Thank you

Thank you for your purchase from Gem Mountain!

1. Unboxing & Set Up

Grab your supplies:

  • Gravel!
  • Table
  • Tweezers
  • Fine Screen or Strainer (hint our holes are only 2.8mm)
  • and a bucket, tote, trough or large pan.

Set up your wash area by filling your large container with water. Keep in mind this container will get very dirty and filled with muddy water, fine sand and clay.

2. Washing

  • Place a small amount of gravel into a fine screen or strainer. If the holes are too big you will wash away the small sapphires.
  • Rinse with water, stir the rocks and shake the screen while washing to remove all of the fine sand and clay. Wash until the rocks are clean. When the rocks are clean the sapphires are clean.

3. Flip & Searching

In a well lit area spread out the washed gravel in a single layer on a smooth hard surface. Pick out the rough sapphires, tweezers work best. Rough sapphires are translucent and look like small glass beads. The most common shape is like a small pea, but any shape and color is possible.

4. Gem Mountain Sapphires

Gem Mountain is one of the only sapphire deposits in the world that produces every color of gem quality sapphire. Common colors are light green, pale blue, and clear. Rare colors are dark blue, forest green, orange, yellow, pink and red.

5. What’s Next

  • Pale colored sapphires can be turned into beautiful finished gemstones by heat treating and faceting. Heat treating, a common industry practice, may darken the stone and bring out its natural color. Faceting, also known as cutting, creates a finished gemstone suitable for jewelry. We love to help you turn your muddy fun into a wearable memory.
  • Use a padded envelope to send us your sapphires for a no obligation review! Gem Mountain, 201 West Broadway, P.O. Box 148 Philipsburg MT 59858
  • Our team will evaluate your sapphires for gem quality and phone you with the results. The cuttable sapphires could be heat treated, faceted and made into jewelry! Please note if you choose not to leave an order we request $10 to cover return shipping and handling.

6. Test Your Sapphire Eye

use the arrows to test your sapphire eye

Customer Rough Sapphires

These customers have gone through a variety of gravel products to get these rough sapphire collections


I use an old window screen and a tote. Out on the back deck enjoying the sun while picking rocks.
- Rhonda B

Get one of these strainers with tiny holes, and a tote filled with water, clean a small bit, than pour into a glass pan, fill with a small bit of water and set on a tablet with a white background so you have light shining up underneath and use tweezers to shuffle thru the gravel, the light from underneath the glass pan exposes the sapphires with a beautiful glow
- Matthew D

I suggest to take your time when washing gravel. Move all the larger stones out of your way first. Enjoy the experience and if possible, use the sun to your advantage too. And one more thing, by all means rewash your gravel to make sure you didn’t miss any sapphires. Happy hunting!
- Jim D

Always wash your gravel twice!
- Valerie B


Mine Location

21 Sapphire Gulch Lane
at mile marker 38.4 of Montana Highway 38, Skalkaho Pass Road, between Hamilton and Philipsburg.

Year-Round Phone: (406) 859-GEMS (4367)

Mine Phone: (406) 859-MINE (6463)