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Friday, May 24, 2013

The most recent Rose Quartz finds from our Mining Claims in South Dakota.

While out performing the annual assessment work on our claims in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Ron and I found some of the best rose quartz yet to come from our claims.  This new material was found along an extension from the older workings along the pegmatite.  Some "highgraders" had obviously been doing some work up at the mine when we were not there, and made a dig into an exposure that I had been saving for later.  They obviously made off with some good material, very facetable dark pink material.  I could tell from the mess and damage they left behind as well as all the broken pieces.  They probably ruined more than they got.  But what they got away with was not as good as what I found next:

The most recent quality of deep Rose Quartz recovered from our claims in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

On the left is a high-quality piece of rough red rose quartz from the Scott Mine near Custer, South Dakota, which I
recently purchased from a local miner.  On the right is a piece of rough rose quartz from our adjoining mining claim
dug the last weekend of April 2013 when we were performing the annual assessment work on our mining claims in
the Black Hills.  The piece from our claims on the right (higher up on the same vein) is only one degree of a shade
lighter than the piece on the left from the Scott Mine, which has been called the finest red rose quartz in the United
States.  Christopher Wentzell photos and collection.

We will be making several more trips over the summer to get more material even though we have completed our annual work, as I would like to build up a larger stockpile of rose quartz for future use.  I'm not going to announce when we will be up at the claims because I would love to catch the highgraders on video and then pursue relief in the Courts for civil mineral trespass, theft, damage, and loss of income.  I normally freely invite people to go out to the claims with us if we are there, but I cannot allow collecting when we are not there due to this type of activity.  Perhaps placing some hidden game cameras on the claims that can catch images of illicit diggers will deter future highgrading from our claims.  I'll have to consult the Forest Service about how to proceed.  In the meantime, happy adventures everyone-- get out and dig some rocks!


  1. A Highgrader is either a Gem dealer or miner who grades out the best for himself than sells the rest , making the claim that this second grade material is the best . A Claim jumper is someone who mines on another persons claim without permission .
    Great day !

    1. Mike, thank you for your comment. Your description is accurate but there are also other uses of the term "Highgrader" from my experience. In most of the gem and mineral specimen mining areas that I have been involved with, "Highgrading" is a term used to describe either a worker or trespasser who removes and steals material from the mine without the owners knowledge. See, for example:, and also: Thanks for commenting!