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May 11, 2016

#Enough Rock? Try Gemfield Chalcedony

There’s a marvelous location 2.4 miles north of Goldfield, Nevada where a private claim is open for paid rock collecting.  Known as “Gemfield” the original owners described Gemfield as “probably the largest mass of colored gemstone quality chalcedony in the U.S.”

You can choose between many  colored agate, bulls-eye, dendritic agate, rainbow agate, jasp-agate, and opalite within the claim area.

We’re going to start our Glossary with Chalcedony –

A clear and colorless agate without patterns or inclusions.  A translucent or microcrystalline form of quartz that is often pale blue or gray with a nearly wax-like luster.

Another consideration – Chalcedony is white when pure.  With distinct banding – it’s agate.

We found this lovely spot when rock hounding in 2013.  We were coming home from visiting family in Southern California and decided to wander up though Death Valley and over to Tonopah.  We had been to Goldfield and Gold Point in the early 2000’s but had not spent any time hunting for treasures.

On our way north we passed a sign for “Gemfield” and decided to stay over for a look.  There are several RV parks in Tonopah, and we’ve stayed in them all over the years.  After setting up camp we ventured back to Gemfield with rock hammers and bags.

We were astounded at the many colors of Chalcedony.  Pink and purple on the upper dig,  Bulls-eye at the middle level and some wonderful green down below.   We had asked at the local shops in Goldfield who owned the claim and did we need to pay?  No, was the response at that time.  Now there are new owners and they would like $1.00 a pound.  Not bad for a quick, easy way to pick up material that is ready to polish.

Gemfield agate works up the most lovely gemstone cabochon jewelry.
                            Nevada Agate

The area is littered with flakes of agate in every color and size.  You’d acquire a lot of material for less than $5.00.  Tracy had mentioned the site to our rock club’s Excursion Chair.  And when he set up a trip to the Royston Turquoise Mine in Tonopah, Theron asked him to lead them to Gemfield.  Tracy shared that the last he knew the site was not an active claim and according to locals, available to hunt.

Much to our surprise, the May Issue of Rock and Gem Magazine had an article on Gemfield that came out just before our trip.  The history, where you can find the various colors and how to pay for your treasures was all there.  A quick call to the owners and they were delighted to have us and would give the club a discount.

If you don’t have a copy of the article you should read it at your local library or rock club library.  Between those two adventures and picking up bubbly Chalcedony at Stonewall the truck was loaded with #enough weight.

We enjoyed a meal the “The Dinkey Diner” in Goldfield.  It’s a must visit as Mother/Daughter team serve ample portions and the place is spotless.

Until next time – – –