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[Source] Cornflower Montana sapphire?


#1

Good morning all,

I am working on a project for a client and we are looking for a
round (hopefully diamond cut) Montana sapphire approximately1/2 carat
in size and cornflower blue in color. Does anyone have any
suggestions of whom to contact?

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Thanks.
Jim


#2

Mornin’ Jim,

My metals prof from college now lives in Helena where he owns and
runs a jewelry store in Helena with his son. We still see him and his
family-earlier this month in fact. His name is Don Johnson, we’ve
known him for 30 years.

DJ was the first to turn us on to Montana sapphires including yogos.
Call him and tell him I sent you. I’m sure that he can help.

dmjduck at yahoo dot com
406-949-1542. Cell
Or his son Corey
406-431-1505
Eaton Turner Jewelers

Take care, Andy.

Probably best to call…


#3

Try Ed Bristol at http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/1ys

He has been around a long time, and has beautiful stones. Best of
luck. pat


#4

Bob Kane at the american Sapphire Company


#5

Hi, Jim,

Back in 2003, at the San Francisco SNAG, I bought a couple of
stunningly beautiful (but miniscule) Yogo Creek sapphire cabochons.
I bought them from Doug Feakes, who was representing Yogo Creek
Mining. Not sure YCM is still in operation, but perhaps he could
steer you in the right direction.

His website is http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/1zm

Also, a Google search brings up the Robert Yogo Mine:
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/1zn

Christine, in springy Littleton MA


#6

Thanks Christine and everyone who has helped me find Montana
sapphires. All of your help and suggestions have been greatly
appreciated.

Jim


#7

Hi Jim I grew up in Montana not far (well in Montana miles) from
where the Yogos were mined. They are not mined anymore. They are the
only saphires that are a true cornflower blue. Nothing like them. If
you google Yogo saphire, and look for someone in Lewistown Montana,
you will find your source, and it will be someone you can trust.
They may even be familiar with my familys name, even though we have
not lived there for over 40 years. My dad was part owner of the PN
Ranch. Levi Scoville. Depends on the age of the person whio owns the
store now. I think the name of the store is Don’s, and if they don’t
have them, they know who does. Anyway, they probably get the stones
first hand. They are beautiful stones, and the only place in the
world you can find them is in Utica Montana, now a ghost town. Ask
for Yogos. Roxy Lentz


#8

Good morning Roxy,
Thanks so much for the info.
I will see what I can find out.

Enjoy your weekend.
Jim


#9

Thanks Jim, I hope you find what you need, Yogo’s are the pride of
Montana. Roxy


#10
"Yogo's are the pride of Montana" 

Not only applicable for Montana although this is the only place to
find them! I’m very happy by owning some yogo’s which a bought in
Montana. I forgot the name of the mine owner but he was already an
older person at that time.

What I do remember is the place near the yogo gulch. The mine itself
was an open mine.

For 20 greeny’s you could dig 12 buckets of gravel. You had to carry
them to the sluicing area by hand.

The sluice box was opperated by himself. One could find garnets,
zirconium and yogo’s aswell.

I didn’t botter going for the diging. I just talked to the guy and
bought my beauty’s straight from his hand.

Perfectly cut and that awsome cornflower blue color together with
other nice orange and yellow ones made me smile.

I made that purchase for selling them but after all these years I
just can’t let them go.

I can’t recall the name of the owner but I do remember the very
bumpy road downhill towards the mine.

My van had the best possible test ever!

What people don’t know is that all the gravel contain gold too. All
his customers did the shuveling and carrying.

On the end of the week he procest that concentrated pile again and
recovered all the gold out of the pile.

The smart guy knew how to deal with gemstones and gold aswell. I
found out about the gold bearing gravel and talked with him about it.
The first response I got was a nice smile on his face and then he
let me do some goldpanning.

One pan and bunches of golddust with several nice beautiful flakes. A
lifetime experience for me and if I take a look on my gemstone
collection, the same smile appears on my face again… everytime.

If I get the chance, I’ll buy some more genuine Yogo’s. the color and
brilliance can’t be beaten to my opinion.

Have fun and enjoy
Pedro


#11

Pedro told of his experience near Utica Montana. Charley Russell
painted a picture of a bronc having fun with a cowboy in Utica,
called In Without Knocking.

Roxy


#12

Hello all,

I did some research after you mention that name “Utica”. Yes, you’re
completly correct about that place. That’s exactly the place I have
stored in my mind! Now that I toke a look at that particular area and
watched the pictures on the next link

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep7z2l

it all comes back.

The place has changes a bit talking about the setup of the sluice
boxes.but other then that it’s still the same place.

Thank you Roxy for reminding!

Have fun and enjoy
Pedro


#13
I did some research after you mention that name "Utica". Yes,
you're completly correct about that place. That's exactly the place
I have stored in my mind! Now that I toke a look at that particular
area and watched the pictures on the next link
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep7z2l 

I was browsing the website looking at the pictures of the rough.
Suddenly, a strong aroma of agricultural by-product started to fill
my shop. The more I looked, the redolence grew stronger and
stronger. I was confused, disoriented, not knowing what was taking
place, but then my hands, on their own, reached into my library and
pulled geological report on Yogo Gulch. And there it was…

Yogo Gulch is an alkaline basalt extrusion. It is an important fact
to remember, in order to properly identify sapphire origin. It is a
lamprophyric dyke which is about 4 miles long and 5 to 15 feet thick.
It dips at almost vertical angle. Lamprophyres are
characteristically high in magnesium oxide (another important fact in
determining sapphire origin) Reading further I discovered that Yogo
Gulch sapphires are characteristically flattened crystals with
primary pinacoidal ( like a dome formed with flat faces )
development and rhombohedral faces. Note that none of these
characteristics are present on the pictures.

The crystallization of sapphires in lamprophires is due to excess of
alumina (Al2O3). That means that crystals are not twinned. Twinning
usually observed in sapphires formed during contact metamorphosis.
Yogo Gulch sapphires are invariably covered in green spinel coat.
This is also easy to understand:

Al2O3 ( sapphire ) + MgO ( lamprophyres are rich in it ) = MgAlO4 (spinel )

If one studies pictures on the website, one can see that neither
color, nor crystal habits are even close to Yogo Gulch
characteristics. Moreover, some crystals in the pictures are of
obvious alluvial origin, and cannot possibly be from Yogo Gulch
deposit.

How can we explain such a discrepancy? “Mine Salting” comes to mind
right away. If anyone can offer different explanation, please do so.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#14
I did some research after you mention that name "Utica". Yes,
you're completly correct about that place. That's exactly the place
I have stored in my mind! Now that I toke a look at that particular
area and watched the pictures on the next link
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep7z2l it all comes back. 

Pedro, Thanks for the link. The re enactment guy is standing accross
the river from land that used to be owned by my family. They call it
Judith Landing now, but we called it the PN Ranch, and everyone in
the area does too as far as I know. There is still an old stone
building we used for a barn, a huge house called “the Big House” and
a two room log cabin we lived in during the summer. It is probably
about 100 miles from Utica, next door in Montana. Roxy


#15
How can we explain such a discrepancy? "Mine Salting" comes to
mind right away. If anyone can offer different explanation, please
do so. 

I’m afraid you got it wrong this time… Having dug sapphires at Gem
Mountain back in 1984 when the mine was open to fee digging, I can
attest to the fact that the mine is far from salted.

The stones are in an alluvial deposit alongside Rock Creek near
Philli= psburg Montana. In 1984 my wife and I spent four or five days
in our travel trailer in the campground at the bottom of the
mountain. Every morning the owners loaded up the back of a pickup
with folks who had paid for a day’s hard work digging, screening and
washing gravel. The mine was several miles up a gravel road up the
mountain. On arrival we could pick a spot anywhere we wished and it
would be ours for the day. As I recall the digging area had to
consist of maybe forty acres or so, maybe more and there were holes
from previous diggers all over as well as areas which had been
skimmed by the mine’s bulldozer.

One hole was larger than the rest and we were told the digger who
made it had, the week before we got there, hit a pocket which he
worked out in a week or so, and from which he took a gallon jug full
of sapphires. Incidentally, I ran into the person who did that a few
weeks later in California where he was selling his stones at a Gold
Prospectors of America show. Anyway, everyone got some sapphires. We
got around 300 cts., mostly green, a few pale blue and some pinks. I
had the cuttable stones treated and cut in Thailand some years later
and still have most of them.

The mine has had a long history of sapphire production going back to
the nineteenth century and has produced tens of thousands of carats
of stones. I can’t explain how those sapphires were formed, or
where, for that matter.Presumably they were washed out of the
original formation and carried to their present location by Rock
Creek. However they got there, they weren’t salted.

Jerry in Kodiak
Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#16
The stones are in an alluvial deposit alongside Rock Creek near
Phillipsburg Montana. In 1984 my wife and I spent four or five
days in our travel trailer in the campground at the bottom of the
mountain. 

I was describing Yogo Gulch sapphire. Alluvial sources are another
matter. In the same area we have Missouri river basin near Ferry
canyon, and numerous bars downstream. Also, Clark river basin. These
sapphires formed under different conditions and while Yogo Gulch
have even coloration and relatively free from inclusions, alluvial
sapphires have frequent inclusions of pyrope garnets and green
sapphires. I believe that Kunz wrote a lot about that area, so you
may want to look it up. The point been is that Yogo Gulch sapphire
have special status as gemstone, akin to Muzo emeralds. So it is
important to separate one from another.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#17

The point been is that Yogo Gulch sapphire have special status as
gemstone, akin to Muzo emeralds. So it is important to separate one
from another Leonid is right, there is only one Yogo sapphire, and
only one place on earth they exist. Once you know what they look
like, you will never confuse them with any other, andthe best place
to find one is from someone in Lewistown Montana. Roxy