Prospecting For Rocks

Prospecting for rocks has mushroomed to a family project, wives and children live in trailers for several weeks and get out in the wilds for exercise as well as an education in geology.

Rockhounds visiting B.C. are fortunate by the choice of unexplored areas which still remain as common property. One of the biggest finds here in 1966 was of black jade, weighing almost a ton, near Prince George.

If you are interested in prospecting one of the richest sources of semi-precious stones in Canada, drive to the junction of the Nechako and Fraser rivers where Highway 97 joins the Hart Highway at Prince George just where it connects with the Alaska Highway at Dawson Creek. Through Vanderhoof , Burns Lake, Smithers, Hazelton and Terrace, you will pass through the incomparable scenic beauties of rolling mountains, and hues of color to suit the season, and certainly you will drive over some of the best roads of the northwest.

Prince George is 488 miles from Vancouver, B.C., and is surrounded by hills, the city lies in a valley where the crystal-clear waters of the Nechako River join the lusty Fraser. Beyond here, 160 miles from Prince George, in the Lakes District, off Highway 16, is widely considered to be one of the most productive areas in B.C. for semi-precious stones. This desirable area, surrounded by a half-dozen lakes, is rich in green jasper, red jasper streaked with green and blue, especially along the shoreline of Ootsa Lake. Additional varieties of jasper and agate with an exciting content of a metallic compound may also be found. The color of agate extends from black to brilliant red.

Opal is also harvested in considerable quantities off hillsides in the neighborhood of Wisteria. It’s usually recognized by the colors of sparkling pink to light yellow and some have fire and deep orange glows and flares.

At St. Mary’s River, at the gravel bars, on both sides of a waterfall, pretty close to the road, rockhounds find jasper, as well as agate, weighing more than eight pounds. in addition, you can also pan for gold at overlooked streams and replenished rivers where, stray stones of superior quality accumulate over the years.

At first, like so many other rockhounds, you might start to collect only stones. After your first fascination with these you will diversify the collection. with petrified wood, which is so appealing that rockhounds set out on special junkets to unearth choice specimens. If you have already learned a few basic rudiments of geology, the possibilities of rockhounding are unlimited. By the way don’t forget to buy a geological map from a government survey office. The map will make prospecting more rewarding in the long run. Its guidelines are based on evidence of rock and soil formations which generally indicates lire location of alluvial deposits.

If you should go to the Prince George area to prospect for semi-precious stones, drive defensively, if for no other reason than that wild animals frequently meander onto highways at the most unpredictable times. Why this fascination with rocks? It’s the conviviality that takes place at exhibits and endless number of friendships that one strikes up while prospecting, as well as the beginning of an education in the chemistry of Mother Nature which makes the pursuit of lapidary a substantial achievement for all members of the families.

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