Mining for Sapphires in Helena, Montana: Einstein07

Mining for sapphires is hard work!  Here in Helena, Montana near the Rocky Mountains is the Missouri River!  Lewis and Clark floated along this very river on their way from Missouri to the Pacific Ocean!  Maybe the found sapphires too.  Millions of years ago, volcanic eruptions made these mountains.  The volcanic lava created sapphires (just like it does diamonds) with heat and pressure.  The color can change based on the impurities that enter during formation.  Rain fell over the years, washing the sapphires into large lakes that covered this area long ago.  The lakes dried up and part of them ended up as the banks of the Missouri River.  When the lakes dried up they left behind sapphires.  You can sift through the gravel found in areas along the river, and find sapphires.  You have to sift using a screen and then shake your rocks.  Sapphires (and diamonds) and garnets are heavier than the rocks.  They sink to the bottom of the stack.  You then flip your stack over and the sapphires and garnets are on top or in the middle.  They look like light blue glass.  They also have roughly 6 sides because they are hexagon shaped crystals.  I found a lot of them.  The two I am pointing at are good enough to cut.  I’ll put them in a ring.  Sparkle Kitten found some too and she said she’ll make hers into earrings.  It was a good day.

One thought on “Mining for Sapphires in Helena, Montana: Einstein07”

  1. Oooooh, I love sapphires…..my birthstone! Guess you were so good at this after your gold mining experience in first grade! 🙂

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