This view is of the parking lot of the Emerald Creek Star Garnet area near Clarkia, Idaho. Star garnets are the state gem of Idaho & are only found here at this site in Northern Idaho & in India. They are called "star garnets" because of a unique property that causes some of them to display a reflection like a four or six pointed star. The 12 sided (dodecahedron) or 24 sided (trapezohedron) crystals range in size from sand sized particles to golf balls or larger, and often have 4- or 6-ray stars when cut en cabochon by a lapidarist.
The Forest Service has developed the Garnet Area as a place where the public may collect the gemstone. In the past, people would dig in the stream bed in search of the garnets. Now, due to concerns for water quality, aquatic habitat, and public safety, stockpiles of garnet bearing gravels have been made running through sluice boxes where visitors can pan through.
This was taken after hours, from here a locked gate & small road leads one a 1/4 mile to the collection area. The area is monitored w/ security & one needs a permit to collect.
Idaho is a state located in the northwestern region of the United States of America. Idaho is the 14th largest state by area, ranks 39th by population and 53rd by population density of the 50 United States. Idaho was the 43rd state to be admitted into the Union, on July 3, 1890. Idaho is landlocked, being bordered by Canada on the north and the states of Washington and Oregon on the west, Nevada and Utah on the south and Montana and Wyoming on the east. Idaho is nicknamed "The Gem State" because nearly every known gemstone is found within the state. Idaho is also famous for producing about one third of all potatoes grown in the USA. Idaho also hosts the largest barrel cheese factory in the world, producing 120K metric tons of cheese per year. There is some ambiguity as to where the name "Idaho" came from, but it is generally believed to have simply been made up by George M. Willing. There is a possibility it was derived from a Native American phrase. Idaho is very mountainous and is a popular outing destination of the outdoorsman. The state population was about 1.58M in July 2011 with 84% being Caucasian, 11.2% Hispanic and 1.1% Native American. The state capital and largest city is Boise.Source: wikipedia