What makes Montana sapphires even more valuable to many people, is the way they are ethically sourced and mined with consideration for the environment and an easy to trace “mine to market”. Just as with other sapphires , a Montana sapphire’s value (and price) will depend on its color, clarity, cut, and carat weight.
Montana sapphires are primarily known for their attractive blue and pastel colors. Blue gems range from a medium blue hue to a teal, blue-green, or green. Green gems frequently possess a mint shade. Pastel hues often occur in Montana sapphire and are not common in world sapphire production.
Numerous other gem materials have been produced 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.
Montana’s many colored sapphires are mined in the famous placer gravels in the Sapphire Mountains near Philipsburg about 200 miles northwest of Yellowstone National Park. Most of the sapphires are found in the famed Rock Creek deposit, nicknamed ” Gem Mountain.” Gold miners discovered sapphires there in the 1890’s.
The rough stones tend to be small and flat, so less than 10% of cut pieces end up being more than one carat in size. Because of this, the price of Yogos increases sharply after 0.5 carats. Anything in the neighborhood of 1 carat or above will be very expensive . Check out our collection of sapphire jewelry.
Sapphires can come as cheap as $25 per carat, to over $11,000 per carat. A blue sapphire around 1 carat is likely to cost from as little as $450 to $1,600 , depending on quality.
Try the Breath Test Take your sapphire and breath on it slowly and deeply. Then check to see how long it takes for the fog to evaporate. If the sapphire is real , the fog should disappear very quickly, in about a second or two. This is because sapphires are naturally good at conducting heat.
The most popular cuts for a sapphire are oval , round and cushion . These are commonly used for all types of jewelry like rings, pendants and earrings. The sapphire is formed with a hexagonal crystalline structure. This enables it to be cut into a variety of shapes that are durable even with regular wear.
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.
One of Montana’s most popular rockhounding locations is also one of its most scenic. Crystal Park, located on the Pioneer Scenic Byway south of Wise River, is an inspiring public dig site where you’ll find amethyst as well as smoky and brilliant clear quartz scepters in a variety of forms.
Montana agate can be found along the entire length of the Yellowstone River, but the stretch between Forsyth and Sidney contains some of the most highly prized deposits. Agate is a form of chalcedony, which is one of the many varieties of quartz.
While the most common color is a pale blue/green, many other colors can be found . The rarest color to find in Fancy Montana Sapphires is a true red, which is technically a ruby, and this color is almost never found . These true red sapphires, at only . 05 carats each, are technically rubies and are exceedingly rare.
Padparadscha Sapphires . Padparadscha Sapphires are the rarest of sapphires . These extremely rare stones are unknown to most, but when discovered usually become an absolute favorite. They are strikingly beautiful and almost no other colored stone compares to this unique mix of pink and orange.
Top Spots for Gem Hunting in the US Hiddenite, North Carolina. Murfreesboro, Arkansas. Spruce Pine, North Carolina. Franklin, North Carolina. Philipsburg, Montana. Amelia, Virginia. Virgin Valley, Nevada. Denio, Nevada.
Yogo sapphires are a variety of corundum found only in Yogo Gulch, part of the Little Belt Mountains in Judith Basin County, Montana, United States, on land once inhabited by the Piegan Blackfeet people.