Pegmatite and Amazonite Mining in Lake George, CO

Joe, our friend Leonard and I drove for nearly three hours, through the National Forest containing Pike’s Peak, up 15 degree inclines that felt like 22 degree inclines to get to this private claim to crack pegmatite in search of amazonite. The whole notion of private claims fascinates me, and is something I will write about in the future. This gentleman who was hosting us there had staked a claim to this public land in the National Park, for the purpose of mining. Now there are fees, and papers to file, and annual steps to follow, but to have a mining area to yourself is something that ended up appealing very much to Joe and myself.
The game plan was simple – find a spot, and start clearing the topsoil and coverage, hit rock, and start mining.
This kind of mining in Colorado requires a lot more luck than Herkimer Diamond for instance. There is simply such a vast area in these Colorado claims that you really have to decide to devote your time to one hole, digging deeper and deeper, or do you hit more areas, seeking more pockets, and spread out.
We had a crew of 5, 6 if you include the canine friend seen in the photos, and while none of us hit a grand jackpot pocket, we did uncover some very nice amazonite that we were able to sell very quickly a month later to some collectors at the Herkimer Gem Show.
I don’t know how to recommend this mining expedition, or how to grade it or offer hints. It was a private claim, and I will likely never return. But this adventure was an inspiration for me to learn more about staking a claim. If you are near New York, and would like to discuss the whole process of staking a claim, please “Contact Us” through our site.
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