MASON, Texas - The state gemstone of Texas is blue topaz, and you can hunt for it just two hours outside San Antonio at Bar M Ranch.
Topaz comes in a variety of colors: golden-orange or “imperial” topaz is considered the most valuable and naturally occurring deep blue topaz is considered rare.
Colorless and light-hued topaz are heat-treated to achieve the blue color, according to State Symbols USA.
Gemstone hunters are invited to search Honey Creek on the ranch grounds, although ranch owner Mark Hahn makes no guarantees you’ll find treasure.
While it can sometimes be difficult to find, it’s not impossible.
Some of the biggest pieces of topaz people have found at the ranch are “roughly the size of a thumbnail,” said Hahn.
Any topaz you find is yours to keep. Some people even turn their finds into jewelry.
Bar M Ranch has been in Hahn's family since 1923 and 2018 marks the sixth year they’ve allowed gemstone hunters.
Treasure seekers are welcome to bring their own equipment but Hahn also rents out screens and shovels for $6 per day.
Bar M Ranch allows visitors to hunt for topaz from 8:30 a.m. until sundown, Feb. 1 though Sept. 30.
Topaz hunting rates start at $15 a day for adults and $10 a day for kids; infants and toddlers are free.
For more information on Bar M Ranch click here.
The video below shows what untreated natural blue topaz looks like.
*This video isn't affiliated with Bar M Ranch and the stones were not found there.
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