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Well I finally fulfilled a dream of mine. I have always wanted to go to topaz Mountain in the Thomas Range, outside Delta, UT.  I think most hard core rockhounds, have often thought of going to this location and collecting the Gemmy Topaz, Bixbyte, and Red Beryl...  The latter of which is rare, in pristine condition. Well at least for me it was..  I spent 7 days  ( August 19th- August 26th)  in the "amphitheater" and 6 days pounding the very hard Rhyolite with a 4 lb sledge hammer & chisel....Hard work can be very rewarding here, and it is tough. I broke by sledge handle 4 days in, luckily I had a backup handle ready to go...  Ok enough talk....Heres the pictures

A view of a couple collecting areas...Notice the white areas of Topaz bearing Rhyolite on the hillsides


A view from collecting area #2 looking down toward my camp


A rare pocket with Gem Topaz. 


A little pocket I was lucky enough to extract with no damage...


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I wound up with many specimens of Gem Topaz ...  Some were just exceptional quality



My finest specimen.... A very glassy gem grade double terminated specimen with riders...


A few more pieces....




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I wish I could share all the great pieces with you , but thats just to much photography for me....If you have been on the fence about going to this area, just make the plans and go. Please consider staying more than 3 days, as the longer you stay, the more you learn and the better you get at finding topaz. Besides, it takes time to break of slabs of that very solid Rhyolite. Be sure to bring 2 sledge hammers, a very stout chisel, Safety glasses ( the cool looking ones), gloves, and knee pads...  I will have to make a return trip someday...  

I leave you with an image of the Topaz Mountain with the Milky Way...



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Wow! You got a LOT of Topaz. Really nice ones too.

Tom H.


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:thumbsupanim not that's the way it's done. TOUGH slippery looking territory and as you just proved carrying extras of just about everything matters much as we definitely wear out equipment fast. thanks much for the pic tag along-John

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WOW !!  Adam....   :yesss:

I agree with all the previous comments.....



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On 9/13/2016 at 5:38 PM, Haderly said:

Wow you did very well on that trip. Are you going to be selling any?

Thanks everyone, it was an amazing trip. There is more to share.  I also went to www.u-digfossils.com and had a bladt digging up lots of 550 million year old trilobites. And  i made a trip to the not very published site , the glitter pits. More to come soon.  Yes haderly, i will be selling a few topaz specimens when i have the time.

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Nice specimens there , sounds like you had a great time , its a fun area I have found some very small bixbite there too but its rare . It sucks that the color fades in the topaz though . There is some nice stuff in the mineral mountains too if you ever get a chance. Nice Job and nice photos too !

Edited by cf23
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  • 4 months later...

Hmm, just stumbled upon this, great report,beautiful photos and specimens. Thank you. I've been out there a few times but not for that long of a stretch, maybe since I live closer. I once guided a troop of younger scouts (around age 8 or so) out there. They had a blast and found a pretty good amount for the time they were there. If you're ever out there and want a tour of the non-pay trilobite areas, some in a reddish and tan shale, let me know. There is also the interesting gold area up Amasa Valley within ten miles of the trilobite area.

Edited by bigrex
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Hey Rex, good to hear from  you !...Im definitely going back , likely this year .  Staying for several days seemed to be very beneficial. I may know of that spot with the Trilobites in the red material...:200:  Did not make the time to check it out. 

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