- Phone: 800-525-0169
- Web site: http://www.sapphiregallery.com/mine_montana_sapphires
- Length of Vacation: Few hours
- Cost: $25 /bag
- Open: Year round
- Type of Prospecting: Sapphires
- Equipment: Provided
- Instruction: Provided
- Lodging: In Philipsburg
- Meals: Not provided
From their web site:
Most sapphires are mined out of alluvial deposits, also called placer deposits, that have eroded from bedrock. There are only a few deposits that are actually mined out of bedrock, the Yogo deposit near Utica, Montana being one of them.
Rock Creek sapphires are found in gravel deposits in the Sapphire Mountains, but only in specific areas. The pay layer (sapphire bearing gravel) is below top soil and above bedrock all which vary in depth in any specific deposit. The top soil is first removed and then subsequently returned in place after the pay layer is processed and returned to the site. Sapphire gravel is wahsed or screened to remove clay and large rocks At this time in the process, the gem gravel is made available to you, the sapphire miner.
The Sapphire Gallery concentrated gravels are bagged for washing in our mining room or at home. The sapphires are dense and settle to the bottom of a screen of gravel being jigged in water. Over turning the screen carefully but quickly will leave the sapphires exposed top and center in the gravel. Go for them with tweezers and happy mining.