Montana Treasure: Bozeman family mining for Yogo sapphires - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Montana Treasure: Bozeman family mining for Yogo sapphires

Posted: Updated:
Tiffany Iris Brooch made in 1900 with Yogo Sapphires (source: Wikipedia) Tiffany Iris Brooch made in 1900 with Yogo Sapphires (source: Wikipedia)
BOZEMAN -

Excitement is building for the British royal wedding on May 19, when Prince Harry will say 'I do' to American actress Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle. Millions of people around the world will tune into the event, hoping to catch guests dressed in their finest dresses, elaborate hats and maybe even the glittering of royal jewels.

There are nearly 24,000 stones in the British royal family's collection of jewels and a long-standing rumor says that the only stones in the collection from North America are Yogo sapphires from Montana.

But the sparkle, the shine, the perfection of color and clarity have captured many more hearts than those of English monarchs; they have enchanted geologists and jewelry lovers alike.

Perhaps no one has such a love or knowledge of the stone as Don and Jason Baide, the father and son duo behind the Gem Gallery in downtown Bozeman and the new owners of the Vortex Mine in Yogo Gulch.

While sapphires can be found across the state, Yogo sapphires are exclusively found in the Yogo Gulch of the Little Belt Mountains in Judith Basin County.

Don Baide worked in the mine alongside his best friend and the owner of Vortex Mine, Mike Roberts, for years until Roberts was tragically killed in an accident underground.

Last August, Baide purchased the Vortex Mine from Robert's widow. He plans to spend this summer renovating it, bringing it up to code and making necessary improvements, before re-opening it to mine for sapphires again.

Experts say at least 28 million carats of Yogo sapphires might still be in the ground.

Baide's work in the mine falls coincides with his son Jason's graduation from Montana State University this spring with a degree in studio arts.

Jason will take over the Gem Gallery with his eye on design.

The Baides say once the mine is in production, they will sell Yogos to other jewelers as well, so plenty of people can have a touch of Montana's magic.

As to whether Montana Yogo sapphires are actually a part of the Crown Jewels of England, all Don Baide will say is "no comment" - allowing the rumor to live on.

  • StatewideMore>>

  • Bacon Rind Fire near Big Sky burns into third day

    Bacon Rind Fire near Big Sky burns into third day

    Monday, July 23 2018 5:46 AM EDT2018-07-23 09:46:14 GMT
    Bacon Rind Fire, July 22, 2018.Bacon Rind Fire, July 22, 2018.
    Bacon Rind Fire, July 22, 2018.Bacon Rind Fire, July 22, 2018.
    YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK - The Bacon Rind Fire continues burning in the Gallatin Valley. The wildfire is burning along a ridge in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness in the Custer Gallatin National Forest, about 20 miles south of Big Sky. As the flames toe along the edge of Yellowstone National Park, fire and park officials are coordinating closely to address the situation. And they're prepared for anything. As of Sunday afternoon, there were about 40 ...
    YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK - The Bacon Rind Fire continues burning in the Gallatin Valley. The wildfire is burning along a ridge in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness in the Custer Gallatin National Forest, about 20 miles south of Big Sky. As the flames toe along the edge of Yellowstone National Park, fire and park officials are coordinating closely to address the situation. And they're prepared for anything. As of Sunday afternoon, there were about 40 ...
  • Last day at The Event at Rebecca Farm

    Last day at The Event at Rebecca Farm

    Sunday, July 22 2018 11:15 PM EDT2018-07-23 03:15:28 GMT

    It was bittersweet on the last day of The Event at Rebecca Farm. 

    It was bittersweet on the last day of The Event at Rebecca Farm. 

  • The 39th annual Art in the Park in Anaconda

    The 39th annual Art in the Park in Anaconda

    Saturday, July 21 2018 7:40 PM EDT2018-07-21 23:40:33 GMT

    ANACONDA- The 39th annual Art in the Park got underway in Anaconda this weekend. The three day event took place at Washoe Park in Anaconda. The director of the Copper Village Museum and Arts Center Marylynn McKenna said the event is huge for the town and people look forward to it all year. 

    ANACONDA- The 39th annual Art in the Park got underway in Anaconda this weekend. The three day event took place at Washoe Park in Anaconda. The director of the Copper Village Museum and Arts Center Marylynn McKenna said the event is huge for the town and people look forward to it all year. 

  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Missing person reported in Flathead County

    Missing person reported in Flathead County

    Friday, July 20 2018 9:33 AM EDT2018-07-20 13:33:44 GMT
    Friday, July 20 2018 9:33 AM EDT2018-07-20 13:33:44 GMT

    Sheriff Chuck Curry says Alex Ruth Beltran was last seen driving her 1998 Light Green Toyota Rav 4, with Montana plate 785019A.

    Sheriff Chuck Curry says Alex Ruth Beltran was last seen driving her 1998 Light Green Toyota Rav 4, with Montana plate 785019A.

  • Finally, indisputable proof: Bigfoot spotted in northern California

    Finally, indisputable proof: Bigfoot spotted in northern California

    Friday, January 9 2015 6:52 PM EST2015-01-09 23:52:03 GMT
    Saturday, January 10 2015 4:33 PM EST2015-01-10 21:33:06 GMT
    ROSEVILLE, Cali.- There is new, indisputable proof that Bigfoot exists, and has been spending most of his time in northern California. The footage was sent to a Paranormal group by a photographer/videographer who specializes in aerial videography using a quadcopter. A quadcopter is a drone that is lifted and propelled by 4 rotors.
    ROSEVILLE, Cali.- There is new, indisputable proof that Bigfoot exists, and has been spending most of his time in northern California. The footage was sent to a Paranormal group by a photographer/videographer who specializes in aerial videography using a quadcopter. A quadcopter is a drone that is lifted and propelled by 4 rotors.
  • 2 Separate rescue missions launched in less than 24 hours in Gallatin County

    2 Separate rescue missions launched in less than 24 hours in Gallatin County

    Sunday, July 22 2018 7:59 PM EDT2018-07-22 23:59:24 GMT
    © Photo Courtesy: Gallatin County Sheriff's Office© Photo Courtesy: Gallatin County Sheriff's Office

    While summer months mean more people will be going out to recreate in the wilderness of Montana, the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office posted a cautionary tale on their Facebook page after two separate search and rescue missions were launched in the same day. 

    While summer months mean more people will be going out to recreate in the wilderness of Montana, the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office posted a cautionary tale on their Facebook page after two separate search and rescue missions were launched in the same day. 

  • Libby fire burning 1.5 miles away from WR Grace vermiculite mine

    Libby fire burning 1.5 miles away from WR Grace vermiculite mine

    Friday, July 20 2018 11:53 AM EDT2018-07-20 15:53:59 GMT
    photo courtesy: John Blodgett, The Western Newsphoto courtesy: John Blodgett, The Western News

    Kootenai National Forest officials say multiple agencies responded Thursday when the fire started. The fire is 1.5 miles away from the former W.R. Grace vermiculite mine, and it's a high priority to keep the fire away from the old mine.

    Kootenai National Forest officials say multiple agencies responded Thursday when the fire started. The fire is 1.5 miles away from the former W.R. Grace vermiculite mine, and it's a high priority to keep the fire away from the old mine.

  • Road closed in Butte leading to the M

    Road closed in Butte leading to the M

    Saturday, July 21 2018 11:57 AM EDT2018-07-21 15:57:45 GMT

    BUTTE - The road leading to the M has been closed off due to people leaving trash, beer cans and drug paraphernalia on the trail. When Parks and Rec. Director J.P. Gallagher arrived at the gate Friday, the gate was vandalized and rammed open. 

    BUTTE - The road leading to the M has been closed off due to people leaving trash, beer cans and drug paraphernalia on the trail. When Parks and Rec. Director J.P. Gallagher arrived at the gate Friday, the gate was vandalized and rammed open. 

  • Our Apologies

    The page you requested is currently unavailable. Pages on this site are constantly being revised, updated, and occasionally removed. You may have followed an outdated link or have outdated pages in your

    You have reached a page which is currently unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please use your browser's BACK button to return to the previous page

  • Flushing acid down the toilet: lab cleanup forces US 287 shutdown and town evacuation

    Flushing acid down the toilet: lab cleanup forces US 287 shutdown and town evacuation

    Friday, July 20 2018 1:08 AM EDT2018-07-20 05:08:06 GMT
    Missoula County Explosives Ordinance Disposal Team preparing for action. July 17, 2018. Photo credit: EPAMissoula County Explosives Ordinance Disposal Team preparing for action. July 17, 2018. Photo credit: EPA

    Some of the chemicals at the lab in Norris were so volatile that the risk of transporting them was too great, and experts decided to do a controlled detonation at the site of the lab.

    Some of the chemicals at the lab in Norris were so volatile that the risk of transporting them was too great, and experts decided to do a controlled detonation at the site of the lab.

  • Special Olympian speaks out after baseball bat attack

    Special Olympian speaks out after baseball bat attack

    Thursday, July 19 2018 7:42 PM EDT2018-07-19 23:42:37 GMT

    The Special Olympian who was severely injured by after an assault  in June is talking about his recovery.

    The Special Olympian who was severely injured by after an assault  in June is talking about his recovery.

Powered by Frankly

Features

  • More Features
  • Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 Cowles Montana Media. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.