Sunstones are much more valuable and rare than moonstone. It's easy to do an Internet search to see how different a stone one is from the other.
There are several very good places to fee dig for sunstones (all in south central Oregon) all situated very near a free/public rockhound set-aside area. As you may suspect, if you've been a rockhound for very long, the fee dig spots are much more likely to provide high quality results in a reasonable time frame. But, you surely can find worthwhile stones on the public dig area, too.
As mentioned in Special Skills Needed, persistence is the key to finding sunstones. You may find one of the very highest quality simply sitting on the surface after the wind moves the sand about, but thank the rock gods, if you do. It's a gift... Usually, it takes all day and many five gallon buckets worth of sifted gravel, busting up basalt "clods", and skin that matches that of stirring wet cement all day with your bare hands (wear good gloves!!).
Your most useful tool, other than the required shovel and a couple pairs of leather gloves, is a shaker screen (half down to quarter inch mesh) on rollers set at belly height, on a wooden frame. The pay sites usually provide this tool and even shovels and buckets like as not. It's their business (their life, really...) and they want you to be successful and happy to return again. They have all been, to my experience, folks of the highest degree of honesty, integrity, and friendliness. I look forward to meeting with them each year I can return. You either pay up front for the day, keep all you find, or you pay a very fair fee (far less than retail and with wastage calculated in) for what you want to keep. You can often also arrange to stay on-site at the fee dig locations as the closest place for motels is Lakeview, a long drive back after a hard day of working the rock. Or, you can find a few trailer spaces in Adel, south of Plush. Have fun!
Nov 25 2012, 12:51 AM EST by
General information on Greenwater Agate, also known as "Greenwater." There is anattachmentbelow with a picture. Where to find it: This is an agate found in the area of Greenwater, WA on Chinook Pass, Hwy 410. This is also the Hwy to Crystal
Jul 23 2012, 4:16 PM EDT by
Rocks, gems and minerals in Washington
Hello, rock, gem, and mineral enthusiasts, my name is Stan and I am interested in looking for rare or unusual rocks, gems or minerals found in Washington state and in Oregon as well. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Found a scraper made of flint while digging in my garden a few weeks ago. Not a real good one, was probably used a lot or discarded because not up to standards. Old as chip marks are worn smooth. Small hill to the South East of the house, that I played on as a child, lots of flint chips were on that hill. Early Americans probably sat up there and chipped while watching the Platte River. Platte is down this year, ankle to knee deep, means irrigation water shortage. Last few years water levels have been 9 feet plus, making the North Platte River a real dangerous river. Plan on doing some rock hunting in the river soon. W H King
Jun 21 2012, 3:25 PM EDT by
Moving to the Spokane area
My friends and I are moving to Spokane this summer and are looking for places to go gem hunting, fossil hunting, mushroom hunting, amongst other things. Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks in advance! Oh and I am interested in rock trading too.
Mar 31 2012, 1:44 AM EDT by
a first for me here
i was checking out a silt stone bank n uncover a huge snail it was 12 inches wide and 4 inches thick it has a mother of pearl shine on it there are lots of sea lillys here but real poor grade i removed 20 feet by 6 feet by 1 foot and found nothing any ideas on what i should
Sep 12 2011, 12:32 PM EDT by
shark teeth and other fossils
south alabama is the best
Most practical Metal Detector?
As a beginner, I have done alright with my cheap $60.00 detector that I got
from Cummings Tools before they went out of business in my area, so far
it has found hundreds of old fishing weights, lures, soda and beer cans,
and even found an old car muffler under 3 feet of wet sand.
And yes...it has even detected Gold jewelry.
But I hear the effectiveness of my $60.00 wonder that has paid for itself 3 or 4 times over
will be slightly diminshed in areas where there is magnetic or mineralized rock, especially
when I get out west looking for Gold nuggets.
I'll be taking it regardless along with my Copper Dowsing Rods and my Copper Gold Pan.
But I was just curious....what brand or model would be considered the best or most practical
Metal Detector for under $1,000.00?
I have heard of White's Metal Detectors and have heard good things about them.
One seems as though it might make a nice step up from my cheap detector.
But I thought I would ask around and get other opinions from people who
are interested in the subject of Metal Detecting allot like myself.
Dec 13 2010, 6:41 PM EST by
searching for revolutionary war artifacts in Massachusetts
I am looking for ideas of places I could go probably in the spring/summer to use my metal detector to find revolutionary war items in Massachusetts. Also any other sites that could be good for finding valuable or antique relics. I am trying to provide my boys with a fun hands-on experience that could also prove valuable in the historical or economic sense. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!
Dec 12 2010, 12:43 PM EST by
Im not good at using this sight . I just heard that thundereggs can be found in chalan. does anyone have any info on this?
Nov 1 2010, 1:43 PM EDT by
I have found a weird rock here in Columbia River gorge Area The Dalles
I have found a rock that no one can Identify for me and it looks to be sea urchins and I am not totally sure and I am not sure how to get some one to help me identify it and how to get a picture to them as I would like to have some help on this!
Oct 10 2010, 4:16 PM EDT by
Help! Identifying RAW SAPPHIRE
I saw the picture of the raw sapphires and recognized them, I use to play with those types of rocks as a kid, drove my mother crazy I'd sneak them in my backpack *feels guilty remeber what I did with rocks* they were so colorful and smooth, I would collect them whenever I had the chance. How do I know if these are really raw sapphires and not a worthless look-a-like?
Oct 4 2010, 12:15 AM EDT by
Book "Galleons and sunken treasure"
I am Claudio, author of the book "Galleons and sunken treasure."
Here I am for all matters relating on galleons, shipwrecks, pirates, treasures, naval history, sailing. All directly from the historical archives in Spain.
Aug 8 2010, 11:22 PM EDT by Claudio47
Missing a garnet site in Washington Cascades
Sometime in the 1960s, my father and his family went on a picnic on the Mt. Loop Highway. When digging in the gravel river/creek-bed just off the main highway, they found garnets the size of peas.
A few years ago, Dad and I tried to find this location again. There were garnets in Garnet creek (although MUCH smaller than the ones Dad remembered). The site my dad originally went to was just off the side of the main road, while garnet creek was off of a side road.
So, would any of you rockhounds remember roughly where this site might be?\
Jul 28 2010, 10:02 PM EDT by
looking to dig around in wa.
we are planning a trip to visit fam. in the olympia area aroud the 27 of July ,we are reg. to dig in southern Cal. on the 1st. of August. Thanks for any tips.
Jul 6 2010, 10:27 PM EDT by
i live in northeast pa i was wondering if any one knows where to find fossils around here?
Jul 4 2010, 9:57 AM EDT by
Pirate's Buried Treasures
For those of you enjoying the challenge of the hunt and the thrill of discovery, you may wish to cast your eye's on The Captain's treasures!
Jul 4 2010, 1:04 AM EDT by
Gold Basin Meteorite finds.
I have found some beautiful meteorites, one weighing in at 123-grams, near Dolan Springs, AZ (you can check out photos at Arizona Meteorite Adventures.com). What is your favorite area for meteorite hunting? - Terry
May 31 2010, 12:45 PM EDT by
St. louis Metal detecting partners
I'm looking for a partner or partners to hunt with up and down on the Mississippi banks and Islands in st. louis. I'm from St. louis county and I've been medal detecting for a few years. I've been down to the river a couple of times . Any clubs in St. louis?
Apr 11 2010, 7:41 PM EDT by
New to the state and would like to search for some Agates, quartz, Jade, and general hikes. Gold would be good but lots of work I think. also, does anyone know where to find amber near Bellevue area?
Feb 16 2010, 8:00 PM EST by