Posts Tagged With: gems

Canadian Gold and Treasure caches

The leading gold producing province of Canada is Ontario and the Porcupine Region is the premier district in which to find gold. . In the area about 45 miles from Fort Frances on the new highway to Port Arthur (Thunder Bay) can be found good outcroppings of wire gold in quartz. Ore samples coming from this area have been assayed at 6 ounces of gold, 5 ounces of copper and 15 ounces of silver to the ton of ore.. The Isle of Fellow Sands in Lake Superior is said to contain a cache of treasure made by British soldiers around 1778 that has never been recovered.. According to some believers, the $12,000 in gold once aboard the French shallop Criffon in 1679, is buried somewhere along the rocky shoreline of Birch Island, 5 miles from Thessalon.. The Spanish conquistador Cortez supposedly buried a packtrain of treasure somewhere near Sarnia.. There is a cache of buried bullion and papers from an unknown party somewhere near Sarnia.. An iron chest full of gold coins was buried by David Ramsey in 1771 at the west end of Long Point Village just within the confines of Long Point Provincial Park. It has never been found.. In 1870, a Red River expedition payroll in an iron chest was lost overboard when canoes dashed against the rocks in the first rapids past Mattawa Station on the Mattawa River in Northern Ontario. In the early 1960s, five or more men from Montreal robbed a bank at Havelock, Ontario of $260,000. The bandits had a great deal of difficulty with their getaway car and took to the bush on foot in the Havelock area, carrying with them the money and their guns. However, when they were picked up coming out of the bush, they had neither. They were all sent to prison where one died and another killed a man while imprisoned there. It is believed the treasure cache has never been recovered and remains hidden somewhere in this area.. According to legend, an army paychest remains buried east of Toronto on the old site of Fort Rouille. During the War of 1812, the British sloop Mary Ann was transferring the military paychest from Kingston to York at the head of Lake Ontario where a post was maintained at Burlington Heights. It was pursued by American vessels, and being unable to fight them, put into the pond west of the present-day pumping station at Oshawa. Here, the Mary Ann was grounded and the crew carried the paychests ashore containing $100,000 and buried it. The Americans followed the vessel and burned it, but the paychests were never recovered.. At the mouth of the St. Lawrence River in Lake Ontario lies Hart Island. Built on this tiny strip of land is the fabulous Boldt’s Castle and hidden somewhere on the grounds or in the woods of this small estate is a cache of treasure attributed to Basil Hyde-Stafford, descendant of British aristocracy. It consists of a fortune in emerald gems and jewelry, miniature English antiques, goblets, dinnerware, rare coins, family heirlooms and rare jade carvings from India, all contained in a medium-sized trunk. The cache was made in the early 1900s and has never been found even though many diligent searches have been conducted. A cache of gold attributed to the gang of Jesse James is rumored to be buried in Milmur Township.

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The Giant Crystal Cave in Mexico under Naica Mountain.


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World’s Largest Aquamarine

Donated to The Smithsonian, it will be on display this Spring.

The gem quality aquamarine crystal was discovered about 20 years ago and came out of the mine in three pieces. The two smaller pieces got cut up into gemstones right away. The third and largest piece that was to become the Dom Pedro weighed nearly 60 lbs.

Renowned artist and gem cutter, Bernd Munsteiner of Germany was selected to cut the 60 lb. crystal. I was told that he spent 3 months studying the crystal and 6 months cutting it. It is said that for each initial saw cut to shape the crystal, $250,000 worth of fine aquamarine was lost in dust.

The amazing finished piece is nearly 14 inches tall and weighs 10,363 carats, or about 5 pounds. It is estimated to still have $5,000,000 -$6,000,000 worth of aquamarine in it.dpaholdingGem 1

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Australia Opening Up National Lands to Recreational Gold Prospecting….

Prospectors will be able to pan for gold, or use metal detectors to hunt for nuggets, in more Queensland state forests within months.

The Newman government is likely to open the door wider for “recreational prospectors” to look for gold and gemstones.

A spokeswoman for National Parks Minister Steve Dickson said no firm decision had yet been made, but the idea was being actively investigated.

“As part of our commitment to opening up the state’s National Parks estate land, which had been systematically locked up by the former Labor government, we are also considering proposals to allow recreational fossickers greater access,” she said.

Prospecting, even for recreational purposes, has been restricted in most state forests because of environmental damage concerns, except in designated areas.

Queensland has more than 20 designated fossicking areas, including at Gympie, Warwick and parts of central Queensland, where fossickers can search for gemstones using hand tools.

Here, people can search for for alluvial gold, sapphires, topaz, opal and amethysts with a fossickers licence, obtained from the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.

However most are well “worked out”, prospectors say.

Mr Dale said gold could be found in Brisbane Forest Park near Mt Coot-tha, near Brookfield and in state forests near Warwick and Gympie, but people could not legally prospect.

Queensland Prospectors Club spokesman Warwick Anderson said he had been speaking with Mr Dickson and his director-general about getting better access to state

“We would like better access in state forests, because they are the easiest ones and they are there for everyone to do something in,” Mr Anderson said.

“With metal detecting, you know – you find a little target and dig a little hole – a maximum two feet deep.

“It is very low impact, that’s just about it.”

Mr Anderson said people in Victoria could use metal detectors and go fossicking in national parks.

In Queensland, fossickers were happy with extra space in state forests, Mr Anderson said.

He said Queenslanders could technically still fossick in state forests, but must ask for permission first.

“With the previous state government, their answer was always ‘no’,” he said.

“You would ask them ‘why?’ and they would say ‘it’s policy’.”

Mr Anderson said fossicking boosted regional tourism.

“If you ring one of the caravan parks out near Claremont and ask them how much trade they do from prospecting, you know it is massive for them up there,” he said.

Mr Anderson said controls under the Fossicking Act controlled the hand-held equipment that people could use to restrict damage.

“The biggest hole you are allowed to dig is two metres deep; so if you’ve dug a hole that is two metres deep, you will know that is not easier,” he said.

“And you are not allowed to use any machinery, it has all got to be hand tools, like a shovel or a pick.

“So basically what we are after is to open up state forests.

“I mean, I can go and get a permit to run 1000 cattle in a state forest and you can imagine the damage that causes, but I can’t get a permit to run a metal detector through there.”

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Sacks of Human Waste Reveal Secrets of Ancient Rome……

Giant chamber in volcano-smothered town held clues to daily life.
You might turn your nose up at sifting through hundreds of sacks of human excrement, but researchers are doing just that in Italy—and happily.

The unprecedented deposit is said to be yielding new insights into everyday life in the ancient Roman Empire.

Admittedly, at 2,000 years old, the feces “isn’t remotely unpleasant,” Roman historian Andrew Wallace-Hadrill said. “There’s absolutely no scent. It’s exactly like earth compost.”

Ten tons of the stuff has been excavated from a cesspit beneath the ancient town of Herculaneum, near Naples.

Flushed down sewers from apartment blocks and shops, the deposit—the largest collection of ancient Roman garbage and human waste ever found, researchers say—dates to about A.D. 79. That year a catastrophic volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius buried Herculaneum, along with its more famous neighbor, Pompeii.

Lost jewelry, coins, and semiprecious stones from a gem shop have been found, along with discarded household items such as broken lamps and pottery, according to Wallace-Hadrill, director of the Herculaneum Conservation Project, a Packard Humanities Institute initiative.

And, coming from a onetime district of shopkeepers and artisans, the organic material has revealed just what your run-of the-mill Roman might have eaten in this coastal town, according to project scientists, who collaborated with the British School at Rome and the archaeological authorities for Naples and Pompeii.
Fish, Fig, Fennel

Seeds, bones, shell fragments, and other remains suggest Herculaneum residents had a diverse diet, which included chicken, mutton, fish, fig, fennel, olive, sea urchin, and mollusk.

“This is absolutely standard diet for ordinary people in the town,” Wallace-Hadrill said.

“It’s a jolly good diet—any doctor would recommend it,” he added.

While stuffed dormice and other such culinary delicacies of the Roman elite are well known from the historical record, less is known about standard Roman food, Wallace-Hadrill noted.

“It’s very good to get a feeling for what the basics actually were.”
“Foul Stuff” Revealing Roman Life

Measuring some 230 feet (70 meters) long, one meter (three feet) wide, and about seven to ten feet (two to three meters) tall, the large underground structure was first thought to be part of Herculaneum’s drainage system. However, no outlet was found.

“All the foul stuff from the latrines and all the rubbish thrown down the chute accumulate and compost, as in a septic tank,” Wallace-Hadrill said.

The waste was excavated and put through a series of graded sieves by a team led by Mark Robinson of the University of Oxford.

The first sieving captured larger objects such as pottery and bone. The second caught smaller objects, including nuts and seeds.

“It’s in these progressive stages that, bit by bit, you capture more and more information,” Wallace-Hadrill said.

Future microscopic analysis of bits of the ancient Roman stool could reveal evidence of disease, such as bacterial or parasitic infections, he added.

So far, only 70 of the 774 sacks of human waste—bagged by researchers over the past decade—have been examined.

“If you looked in detail at everything,” he said, “it would take a lifetime.”

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$2 million in gems, gold stolen from Calif. museum……

California investigators searched Monday for thieves who made off with an estimated $2 million in precious gems and gold from a mining museum in the Sierra Nevada foothills during a brazen daytime robbery.
But they didn’t get away with the biggest prize of all — the nearly 14-pound Fricot Nugget, a giant crystalline gold mass unearthed in the Gold Rush era.
During their attempt to grab the massive nugget, the robbers triggered an alarm that alerted authorities who swarmed the museum but were unable to nab the thieves.
At least two robbers wearing hoods and armed with pickaxes threatened workers during the heist Friday at the California Mining and Minerals Museum in Mariposa, the California Highway Patrol said.
No suspects have been identified.
The two museum employees who were onsite during the crime were not injured, but they remained shaken from the experience, the California Department of Parks and Recreation, which operates the facility, said in a news release.
Officials have closed the museum while they repair display cases and other items damaged by the robbers. Meanwhile, the parks department was busy conducting an inventory of the stolen items.
The heist was more bad news for the beleaguered museum, which is home to more than 13,000 artifacts. It was previously on a state list of facilities being considered for closure to help save money.
Authorities said the unique pieces taken would be easily identified, which could make it difficult for the robbers to sell them.
“It is uncommon for most citizens to possess such minerals,” the CHP said in a statement.
It was the second heist this year of rare, valuable metals in Northern California. In February, thieves made off with large chunks of gold that were on display in a Siskiyou County courthouse.
Investigators were trying to determine if there is a connection between the two heists.

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