We go for the stones, or what is mineralogical tourism
The practice of mineralogical tourism has long existed in the world. It came from the tradition of bringing a sea shell, beach pebbles or a magnet to the souvenirs from vacation. The tourism ministries of many countries realized in time that tourists are very happy to get souvenirs rather than buying them. Thus, tourists began to be allowed to search for minerals in the country. In order not to leave the country without coal, quartz and precious stones, the Ministry of Tourism of each country carefully discusses how many finds a tourist can take with him. Usually this is not more than two or three copies. And some even prohibit the export of minerals outside the state, exhibiting them in museums.
The essence of mineralogical tourism is to find stones of different values. Members of the expedition, as a rule, are not professionals. Armed with special equipment, tourists begin to search for stones in a designated area. Often, the search for stones is not the goal, but simply part of the tour program, for example, trekking or hiking.
Some of the most interesting places for mineralogical tourism are in Africa. The hot continent is teeming with diamond and emerald quarries, the most noble gems. Tourists can easily put on work clothes and get themselves some shiny stones. Recently, tour operators have been offering new geologists to learn how to cut, in order to create jewelry for themselves. Tourists who are not accustomed to such complex and painstaking work do not immediately manage to turn a diamond in their hands into a sparkling diamond, but often home-made jewelry becomes a family heirloom.
Europe cannot boast of such a large number of deposits of precious stones, and therefore develops mineralogical tourism for the extraction of opals, amethysts and aquamarines. Despite the fact that these stones are not as expensive as emeralds, they have a nice color and shine beautifully in the sun.
In the UK and Germany, there are so-called geoparks. They were created for the work of geologists and the study of minerals. Recently, for a small fee, geoparks are available for tourists and independent search for stones. Most of the finds, of course, remain in the local geological museum, the rest are given as a keepsake.
After mineralogical tourism began to gain popularity, service began to develop. For example, in the USA you can buy a bucket of land where minerals are already hidden. All you have to do is find them and clear them of the earth.
Mineralogical tourism makes a great contribution to the development of geology, replenishes museums with new exhibits and carries a developing function. Recently, Russia also began to provide tourists with the opportunity to participate in the extraction of minerals. Searches are now available only in the Urals, a land rich in minerals.
The Urals offers large deposits of precious and semiprecious stones. There are several deposits of jasper at the disposal of tourists, such as Revnevskoye, Beloretskoye and Korgonskoye, and ore can be found at the Lazurskoye deposit. Tourists can also go in search of emeralds and other precious stones, which, unfortunately, will have to be returned to the local museum. However, amethysts can be safely taken away.
The Urals can be called a unique region. Many secrets are kept in its bowels, most of which have not yet been solved. After all, it was in the Urals that crocorite was found from which later they began to produce chrome. Who knows how much more useful the Urals can give the world. It is not for nothing that the heroine of Bazhov’s fairy tale – the Mistress of the Copper Mountain – lived precisely in the Urals, cherishing treasures, accumulating wealth and taking for herself skilled craftsmen who could create a work of art from stone.
Now in the Sverdlovsk region, the mineralogical and geological types of turim are actively developing. More and more new objects are opened for tourists, and tour operators are developing interesting routes so that the search for stones is not only exciting, but also informative.