Rock hounding is forever stuck in the Wild West. You never know how big you will strike it or how long it will last. Territories are invaded and pockets are cleaned out. But it is always a rush of excitement when you find anything
We call it "the fever" , when you get that first good find and can't stop digging for crystals, gold and minerals. The reason we keep spots a secret? In the past, we shared locations openly, only to go back to find garbage, chopped trees, and cleaned out crystal pockets. This is especially true with a local spot where our clear crystals are found. It has become quite popular over the last few years. It is always baffling to see trash while hiking, let alone a sacred spot that should be treated with appreciation. So, we have learned to keep locations a secret.
We are often asked for directions to gem locations and instructions on how to dig them, but here are a few tips on how to find your own crystal spot, how to dig, and cleaning afterwards:
1. Don't be a claim jumper! A claim is a marked area where one owns the mineral rights, and is marked out by posts or rock piles. Claim jumpers are subject to felony charges or the claimant defending their property with ammo! Steer clear!
2. Look for Quartz: it can grow on many different kinds of host rock. Quartz is always a good place to start, especially if there are crystal formations present, that's how you know you may be close.
3.While digging, follow the rich colored soil/clay which is usually a good sign a pocket is near by.
4. Be Careful! Crystals can break,they're millions of years old! So when you locate a crystal pocket, try to dig around as much as possible, to pull them out without damage.
5. Our favorite helpful tools: Big shovel, pick, hammer and chisel, hand shovel, flat head screwdriver, and masonry brush or pretty much anything that will get the job done. Every location and host rock is different so it depends where you are digging.
6. Be respectful: Look where you are! Digging rocks in nature, it's beautiful! Refill your holes as best as possible when you are finished, take your trash and leave no trace. Pack in - pack out rules apply to Magic Miners too!
7. Recycle old newspaper and bubblewrap to wrap your finds for the hike back and journey home without any damage.
8. Cleaning the crystals: Sometimes a quick rinse with water will do the trick, though often there will be a hard crust on the surface, or rust stains that are seemingly impossible to get off. Use an exacto knife or a brass brush for the crust, and a wood bleach acid for the rust. Be careful! Wear a mask, gloves and follow directions carefully!
9. After cleaning the crystals in the wood bleach acid, it is a good idea to soak crystals twice as long as they were in the acid just to be safe.
10. Display and Enjoy.
There are also many pay to dig locations where you can pay a small entrance fee to learn about and find crystals and fossils. Stay tuned for dates and tour pricing for Gem Tours with Third Eye Co. and Magic Miners coming this fall. Feel free to contact us for further questions!