Gem Tourism

Take a virtual trip to see where gemstones are found all over the world.

Gem Tourism

  • A View of Quartzite 

    Sharan and I pulled into Quartzite on December 24th, not knowing what to expect. Through the summer months, this desert community supports just a few hundred residents. However, it would soon be home to over 100,000 RV’s, (Recreational Vehicles,…

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    Desert Prospecting: Discovering California Turquoise

    My day started out as it usually does, walking up and down the side of this particular mountain prospecting for gold. Prospecting in the Mojave Desert in April is an interesting experience. You never know what kind of weather you may encounter. It…

  • “Theodore Roosevelt visiting a North Carolina mineral mine,” Emerald Village, North Carolina Mining Museum Little Switzerland (Mitchell County, N.C.), by Government & Heritage Library, State Library of NC is licensed under CC By 2.0
    Old Mine Tales 

    Editors Note: These were originally submitted as letters to the Faceter’s Digest. They are a personal history of the author’s experiences with the mines in North Carolina. There are many unconventional spellings in the text. They have been…

  • “Opals-On-Black: Yowah Nut Boulder Opal Pendant” by Opals-On-Black.com is licensed under CC By 2.0
    Opals in the Australian Outback

    All the treasures have been found! At least that’s what I thought when I first set foot in the red dust of western Queensland, Outback Australia. “Whatever is to be found in the ground has already been found!” “Treasures are for Long John…

  • “Canyon Sin Nombre,” Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA, by Michael Allen Smith is licensed under CC By-SA 2.0
    Sharing the Fun and Folklore of Gemology

    First, I would like to say thank you to Don Clark the President of International Gem Society for allowing me the chance to reach out and talk with each and everyone of you. My name is Douglas S. Le Grand G.G., the initials at the end of my name G.G….

  • Emerald Hollow
    Top Spots For Gem Hunting In The US

    When you think of mining for the “big four” gemstones – diamond, ruby, sapphire, and emerald – it’s easy to imagine places like India, South Africa, and Colombia. However, there are plenty of gem hunting spots in the United States where you…

  • “Brazilian Agate” by David Lofink is licensed under CC By 2.0
    Where Can You Find Agate Stones Forming?

    Question I’m fascinated by agate, especially the kind found in basaltic or other lava cavities.  The stones from Botswana and Brazil are my favorites.  These were formed at some time in the remote past. After the lava had hardened, water…

  • “Kammererite.” © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.
    An Introduction To Turkey’s Gemstones

    Question I’m a novice gemology student. I’m traveling to Turkey in the near future and I’d love to know more about Turkey’s gemstones. What might I find on my visit? I’ve got my gem identification book ready to go. Any information would be…

  • “Velvet Beauty,” Tucson Gem and Mineral Show 2007, by cobalt123 is licensed under CC By-SA 2.0
    Reviews Of The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show

    Question I’ve never been to the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show but I’ve heard many stories. I’m wondering, just how good is it really? Would any International Gem Society (IGS) members be willing to share their reviews of this event? What did you…

  • Spencer, Idaho, is the source of very rare and beautiful star opals.  “05212008333,” Spencer, Idaho, by andresmh is licensed under CC By-SA 2.0
    Pricing Information For Star Opals From Spencer, Idaho

    Question I love working with opal from Spencer, Idaho. On rare occasions, I turn up a star stone. I know star opals are very rare. So as you can imagine, I’m having a heck of a time trying to put a realistic value on what I cut. Does anyone have…

  • These crystals on display at one of the Quartzsite gem shows were visible from the road.
    A View Of The Quartzsite Gem Shows

    Editor’s Note: The world-renowned Quartzsite gem shows are held annually in the desert town of Quartzsite, Arizona. Several years ago, International Gem Society founder Donald Clark wrote about his first trip there and offered some advice for…

  • Esperanza, the most valuable diamond mined in the US. © Embee Diamonds.  Used with permission.
    Master Diamond Cutter Mike Botha Takes On Esperanza

    June 26, 2015. That’s the date that Esperanza came to the surface at the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas. Brooke Oskarson stopped at the park outside of Murfreesboro, Arkansas (the only place in the world where you can go to mine your…

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