How are Yogo sapphires mined?

Most recently, Yogo Sapphires have only been commercially mined deep underground. These sapphires occur along a five-mile long strike in the earth. Formed in lamprophytic material, Yogos were brought up from the deep mantle material through fractures in the country limestone referred to as dikes.

How are sapphires mined?

Today there are 3 main ways in which sapphires are mined, open mines or shallow pit mines which you will find in countries like Sri Lanka and Madagascar, then there are the larger commercial mines in countries like Australia and Thailand where large deposits of a conundrum (sapphires) are found both gem quality and …

What kind of rocks are Yogo Sapphires found in?

They are found in a system of igneous intrusions called dikes. There are six main dikes that form the centre of the Yogo sapphire deposit. All are composed of a type of igneous rock called a lamprophyre.

Why are Yogo Sapphires so expensive?

The term ‘Yogo’ refers to the Yogo Gulch in the Little Belt Mountains, east of Great Falls. … While it is estimated that 5.6 tons (or 28 million carats) of Yogo Sapphires are still in the ground, the excavation of them is costly and difficult, which keeps their scarcity and relative price high.

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Why are they called Yogo Sapphires?

Corundum gems of most colors are called sapphires, except for red ones, which are called rubies. The term “Yogo sapphire” refers only to sapphires from the Yogo Gulch. The cornflower blue color of the Yogo results from trace amounts of iron and titanium.

Where can I mine Yogo sapphires?

Yogo sapphires are mined in Montana at Yogo Gulch, 12 miles southwest of Utica, 45 miles west-southwest of Lewistown and east of Great Falls. The yogo sapphire mine site resides inside Judith Basin County and was carved out from parts of western Ferguson and eastern Cascade counties.

How and where is sapphire mined?

Sapphire mines exist in many places across the globe. Many of the gems come from Asia, where stones are found in the mines of Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Afghanistan, and other countries. Mines can also be found in Australia and the African nations of Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, and Madagascar.

What are Yogo Sapphires worth?

Because of their fine quality, the price differential between Yogo and other fancy Montana sapphires can be significant. Baide said that other Montana sapphires can average about $1,000 per carat, compared with somewhere around $10,000 per carat for a Yogo sapphire.

How can you tell a Yogo Sapphire?

Yogo sapphires generally have light to dark blue colors and are generally flattened tabular crystals that yield small faceted stones.

Do Montana sapphires have value?

Typical Montana sapphire can cost anywhere from $250-$1500 per carat for under 1/2ct to upwards of $7000 per carat for larger than 5 carats. Price is dependent on the quality of the gemstone (ie color, clarity, cut, and carat).

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Are Yogo Sapphires more expensive than diamonds?

Brilliant, beautiful and highly prized, the Yogo sapphire is the most precious gemstone mined in the United States and is an official gemstone of Montana. Breathtaking to behold, the Yogo sapphire is found only in Montana. Yogos are unique among the sapphires of the world.

What jewelry is Montana known for?

Perhaps one of the most popular and well known American Gemstones is Montana Sapphire. This is for good reason, too – Montana, known as the “Treasure State,” produces nearly all of the sapphire mined in North America.

Why are Montana sapphires special?

One of the most striking differences is their color. Sapphires from Montana are unique in that they naturally occur in light pastels, unique blue-greens, and smoky grays. So, a Montana sapphire could be a calming leaf green or a sky blue-grey.

Are Montana sapphire Rare?

Are Montana Sapphires Rare? Montana sapphire is not found in very large rough pieces. Considering that a rough nugget will yield a cut stone only about 1/3 of the original size means that large, fine quality faceted Montana sapphires are very rare.

What makes Montana sapphires different?

Most Montana sapphires undergo heat treatment to deepen pale color or to give color to colorless stones. When heated under oxidizing conditions, these gems often become bright yellow. Under reducing conditions, a deep blue hue arises. Due to high iron content, achieving the proper reducing conditions is tricky.

What stones can you find in Montana?

These include: jasper, garnet, varieties of quartz, rhodonite, serpentine, staurolite, topaz, tourmaline, and wonderstone. A few diamonds, diamond indicator minerals, and kimberlites have been found in the state.

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