Spencer Idaho Opal Mines

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One of my favorite parts of my trip to Oregon, was actually a road stop in Idaho. Ben and I went to the Spencer Opal Mines and had so much fun. 🙂 It costed $15 a person, and we spent a few hours searching for hidden treasure.

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The type of opal found at the Spencer Opal Mine is the milky white opal. Unlike peacock opals from Las Vegas, these little friends do not need to be protected with moisture.

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It was a lot of looking, spraying with water (so you can remove all the dust), and more looking. Randy, an opal expert showed us examples of opal, and helped us tell the difference between opal with color play, and “common” opal. I was excited to find a few pieces with opal.

Ben definitely found the best piece. He could have taken it to a jeweler to make a ring. But, Ben likes the raw, rough quality of the uncut opal. I do have to agree that it looks pretty neat.

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I also found George, and couldn’t wait to bring him home! He is made out of rhyolite and obsidian, which the is matrix surrounding the opals in Spencer. I love the pink, blobby stripes running across the surface. He is probably my favorite find at the opal mine.

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This was so much fun -I am definitely hooked on finding my own gems. I’d love to try panning for gold or garnets in the future!

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