No One Knows Where These Gems Came From | Summary and Q&A

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October 2, 2023
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No One Knows Where These Gems Came From

TL;DR

Montana sapphires are a prized gemstone with a mysterious origin, as researchers are unsure where most of them originated from.

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Questions & Answers

Q: Why is the origin of Montana sapphires a mystery?

The alluvial deposits of Montana sapphires have been eroded and moved for millions of years, making it difficult to trace their original source vein.

Q: What makes Yogo sapphires unique?

Yogo sapphires are found in primary deposits and have traces of titanium and magnesium, giving them a unique array of colors not found in many other places.

Q: Why was mining for Yogo sapphires in Yogo Gulch discontinued?

Yogo sapphires, although pretty, tend to be smaller and were mostly used for watchmaking instead of jewelry. Competition from synthetic sapphires also contributed to the mine's closure.

Q: How can I obtain Montana sapphires?

You can sign up for the SciShow Rocks Box subscription, which includes a Yogo sapphire, a sapphire from the Missouri River, and a tumbled sapphire from either the Missouri River or Rock Creek.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Montana is known for its sapphires, which come in various colors and are highly durable.

  • There are two types of mineral deposits: primary and alluvial. Montana sapphires are mostly found in alluvial deposits but their original source remains unknown.

  • Yogo Gulch in Montana has primary deposits of sapphire called Yogo sapphires, which have a unique history and smaller size.

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