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About Us » Writers » W. Dan Hausel
W. Dan Hausel
W. Dan Hausel is a consulting geologist in Gilbert, Arizona specializing in diamonds, colored gemstones, precious metals & geological mapping.

He graduated from the University of Utah with BS and MS degrees in Geology and worked as a consultant, research geologist, vice president of exploration for international mining companies and the Wyoming and US Geological Surveys.

Dan loves to prospect and has an eye for spotting things others overlook. He found dozens of diamond, precious metal, opal, ruby, sapphire, iolite, peridot and jasper deposits, along with some of the largest gemstones on earth. Spending summers alone in the wilderness, he mapped  over 1000 square miles of complex geologic terrain, mines, rare volcanic rocks with diamonds & other gems.

Dan has authored over 600 papers and numerous books.

Dan's website

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Articles by W. Dan Hausel
Prospecting for Diamonds in Kimberlite

Kimberlite is very difficult for geologists to find, let alone prospectors and rock hounds. This is because kimberlite is rarely exposed on the surface and few people know how to identify the rock.

January 2014 (Vol. 83, No. 5)
The Giant King Mine

Most gold-bearing veins in this region are controlled by fractures associated with the Melones Fault, a late Cretaceous structure that is 108 to 127 million years old.

July 2014 (Vol. 83, No. 11)
The Pearce Mineralized Area, Dragoon Mountains, Arizona

...I would bet considerably more lode gold and silver remains to be found in this area, and there are possibilities for small placers and nugget shooting.

July 2013 (Vol. 82, No. 11)
The Pearce Mineralized Area, Dragoon Mountains, Arizona—Part II

There are many prospects within the known mineralized area and along the margins of the mineralized area that should be examined for gold and silver.

August 2013 ( Vol. 82, No. 12)
Gold in the San Francisco District Oatman, Mohave County, Arizona

I suspect detailed geological mapping and prospecting would lead to discovery of one or more overlooked gold deposits in the district even though it has been heavily prospected in the past.

December 2013 (Vol. 83, No. 4)
Prospecting Homonyms

Three homonyms come to mind when I think of gemstones, gold and vegetables: carrot, carat and karat. Let’s look at carrot first.

April 2012 (Vol. 81, No. 8)
Arizona's Vulture Gold Mine and Lost Dutchman

When prospectors and treasure hunters talk of gold in Arizona, it is the Lost Dutchman or Vulture mine they usually think of. The Lost Dutchman gold mine is just that—a myth chalked full of holes that has been embellished over time as any good legend should be.

May 2012 (Vol. 81, No. 9)
The Verde Copper-Gold-Silver-Zinc District, Jerome, Arizona

When I was a student in the College of Mines at the University of Utah, the Verde district was used as an exploration model for “submarine volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits.” So I looked forward to visiting this district and the town of Jerome in central Arizona in the spring of 2012.

October 2012 (Vol. 82, No. 2)
Eastern Arizona: Gold and Base Metal Deposits—Part I

Arizona is well-known for its copper-gold porphyries and massive base metal-gold sulfide deposits such that primary gold deposits in the state are often overshadowed.

February 2011 (Vol. 80, No. 6)
Eastern Arizona: Gold and Base Metal Deposits Part II

In this review of precious and base metal deposits in Arizona, it is apparent that several significant mines and mineral deposits occur in eastern Arizona, and there is considerable potential for new discoveries.

March 2011 (Vol. 80, No. 7)
Gold, Quartz & Chalcedony—Part I

Gold has always been noted to have an affinity for quartz to such a degree prospectors almost always dig on quartz veins in a search for the precious metal.

October 2011 (Vol. 81, No. 2)
Gold, Quartz & Chalcedony—Part II

The specific gravity of chalcedony is 2.58 to 2.64. This is slightly lower than coarsely crystalline quartz because of slight porosity in chalcedony. Being so light, it will easily wash out of a gold pan.

November 2011 (Vol. 81, No. 3)
Gold in Alaska

The harsh Alaskan environment delayed serious prospecting and mining for decades and still continues to stymie exploration activity even though there are likely dozens of hidden major and world-class gold and base metal deposits.

March 2010 (Vol. 79, No. 7)
Gold in Alaska - Part II

The widespread gold and base metal mineralization supports that many significant lode deposits remain to be discovered.

April 2010 (Vol. 79, No. 8)
Gold in Arizona

We began investigating mining districts in Arizona and nearby states within the Basin and Range province. Just like I anticipated, there are many overlooked gold and copper deposits and anomalies.

December 2010 (Vol. 80, No. 4)
Finding Diamond Deposits With Your PC—Part I

Diamond pipe.One method used to explore for kimberlite pipes is aerial photographs. If a kimberlite can be found on aerial photography, there are likely more nearby that can’t be seen on photographs. Over the years, myself and others found several hundred...

April 2009 (Vol. 78, No. 8)
Finding Diamond Deposits With Your PC—Part II

As you search for cryptovolcanic structures in Colorado and Wyoming look to see if the anomaly has white soil. If the anomaly lies within a forest of pines, often the depression will occur in a distinct treeless area outlined by aspens and willows.

May 2009 (Vol. 78, No. 9)
Gold in the South Pass Greenstone Belt, Wyoming

To many geologists and prospectors, “greenstone belts” are synonymous with “gold belts” since they provide excellent places to search for gold.

July 2009 (Vol. 78, No. 11)
Gold in the Rattlesnake Hills

The Rattlesnake Hills (RSH) in central Wyoming had been overlooked for gold, even though it had all of the earmarks of being a major gold district.

October 2009 (Vol. 79, No. 2)
Prospecting for Diamonds

In 1977, I was a young, inexperienced geologist hired to evaluate Wyoming’s diamond resources in the Colorado-Wyoming State Line district, and investigate and map all other mineral commodities in the state with the exception of oil, gas...

May 2008 (Vol. 77, No. 9)
How To Locate Diamonds

How to locate diamonds: This article focuses on the principal host rock for diamond and describes some gemstones (and kimberlitic indicator minerals) typically found with diamond.

July 2008 (Vol. 77, No. 11)
Cedar Rim Opal—Discovery of a Giant Opal Field

In 2003, I initiated field reconnaissance of an opal deposit at Cedar Rim in central Wyoming and was amazed at the size of this undocumented deposit located right in the middle of an oil and gas field...

October 2008 (Vol. 78, No. 2)
Where To Find Diamonds

Where to find diamonds in the United States: It is somewhat common for gold prospectors to find diamonds in black sand concentrates and not recognize them.

November 2008 (Vol. 78, No. 3)
Gemstones in Wyoming—Part II

The known iolite deposits are accessed at Palmer Canyon and Grizzly Creek in the central Laramie Mountains 15 to 18 miles west of Wheatland and 60 to 70 miles northwest of Cheyenne.

January 2006 (Vol. 75, No. 5)
Gemstones in Wyoming—Part I

Gemstones are timeless treasures of beauty. The extraordinary and satiated colors of many gemstones enhance their aesthetic beauty. Gems have been sought for personal adornment since the beginning of time and such minerals...

December 2005 (Vol. 75, No. 4)
Wyoming—A Land That Time (And Explorationists) Forgot

Wyoming is a vast state, covering nearly 260,000 km2 of surface area, which houses fewer people than most cities (less than 500,000 call Wyoming home). The state has no state income tax, is driven by taxes generated by the oil and gas...

April 2004 (Vol. 73, No. 8)
The Ferris-Haggarty Copper-Gold Mine, Grand Encampment District, Wyoming

At the close of the 19th Century, optimism was high that Wyoming would become an important source for copper much like the neighbor states of Colorado, Utah, and Montana. This dream was short-lived...

January 2003 (Vol. 72, No. 5)
Searching for Placer Diamonds

In order to search for placer diamonds, the prospector needs to first become familiar with the commodity that he/she is looking for. Diamonds are extraordinary minerals with extreme hardness that have inherited beauty sought for personal adornment and...

December 2003 (Vol. 73, No. 4)
The Douglas Creek Placer District, Medicine Bow Mountains, Southeastern Wyoming

It was July. The cool mountain air filtered the harsh Wyoming sun making the day fairly pleasant. Winter had finally receded, but an occasional drift hid in the shadows of the forest. I drove into the heart of the Medicine Bow National Forest...

March 2002 (Vol. 71, No. 7)
The Keystone Gold-Copper District, Medicine Bow Mountains, Southeastern Wyoming

The Keystone district includes a group of mineralized shear zones and veins that are associated with the Keystone Quartz Diorite in the Medicine Bow Mountains of southwestern Wyoming. Gold production from this district is unknown, although some estimates suggest that 7,500 to more than 12,000 ounces were produced.

May 2002 (Vol. 71, No. 9)
Lamproites and Diamonds

Most prospectors are aware that diamonds are sometimes found in kimberlite, but few are aware that diamonds are also found in another rock type known as lamproite. Lamproite is a very rare volcanic rock that often...

November 2002 (Vol. 72, No. 3)
The South Pass Gold Placers, Western Wyoming

In the 1980s, I spent 5 summers living in a tent in order to map the 450 mi2 South Pass granite-greenstone belt and many of its historic mines. While mapping, I was quite impressed by the general lack of development of lode gold deposits.

April 2001 (Vol. 70, No. 8)
Placer & Lode Gold Deposits

Even though there are many varieties of gold deposits, prospectors often refer to two general types: placer and lode. Some lode examples include...

October 2001 (Vol. 71, No. 2)
Diamond Fever

In South Africa, a "gregory" is the term applied to a blunder of major proportion. James Gregory will forever be remembered in South African slang as the professor from Great Britain who made one heck of a "gregory."

February 2000 (Vol. 69, No. 6)
Collecting Garnets in Wyoming

In Wyoming, garnets are often common where aluminum-rich (micaceous) rocks have been highly metamorphosed. Such rocks are recognized by abundant black (biotite), silver (muscovite), or green (chlorite) mica with periodic grains of red garnet.

April 2000 (Vol. 69, No. 8)
Metals and Precious Stones in Wyoming

Wyoming is an excellent place for prospectors, rock hounds, and companies to search for a variety of mineral resources.

May 2000 (Vol. 69, No. 9)
The Centennial Lode and the Centennial Ridge District, Wyoming

In 1874, placer gold was discovered in the Middle Fork of the Little Laramie River south of the present site of Centennial village. The source of the gold was traced upslope to a nearby ridge in the following year.

October 2000 (Vol. 70, No. 2)
Prospecting for Platinum in Wyoming

Prospectors and rock hounds should consider searching for platinum-group metals, as these metals are the most precious of the precious metals. Several localities have been identified where these metals have been identified In anomalous amounts.

December 2000 (Vol. 70, No. 4)
Prospecting Ores Shoots and Hidden Veins for Specimen-Grade Gold Samples

Until about 20 years ago, interest in Wyoming's gold was at an all-time low, not only because of relatively-low gold prices, but also due to the lack of information on many of the state's gold deposits.

June 1999 (Vol. 68, No. 10)
Quartz and Chalcedony in Wyoming

Quartz is a common rock-forming mineral found in many shapes, forms, and colors.

June 1999 (Vol. 68, No. 10)
The Carissa Gold Mine, South Pass, Wyoming—A Sleeper?

The Carissa is part of a patented group of claims (private property) near South Pass City in the southern Wind River Mountains of western Wyoming. The mine lies a short distance southeast of State Highway 28 which runs north to Lander and provides excellent access to the area.

July 1999 (Vol. 68, No. 11)
Gold Fever

"Little Boys who pick up rocks either go to prison or become geologists."

August 1999 (Vol. 68, No. 12)