Jewels from the Woods

oregon sunstone

Oregon Sunstone
Sunstone – Dust Devil Mine, Lake County Oregon
Oregon Sunstone, the Oregon state gemstone, is a rare gem quality feldspar that has been colored by, and contains elements of copper. Found in the south eastern corner of Oregon, in what is known as the Oregon Outback, sunstone is one of the few gem materials that we actually have the opportunity to access the mine sites directly and prospect for our own material. (link to sunstone mining pg) Thanks to the generosity and graciousness of our friends at the Dust Devil Mine (link the Dust Devil mine site) we have had many adventures in the high desert landscape of the Hart Mt antelope refuge searching for and sometimes finding very gemmy pieces of Oregon Sunstone rough. The presence of copper in Oregon sunstone is what gives the material it’s unique and vibrant colors, including all different shades of red and orange, green, and even red and green bi-color stones. Another unique property of Oregon Sunstone is when tiny flakes of copper are suspended within and line up with the crystal matrix structure of the feldspar crystals. This produces a bright flash or sheen of copper within the stone when oriented to the light called schiller or schiller effect.