyoming is useful information for those of us who are not used to such things.)

In addition, if you email Dr. Hausel with questions, he has always responded to mine - but if you ask stupid questions already answered in his books expect to get a curt reply. That said, he will answer even the dumb ones (having done that to him myself.) Not many other authors would take the time to do this".

Love Dan's information By Horse Editor on November 24, 2014, "Love Dan's information! You don't have to be a geologist to understand what he says, but it offers a learning opportunity as well as straight up how and where to find minerals."

A must for Wyoming Geology. "Hausel has more mineral knowledge in his little finger than most university geology libraries. Novices will learn a lot if they keep a dictionary handy. Expersts will use it for a reference. Bureaucrats will be angry. I just wish I could go on a field trio of Wyoming with him. If you have any interest in Wyoming Geology this is a must read". Jim H., June, 2015.

A must-have companion for every rockhound/miner/prospector by Nancy L. Fry, June, 2015, "There is no way that I could learn everything the author has spent his career compiling! Short of having Mr. Hausel out in the field with me, this is the next best thing, as the book helps me quickly grasp the dynamics in relation to the materials that I am searching for, and makes everything so much more interesting!"

Well Done. Dec, 2014. "Extremely well written! Incredible amount of information packed between the covers of this book."

(2) GOLD (2011) by W. Dan Hausel and Eric J. Hausel (Rated 5 out of 5 stars by Amazon Customers).

After exploring Wyoming for three decades, the authors made more than a hundred new gold discoveries. The authors provide the reader with information on where to find gold, how to find gold and give the reader information on to look for and how to read the geology and rock outcrops.

"This book is a must have if you want to prospect for GOLD in Wyoming. The list of prospects and mines that are covered covers the whole state from corner to corner. Where to look, what to look for and why. For anyone who wants to find the gold in Wyoming this is a must have in the field and on the couch," according to author Garret Romaine (Portland, Oregon). "W. Dan Hausel is one of the most prolific and helpful geologists to ever document Wyoming's amazing geology. This book feels like a 'greatest hits' compilation of all his important work in discovering gold, diamonds, and gemstones in Wyoming. He has been a huge treasure for anyone exploring the Cowboy State, mapping hundreds of square miles of geology, tirelessly unraveling Precambrian rocks, and patiently explaining the forces at work for us mere mortals. If every state had a geologist like Dr. Hausel at work in the field, we would all be better off".

(3) GEM, MINERALS & ROCKS of WYOMING (2009) by W. Dan Hausel. This 175-page book published in 2009 with color photography describes many gems, minerals & rocks found in Wyoming. Over three decades, Professor Hausel explored Wyoming visiting most of the sites, discovering new sites, collecting samples & mapping large regions of the State. During these investigations, Wyoming, which once was considered to be relatively poor in gemstones, soon became known as the most diversified assemblage of gemstones of any state in the United States.