Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Thank you Planet News for recognizing the significance of our accomplishments over the many years. Please visit their blog to see what I'm talking about.

Fist-size almandine garnet from Tie Siding with several
translucent zones.
Until the start of this century, Wyoming was thought to be an energy rich state, but very poor in gold and gemstones. However, research over a span of 30 years showed Wyoming to be one of the richest terrains in the US for gemstones, gold, as well as copper and other base and precious metals. Wyoming has many undiscovered diamond deposits based on work I completed for DiamonEx Ltd as well as for myself.

Sloan 5 Diamondiferous kimberlite,
Colorado. This is one of the better exposed
cryptovolcanic structures in the region and
it is underlain by diamondiferous kimberlite.
We found dozens and dozens of cryptovolcanic structures with features characteristic of kimberlite pipes: distinct depressions along linear fractures, open parks with rounded boulders, some with wet or dry lake beds in the Precambrian terrain surrounded by calcium carbonate-rich soil (the Precambrian terrain in this region is very calcium carbonate poor). Several of these were verified as having considerable calcium carbonate and blue ground typical of kimberlite. Are these kimberlites? Several likely are, as many were found within known diamondiferous kimberlite districts and others are surrounded by kimberlitic indicator mineral anomalies.

We found more than 300 kimberlitic indicator mineral anomalies and more than 400 cryptovolcanic depressions. I think it is safe to say that Wyoming is underlain by a major diamond province that has been totally and completely ignored by the State. Would you like to create several thousand jobs in this region - get your local politicians to open their eyes (when they are not stealing us blind) and work on promoting these resources.

Gem-quality peridot from Leucite Hills.
In addition to diamonds, there are world-class colored gemstone deposits in Wyoming. Before I left the WGS, I was working on two of the largest colored gemstone deposits on earth - Grizzly Creek and Sherman Mountains. The Sherman Mountains deposit is very intriguing. When I first examined a very small part of this deposit on a county road in 2005, I found several, very high-quality iolite gemstones but much of the deposit remained untouched as far as gemstones. So what is the story on this incredible gemstone find?

Around world war II, The Sherman Mountains deposit was examined and trenched by two geologists from Wyoming who were researching the area for possible magnesium mineral resources for the War effort. The geologists reported this one deposit to have massive zones of cordierite (they missed the fact that it contained high-quality gem material). The cordierite was estimated at the surface to include 500,000 tonnes of cordierite. Now if we convert that to carats, we have a WORLD-CLASS gemstone deposit that is unmatched! This many tonnes converts to about 2.5 trillion carats at the surface. Now get this, there is NO information about the subsurface - how deep does this go? One could imagine that every 10 feet deep or so, we could potentially add another 2.5 trillion carats of this gemstone.  Now if only 50% of this cordierite is gem-quality iolite, we have a deposit that potentially has much more than $10 trillion in gemstones.

After I made this discovery and discovered the Grizzly Creek deposit, the State Geologist with full support of the Governor's office took away my field vehicle and gave it to his secretary. Four of the most incompetent geologists on staff were then promoted to management, and all of my field gear and samples were dumped by these whimps. My travel and research budget was also confiscated making it impossible for me to stay at the WGS. So, why all of the concern by these politicians? Was this a conspiracy, or just corrupt politicians with egos larger than the Cheyenne city dump? Personally, I would pick the latter. A conspiracy would suggest there was some form intelligence involved.

I found evidence for other iolite deposits north of Palmer Canyon.  Prior to finding the gem-quality iolite at Sherman Mountains, I made a discovery of gem-quality iolite at Palmer Canyon, several miles north of the Sherman Mountains discovery. This was what I thought was the first discovery of iolite in Wyoming (it turns out that someone else may have recognized iolite somewhere in this region because John Sinkankas mentions a gem-quality iolite deposit in his book that he visited in Wyoming, possibly in the 1950s. Just before he passed away, I had talked to him on the phone and he could not remember any details as to the location). Palmer Canyon contained many gem-quality iolites, some rubies and sapphires, a large number of gem-quality kyanite gemstones, and a few of the largest gemstone iolites ever found. One gemstone, I named the Palmer Canyon Blue Star, weighed 1,720 carats - a world record gemstone!

While conducting research at Palmer Canyon, I developed a model to assist in locating other similar deposits. In 2000, my field assistant and I published a book on Gemstones in Wyoming in which I predicted that another iolite deposit would be found at Grizzly Creek based on geology and that some ruby and sapphre deposits would be found elsewhere in the state. When we finally got access to Palmer Canyon, wow! My model was right!

The largest iolite ever found on earth from Grizzly Creek
Iolite gemstones that were enormous. I took out the largest ioliteiolite found as replacements in place in the outcrop. Some were likely several hundred thousand carats and others would likely be measured in the million+ carats (for one single gemstone). Along with these, I found billions of carats of gem-quality kyanite. A king's ransom of gemstones.

Wayne Sutherland poses against large
outcrop of iolite. Much of the rock
behind him is solid iolite gemstone.
Would I get an award for these discoveries? Special recognition by the legislature, governor or state geologist?  An honorary PhD from the University of Wyoming? Nope! My reward was confiscation of my field vehicle and budget and I could no longer travel to present lectures or field trips to the public - and then it got real bad. But at least I got out with my life, not something that two of my productive colleagues could claim. Robert Lyman and Ray Harris died that year at the Survey and we only had a staff of 25. At least 6 people wore heart monitors. What was going on? Would someone investigate this? Are you kidding, this was Wyoming - we didn't have enough money to buy our politicians.
Gem-quality pyrope and spessartine garnet and
gem-quality chromian diopside and enstatite
from Green River Basin.

Ruby and Sapphire deposits seem to be in many localities in Wyoming. I discovered at least six deposits based on geological models and was working on others including one potentially significant deposit near the southern tip of the Wind River Mountains. After I recognized the connection between ruby and glimmerite, this open the door to find many more deposits.

The possibility of many other gemstone deposits in Wyoming is likely - one that remains of interest is that of emerald. I also found billions of carats of very high quality kyanite gemstones. Well, how about gold. Wyoming has been missed as a gold target. It should have produced about 200 times more gold than it did in the past. And not many were looking, but I was finding gold everywhere - including the Laramie City Dump and I found a whole new gold district near Casper. 

And there are many more large million ounce gold deposits in the State - they are just being ignored or they are being withdrawn or have already been withdrawn by the worse examples of bureaucrats. People who are only interested in their personal self-wealth and self-importance. Wyoming has two of the largest (possible more) copper provinces in the nation. These include the Absaroka Volcanic plateau to the east of Yellowstone and the volcanogenic massive sulfide province in the Medicine Bow and Sierra Madre Mountains. These provinces (along with major platinum-group metal anomalies) were all withdrawn, piece by piece by the Federal Government, State Government, and government in general. We can thank the US Forest Service and US Bureau of Land MisManagement for taking our public lands and making them government lands. From 1977 to 2007 I watched as deposit after deposit was withdrawn using primitive, wilderness, roadless, too many mice, etc withdrawals to keep mining companies out. Everytime there was a significant discovery, it was quickly withdrawn by the Green Machine known as the Forest Service. This and the BLM should be eliminated as agencies to save our resources and federal budget.

As an example of how things got so out of control, after I had announced discovery of a major opal and agate deposit in central Wyoming in 2003, the BLM was very frustrated as they actually wanted to withdraw the area to protect other resources - but they had NO IDEA where it was located, because I would not tell them.
This ~ 40-carat rough pink sapphire was found in Palmer Canyon with
several thousand carats of other sapphires and rubies.
Cut and polished kyanite gemstones recovered from Palmer Canyon.
Billions of carats of labradiorite gemstones remain
untouched in the central Laramie Range.
faceted ruby and iolite from Palmer Canyon
NOte the high-quality transparent pink, orange and red pyropes
as well as the transparent green chrome diopsides from the
Green River Basin. These are tiny, but all are actually cutable.
One of many fancy diamonds found in Wyoming.
Another Fancy Wyoming diamond with a slight green hint.
A 7.5 ounce nugget found near Rock Creek by prospector at South
Pass, Wyoming. Another treasure that is not suppose to be found
in Wyoming
Not suppose to be found in Wyoming?     A 34-ounce
nugget recovered from Rock Creek at South Pass. It is likely
that several major gold deposits were missed in Wyoming. Based on
geological models, Wyoming should have produced about 200 times
more gold than it has. So where is the gold? I know where, but I could
never get the Geological Survey of Wyoming to give me any significant
support. And if you would like to know, I just told the world where to
find the gold in my new gold book.
The author (several years ago) mapping copper-zinc-silver
deposits in Wyoming - other commodities that are not suppose
to be in the State. Yet the known deposits and geology
support Wyoming has at least two major copper-zinc-silver-
gold provinces that were withdrawn by the US Forest Service as
soon as they realized the public might want to explore their
public lands. Little did we know, it was really Forest Service

Sky-blue gem-quality kyanite - billions of carats of this gem
still remain in place in the Laramie Range of Wyoming.

Beautiful several carat faceted chromian diopside from a Wyoming
kimberlite. I had several of these gems that were perfectly transparent
stolen from my office before I could get them cut. But it shows the potential
ignored by the state.

Cabbed jasperoid from Hartville.

One of the largest rubies found on earth - discovered at
the Red Dwarf ruby deposit. Some of the preserved ruby
has the highest quality pigeon's blood color for ruby.

Sweetwater Opal - one of the largest deposits in North America includes
a giant resource of gem-quality Mexican Fire Opal that is untouched.


  1. I have just liked your post! But wow, its a very interesting read and yet again reading about people going to mines and finding new items there. WY gemstones, I love the Labradorite - is it available for sale? Or just putting it in your own pockets? :P

    I have started blogging recently too (navneetgems.blogspot.com) and its really fun especially when people comment and interact. So far not much luck. Hope we can maintain the reciprocity, even if its jus conversations or comments. :)

  2. .my name is Richard Rowe I am from Louisville Kentucky I have some pretty nice interesting minerals I've been collecting rocks for very long time didn't know what a hadtrying to find somebody set a note there minerals in rocks I've got a pink yellow Crystal Clear white milky on top quartz rock beautiful

    1. Sorry Richard, I cannot identify minerals on line from photos - no physical properties in a photo. Try the Kentucky Geological Survey - geological surveys usually have someone on staff to identify minerals and rocks - the GemHunter

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