Plush, OR

  • Phone: 503-559-2495 or 503-559-9338 or 503-559-5129
  • Web site:
  • Length of Vacation: Day or more
  • Cost: Dependent on gems found (see website for details)
  • Open: Seasonal (see site)
  • Type of Prospecting:  Oregon Sunstone
  • Equipment: Bring your own shovel and screen; they have loaner’s available
  • Instruction: They do not say; call or email for details
  • Lodging: Camping and Hotels in driving distance
  • Meals: None provided


From their web site:

Dust Devil Mining Co. was founded by rock hounds who believe everyone should have access to good quality cutting rough at a reasonable price. We believe the Oregon Sunstone is on the threshold of becoming a very popular gemstone and that demand will cause the price to increase considerably over the next few years.

Even though growing popularity tends to make gemstone rough difficult to find and expensive to obtain, the Dust Devil Mine pledges to continue making good rough available for designers, artists, and cutters as long as we own the mine.

During the Fall of 1991, rock hounds and lapidary’s Terry and Jude Clark and Don and Patsy Buford decided to look into filing gemstone claims in Oregon.  After searching BLM records for the entire state, they discovered three abandoned Sunstone claims in the high desert near Plush, Oregon. Both couples had previously collected these beautiful gemstones in the area set aside by the BLM for public digging.

On February 1, 1992 Terry, Don, and Don’s son Clay drove to the area.  After spending the night in a Geo Metro while the outside temperature dropped to around 10 degrees, the claims were located and staked.

The partners spent long weekends and vacations digging and breaking up rock with 16 pound sledge hammers.  After hand screening, having the gems cut, and setting them in gold, they found that they had beautiful salable jewelry.