A few years back, Robert Michael visited the Four Peaks Mine near Phoenix, Arizona and mined for Amethyst crystals. Getting to the mine was perhaps the most exiting part of the dig. A small group of individuals boarded a helicopter and embarked on a 30 +/- minute trip to the mine site.
Nested on a narrow ledge three quarters of the way up a very high and very steep side of the mountain was the landing pad and the opening to the mine off to one side near the edge cliff. Creeping toward a small white X on the ground (hope I’m remembering the specifics correctly), we landed and the jostling stopped. We disembarked and leaned that the mine itself is very old, dating back to when the Native Americans fashioned arrowheads using the Amethyst.
We were allowed to dig with hand picks for about an hour. I found a likely spot and opened a Socorro Ball size cluster of crystals. I didn’t take time to ask, but I assume this was once a roundish pocket that had collapsed from the weight of the mountain above it. Needless to say, I filled my backpack. Most of the crystals were low grade with a significant amount of impurities and inclusions. However, some of the crystals had facet-grade portions of clear dark Amethyst without any impurities or inclusions.
Robert chose one of those crystals and cut away the surrounding “junk” rock and crystal until he had quite a few very nice piece of clear, dark Amethyst. He cut one such piece into two halves. Robert then faceted the two crystals into these matching 8mm round gems, weighing 1.7 carat each. Robert then set the gems in 14kt White Gold Post Earrings.
This set is on display at Castle Rocks & Jewelry, located on the West side of I-25 in the Meadows near the AMC Theaters, and may be purchased directly from them.
Amethyst is the February Birthstone.
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