Philipsburg, Montana – Sapphires
There are a few locations in Philipsburg where you can screen gravel for sapphires. Sapphires come in a variety of beautiful colors such as: cornflower blue, green, purple, pink, and yellow. The Sapphire Gallery, Opal Mountain Gems, and Gem Mountain are the different places you can screen gravel.
Gem Mountain is a couple of miles southwest of Philipsburg. There are signs for how to get there. The cost at Gem Mountain was $15 for a two and a half gallon bucket of gravel to screen. (Note this was the price for summer 2010.) They are most helpful with instructions on how to screen your gravel. It is good to wash your screen full of gravel at least three times so that you can thoroughly check all your gravel. The sapphires will have a transparent look to them similar to glass. We did each screened a bucket and got a small variety of different colors. I had a couple of stones that were big enough to be faceted.
Sapphire Gallery is located in downtown Philipsburg, Montana. At the Sapphire Gallery you can screen gravel in their workroom to the side of their jewelry store. The cost of the gravel to screen is $25. They have several beautiful and unique designs of sapphire jewelry in gold settings.. The ladies in the jewelry store are most helpful to show you some unique designs.
Opal Mountain is located in downtown Philipsburg, Montana. Opal Mountain is a great little shop. The owner is most helpful on information for the local area. She likes to collect rocks and knew about a few locations to collect some specimens of chrysacola and hematite. There is sapphire gravel available to screen at $9 per bag. (Note: price of the El Dorado gravel during summer of 2010.) There are also Spencer Opals in silver settings available here at great prices. This shop also has some charm vials available at a great low price to put your small fractured sapphires in and enjoy them in a pendant. There are several gifts available at great prices. This is a shop you will not want to miss.