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The Gemstone Star Garnet
In order to address water quality, aquatic habitat, and safety concerns, the Forest Service is converting to a new method for gemstonecollecting. Visitors will take garnet-bearing gravels from a stockpile to one of the two sluices where they will wash and screen the gravels for garnets. While visitors will no longer be digging for garnets, the new method will still allow people to enjoy the thrill of discovery
Please call ahead The opeaning date may or may not be delayed
(208) 245-2531 or Clarkia (208) 245-1134
Star garnets are the Idaho State Gemstone. Star Garnets can be found in a dozen or more locations. However the Garnets from Emerald Creek Idaho, a few other lesser Idaho locations and India are considered the only locations to have significant amounts of Star Garnet. There are a couple of other US states with rare occurrences of Star Garnet. New to the market are some reportedly brownish red stars from Russia and at one point ebay had Large specimen grade Star Garnets from Africa. Production of gem quality Star Garnet In Idaho and India are both decreasing as time passes.
The Star phenomenon comes from an internal sphere of tiny rods of rutile. The rutile rods are arranged along the crystal planes of the stone. The star comes from the middle of the stone. When rounded from the center in the domed cabochon shape. The rods reflect light back to the eye. The movement seen by the eye comes from different rows of these rods showing as the stone is twisted and turned in the light. As each row of rods breaks critical angle the star apears to move across the face of the stone. Star garnets come in both 4 & 6 ray Stars. Most of the other Garnets in Idaho are of the Almandine variety. It is suspected that some of our deep read facet grade Garnets, may have some of Pyrope's properties mixed in as well. The facet grade Garnets come in a wide range of colors from deep red, reddish orange. Nice pinkish purples that rival African Rhodalite colors. Along with plain pink and purple.
IMPORTANT CHANGES TO EMERALD CREEK GARNET AREA OPERATIONS:
Due to heavy use at the Emerald Creek Garnet Area a limit of 170 people at the site at one time has been established to provide a positive experience to those who purchase permits to find garnets at Emerald Creek. Once that number has been reached additional visitors will be turned away. Please note that the number of people going to the Garnet Area has tapered off and we have not had to turn anyone away. Also, permits will not be issued before 9 a.m. so please do not arrive before 8:45 a.m.
For directions, facilities, season, hours of operation and more. Click on the Forest Service website link at the top of this page. Once at their site use the left menu. Click on recreation. At the next page click on rocks and minerals. The following page will give you 2 choices (Fossil Collecting & Rock hounding) of course click on rock hounding and finely at the next page click on Emerald Creek garnet area.