Hunt for Dragon Eggs: New Discovery Open to Public in Utah

Amidst the rolling gypsum hills east of the little town of Clawson in Emery County, Utah, a grand discovery was made that opened up a great potential for adventure and knowledge to the people. Finding dragon eggs buried in the earth is an intriguing experience, for certain, whereas it entails a grand journey to the heart of the Utah desert and within the geologic pages of the San Rafeal Swell, to endure the trials of earth and carefully excavate a specimen for your self. This is not a journey of hardship or disappointment searching for lost treasures, but rather a tale of everyone experiencing the joy of holding a septarian dragon egg of their own.

A rainbow in the sky, overlooking the diggings for Calcite included Septarian nodules in Utah

A rainbow in the sky, overlooking the diggings for Calcite included Septarian nodules in Utah

So what is a septarian dragon egg, and what importance do they hold in our understanding of this world? First off and foremost, despite their sometimes perfect shape, they are most likely not real dragon eggs, however much mystery still surrounds their genesis. The common belief is that mud balls rolled around in the ancient inland ocean that once covered much of Utah before they were buried in clay, lime from decomposed sea shells, and volcanic ash. As volcanic activity baked the soil and uplifted the entire San Rafael region, the mud balls were fractured and resolidified with carbonaceous calcite crystals generating striking patterns that often resemble petroglyphs or strange alien creatures. It is possible the nodules were otherwise created as concretions from mud springs that formed septarian-filled pockets and, in some very rare instances, tube-like structures that connect multiple large nodules.

A Calcite containing Septarian Nodule still in the ground

A Calcite containing Septarian Nodule still in the ground

To embark on this journey, one does not need to be fit to climb mountains nor do you need more than a day to find what you came for. In fact, the main pit can be accessed by a 2 wheel drive car. Free primitive camping is available on the claim with RV dumps and potable water only 4.5 miles away in Clawson to those who wish to enjoy the tranquility of the area for a weekend or longer. The town of Castle Dale, about 15 miles from the claim, hosts many amenities including an Ace Hardware, Family Dollar, local grocery store, farmer’s market, ATV rentals, gas stations, a laundry mat, and local eateries. Ferron, under 10 miles away, has cabin rentals and a grocery store as well. This is not to say this land is always hospitable, thus it is recommended all visitors come prepared in correspondence with extreme temperatures and inclimate weather, so please check the weather before planning a trip. Septarianville will be closed during the winter season.

Digging into the ground in order to reveal these large concreations in the Utah shale.

Digging into the ground in order to reveal these large concreations in the Utah shale.

Upon arrival at the Septarianville claim, you will notice broken pieces can be found scattered on the ground around the area, but to find a complete nodule, you will most likely need to extract it from between the large, unbroken shale that sits about 4 feet below the surface protected by a frost barrier. Multiple pits have been hand excavated to reveal these layers and make it easy for anyone to quickly find many septarians, often grouped together in “dragon nests”. It is recommended for anyone who intends to dig to bring a basic arsenal of digging tools including a rock hammer, 3 – 5 pound sledge hammer, pry bar, shovel, and a large chisel, though some tools may be provided upon request, if needed. The shale must be carefully removed, typically in large pieces, much like a Jenga puzzle, and are typically loosened with hammers and pry bars before being wiggled out by hand. One must take special care in removing the nodules without hitting them or prying them apart, but overall, extraction is a relatively easy process with the help of the Team Hard Rock Mining Company crew who will insure your success in finding the septarian dragon eggs you came looking for.

Two large Septarian Nodules being dug out of the shale

Two large Septarian Nodules being dug out of the shale

You could uncover something unbelievable when you start digging in this dry, blackened shale, and you will no doubt find one or many pieces that speak directly to you. The opportunity to dig and collect is free, but septarians that are unbroken and/or cuttable vary between $3.50 and $5.00 per pound with negotiable wholesale prices for large orders. Team Hard Rock Mining Company offers cutting and polishing of display specimens, slabs, cabachons, polished mini dragon eggs, and more, on site, for a minimal fee, after you have purchased a piece you want. This is sure to complete your journey to the “Dragon Nest” at Septarianville, providing one of the greatest showcase worthy souvenirs imaginable. Every piece is guaranteed to display a unique pattern, and some may be more bizarre than others, but finding one with an incredible central design feels a bit like winning the lottery, especially when you find a red, pink, purple, or green septarian unlike anything seen before, or find a geode center filled with gem-grade amber calcite.

A diamond chainsaw being used to slice large septarian nodules in half

A diamond chainsaw being used to slice large septarian nodules in half

If this journey is not for you, but a septarian specimen is on your list of cool things to have, there are many ways to get your hands on them. Look for the massive showcase of Septarianville specimens at the Denver and Quartzite gem shows this year, visit www.TeamHardRock.com, or search Septarianville on Facebook. You will also find much useful information there to plan a trip and stay updated on fresh finds and finished products. There is much to be excited about with this new discovery of septarian nodules, and whether you embark on the journey to dig one up yourself, purchase one, or just to simply admire the beauty of one of earth’s great geologic anomalies, it is with great hope that this article has taken you on a journey already, and inspired you to carry forward with this journey by visiting Septarianville on Facebook and to “like” and “follow” to show your support and stay up-to-date.

Showing off Septarian Treasures found at the Mine

Showing off Septarian Treasures found at the Mine

This article was composed by Nicholas Nagy, creator of www.GemstoneJournalist.com. Please join the Gemstone Journalist group on Facebook to stay up to date on website construction progress and updates on new articles posted there.

Sunset fast approaches out in the Utah Desert

Sunset fast approaches out in the Utah Desert

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Mineral and Rock Collector’s Guide to the Denver Mineral Show 2017

During the month of September the city of Denver Colorado hosts a group of shows where depending on your interest, you can find amazing things to see and buy!

Denver BroncoThe show is like other popular regional shows in that it started as a club event that got so big that “satellite” shows would pop up, which then spawns the tent cities and specialty shows that cities like Denver and Tucson experience. Being a rather large city, Denver had several clubs that hosted shows around the city at different times of the year. While they still do, in 1967 several clubs joined forces to produce one general event, featuring club cases, dealers from around the states and programs. This is the centerpiece of the Denver mineral shows. This show happens on the 2nd or 3rd weekend of September and this highly attended 3 day event is what ends a now week plus group of shows around the city.

So, if you are a first time visitor to the Denver Mineral Shows, or a seasoned pro, this year is going to feature some big changes to the classic show from a few short years ago.

​Colorado Mineral and Fossil Show 2017Starting out, the biggest change in show locations is the major move from the CLASSIC Martin Zinn Expos production at the Ramada, just a couple miles from the big club show. As collectors started coming to the Denver club show earlier and earlier, the Ramada was used to give an early showcase to some dealers for over 30 years. Now that the Colorado Mineral and Fossil Show has matured into a powerhouse, it is strong enough to move to another location, which is the Crowne Plaza, located near the Denver Airport.

This show has the classic mix you would expect from the Ramada show, everything under the sun you could want, some of the most interesting wares, several wholesale vendors, this show is a must visit. With over 170 vendors, this show has something for everybody and with the new ballroom style, it is not as claustrophobic as it might have been in the hotel rooms of the old Ramada.

Colorado Mineral and Fossil Show

Visit them at RockyGems Presents the Colorado Mineral and Fossil Show There are 1000 parking spaces and free admission.

Denver Coliseum

The place with the most diverse mixture of minerals, fossils, gems and beads is the Denver Coliseum shows, which include the arena area of the Coliseum, hosting a variety of dealers selling rocks from $1 to thousands, plenty of great deals on polished rocks, slabs, fossils, cabochons, jewelry, mineral specimens and more – upstairs you have dealers circling the hallways, a perfect place to visit for families and all ages. Lots of great displays to take pictures with, plus, for serious buyers, a giant tent area filled with dealers of bulk minerals and fossils, some HUGE in size!

Denver Coliseum Show

 Denver Coliseum Mineral, Fossil & Gem Show

Tons of free parking, plus the show is now spilling out the side into the National Western Complex, located right next to the Coliseum, with shows on all three levels. The “third” floor, which is actually the second floor from the street level of the complex, features the new Denver Mineral Show, featuring some great mineral dealers, a few select fossils and several dealers who dig what they sell. Find out more about this show on the Coliseum Show website This show runs from the 9th until the 17th, from 10am-6pm every day – you’ll notice the billboards featuring the show all over the city. Free admission and free parking for all the shows at this central location.

Denver Mineral Show

Arena level that features mostly mineral and fossil dealers. Vendors Set Up Outside in Tents at Denver Coliseum Mineral, Fossil & Gem Show

While the Ramada is now no longer a mineral show, the Quality Inn, across the street is still going strong. There are plenty of raw rock and jewelry dealers to be found here and plenty of metaphysical dealers. That show runs from the 9th til the 17th with free parking, hopefully more plentiful now that it does not compete with the Ramada visitors.

Denver Fine Mineral ShowFor serious mineral fans the Denver Fine Mineral Show at the Denver Marriott West, near Golden. The show starts on Sept 13th and is over on the 16th, overlaping slightly with the main show, a bit of a change from the previous years of having the show a week before the main show. This show features a who’s who of fine mineral dealers. You can find beautiful well crystallized minerals in a natural rainbow as well as the periodicals and magazine publishers covering these types of dealings. It is a real thrill to see all the minerals at this show and there is something to take home, no matter your budget (but, a big budget doesn’t hurt!) You can find out more on the website for the FineMineralShows The show is free, the parking is free, not a great place for browsing families, more like a selection of museum items you could buy.

 Denver Gem & Mineral Show

It all ends up with the “Main Show”, the Original Denver Mineral Show at the Merchandise Mart. This show features amazing display cases, educational displays, kids activities and an amazing array of mineral and gem dealers, all of them showcasing wares they have been saving for this great event. Free public talks are given all day and you’ll be lost in a sea of rocks and minerals you’ll want to take home. This show is paid admission, $7 for adults, $15 for a 3 day pass. Parking is free.

Mr. Bones at the Denver Club Show Amazonite and Smokey Quartz Display at the Denver Club Show

What do you want?

Tim Dorris from the Prospectors TV Show in his family’s room at the Colorado Minerals & Fossil Show

Meet dealers you buy minerals from online? – Denver Coliseum, Denver Mineral Show at the National Western Complex, Crown Plaza, Denver Fine Mineral Show and the Main Club Show

Find Rough Minerals? – Denver Coliseum, Quality Inn, Crown Plaza, Main Club Show

Find Jewelry? – Denver Coliseum, Quality Inn, Crown Plaza, the JG&M show Main Club Show.

Find Fossils? – Denver Coliseum, Crown Plaza, Main Club Show

Find Mineral Specimens? – Denver Coliseum, Denver Mineral Show @ National Western Complex, Crown Plaza, Denver Fine Mineral Show, Main Club Show

Kids Activities At the Denver Gem & Mineral Show (Club Show)

Kids Activities At the Denver Gem & Mineral Show (Club Show)

Find Wholesale Deals? – Denver Coliseum, Crown Plaza, Wholesale Show at Collector’s Edge

Kid’s Activities and Exhibits? – Denver Coliseum, Main Club Show

Free Parking? All of the shows

So, visit Denver and be immersed in a world of minerals and rocks from around the world. You’ll be able to meet fascinating people and buy things from them! You’ll find books, knowledge, special specimens, people who mine what they sell, jewelry making equipment and at least one person selling EXACTLY what you are looking for!

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