When we think of Sapphires, we tend to think of exotic locations, but did you know Sapphires are mined in Montana too? There are rich blues and beautiful blue and green bi-colored Sapphires, along with other fancy colors. Let’s find out more!
Sapphires were discovered in Montana during the gold rush days of the 1860’s, but were largely ignored because of the effort and time needed to collect and travel to New York to have them cut. Gold was much easier to get paid for! In 1873, Dr. J Lawrence wrote about them in the American Journal of Science which was the first time most people ever heard of Montana Sapphires, and for some of you, this blog may be the first time you have heard of them!
The first firm to purchase land and begin to commercially mine Montana Sapphires was London Gem merchants Edwin W. Streeter and Horatio Stewart in the late 1800’s. Under their direction, Sapphires were mined until the 1930’s when the rough production declined and was mostly lower quality. They were used in industrial applications such as watch movements, scales, electric power meters, compasses, and airplane navigation instruments which was important with the war going on.
There are two main regions of Sapphire mining in Montana. The Yogo Gulch area is located in the center of the state is a primary host rock deposit. The western side of the state has alluvial deposits, meaning, the Sapphires have been filtered away from the primary host rock and accumulated elsewhere. The Yogo Gulch area is almost depleted, but the western region is still plentiful.
There are several places in Montana where you can mine for your own Sapphires. You can even purchase bags of dirt to sift through when you get home or give as a gift! My former boss gave me a bag, and I still have the small, rough Sapphires today. It was exciting to uncover what mother nature created!
I would love to help you with you with a Montana Sapphire or other special gift! Angela Cisneros Jewelry Concierge brings back the joy and confidence of jewelry shopping, so that you can celebrate with ease! My by-appointment approach means:
One-on-one appointments (personal attention and no crowds!)
Discretion and privacy (surprises remain surprises!)
Expert help from a Graduate Gemologist with 24 years of experience (yep, that’s me!)
Book your FREE appointment with me today! www.angelacisneros.com/book-appointment
Photo Credit: @Parlegems