Gold and gems have fascinated men since time immemorial, and few men have hunted, mined and cut them over such a long and adventurous period of time as has Fred J. Rynerson. For over fifty-two years he was on their trail, particularly as one of the chief characters in that fabulous and romantic period of California history when the great gem mines of San Diego County gave up their secrets. Gold also lured him on exciting trips among the desert washes and hills along the Colorado River and north into the savage wilderness and rain forests of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington.
Here is told in intimate and often humorous detail how treasures were found and lost, how rattlesnakes, desert thirst and road-destroying floods were met and conquered, and many another thrilling and sometimes violent encounter with nature or with man. It is a tale attractively told of an era of western pioneering and adventure long past, but preserved in this book for out enjoyment and knowledge. The amateur prospector will find useful hints on how to locate valuable minerals and gems, the gemologist will deepen his understanding of the development of gem mining and of cutting and polishing techniques, while the lost treasure hunter will be able to add a few more prospective places to hunt for his dream of lost riches. Fred J. Rynerson, one of the last of the great western prospectors and miners, passed away in 1960, but the sharp mind that saw both into human character and hidden secrets of the earth, his wry wit and his bluff and keen enjoyment of the out-of-doors and hunt for earth treasures, marches on with the words he has written for us here.
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