Gemstones form as minerals within rocks under high pressure and temperature, or as independent minerals and crystals as a result of low-temperature hydrothermal processes. Gemstones are formed as a rock derivate or accessory mineral, so their occurrence is determined by the rock structure, i.e. the chemical composition of a rock determines which gemstones can be formed. When magma or molten rock cools, some elements separate from the main mass, forming crystals or separate entities, which form minerals and gemstones. The material that makes up the river bed in the case of creeks is made up of the surrounding material as well as material brought in by water from upstream. This means that the geology of creek pebbles is similar to the geology of the area.
Since the discovery of these gleaming gemstones in 1871, the world has attempted to dig them up in order to amass small and large fortunes for large corporations and individual prospectors alike.
When it comes to gemstones, you might believe that they can only be found in far-flung lands or grown in jewelry laboratories. Even if you can’t see them on the surface, some common gemstones may be hiding in plain sight in your backyard.
How Old Are the Oldest Diamonds?
The oldest diamonds, in a nutshell, date back thousands of years. The oldest gems are thought to be one to 3.5 billion years old. Some argue that ancient stone caches are more than 4.5 billion years old.
Humans did not discover them until much later, despite their long-term presence on the planet. One reason for this is that the mineral is buried deep underground, and excavation can take a long time.
Another reason is that unpolished and uncut diamonds are mistaken for glass or quartz due to their unassuming appearance.
What Causes the Formation of a Diamond?
Diamonds are made of carbon, a chemical element found on the earth’s surface. How long does it take to make a diamond? Scientists aren’t certain, but we do know that diamonds have been in the ground for approximately 3.3 billion years, making them nearly as old as the earth.
Diamonds were formed when carbon was subjected to extreme heat and pressure hundreds of kilometers beneath the earth’s surface.
Due to the intense pressure that carbon was subjected to, roughly 50 000 times that of the atmosphere, carbon atoms bonded tightly together to form diamond crystals. Because of this pressure and the strong bonding between the particles, diamonds are one of the hardest minerals on the planet, making them virtually indestructible.
Gemstones Discovered in the Backyard
This gemstone’s reddish or brown coloration, as well as the marbled appearance of its surface, set it apart. This is the most prevalent color in your yard (though it can also be found in other colors such as green). If you live in the Western United States, you are most likely to find agate in your backyard. If you live near old lava beds, you’ll have a better chance of finding Agate.
Garnet has a long history as a gemstone. It was popular in Ancient Rome and has been found in Egyptian tombs. Garnets are a type of mineral. Although garnets are most commonly associated with dark red, they can also be found in orange, yellow, pink, and black.
Some of the most common garnet varieties are almandine, pyrope, and rhodolite. Almandine is a deep red gemstone that is popular in jewelry. Spessartite is a type of garnet with an orange color. Garnets are popular in jewelry because they are reasonably priced.
The hardness of garnet varies depending on the type of garnet. It is tough enough to be considered an abrasive, and it has a wide range of industrial applications, including steel cutting. They can be found in Arizona, North Carolina, California, Utah, Montana, Colorado, and Idaho, among other states.
There are several methods for determining the authenticity of your purported Jade gemstone. The initial step is to look for flaws. While it may appear counterintuitive, flaws in the color or texture, especially vein-like impurities under a microscope, may indicate a natural stone. If you examine your Jade under a microscope and notice any bubbles, it is most likely not genuine.
The most common color is green jade, but other colors such as purple and white are also available. Jade is classified into two types: nephrite and jadeite. Since ancient times, jade has been used in jewelry and sculpture, and it is frequently used to make jewelry beads. It was also used as a tool in ancient times. In its rough form, it has a dull, greenish color. It’s found in metamorphic rocks in California, Washington, and Wyoming.
This dark green gemstone is adorned with rings that give it a one-of-a-kind appearance. Despite the fact that it is not the most durable gemstone, it remains popular and some believe it has healing properties. It is most frequently found in limestone. It is commonly used in the production of beads and ornate carvings, and it was also widely used as a painting pigment until the 16th century. It is most common in Arizona, in the United States.
Obsidian is a type of volcanic rock. It is a mineraloid, which forms when molten rock cools. It has a glassy appearance and is frequently found above the Earth’s surface. Obsidian is most commonly associated with the color black, but it can also be found in green and brown. Stone Age cultures used it as a cutting tool.
Today, obsidian is still used as a surgical cutting tool. It is also used in jewelry and can be shaped into gemstone beads. Because it is not the most durable stone, it is commonly used in pendants and earrings. It is found in Arizona, Nevada, California, Idaho, New Mexico, Washington, Oregon, and Wyoming.
Opal is a silica mineral, and precious opal has a beautiful iridescent quality. In some cases, rare opals are more valuable than diamonds. Some of the colors available are white, black, purple, pink, brown, and green. The most valuable opal is black opal. Popular opals include white and fire opals. Common opals are commonly used in jewelry and can be carved into figures.
Rough opals are relatively easy to find due to their iridescent quality. It is the October birthstone and can be found in Idaho, California, Oregon, and Nevada.
Peridot is the gemstone form of the mineral olivine. Olivine is usually found in green color variations due to the amount of iron in it. Olivine is most commonly found in igneous rocks. Peridot is a fairly soft gemstone. It’s easy to scratch, and if you put too much pressure on it, it’ll burst. It’s cheap and popular in beads, necklaces, and bracelets. Peridot can be found in Arizona, Hawaii, and Colorado, while olivine has a distinctive green color in the rough.
One of the most common materials is quartz. Quartz can be found in a variety of gemstones, including amethyst, agate, carnelian, and citrine. Quartz is colorless in its purest form, and it is the impurities in quartz that give gemstones their vibrant colors. Quartz is usually inexpensive, and it can be shaped into spheres and sculptures or cut into jewelry. The most valuable quartz variety is amethyst, a purple variety. Amethyst can be found in Colorado, Arizona, Maine, North Carolina, and a few other states.
Agate is a quartz variety that is a type of chalcedony. Agate isn’t the most appealing gemstone in its natural state. However, once polished, it becomes vibrant and comes in a variety of colors such as white, blue, red, purple, and others. Agate slabs are sometimes used for decoration, but they can also be used to make beads and other jewelry. Agate can be found in Montana, South Dakota, New Mexico, Michigan, and other states.
Topaz is a hard gemstone that comes in a variety of colors. It’s reasonably priced and comes in large crystals. It is one of the hardest minerals and forms inside igneous rocks. It’s also found in streams. Topaz is a light-colored gemstone, and colorless topaz is sometimes used in place of diamond. Topaz can be found in a wide range of jewelry, including earrings and pendants. Topaz is Utah’s official gemstone, and it is most commonly found in the western United States.
Tourmaline is a colorful gemstone that comes in a variety of shades. The term “tourmaline” refers to a group of minerals, and the price of tourmaline varies depending on the color and size of the gemstone.
Tourmaline is a common gemstone found in Maine and California, but it is easily confused with more valuable gemstones. Although it is not the most valuable stone and comes in a variety of colors, it can still be used in jewelry as a less expensive alternative to other gemstones. Tourmaline’s color appears to shift slightly depending on the angle from which it is viewed. Black tourmaline is opaque and gleaming in its natural state, and it stands out.
Tourmalines come in a variety of colors, and their color can change depending on the light and viewing angle. Black tourmaline stands out due to its dark, opaque, and gleaming finish. Large stones can be carved into unusual shapes, making tourmaline bracelets and necklaces popular. In the United States, tourmaline is most commonly found in California and Maine. Colored tourmaline is easily confused with other gemstones, but a gemologist can confirm your discovery.
Turquoise has been used for thousands of years in jewelry, tools, and sculptures. Its distinctive color is one of the reasons for its popularity. It is most commonly found in the southwestern United States. It’s frequently used in the production of beads and other small pieces of jewelry.
If you do find it, don’t use anything other than water to clean it because it’s very porous. It is also photosensitive and must be properly stored. The color of turquoise in the rough matches the color of the finished gemstone.
Methods and Instruments
While you may strike gold and discover a gemstone on the ground, others may necessitate a little more effort to extract. Here are some basic tools you may need:
Using a pickaxe, chip away at a rock or compact dirt.
Use a trowel or a shovel to dig deeper into the soil (on standby).
A classifier is used to remove small gems (commonly used in finding gold). Like this lady, you might come across a collection of different-sized gemstones while digging in your garden. To separate the smaller gemstone pieces from the larger stones and unwanted debris, you’ll most likely need a classifier. Simply sift through a large box or bucket to avoid losing any potentially valuable small pieces.
Tweezers. These are useful for locating gems that are difficult to find with your fingers.
What to Watch Out For
If you want to find gems on your property, you must first determine where they are. Some of the places where you can find gemstones are as follows:
Sedimentary Rocks are a type of sediment. Some of the most common gems found in sedimentary rocks are cat’s eye, rhodochrosite, and opal. Sedimentary rock is formed when organic matter is trapped within mud or clay. As organic matter decomposes, sediments and minerals settle around it.
Some of the most common gems found in sedimentary rocks are cat’s eye, rhodochrosite, and opal. Sedimentary rock is formed when organic matter is trapped within mud or clay. As organic matter decomposes, sediments and minerals settle around it. Metamorphic rocks are rocks that have undergone metamorphism. Metamorphic rocks contain a large number of gemstones. These gemstones include garnet, olivine, staurolite, and topaz. The transformation process is referred to as metamorphism. Mountains’ interiors are made up of metamorphic rocks. The intense heat and pressure caused by tectonic plate collisions causes metamorphism.
When you look at metamorphic rocks, you’ll notice that they’re rich in gemstones. These gemstones include garnet, olivine, staurolite, and topaz. The transformation process is referred to as metamorphism. Mountains’ interiors are made up of metamorphic rocks. The intense heat and pressure caused by tectonic plate collisions causes metamorphism. Some of the gemstones found in igneous rocks, which are commonly found in volcanic regions, include aquamarine, axinite, peridot, garnet, ruby, and zircon. Igneous rocks are formed when molten (or liquid) rock cools and solidifies. For example, magma and lava are both examples of this.
What Is the Best Way to Determine Whether You’ve Found a Diamond?
Finding genuine diamonds is frequently attributed to pure luck; a recent story about a 14-year-old boy discovering brown diamonds worth $15,000 at The Crater Of Diamonds State Park exemplifies this.
Having a keen eye is advantageous, however, because rough, uncut diamonds do not resemble the polished gems advertised. If you’re not sure if you’ve found diamonds, there are several diamond tests you can use.
Glistening Genuine Diamonds
Do real diamonds sparkle in the dark? While real diamonds do not sparkle in the dark (they need light to do so), they do have a brilliant sheen when certain conditions are met.
Compare your rock to other shiny rocks to see if it shines brighter; if it does, you’ve discovered a sparkling diamond!
Rough diamonds are partially translucent, but not completely.
Is it possible to see right through a real diamond? If the object is transparent, you may have mistaken it for glass or purchased a counterfeit.
What is a diamond’s tensile strength? Because it is made of hard and durable components, only another diamond can cut through it and leave marks.
Real diamonds, on the other hand, can they cut through glass? Yes, despite the fact that glass can be cut by a variety of stronger substances. So, don’t rely solely on toughness as a criterion, because you might not have discovered glass, but something that looks similar, such as quartz.
If water runs off the surface of the stone, you may be looking at a genuine diamond.
Corners that are rounded
Is the stone you discovered in the shape of a jelly bean? Rough diamonds have rounded edges with indented tiny triangles.
If the object you found has jagged edges, it is most likely not a diamond.
When it comes to gemstones, you might believe that they can only be found in far-flung lands or grown in jewelry laboratories. Your backyard, whether inside or outside, is a lovely place to relax and spend time, and it only takes a little effort to create that relaxing environment. Even if you can’t see them on the surface, some common gemstones may be hiding in plain sight in your backyard. Who knows what treasures may be buried beneath your feet!