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Details about  Ruby Topaz Mines-Utah Gem Mining Claim- Smelter Knolls-20 acre-Red Beryl-Topaz

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Ruby Topaz Mines-Utah Gem Mining Claim- Smelter Knolls-20 acre-Red Beryl-Topaz
Item Sold
Item condition:
--not specified
Nov 23, 2011 17:00:27 PST
Winning bid:
US $1,651.00
3 bids ]
Free Local Pickup | See details
Item location:
Draper, UT, United States


eBay item number:
Seller assumes all responsibility for this listing.

Item specifics

Seller State of Residence:









Near Topaz Camp

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Mining Claim

Ruby Topaz Gem Mine

Smelter Knolls, Central Utah

Red Beryl is an interesting Gem. Its only mined in gem quality in only one place in the world, Utah, in and around the Wah-Wah range. There is an elusive mine in the Wah-Wahs that produces a small quantity of Red Beryl and it goes for exhorbant prices. It is known as the Ruby Violet, In 1998, Gemstone Mining, Inc. bought the Ruby Violet Mine for $10 Million dollars. They annual produce about 6000 Carats of gem quality Red Beryl. It is one of the rarest gemstones in the world and prices can get up to $10,000.00 per carat for a top specimen. Most specimens are under a carat and a 2-3 carat specimen would be rare!
A lot of the red gems being sold as Red Beryl are actually Pezzottaite, a new gem variety found in Madagascar. However this is a different mineral altogether with a different chemical composition, density and refractive index. Red Beryl is carat for carat its more expensive and rare than diamonds. Its mined in a milky white composite stone that must be hand milled to find the gems and not destroy them. Also in the vicinity is the famed Topaz Mountain. A mecca for gem hunters where you can literally pick up Topaz crystals from the washes and rivers beds. Topaz forms in "Vugs" or small chambers in the rock that allow the crystals to grow and mature, once broken out the crystals quickly lose their color and become clear. The high quality Topaz is also found in the same type of sedimentary stone. However, there are no claims allowed on Topaz mountain.

There are only two other Red Beryl mines that Im aware of in the range, and we just picked up both of them, for well less than $10,000,000.00

Site Overview:

This is a gorgeous site just a bit east of the Drum Range in a spot known as Smelter Knolls. The mine is easily accessible yet far enough off to not be visible from the road. It is an anomally in the desert with large tailings that are a stark contrast to the browns and greens in the area. The mine sits near the saddle of a low canyon, allowing a lot of room for parking and camping and processing. Other than that it is typical Utah west desert. Flat land with the occasional outcrop of mountains and hills. The main focus point of the claim is the mine itself. There is no real tree cover to speak of, or wood in the vicinity. Water is non-existent except for the occasional flash floods that wander through the valleys. However, its very conducive to working your mine. Temperatures are decent, access is easy and there are towns within driving distance to comfortably "hotel" camp.

Weather and seasonal:

Typical west desert climate. Its relatively mild until it isnt. Most winter days are mid 40s and then drop into the teens in at night. However, you add a wind chill whipping across the flats and the temps will quickly drop into the sub-zero range. A winter storm may drop 12 inches of snow on you that is gone within a few days. Summer will cook you as temps soar into well over 100 degrees in the day but drop to a pleasant 70 or so in the evening. Spring and fall are temperate but prone to storms and the occasional flash flood. No cell service in the canyon, but its a short hike to the top of the saddle where you can catch intermittent Verizon service. Via ATT we had nothing. 


The roads are great. Nice flat desert roads that run from the old Topaz internment camp to the knolls and the mine. The last bit of the road up to the mine is a bit rutted and could use some grading so we recommend a high clearance 4wd. Also recommend 4WD due to seasonal storms and such that can turn the desert dust into muddy sludge. On dry days, a careful driver could make it up to the claim in a high clearance 2WD.

The Mines:

Ruby Topaz: Not a huge mine, but enough to get in and start digging for gems. Roughly 65 feet from entrance to face. The mine was originally cut in about 40 feet while prospecting for Uranium. It wasnt until 1958 that the Ruby Velvet mine started producing Red Beryl that this mine got some interest. Many, many sedimentary layers are visible but the mine is stable and solid. It does see a bit of water seepage but was dry while we were there. There are numerous stopes where the gems were mined out, mostly at the foot level but some a little higher. There is also a few nice rock faces inside the mine that are the same type that Topaz is found in. The process for excavation of gems in here will be the same as it was 50 years ago, extract a good amount of rock and dirt from the tunnel, take it outside and break it apart watching for pockets of Red Beryl. We found some topaz crystals outside and a few very small broken shards of red beryl outside around the dump area.

ASSAY: Not much to assay here, the item to mine is gems and when you find them, thats the pay-dirt

Other mines on the claim - A few other small prospects and digs.

Other Mines: Topaz Mountain is about a short distance away. The Ruby Velvet mine is just south in the same mineral belt. The Capricorn Mine (also a Red Beryl mine) is just a short distance to the south of this mine.

These mines are not part of any district and the gems are rare enough that they dont show up on Mindat.

Relics – Some carbide lamps and tins That was it. (No dynamite, no blasting caps)

The usual questions:

Q:"If there are still precious metals inside, why don't you mine it yourself?"

A: Well, Mining is tedious and time consuming work. It can be hugely rewarding as well. With a mine like this, a small operation could probably gross 1-3 ounces per day, but that puts you at the mine for 8 hours a day, working at it. Not to dissuade anyone, but understand that to work a mine is exactly that, work. Secondly, our business is location, documentation and preservation. If we worked at any mine all day, we wouldn't have any time to locate and document other mines around the state.

Q: Why would they leave valuable minerals behind?

A: Most of these were abandoned for good in the 1940s by federal law when gold and silver mining was banned and people were only allowed to file claims for Strategic Minerals. Even if you had gold in your mines you couldn't mine it. When this was repealed a few years after WWII, Gold was cheap at around $25 per ounce and silver was less than $2 per ounce. A lot of mines that ran silver saw the values fall to a low of .30 cents per ounce around turn of the century which effectively made it inefficient to mine the sites. Today silver sits at around $35.00 per ounce. That's more than a 100x increase. Real Silver and gold mines are being picked up a rapid rate, for mining or simply for investment purposes today. To get a good site it to make an investment in your future. Ore processing today usually extracts 90-95% of precious metals, while in the late 20s, mills were lucky to extract 25% of value. And history shows that some of the wealthiest people in the US made their fortune in mining.

What you see is exactly what you get.

This auction is for 1 lode mining claim that covers 20 acres.  It has been staked to include all of the mines and land as pictured. This is not a guarantee of values or samples. GRE, Inc. makes no guarantees, neither written nor implied to any past, present or future values. We do not provide official assay reports as part of the claim sale. An assay is difficult to reproduce and is subject to some variation depending on where the sample is taken from. We can direct you to a local company who has done all our assay work for us and they also do processing.

About the auction and GRE, Inc.:

Questions? Please ask before bidding. Your bid is contract to pay. We are more than happy to answer questions as there is far more information about this site than I could put into the listing. Claims can be tricky and GRE, Inc. will be here long after the sale to help out with most anything you need. We sell a lot of claims to repeat buyers, this says a lot about what we are doing. We spend a lot of time researching the history and exploring the site and the mine. We also map the mines where relevant, taking pictures of what can be seen underground.  GRE is the first to pioneer selling mining claims to the public at a reasonable rate, taking care of all the paperwork for you. We go the extra distance to make sure that everything is right and if its not, we will make it right.

NOTE: there are many other pics of this mine and others on our Facebook Page, look for the Ruby Topaz Mine galleries, located at: 



!! This site is also available for sale through private venues and we reserve the right to cancel this auction at any time if it is sold outside of eBay. !!

NOTE: Once there is a bid on any auction, the auction WILL NOT be closed and we WILL NOT accept outside offers.

BIDDING: If you have a feedback rating of less than 10, please contact me prior to bidding. We reserve the right to cancel bids from zero (0) feedback bidders immediately unless we have pre-approved you.


A quick vocabulary lesson on the vernacular that we will be using in the description.

  •  Adit - A horizontal access point to a mine.
  •  Shaft - A vertical access point into a mine.
  •  Winze - A vertical shaft with a hoist, usually at an adit opening. Allows access to upper or lower levels
  •  Drift - An adit or inclined shaft that cuts off from the main adit or shaft.
  • Stope - An open void in the mine where ore has been mined out.
  • Incline - An inclined adit or shaft.

A note on measurements:

50 feet may not sound like much, but consider that is roughly the height of a 5 story building. 100 feet is a 10 story building. Consider if you fall off a 5 story building how much damage you will do.


Explanation of the pics:

  • Pic #1: Ruby Topaz from the bottom of the canyon.
  • Pic #2: Tailings from the workings.
  • Pic #3: Just inside the Ruby Topaz.
  • Pic #4: Carbide tin inside the mine.
  • Pic #5: Just outside the main portal.
  • Pic #6: Working farther back into the mine
  • Pic #7: Washed out sections near the bottom of the mine.
  • Pic #8: Rock facing indicative of Topaz.
  • Pic #9: Face of the mine. Ready for more working.
  • Pic #10: Walls inside the mine.
  • Pic #11: Cieling and face of the mine.
  • Pic #12: Promising side of the mine ready to be worked for Red Beryl.


Information on Mining Claims:

A Mining claim is a tangible asset; it shows proof of all interests in minerals in the area. It can be bought, sold,  or used as collateral, just like real estate. You likely don’t have ownership of the mineral rights on your own land.

Mine Claims are quickly moving to be a thing of the past, however, existing claims get precedence and are grandfathered in. Even in WSAs. Mining claims are being cracked down on under President Obama and every year there is more land signed into wilderness. This claim is the only way to hold title to these mines.  Mine Closures are rampant in Utah and soon there will not be any existing mines to claim, only dirt, where you have to post million dollar bonds to plant a shovel. GRE, Inc. is the ONLY claimant to hold off closures from the BLM. We have set a precedent so rest assured that once you have this, no one is going to take it away!! Don’t be one of the people who wish they had had claimed a mine while they were able.

This auction is for all interest in this claim. This claim covers the entire site, 1500ft by 600ft., just over 20 acres. Full rights to all lodes and minerals, gems and whatever else you may find. The winner of this auction will receive a quit claim deed to the site and all associated documentation showing full ownership of the claim.

Maintenance on all BLM mining claims is $140.00, per claim, annually. This must be paid on or before September 1st, every year.


Patented vs. Unpatented sites:

Many mining claims are held with patents. Patented mining claims are usually expensive and overpriced. They claim reserves but if there was truly anything worth working it would be worked. Most everything has been worked out of them. The benefit of a patented site is that you own the land outright and you can do what you want.

The downfall of patented sites is you are liable for the mines. Clean up, environmental impact, attractive nuisance and public access problems. Plus don’t forget your annual taxes on the land values, usually at least a few thousand dollars a year. All of this in on your shoulders if you own a patented claim.

With a claim you have no liability for the public. If someone walks in and falls down your mine, it’s the BLM that gets sued, not you. Existing Clean up and environmental issues are not your problem. With a plan of operations you can fence off your site to keep the public out as well. No taxes, just your annual assessment of $140 per year. The main detriment with a mining claim is that you cannot build a permanent structure on the claim. All buildings must be mobile, or pre-existing.

Most large companies now days are looking to buy smaller sites since they haven't been commercially worked and still have values in them. These types of claims typically have been held by individuals instead of large mining companies. These sites are rare opportunities for investment, prospecting and land procurement. Hard rock mining has made many millionaires, but you don't make anything without rights to the land. This claim gives you full control of all mineral rights.

NOTE: All filing fees and assessments have been paid for the 2011-2012 year. No money due to the BLM until September 1st, 2012.

This is not a patented site, nor are there any guarantees of ore content or values. This is an UNPATENTED claim, and requires a yearly maintenance fee of $140 per year, per claim, (or submit a waiver to avoid paying fees) to retain ownership. The maintenance fees for the site will be paid and taken care of in full for the 2012 year. No monies will be due to the BLM until September 1st of 2012.

In addition to the final bid price, there is a $299.00 documentation processing fee that is required of the winning bidder. This fee covers all of the filing of paperwork in the proper counties and state and with the BLM. The winning bidder will receive a Quit Claim deed for the claim. With no monies due until September 1st, 2012. There is no reserve set for this claim.

LEGAL NOTES :( To be in compliance with EBay rules and regulations please review the following notes)

    *This auction is not for any Speleothems, Stalactites or Stalagmites. This auction is not for any cave formations of any sort.

    * This auction is not for ownership of a cave or any sort of cave related items. Its is for control of locatable minerals and the ability to secure the land on which your minerals are located.

    *This auction is for Mining Claims. Mining Claims are administered by the BLM. They are not administered, nor are they under any control by the US Securities  and Exchange Commission.

    *This Auction does not constitute any sale of stocks or other security interests that represent a current investment ownership interest in an entity. Nor does this auction represent any effort by individuals to raise money or find investors for Businesses.

A mining claim is not ownership of the land. It is full control of locatable minerals. The BLM defines located minerals as:

    * Locatable minerals include both metallic minerals (gold, silver, lead, copper, zinc, nickel, etc.) and nonmetallic minerals (fluorspar, calcite, mica, certain limestones and gypsum, tantalum, heavy minerals in placer form, and gemstones).

    * (edited From http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/wo/MINERALS__REALTY__AND_RESOURCE_PROTECTION_/energy.Par.26680.File.dat/MiningClaims.pdf )

The General Mining Law of 1872, as amended, opened the public lands of the United States to mineral acquisition by the location and maintenance of mining claims. Mineral deposits subject to acquisition in this manner are generally referred to as “locatable minerals.”

A lode claim is defined as: "Jefferson-Montana Copper Mines Co., 41 L.D. 321(1912), established the full test for a lode claim:“To constitute a valid discovery upon a lode claim, three elements are necessary: 1. There must be a vein or lode of quartz or other rock-in-place, 2. The quartz or other rock-in-place must carry gold or some other valuable mineral deposit, 3. The two preceding elements, when taken together, must be such that as to warrant a prudent man in the expenditure of his time and money in the effort to develop a valuable mine.”

Additionally, Federal statute does not describe what constitutes a valuable mineral deposit, therefore the government has adopted the “prudent man rule.” This rule determines value based on whether or not a person will consider investing time and money to develop a potentially viable mineral deposit. This rule was first stated by the DOI in 1894, in the adjudication of Castle v. Womble, 19 L.D. 455 (1894), the holding of which states:“…where minerals have been found and the evidence is of such a character that a person of ordinary prudence would be justified in the further expenditure of his labor and means, with a reasonable prospect of success in developing a valuable mine, the requirements of the statute have been met.”

Note, this is site is not subject to the Cave Protection act of 1988, as Federal Law states:

16 USC Sec. 4308&01/08/2008


    Sec. 4308. Miscellaneous provisions


    (d) Existing rights

      Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to affect the full operation of the mining and mineral leasing laws of the United States, or otherwise affect valid existing rights.


    (Pub. L. 100-691, Sec. 9, Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4550.)


   REFERENCES IN TEXT    The mining laws and mineral leasing laws of the United States,

    referred to in subsec. (d), are classified generally to Title 30,

    Mineral Lands and Mining.

The information below is cited from the official Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management page located at: http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/wo/MINERALS__REALTY__AND_RESOURCE_PROTECTION_/energy.Par.26680.File.dat/MiningClaims.pdf (note, this is a valid and appropriate link that does not promote sales outside of eBay. It does add value and relevance to the item for sale. It does not put any account at security risk and the content is appropriate for all ages. This link poses no threat to eBay or the Community.)

Okay, now that we are through the legal notes...

If you have any questions of any sort, please do not hesitate to email. GRE can tour the site with bidders prior to auction closing or after. The fee for guide to site and tour of site is $750.00 plus fuel costs.  GRE does not provide transportation. If you are the winning bidder and would like to tour the site with GRE,  the fee is reduced to $500.00 plus fuel costs and subject to scheduling. If you would like to schedule tours please plan on providing a 4-wheel drive vehicle and likely ATVs to make the tour as easy as possible. There are multiple companies in SLC that will rent ATVs and most rental companies have 4WD vehicles available.

Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to preserve mining history by documenting and locating sites in the Western States. We research, locate and document historic and significant mines throughout the west. Once located and documented, we offer these sites up for sale.  For more information on our expeditions and explorations, please visit:


We are an actual "brick and mortar" business with an office that you can stop into. As such, our hours are limited. We do keep normal office hours and on the weekends we are usually out locating more sites. Please be patient with email and phone calls.

There are pics of this mine and others for sale on our Facebook page at:




We require a $500 security deposit via PayPal within 24 hours of auction end or claim will be offered to other bidders - NO EXCEPTIONS!!

Payment is due in full within 7 days

 If balance not received within 7 days, security deposit will be considered forfeit and not refunded. Site will be offered to other bidders.

We accept cashier’s checks, Money Orders, and cash for remaining balance.

In addition to the final bid price, there is a $299.00 documentation processing fee that is required of the winning bidder. This fee covers all of the filing of paperwork in the proper counties and state and with the BLM. The winning bidder will receive a Quit Claim deed for the claim. No monies due until September 1st, 2012.

 UTAH BUYERS ARE SUBJECT TO SALES TAX of roughly 6.85% dependent on the county you live in.


In some cases we can offer financing of sites. Basic terms are $1799.00 down, and a minimum monthly payment of $1000.00. Finance term not to exceed 12 months. Please Contact us prior to bidding if you would like to arrange financing.

Financing a claim will automatically stop you from being able to bid on other claims until your financing is complete and paid in full. We will only finance 1 person for a single claim at any given time.


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