anybody no of good hunting locations in the U.S. for Lapis the blue stone
Real Lapis is only found in California San Bernardino County and in Colorado. The location in San Bernardino County is now in a Wilderness area. It is a extremely difficult climb and collecting there may not be legal. There is something called Nevada Lapis which is pink and green and is not Lapis.
The Colorado Location is known as the Blue Wrinkle Mine of North Italian Mountain, Gunnison Colorado. The site is above 12,000 feet and has been closed. The last firm that operated the claim mined very deep and when they left, they backfilled the trenches with all the overburden and waste rock.
The outcrop of lapis bearing rock is about 2 meters wide and 100-150 meters long and slopes into the mountain at greater than a 60 degree angle. The last I heard the company had worked over 25 meters down dip removing any rock with a blue speck on it and stock piling it. They removed about a cargo container of material and it was sold a few years ago to a jeweler in Crested Butte.
Other then old collections, Colorado Lapis is a goner.
The Amethyst Rose
Bob, I feel very fortunate to have a specimen of that Colorado Lapis. We were in Gunnison, Co, preparing to go up into the Mtns beyond Mt Crested Butte to look for a gold/mineral deposit. We had been told by an old mineralogist about the deposit He had no children that wanted to pursue it and he was physically unable to do it. He had gone to the same high school my husband had in a small Kansas town and we were living in the same small Arkansas town - small world. Any-ho, my brother and my husband and our small daughter were up there to look. A fellow saw us with maps spread out on our picnic table and came over to chat. He said he was a prospector and knew the area well. He had not been to the spot we were but said he thought it was plausible. He then proceeded to give me a piece of lapis he had collected that day. It was just small miniature-sized specimen but I loved the deep blue of it. Its in my collection to this day. That was in 1980. We did find the deposit, took our diggings to the assayers and it was a viable claim. We filed mineral claims but the govt made it impossible for us to process it by declaring the area a Wilderness Preserve. darn them...
Over the last 3 years I have been fortunate to purchase about 10 lbs of Colorado Lapis from old collections. One gentleman didn't know what is was, he had inherited it from his grandfather and I ended up with three grapefruit sized nodules of some of the darkest blue lapis I have ever seen. I have cut 2 of the nodules and the third is awaiting inspiration.
Great story and it show the kindness of rock people.
The Amethyst Rose
Can beryllium crystal be cut?
I have a 4" diam. crystal I found over by Tarryall many years ago.
What do you mean by beryllium crystal. Beryllium is an element that is never found in nature. If you mean berly which is beryllium silicate, yes it can be cut but most of the material from Colorado is typically pale blue to blue green and opaque and doesn't look good when cut. Gem grade beryl, aquamarine, can be found on Mt. Antero in the Collegiate Peaks range. The location is over 13,000 feet above sea level and has been featured on the Prospector's show on the Weather channel. Bob Johannes The Amethyst Rose
Thanks for sharing the info guys, i also love collecting Lapis.
I have inherited a big chunk (about 10 lbs) of lapis I believe came for here in Colorado. How and would love to get more information on it.
HOPE, If you are in Colorado, I believe your best bet might be to bring your ?lapis specimen to the Colorado School of Mines in Golden. They will have faculty or students there who know about Colorado minerals and help you identify your example. Other options include bringing the example to other Universities such as U of Colorado, bringing the specimen to a local club meeting for identification, or bringing it to the upcoming Denver mineral show in September for identification, or looking up mineral dealers near you (there are plenty of them near you!) and showing it to them for identification.
In other words, lots of local options to help you. BOB