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Gemstones are unique treasures that you can find worldwide in their natural habitats. Riverine alluvial deposits are excellent locations for rockhounding. One should carefully search near eroded stream banks, in shallow, flowing water, and in old and dried creek beds. This helps in order to find gemstones in creeks and along riverbeds. After significant rainfall, alluvial gemstones are typically visible a few days later. Use a black light at night to look for fluorescent gemstones.

The best resource for locating precious and semi-precious stones in organic streams and rivers is this guide. Let’s discuss the origins of gemstones in alluvial deposits and offer our best advice for rockhounding in creeks, rivers, and streams.

Are Gemstones Found in Rivers?

There is an amazing range of gemstones in rivers. The gemstones consist of rocks and sediment carried by rivers. For rockhounding, alluvial deposits are excellent locations. Over millions of years, veins, fissures, and bubbles within the parent rock are where minerals form. The gemstones become visible as the rock erodes with time.

Guidelines for Gemstone Location in Rivers and Creeks

All it takes to find gemstones by accident is to go hiking in dry riverbeds, near shallow-flowing streams, and in creeks. But if you search more methodically, your rockhounding expedition will be far more fruitful. You will be far more successful in finding gemstones if you know where to look. Also, you must have the right equipment and know what to look for.

These are our best recommendations for river and creek rockhounding:

Bring the Appropriate Gear

Like anything else in life, it helps a lot to have the right tools on hand! For rockhounding in riverbeds, you really don’t need any equipment. However, in a creek, it’s helpful to have a scoop or small shovel along with a screen or strainer. Even if you’re not searching for gold, a pan comes in very handy. Under UV light, certain minerals fluoresce. Bring a black light torch if you want to go rock-hounding at night in order to locate glowing rocks.

Recognize Where to Search Garnet Gemstone

You’ll have positive results if you know where the best spots are to look for gemstones in rivers and creeks. Do some research before you go on a rockhounding adventure. Find out if any mines are nearby, either active or abandoned. A mine’s downstream reserves of gemstones will persist even after it closes. For instance, if you are looking for black garnet gemstone then go for the right place.

Ways To Locate Various Gemstones

You could just scan the ground with your eyes while strolling along a dry riverbed. We refer to this as fossicking. However, there are undoubtedly additional ways to find gemstones in alluvial deposits. Not every gemstone will be visible on the exterior. Sorting through the top layer of alluvial gravel might be necessary. You must use a pan or a screen for this.

Recognize What to Look for Originate Gem

Learn about the local gemstones that are available. Knowing the hues of gems that originate from particular kinds of rocks is beneficial. You will be able to identify a specimen when you come across one in the field.

Find out what kinds of minerals are present in the area you intend to search. Observe closely how the gemstones appear when they are rough. They are frequently totally or partially covered in another kind of rock or mineral.

7 Way Cutting And Polishing the Gemstones

The act of cutting and polishing gems is lapidary or gem cutting. Also, the person who performs this work is a lapidary or gem cutter. For this, you can use gemstones cutting tools to carry out good results. Rough gemstone material is generally defined as having not undergone extensive cutting and polishing. Cobbing is the process of lightly hammering rough material to remove brittle or fractured material.

Using progressively finer grits of harder materials, progressive abrasion is used to cut and polish all gems. With a Mohs hardness of 10, diamond is the hardest material found in nature and is used as an abrasive to cut and polish a wide range of materials, including diamond.

For cutting softer gemstones, silicon carbide, a synthetic silicon and carbon compound with a Mohs hardness of 9.5, is also useful. You can polish gemstones using additional substances like cerium oxide, tin oxide, chromium oxide, and aluminum oxide.

1. Grinding

Gemstones are ground to a specific rough form, known as a preform, usually using silicon carbide or diamond-impregnated wheels. Similar to sawing, debris is removed, and overheating is avoided by using a coolant, water, or oil.

2. Sanding

Finer abrasives are useful in sanding, which is comparable to grinding. Its goal is to eliminate the deep scratches that are caused during grinding by coarser abrasives. It also permits more delicate control over the final shaping of the stone before polishing because it removes material more slowly.

3. Polishing

You can polish a gemstone to a mirror-like sheen to promote light reflection from the stone’s surface. After you saw, ground and sand it to remove rough marks left by coarser grits. Also, there is a gemstones polishing liquid for further polishing and making the stones look even more appealing. Moreover, you may polish many different materials using very fine grades of red diamond (50,000 to 100,000 mesh). However, in many cases, other polishing agents are more effective.

4. Drilling

A tiny revolving rod or tube with a diamond tip or a slurry of silicon carbide and coolant. It is useful for a gem cutter to drill a hole in or through a gemstone. This includes beads. Although ultrasonic, or vibrating, drills are also very efficient, their usage is limited to high-volume commercial drilling due to their expensive cost.

5. Tumbling

Tumbling is suitable for large volumes of irregularly shaped stones. They are rotated slowly in a revolving barrel containing abrasives and water for longer periods of time. This process makes the stones flat and polishes them gradually. This is for the similar but frequently quite appealing shapes by tumbling with increasingly finer grades of abrasive. This can be typically silicon carbide and carefully cleaned between grades.

The shape of tumbling barrels is hexagonal, which improves the stirring action by barrel rotation. A vibratory machine, you can also call a vibratory tumbler, is a substitute for rotatory tumblers in which the contained barrel vibrates as opposed to rotating.

6. Faceted Stones

On transparent stones, faceting is most frequently suitable to perform. Flat facets cover the entire surface of the stone, which you can often cut and polish in a very symmetrical pattern. It dops the stone on a metal dipstick, which you can insert into a handpiece that allows for exact control of positioning. This is possible by using sticky wax, epoxy, or cyanoacrylate glue.

A protractor is useful to modify the cutting angle vertically, and an index gear is used to adjust it rotationally. After that, the facet stones go under polishing, sanding, and ground on a revolving lap using a liquid coolant and water. Jig can move the stone to a dipstick on the opposite side once one side (the top or bottom) is complete.

7. Beads and Spheres

To create a flawless spherical shape, you can first see the spheres into cubes or dodecahedrons. After that, the stone goes through the crushing process to shape between two pipes or revolving concave cutters. This allows the stone to rotate freely in any direction. The stone is ground, sanded, and polished using progressively finer grades of abrasive, just like in other lapidary procedures.

You can facet the beads, meanwhile polishing and slicing them into tiny spheres. Moreover, you can further drill to enable stringing. Bead mills are useful for grinding and sanding big amounts of beads simultaneously. Usually, they use a flat lap and a groove lap. They wear and rolls the beads to take on the desired shape. A common method of polishing beads is tumbling polishing after shape and sanding.


A great place to look for precious and semi-precious gemstones is along rivers and creeks. Water carries the gems, sometimes over great distances, after you erode from their parent rock. You should have a lot of success if you have the right equipment. This is to know where to search, know what to look for, and schedule your trips at the right times. Get in touch with natural gemstone wholesale supplier at UOI Gold Diamond for an affordable and assorted gemstones collection.

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