The Texas State Gem
Topaz, the state gem of Texas, is found within the borders of the state only in Mason County. It occurs in granite outcroppings principally in the Streeter, Grit, and Katemcy areas. It is usually found in streambeds and ravines but occasionally can be located atop the ground.
Topaz resembles quartz and ranges in color from clear to brown to yellow to sky blue. The blue stones are especially beautiful when faceted in the Lone Star cut.
Items you will need
with which to hunt topaz are a pick and shovel and a wire screen with about ¼ inch mesh. Small pieces of topaz can sometimes be found by sifting dirt through the screen. A nice-to-have but optional item is a chemical called bromoform. Topaz will sink in this chemical, whereas the less dense quartz it so resembles will float. WARNING: bromoform is highly toxic and should be handled with care, and kept away from children.
You can enjoy topaz hunting throughout the year except during the months of November, December and early January, when the ranches are closed for deer season. Since digging is often required to find stones, topaz hunting is more pleasant when done during the cooler months. The week following a rain is an excellent time to hunt topaz, since the ground is softer and easier to dig.
Currently, no Mason County ranches are offering public topaz hunting.
REMEMBER: DO NOT TRESPASS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY AT ANY TIME.