Specimens of the Crystal Peak Mining District

We have been mining the Pikes Peak granite pegmatites for nearly forty years. What follows is a brief description of the nature of pockets and types of minerals encountered based on our experiences. Pockets and Their Condition Most “pockets” are small and nearly always collapsed. We mine at a deeper depth than from what most specimens are recovered and occasionally get some intact pockets. Pockets most likely to be intact are the small gas pockets about the size of a grapefruit. Otherwise, in the last stages of crystallization, virtually all pockets rupture inwardly, damaging most of the crystals. After rupture, … Read more

Field Collecting and Mining Claims

I often get questions on Where can I go to go collecting and How does one go about getting a mining claim? Disclaimer: None of the following should be construed as giving permission to dig or collect for specimens on any property, private or Federal. Also, I am not an expert on mining law and laws are different for each State. The information provided should be considered a guide. If you have specific questions, check with the proper authority (such as the Forest Service or BLM) or a lawyer. Collecting access: Many fine mineral specimens can be recovered from open … Read more

Simple Mineral Cleaning Techniques

This page contains a few cleaning tips for typical Pikes Peak batholith minerals that are likely to be found on our mining claims. NOTE: I recommend hiring someone for professional cleaning and mineral preparation in the case you find some very special mineral specimens. We do professional cleaning and preparation at a reasonable rate. Unfortunately, any professional cleaning may take a very long time due to the processes that are necessary. You may be aware that we spend well over a year on cleaning and preparing some of our pockets. We DO NOT do any cleaning during the mining season … Read more

Spring 2011 Mining at Topaz Mountain Gem Mine

We ran two separate times during 2011 with the excavator to dig up new gravel for screening. In April, the weather was unusually dry and we were able to bring in a John Deere 160. As a result, we had some large piles of gravel during the summer for guests to rake and find some great topaz. We have found the big machines can dig up and around the boulders in the alluvial terrace. We don’t have a screening plant so a couple of us watch as the machine piles up the gravel. Occasionally we find a stone or two, … Read more