Sunstone Guide: How To Buy Oregen Sunstone - Moriartys Gem Art
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  • Sunstone Guide

    Where do you find Sunstones in Oregon?

    Most of the Sunstone you will find in Oregon comes from the Lake County and Harney Country region. More specifically near the small town of Plush. This is located in the southeast area of Oregon. They sometimes call it the Plush Basin. This is where many of the mines can be found. The closest large cities are Bend, Oregon and Reno, Nevada (especially if you are flying in from out of state.

     

    What are the mines for Sunstone in Oregon?

    There are quite a few mines up and running around Plush Oregon. Some are private, while others offer fee digging. This normally means you pay to mine, and anything you find is yours. Sometimes, whatever you find you then just pay wholesale for the Sunstone. Others bring you are virgin pile of dirt from the mines so that you can go through it, and you just pay for that pile.

    With the private mines, they are normally only open to people in the trade. For example, Steve Moriarty will visit some of the mines for rough Sunstone. This has already been mined and cleaned. He can then choose the pieces that he plans on cutting or carving.

    There is also a free area where you can dig at no cost. This is in the Oregon Sunstone Public Collection Area. See map here.

    From Plush, Oregon: Take County Road 3-10 (the Hogback Road) north for about 10 miles (this road turns to gravel after 4 miles). Turn right onto Country Road 3-11 and drive 1⁄2 mile then turn left onto BLM Road 6155. Remain on 6155 for about 8 1⁄4 miles then turn left onto BLM Road 6115. Follow the 6115 road for about 5 miles until you can turn right onto BLM Road 6195 and see the entrance sign for the Sunstone Collection Area.

    For southbound travelers on Highway 395: From Highway 395, turn left (east) onto Country Road 3-10 (the Hogback Road). Stay on the Hogback Road for 20.2 miles until you can turn left on County Road 3- 11. Drive 1⁄2 mile and turn left onto BLM Road 6155. Remain on the 6155 road for about 8 1⁄4 miles then turn left onto BLM Road 6115. Follow the 6115 road for about 5 miles until you can turn right onto BLM Road 6195 and see the entrance sign for the Sunstone Collection Area.

    Popular mines with fee digging

    How is Oregon Sunstone formed?

    It was formed in the lava flows from millions of years ago.

    What colors of Sunstone are there?

    The most common colors of Oregon Sunstone are Red and Orange. You can also find clear, champagne, yellow, pink, salmon. Though rare, but very sought after is the blue-green Sunstone.

    What causes the color and/or color change in Sunstone?

    The color of Sunstone is usually determined by the percentage of the millions of microscopic copper platelets in the gemstone itself. These copper platelets can cause either greens, pinks or reds in the gemstone. As we mentioned before, the blue-green Sunstone are sought after because they are much more rare.

    What is the Hardness of Sunstone?

    Sunstone is very popular for jewelry including rings, pendants and earrings. Sunstones have good toughness and good hardness. On the Moh's Hardness Scale, it is a 6.5-7.2.  It needs to be worn with common sense care.  Many of our customers wear Sunstone. As of this time we have never seen any of them have any issues with wearing it.

    Can Sunstone come in cabochon?

    Yes, Sunstone can be polished and cut to be a cabochon.

    What is Oregon Sunstone's refractive index?

    The refractive index is 1.525 – 1.548.

    What is schiller in Sunstone?

    This is a metallic-looking luster in the gemstone which causes Aventurescence.

    What is the difference between sunstone and Oregon sunstone?

    The only difference is the location and the higher quality of sunstone from Oregon. Oregon Sunstone is of course only found in Oregon. Other Sunstone (Aventurescent feldspar) has been found in countries such as China, Mexico, Tanzania, and even in other states like New York, Virginia and Pennsyvania.

    What is Oregon Sunstone worth? What is the value? Price per carat?

    The following Oregon Sunstone prices are based on the GemGuide which is a gemstone wholesale pricing guide prepared for jewelers using data collected at trade shows like the Tucson Gem and Mineral shows as well as other trade shows around the World . These prices are for orange sunstone which other than yellow and colorless is the most commonly available color. Reds, greens, teals and bi- colors are less common and may bring higher prices.

    Price Per Carat

    <1.00 carat $20-$285 per carat
    <2.00 carat $20-$335 per carat
    <3.00 carat $25-$340 per carat
    <5.00 carat $25-$360 per carat

    Larger sizes are rare and may be 20% higher. These are wholesale prices in the market but because of our direct connections to the best mines in Oregon we attempt to price sunstones below wholesale.

    Is Sunstone a natural gemstone?

    Yes, it comes out of the ground and isn't heated or altered in anyway by man.

    Is Sunstone a birthstone?

    No, this gemstone is not a birthstone in the traditional or modern birthstone chart.

    What are the healing properties of Sunstone?

    According to sources online, Sunstone is linked to luck and good fortune. It can also improve happiness in yourself by reducing fear and stress. Some say it acts as an antidepressant. More self healing and improved self confidence (This is probably why Steve loves cutting it!) From a medical standpoint, sources online say Sunstone can help with healing sore throats, stomach problems and supports the relief of ulcers. Can also help support spinal healing.

    What other gemstones are found in Oregon?

    We have found some new salmon colored opal near Lakeland and nice fire opal is found in Juniper Ridge in Oregon.

    COME SEE OUR LARGE SELECTION OF SUNSTONE GEMSTONES HERE

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    Questions? Ask the expert and owner, Steve Moriarty. He has over 40 year experience in the industry. GIA certified gemologist. Learn more about Steve Moriarty here.

    Questions? Ask the expert and owner, Steve Moriarty. He has over 40 year experience in the industry. GIA certified gemologist. Learn more about Steve Moriarty here.