Many of us love gemstones but I'll bet few of us think twice about the people who look for gemstones!  One modern day prospector is Dan Hurd, a Canadian located in British Columbia. A bearded man, he does remind me of prospectors from the past!

A prospector is different from a miner. What Dan does is look for valuable mineral deposits particularly in the Okanagan, Fraser, Princeton and Kamploops area of his home province.  This requires expertise in several fields such as geology, mineralogy, surveying and topography. He stakes mineral claims and sells them. This hard working prospector also has a great sense of adventure in the beautiful Canadian wilderness.

His amazing passion for the hunt is evident in his enthusiastic videos on his youtube channel. Dan explained he got started as a child when his father took him on gemstone hunting trips as a way to foster father-son bonding. 

Now a high school teacher, he rekindled this interest and sometimes takes his family with him on his research trips.  His wife and young sons enjoy looking for gemstones but not so much the gold prospecting trips.  I can understand their reluctance with the later as  many of his placer gold videos show him looking for tiny bits of gold in crevices and in streams - a lot of hard work even with gold detecting equipment.  Not as rewarding as locating pretty stones!

Shown here is a selection of my favorite Dan Hurd videos.

He was absolutely thrilled when he hit a $40,000 pay day in his ocean picture stone quarry in just 3 hours!  This was a 1000 lb haul with a lot of muscle work to get the good bits out!

His video entitled Why Are There 96,000,000 Red Gem Stones on This Beach? shows the family collecting lots of tiny garnets hoping to find "gemmy" ones large enough to facet.  He didn't actually count that number but it does seem like that river is loaded. I enjoyed watching his technique for sifting and isolating the garnets. The scenery is simply lovely - one viewer was wondering about the fishing, never mind the gemstones!

I also learned what underwater sniping is as he demonstrates this technique in an agate hunting trip. This was an excellent agate claim as the family also chiselled out great stones from the rocks.

His answers to frequently asked questions is also interesting!  People ask him if there is any money to be made from claims, whether he is afraid of wild animals - and from Americans - whether he is "packin'" (armed). 

Dan was pretty excited with this river gold prospecting trip with his pals last year.  They did find several gold nuggets.  The drone shots of this lovely location also includes one which shows the smoke from the American wildfires drifting into Canada.  There is an RCMP ( Royal Canadian Mounted Police) team at the beginning of the video - he had to report claim jumpers at the site - the end of the video shows their equipment on the river.  (Dan also attaches cameras at his claim sites to try and catch claim jumpers).

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM