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Howdy from Nevada, USA in The Virgin Valley Opal Mining District (Humboldt Co). Black Opals, White Opals, Crystal Opals, Fire  Opals and Precious Wood Opals have been mined since the early1900s official discovery. Swordfish Mining  began operations in 1993 on the Swordfish claim group while living out of my car selling gems in the campground. I joined up with Leah Brashear and her family, that with her mom Marie and Grandparents, had established several good digs and a millsite. Leahs' eulogy is back on the about me page.

     Before I go on; I need to state that I'm an opal prospector more than a miner. By selling claims on the deposits I've found or rediscovered, there are more mines than ever before. I appreciate ex-military and law enforcement clients and buyers and extend a heartfelt Military discount on everything I sell.  I'm an boots on the ground expert, not a book worm. I'd refer to you to legal advice such as my neighbors the Fee Dig mines have on retainer, if you felt that was necessary for any reason. This whole rockhounding business is only as complicated as you make it. The state tries to regulate us as BLM can't on NWR federal property which brings up a point - EVERY LAW BROKEN HERE IS A FEDERAL OFFENSE. You pay your fines back to Philidelphia or go to court in Carson City, Medford or Salt Lake City. Nevada Mining Law was the pattern for federal mining regulations, so we are inspected regularly by the MSHA and managed just fine; setting good precedents. We are people people and rockhounding information does not upset us. The refuge has yet to publish a brochure on the MULTIPLE USE principle they are working with. They are not interested in making their WILDLIFE ONLY refuge any more popular with rockhounds unfortunately. Maybe congress will give them the authority to do what they are doing on their own, but I would like to see it in writing. There is that 7 pounds a day of rocks allowed on the refuge rule that kkeps commercial amount collectors/resellers at bay.

      2014 FEE DIGGING Season Has a new mine here at the Kokopelli Opal Mine.  Kokopelli Opal  is by appointment; only $160 a day for adults bank digging & breaks for youngsters, seniors, and military make it the least expensive of the original dirt mines. There is a pre paid discount online at their site.  I have a limited authority as their agent to guide there. We are friends, not associates in that business. Keep ALL the opals you find for what you already paid!  Gem opals AND wood layers both to mine. Details on their website at The owners Tim and Donna Church bought the claims from me (we aren't related). They market the opal and are developing a camp.

      The brilliance, size, and qualities of the precious Nevada opals play of color is unique and varies. It generally occurs as wood replacements, more than veins or nodules. This offers both collectors and cutters unparalleled variety in a unique matrix; petrified wood. Opal is a mineral pseudomorph (meaning it fills holes when forming) and can make lifelike fossils, even bones and teeth can be replaced. Miocene Period from about 12 million years ago give or take a few. The genus of the plants are modern ones. There isn't a big supply of cutting rough from all these mines put together each year.  Most all the opal here is mined and consumed by the rockhounds and the few jewelers who specialize in our favorite fossil. The best Opals are usually kept in water without ever drying them out as specimens due to changes all opal goes thru when drying, namely possible clarity changes, cracks as ity relieves pressure and some crazes to dust.

      YOUR luck, skill and effort are the factors of which mine to go to, or which claim to buy, and then what opals you'll come away with. We all have fair offerings, but each Fee Dig is different from the others. They all have their own nature, facilities, and operators to experience, while the black precious opal might be found on every one anyday.  Swordfish Mining links to all of their sites to make it easier for you to contact them. You have to work hard for what you MAY find, so don't give up. Some opals are available in the gift shops. Ask the owners your questions about their dates, times and fees. Opal is where you find it, the best may come from anywhere and is certainly not unearthed yet.

     20% MILITARY DISCOUNT ON ROCKS I SELL.  I need to know you're active enlisted, or retired after a full career. A copy of your ID with proper redaction for privacy and you will be fine.  THANKS to all our guardians of freedom. I'll discount  $1,000 off any of the mining claims I personally owned, for you risking your lives in the past or now for my freedom. I can't extend this to the consigners of claims or goods that are not mine.  

     I accept cash, checks or cards through Paypal. Wire transfers to my banks general ledger account for any large sales to remove threat of fraud.   Checks need to clear your bank before the shipment is made. Note that stopping payment through any credit card company, when I have such a fair refund policy, implies you are less than honest and have committed theft if the goods were not already mailed back or the delivery was refused. Use the fair refund policy for any justified issue.  No SPAM is ever sent or any address provided sold to any unwelcome marketers.  As the sole proprietor, without employees, dba Swordfish Mining;  I am the designated official for everything, including the Homeland Security Regulations, Corp of Engineers water management, or related agencies. Federal taxes and cash transaction reporting laws apply to me just like you. Don't ask for me to not report transactions or to undervalue shipments internationally to defraud them of their just due. Nevada residents pay our 6.85% sales tax unless you present reseller tax exemption certificates (that also entitles you to a deal discount).

     When e-mailing me:   PLEASE USE AN OPAL RELATED SUBJECT. Contact Or call me at  home 775-941-0725 Pacific Time Zone. Please leave a message and I will call you when I return. Not a gift shop, go see my friends shops in the valley.   
Gem Precious Opalized Wood Bead Gem Precious Opalized Wood Bead.
Gem Art Play of Color Wood  All Opals will appear much more colorful and brighter when in hand.
No photo shopping or even color balancing has been done to any images. Any cracks or treatments are disclosed. Provenance certificates will be issue by me on the strength of my honesty.

Swordfish Speaks  WordPress BLOG   

Swordfish Mining
PO Box # 1
Denio, NV

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Re-publication not for gain is permitted with proper URL credit back to here given.