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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.