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Some more nice Owyhee

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Talusman
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« on: February 19, 2016, 06:37:24 am »

Cutting into some little Owyhee roughs - nice colors.

Particularly like the gradient from white to blue contrasting with red.

Cuts super smooth - almost has a pre polish coming off the saw. :)

Thanks Oregon!

-Jeremy


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Amethyst Rose
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2016, 08:43:43 am »

Beautiful material.  Love this grade of material but so hard to find.

Happy cutting

Bob Johannes
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stonemon
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2016, 08:54:12 am »

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing, ura
Bill
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hulagrub
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2016, 11:08:57 am »

Darn nice!
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Dave, a certified Rockaholic

Talusman
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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2016, 04:35:43 pm »

This is curious material. The rough looks like chunks broken off a bigger piece of Jasper (see pic of uncut rough with conchoidal fracture visible. However, when I cut these open each is a self-contained nodule with brown rind, white/blue center with red markings.

Are these chunks that broke off an ancient piece of blue/white Jasper that were later altered to produce the brown rind and red markings that formed along and healed cracks in their interiors?

Anybody have geological info on "original" Owyhee?

Thanks!

-Jeremy


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stonemon
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2016, 05:43:13 pm »

My guess is that the jasper originally was a continuous seam or vein which then fractured, allowing the fracture faces to weather and create the rind.
That would explain the fracture shape and the cool patterns created by weathering. I am thinking the interior patterns are also heavily influenced by weathering.
I'm thinking maybe you should send me a chunk or two so I can get a closer look! chuckle
Thanks again for posting those, they are inspiring.
Bill
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Talusman
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2016, 06:24:00 pm »

Ok Bill, you got it. All you have to do is get 11 of your friends to enter the KCC and then beat them!

See my "challenge" in the contests thread.

Cheers!

-Jeremy
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55fossil
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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2016, 06:56:45 pm »

   There is a lot of info on Original Owyhee jasper on line. Bruce Marcus was one of the people who discovered the jasper. He claimed it and set up a business that wound up with a huge international clientele and contracts with major jewelry producers. He had a full time shop full of people sorting, sawing and making cabochons. Bruce was over to my place a few years back and I sold him some of my last Owyhee. I believe it was his grandson with him and they wanted some material to do some cutting together.
     The red material you have was thrown into the scrap heap in the early years as they only wanted the fancy scenic material. I myself love the red material for making cabochons but it is not as hot as the scenic jasper. As for the brown rind: Much of the Owyhee's was lifted and buckled on numerous occasions. Some jasper veins broke apart and healed back up. This may very well be what happened on to this material. It is also possible this is an area where the veins broke up as they dried. Most jaspers are ash and silt that welded together as it layered up. It formed mud and was impregnated with minerals before and after it layered up.
   Google Bruce Marcus Owyhee Picture jasper and follow the road for much more information. The story of how Bruce made the discovery is worth the search but I will not be a spoiler. 
    I included a picture from a rock hunt where the slabs of jasper are laid on their sides. The whole side of this mountain fell off and the hardest layers folded over. They were covered with layers of volcanic ash. This jasper showed signs that it had been uplifted numerous times and healed each time before. Just wish there had been more quality material.

 Neal


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Talusman
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« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2016, 03:16:05 pm »

Thanks for the info, Neal. I found some pictures on the Hans Gamma site that had "trees" which looked pretty cool. I attached a slab that looks more landscapey than the reds. How do the landscapes you are referring to differ from others such as Wild Horse, Cripple Creek, Succor Creek, Rocky Butte, etc.

It's surprising that the junk pile would hold relatively unique red/white patterns while the good stuff was landscapes that can be found in other areas as well. I'm sure the scrap heap has been picked clean by now :)

Anyway, thanks again for the info - as always a great source of info on all things Owyhee.

Cheers!

-Jeremy


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55fossil
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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2016, 06:46:25 pm »

   I will try and find some pictures of the top grade land scape Owyhee. You name it, lakes, trees, mountains and sky. Plus the colors were often image correct for a picture. The original Owyhee was very distinctive and the good stuff was easily recognized. The lower grade material could be confused with some other jaspers... but the biggest problem was people selling jasper that was not Owyhee and calling it Owyhee. Just like today. If the seller does not show you what is under the skin you should run from the offer.

     As for the reds being scrap, not in my book. But when people in Germany say they want landscapes to set in gold jewelry, well you sell landscape. No one wanted to pay good money for the reds so they mostly got buried. But a few years back a local guy out here had a huge pile of reds stolen from his ranch. All of a sudden there was a lot of good red Owyhee available rather cheap. I have no idea if there is a connection or just coincidence.
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Talusman
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« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2016, 07:03:22 pm »

Wow that scenic stuff sounds unreal... Pics!

What decade was the Owyhee Jasper works in full swing?

-Jeremy
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« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2016, 09:28:09 pm »

Bruce Markus told me that when they hit the vein with the white and red they pushed about 40 tons of it over the side. He kept a little cause he liked it but didn't think  it would sell. He told me where it is if we feel like going and digging it out from underneath several hundreds of tons of overburden. He was an amazing man. There used to be a website with pictures and the whole story of how he found and mined the Owyhee Gem but alas, last I checked the domain had expired and it is gone.

Tony
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Talusman
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2016, 05:30:58 am »

40 tons!?

I know what I'll be doing if I win the lottery.  dancer5

It's a shame that Bruce's story was taken down. Would have liked to learn a little more about the history behind these pretty little rocks.

Tony/Neal do you happen to know what county this all happened in? Want to include on my shelf label.

Thanks!

-Jeremy

 
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Hummingbirdstones
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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2016, 07:01:32 am »

Tony, what was the website address?  We can use the Wayback Machine to see archived websites even if they're now defunct.  https://archive.org/web/
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Robin

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« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2016, 07:51:40 am »

      Hans Gamma just published a new version of his book, Picture Jaspers: Treasures of the Owyhee area, Oregon. This book shows almost every mine location in the Owyhee area and a couple other nearby claims. Most of the claims like Owyhee Jasper are in Malheur County in eastern Oregon. Bruce Marcus (with C) put up a web page as he tried to go back into business awhile back with help from family. I do not have the web name. With the price of Owyhee Rough so high I think he had to abandon the idea for a lack of quality material to cut cabochons.
PS: Hans book is great to go out and view the mining areas. I will not digress into the rock stealing from claims but remember most of these claims are still active and even surface collecting is not legal if it is not your claim. But you can go onto the claims, camp out and look for your own new discovery. There are still small deposits, hard to mine deposits and some deposits that may now be found after the great Soda Spring fire. The Graveyard Point area is still the best place if you just want to fill some buckets with easy surface collecting. There are even several stretches of road there that have plume agate, moss agate and occasionally a piece of petrified wood right in the road.
   
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