amber
HOME
TUCSON 101 THINGS TO DO
T-RAT.COM
ROCK COLLECTING
ROCK SHOPS
ARTIFACT COLLECTING
FOSSIL COLLECTING
MUSEUMS
METEORITES
PARKS
CAMPING
DAY TOUR WEST
DAY TOUR SOUTH
DAY TOUR NORTH
DAY TOUR EAST
DAY TOUR CATALINAS
GIFTS FOR THE MINERAL AND FOSSIL COLLECTOR
SCHOOLS

CONTACT/ORDER


Labelled with ICRA
Minerals Fossils and Artifacts Tucson Mineral and Gem World
Family owned and operated in the same location since 1968
2801 South Kinney Road, Tucson, Arizona 85735 Phone: 520-883-0682
for information e-mail me at tmgw883@msn.com

ROCK COLLECTING

Click here for MAP and driving directions from down town Tucson.

Click here for pictures of the shop

Arizona's Most Famous Gemstone

COURTESY OF DESERT TIMES / MONUMENT NEWS
by Ron Ratkevich

The gem form of the mineral olivine is called peridot, a magnesium, iron silicate colored by trace amounts of iron. Peridot occurs in a variety of colors ranging from light yellow-green to deep green and brown. This mineral occurs in many volcanic deposits around the world, but most of these localities have been disappointing because they have failed to produced many stones that are clear enough or large enough to be considered gem quality. Ancient gem dealers had to be content with rare, gem quality peridots that were infrequently found on volcanic St. Johns Island in the Red Sea and in the grovel deposits of Myanmar (formerly Burma). More recently, a handful of beautiful gem peridot crystals have been smuggled out of Afghanistan and were quickly bought up at the 2001Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. However Afghan "war lords" have since kept a tight control on the source and smuggling gems is a serious offense, often punishable by summery execution.

Within the world's known deposits of gem olivine, the primary source of gem peridot is Peridot Mesa on the San Carlos Apache Reservation near the town of Peridot, Arizona. This locality is well guarded, and no one except for members of the San Carols Tribe is permitted to mine these gems. The mining ventures are not a tribal industry, but rather the peridot rich basaltic rock is mined by free lance tribal miners. Peridot Mesa is a huge basalt flow containing large fractured masses of peridot; Nearly 20 percent of the volume of this volcanic flow is composed of shattered peridot. Apache miners continue to use hand tools to mine these gems. Tribal miners use heavy hammers to break up the matrix of basalt and olivine rock, separating gem quality crystals from the masses of peridot found in "pockets" within the basalt. The great majority of the useable gem stones are small, which can be FACETED into 2 or three karat finished gemstones or tumbled and polished for use as beads. Larger, more rare, clear and fractureless stones are FACETED and produce truly magnificent gems 5 or more karats in weight.

Being relatively close to the source, Tucson is a important for export of raw peridot crystals to Germany or Asia where they are cut into brilliant gems and then returned to Arizona for retail and wholesale distribution. To avoid high chain jewelry store prices for fine stones, call some of the larger Gem and Mineral stores which offer these fine stones at a fraction of the market price.

GLEESON / COURTLAND


MINING DISTRICT

Here is very interesting Ghost Town Country, where some good specimens can no doubt be found. There are many old mines in the gleeson courtland area check the dumps for specimens that are sure to be found.
From Tombstone, itself a very noted Ghost Town amounts of gold were found), go east on dirt road 16 miles to Gleason. A few miles beyond, after Crossings old railroad grade, and turn north to the old Ghost Town of Cortland. Note old power house and store on your left. There is North Courtland and South Courtland; the road between leads to Highway 666 and Chiricahua National Park.
South Courtland is an interesting Ghost Town and in North Courtland you will see the old jailhouse. Just north is working where Brochantite was once found. These old towns have much of interest to offer. North-east is Turquoise Mountain where Tiffany operated a Turquoise mine in the 1880's. Continuing on north you come to town of Pearce and join Highway 666. Soon after joining highway and just north of Pearce see sign for road to your left that leads to Cochise Memorial Park, an interesting place worth visiting when you are so close. This whole trip is through rugged country and one rich in history of the State and one which offers much in beauty and variety of formation;

See road map for routes back to Tucson or on to Douglas as you may wish.

Take plenty of water, first aid and snake bite kits.
[ NEW ITEMS ] [ CUT STONES ] [ NEW AGE ] [ MINERALS ] [ GIFTS ] [ FOSSILS ] [ ARTIFACTS ]

URL: http://www.tucsonmineral.com
Last Updated: May 21,2008
© Copyright 2001-2005, Tucson Mineral and Gem World
StoneJungle Web Design