Historic Colorado Gem Mine For Sale

Last Chance Lode Mining Claim

Mine Details

Commodity: Barylium, Feldspar, Quartz
Location: Colorado, USA
Terms: For Sale
Price: $40,000

Seller Website

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Sometimes gem mines are more valuable than gold mines. The Last Chance is a pegmatite wonderland, Pegmatite is known for producing gemstones such as various garnet, beryls, tourmaline and even emeralds. The lode here is from 5-18? wide, the colors and size of the crystals are varied and contain a lot of mica. Further workings were developed on the east side of the road sometime past 1950, and show a continuation of the same lode exposed on the west side of the road. The workings are open and ready for examination and separation.

If you have never mined for gemstones, its a simple process simply break out the lode section, hand-separate your muck with an eye for the gem quality material. Discard the waste and use a small hammer and chisel to break out the gem stones.

The Last Chance claim is located on an easy 2WD dirt road that leads out towards Turret, Colorado. The town of Turret ensures that the county clears the road on a regular basis during the heavy snows.

There is wood and trees on the claim and also water, which is rare in this environment. Perfect for washing your separated material and identifying gemstones.
The site is remote enough that you won't be bothered, but only a short drive of 11 miles into Salida for supplies. This is a site that has produced gem quality stones and the wide open lode has plenty more to develop.


Near Salida, Colorado, USA.


The Last Chance was a popular name. The mine was re-named as the Old Glory in 1939-40. The mine is an open type operation that has exposed a large vein of pegmatite. There is extensive mica in the pegmatite which is a good indicator of gem material. The claim has been developed by an open cut of approximately 30? wide and 150? long. The cut exposes some very impressive deposits and there is a lot to work here. It appears the 1950’s operation was more interested in sheet mica and not so much in gems. There are a lot of bits of garnet/beryl crystals discarded around the tipple.

There is a solid old workshop on the claim with an intact roof and locking door. This would be ideal to utilize for machinery and such in support of the mining operation. A loading ramp and tipple also make it an ideal spot for packing out your material in bulk. There is another shaft and 3 digs across the road from the Last Chance “proper”. These workings have not been described in any historical journals but are reported to be of similar composition as below. There were more crystalline features in the pegmatite of the western workings according to our field reports.

There is excellent year round access although the claim sits at a high elevation and will get chilly. The views and location are ideal and it’s a gem mine. No crushing gold, no processing. Just gems that can be easily sold to dealers or online.

The claim is noted in “Pegmatite investigations in Colorado Wyoming, and Utah. Circa 1942-44 (Pages 23-24)”
The Last Chance Spar-Mica Dyke prospect, now known as the Old Glory claim, is owned by Walter Record of Turret. The pegmatite is 100 yards west of the road, 4 miles south of Turret, at the head of the steep grade of the Turret road just north of Railroad Gulch. Three small cuts have been made in the poorly ex-posed pegmatite. The largest is 26 feet long and 20 feet wide and averages 8 feet in depth. The pegmatite is rudely crescentic in shape. The main arm, about 200 feet long and 40 feet wide, strikes N. 55° W., and the other, about 105 feet long and as much as 35 feet wide, strikes S. 77° W. The pegmatite occurs in gray, coarse-grained granite and contains three distinct zones in addition to a border zone. These zones are listed below in order from the walls to the center of the dike.

  1. The wall zone is fine-grained quartz-potash feldspar-muscovite-plagioclase pegmatite. Dark-brown garnet is common.
  2. The intermediate zone is quartz-plagioclase-muscovite pegmatite with accessory beryl. It is poorly exposed and appears to be discontinuous along its strike. Twenty beryl crystals, ranging from 0.5 inch to 1.5 inches in diameter, were exposed in the largest cut in 1942. Muscovite constitutes about 5 percent of the zone.
  3. The core is quartz and white potash feldspar pegmatite. Quartz is visually estimated to form 75 percent and the feldspar 25 percent of this rock. Some of the feldspar masses are as much as 8 feet in length. The gray-green muscovite of the intermediate zone would yield some sheet mica of No. 1 to No. 3 quality, but the total quantity of sheet recoverable is probably small, In 1944 very little muscovite was observed in the east pit, but in the westernmost pit a small quantity of sheet mica was exposed. No sheet mica is exposed between these pits.

Reference:
Hanley, J. B., Heinrich, E. W., Page, L. R., & Colorado Wyoming, U. (1950). Pegmatite investigations in Colorado Wyoming, and Utah 1942-1944. Washington, D. C: Gov. Pr. Off.