|One of more than a hundred field trips led by the GemHunter (Dan Hausel) to teach prospectors and geologists how to|
find gemstone & gold deposits. In this photo, Hausel discusses pyrope and chromian diopside gemstones found in anthills in the Butcherknife Draw area of southwestern Wyoming.
|Part of the more than 13,000 carats of peridot gemstones|
discovered by the GemHunter in the Leucite Hills of
Peridot was only recently discovered in Wyoming. In 1997, the GemHunter followed up on reports of olivine in the Leucite Hills that had been mentioned in passing by past researchers, only to discover more than 13,000 carats of gemstones in two anthills near Black Rock. The anthills were collected and taken back to the Wyoming Geological Survey to be processed and verify the discovery. The quality of the majority of the stones was very high and the anthills contained gems from 1 mm to 12 mm long, while larger gemstones were found in nearby soils between the anthills and the Black Rock lamproite by sieving the soils. Later (2005), the GemHunter conducted field investigations in the Leucite Hills volcanic field to map the lamproites and search for potential diamonds, since the peridot was derived from mantle xenoliths and xenocrysts eroded from the lamproites. Worldwide, peridot is a tracer mineral used to search for diamondiferous lamproite, similar to the classical diamond indicator minerals associated with kimberlite. Lamproite is only one of two host rocks mined for commercial amounts of diamonds in the world. To verify the quality of the Wyoming peridot gemstones, many were cut in Sri Lanka and sent back to the Geological Survey in Laramie where the faceted stones were displayed in the foyer at the Dr. Daniel N. Miller building on the UW campus.
kimberlite from the State Line district south of Laramie, in kimberlite in the Iron Mountain district northeast of Laramie, in kimberlite in the Sheep Rock district north of Laramie, as well as in kimberlites in Kansas and Montana. However, the olivine's in these kimberlites were mostly to entirely replaced by serpentine and considerably smaller than those found in the Leucite Hills and not of gem-quality. Hausel also identified serpentine pseudomorphs after olivine in serpentinite (ultramafic komatiite) in the South Pass greenstone belt of Wyoming - a prominent gold district in Wyoming.
|Wyoming Geologist, W. Dan Hausel (aka GemHunter) searching for diamonds and colored gemstones in the Leucite Hills|
in 1997. Hausel discovered peridot in the Leucite Hills and made many other gemstone, gold, mineral discoveries.