My Virgin Valley opal location seminar and claims for sale tour is $200. The mine tour takes over 5 hours as a rule. There is an additional per person fee of $100 for larger groups than a family. This rate applies to non-mining guiding on and off refuge also, but at no additional per person charges. I will not be talking opal mining and legal specifics then. I'll guide you and your friends to specific interesting places and things you wanted to see. Such as, but not limited to, lakes, faults, playas, canyons, caves, and hot springs with all the wild life around them.
I don't lead "Indian artifact" or "Bone" hunting expeditions, pictures are all you can take of those on the refuge. Wildlife is not chased but is seen everywhere. I'm not an outfitter guide in the sense that I provide all of your camping supplies and services. Call for special accommodations and help if you require these, and I can do my best to make it happen. Round trip airport pickup from Reno or Boise (both ways)is offered for an additional $800 fee. (Next time will be the first.) Accommodations in Denio Jct or further transportation are separate from this "get you here" shuttle service. Nine hours round trip drives to Reno for is the reason why the expense is high. Reno is the closest car rental also. Please understand unless your tour is prepaid, I can NOT promise to be here or free to help you. Some claims require a 4x4 to access them, others are rifght off the graded roads. Call to discuss possiblities for you.
Moon rise over the mining district looking East towards the Purple Fire claim group (SOLD) and the Swordfish claims from the dam on one of the Dufferena ponds which are a vital link on the inland flyway for migrating birds. This view is looking out to and over the refuge boundary to the east toward Big Mountain which is a large shield volcano forming the eastern edge of the Virgin Valley caldera. There are many extinct volcanoes within sight of the valley rims.
Swordfish Mining has new opal prospects for sale and I take you there myself. I do not just send you a map with GPS coordinates you could easily get lost from out here to try and figure out where to dig and find the elusive precious opal. You can be mining opals in less than 24 hrs. I'm a friendly source of local information, not a total substitute for legal research at the county and state level, but I can teach you how to do that. Experienced in the actual local geology of ancient desert sea shores and dry island to forested valleys by volcano deposits which are faulted and warped by repeated seismic events. My years of digging here give a real feel for any individual claim or mine. All of the original faulted open rich deposits have continued to produce opal without becoming mined out.
The opal beds form an uneven stack of lenses and layers several hundreds of feet and millions of years thick. Finding opal takes experience, skill, luck, and the willingness to keep going. I've spent thousands of hours searching out and reading all the books from others and then selectively mining these relocated claims. I don't provide maps with the claim names, open areas, other than GPS you take on the opal seminar tour of precious opal claims for sale in the valley. If you've already decided which claim(s) to buy. I still charge $100 to show off one claim without the whole tour which is then refunded if you follow thru with purchase. The cost of test digging days (200 a day per person like fee dig in case you walk away) is taken off the claim price also. The tour is separate from the sales trip unless you want to buy at the end of the tour that day.
It takes quite awhile going around to the various claims passing on my quality personal opal information. If we're running around to all the claims for sale; there isn't enough time to walk but a couple, let alone test dig each one for possible precious opals. We're looking for which one will entertain you for years, not which one will pay to buy it up front. That is a buyer problem, not an opal problem. Clients HAVE bought claims with the first stone they found and sold. All the claims might hit on the next shovel, but It's mine until you buy. We walk and talk then look at the dirt on the way by to small exploratory cuts on the layers that contain opal elsewhere for sure. You should expect to have to work to find gem opals which are still the exception even here the best place in America to find them. I see trace and let tourist take some samples. Some I keep to cut as it is my right as owner to give or retain ore. When the tour is over most folks have made their decisions which ones they'd want to see what was in, or why they don't is clearly discussed and value is gained. I help more people decide not to buy, or just entertain them for a day with knowledge, as sales I make by being honest. Everybody has been impressed with their tour guides' capability. After being sold, they are not shown to anyone else.
Thanks in advance for paying the $200 seminar claim tour fee as a deposit. You can pay with Paypal. This price is for your family or a couple of miners. For additional prospectors or larger groups the cost is $100 each. A group of four separate miners would be $400. Test digging is $200 a day per head which is only refunded on the purchase price any claim. Larger groups take your larger vehicle and you drive too. Mini-lectures will be given at several locations throughout the caldera complex. Arrangements for taxi service from Reno is $400 each trip. (Me and a Subaru, more if your group requires a vehicle being rented. Really I want you to rent one and come so I don't have to drive for days. It's much cheaper to rent and pay your own gas,). If you end up out here, call me to see if I am available before you leave cell phone service territory.
This is not a led rockhound collecting trip unless that is what was bought. You won't be picking up everything you see on every claim as that strips the claims of their obvious contents not dug yet. Opals don't just lay around anywhere on earth and the typical size of surface opal is probably going to be one I let you keep. We don't leave gems on the ground of course. Cutters I take home to cut. That's why I own claims. Best go to the fee digs where you can dig all day if your goal is maybe getting rough or several specimens. None of my claims are set up for public commercial fee digging yet, only bank for exclusive clients and lessors until the claims are sold.
Low sedans are not advised on the refuge 4x4 roads as larger rocks have to be driven around. Always carry a spare in the off paved roads world. Two wheel drive is all that is necessary to access most every claims during dry weather if you can dodge ruts. If you don't know where you are going, getting your car back can be damaging and expensive from the other rougher canyons I don't drive. Walk first to check your way is safe.
I made common opal discovery on every claim before staking the claims. The asking price represents what the claims are worth in comparison to the other gemstone claims here and for sale elsewhere in the west. I will trade for some needed items. All offers will be considered. Storage canisters delivered, mobile home, RV, motorcycle, Quad, high mpg vehicles, etc. I'm wanting functional items not expensive toys. Small equipment is fine to prospect with, but not to mine seriously.
A proven precious opal claim price depends on the quality and quantity of what was seen dug so far from that place on the contained bed by us in the past. Most of the remaining unclaimed ground is way to deep, or steep, to mine profitably. Availability of electricity, phone & Internet, and road access, along with any past development work and the location in relation to other proven commercial operations is taken into consideration. Most claims just never got dug into what I think are the possible opal layers for more than a few feet.
The odds are 100% you WILL find common opals and woods on my claims. People rarely talk about their opal production. Opal miners are a very secretive lot as a rule of survival. I have never heard any amounts of opal reported, other than those numbers reported to the State Minerals Production records for our taxes.
Claim groups are not usually broken up. These claims all have some topography to deal with. All have opal banks or seams present that will contain whatever opals made. It's mostly hidden underground. I've seen a mines' banks change within a few feet from twigs to nodules to nothing to veins to blacks worth thousands and back to an opal a week. Every claim I sell has acres of untested ground to explore.
Opal is a gemstone that has been priced among the highest on earth. Our unique form of the popular gemstone usually comes as a fossil replacement. All claims do produce some forms of precious and common opals, and possibly the rare fossils in both soft and a harder opal. Most cab cutters grind off everything but the precious opal. Not all opals will cut gemstones, that's the story of precious opals everywhere. I live off the percentage that are stable and do cut fine gems.
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