Monday, March 10, 2014

Ruby, Sapphire, Kyanite, Sillimanite and Iolite at Palmer Canyon Wyoming

Nearly flawless iolite nodule attached to mica schist from Palmer Canyon
While at the Wyoming Geological Survey on the University of Wyoming campus, I worked for a complete idiot. You know the type - likely pulled a PhD from a Crackerjack box, or had something good on his dissertation committee - take obama for instance (please). My boss was placed in position of authority, not because of IQ, but because of political affiliation.

Anyway, I was finding gemstone and gold deposits, one after another. More than anyone should have been able to do, but I had developed some good prospecting models for finding gold and gemstone deposits - and they worked.

After I discovered iolite at Palmer Canyon, I made more discoveries as well as a half-dozen ruby deposits and a couple of kyanite gemstone deposits. I was amazed by how many gemstones, diamond, and gold deposits that had been overlooked in Wyoming: I can guarantee using the exploration models I developed for these deposits, I would have found dozens (if not hundreds) more gem and gold deposits. But it was time to move on and I took early retirement.

But there are still some more gemstone deposits to find that I didn't get time to search for. As you think about rubies and sapphires - keep two rock types in mind while prospecting in Montana, Wyoming Colorado, and California - vermiculite and serpentinite!  These are very good host rocks for these gemstones. To find out more about these, I summarized the characteristics of ruby, sapphire and their host rocks in a couple of recent books.
Kyanite-ruby-vermiculite schist, Palmer Canyon, west of Wheatland, Wyoming.
A more than 18,000-carat iolite boulder of ioite. The iolite is partially altered to limonite and the boulder includes
milky quartz. Palmer Canyon, Wyoming.

Specimens of vermiculite schist filled with purple-red ruby, Palmer Canyon.
Iolite in schist, Palmer Canyon, Wyoming
Excellent iolite (more than a thousand carats) from an undisclosed Wyoming locality

Kyanite schist, West Cooney Hills, Wyoming
Beautiful iolite rough in gneiss from undisclosed locality, Wyoming

Ruby in vermiculite schist from Palmer Canyon