Idea No.


Jewels a Girls Best Friend



July 2000


Diane in Great Falls MT USA

Special Mention


Jewels are a Girls Best Friend!  I had just been to the Spokane Sapphire mine and thought what an idea for an unusual teenager party theme.    I asked my niece and she thought it was great and wanted to do it for her birthday so I put a plan together.  Invites: I used my print shop and found a diamond and enlarged it.  On the front of the diamond I put "A Girls Best Friend".  Inside the usual invite information.  "Come diggem at (address) for sapphire (teenager's name) birthday party at date/time."  Cake: TREASURE CHEST from Family Fun cake finder at  After the cake and ice cream open presents.  Activity: I had found strainers at the dollar store.  I saved my Sam's empty laundry soap buckets.  You will need sponges and of course your gravel.  To order the sapphire gravel via snail mail you go to and check it out $40.00 (no sales tax in Montana yet) and they also sell a handbook for $3.00 that tells about the history and the stones.  You will need to fill the buckets with water.  Then each guest uses their strainers and fills it up with sapphire gravel.  They then wash it in the water bucket and you can show them how to mine.  You move the strainer left and right and up and down (be sure up and down aren't to high of a throw because you will loose your gravel/stones).  Then you turn the washed gravel onto the sponge.  The stones are heavier and will be at the bottom of the strainer/or top of the stack you just put on the sponge.  Sponge needs to be larger than your strainer.  The sapphires you can see through and they shine, the rocks shine also but you can't see through them.  You will also need tweezers to pluck out the sapphires and these can double as a favor (what teenager isn't anxious to use tweezers to pluck out those eyebrows?)  You can find a coupon on the Spokane Sapphire mine site and I am sure they send you one along with your gravel order to have the sapphires in the raw changed into the finished product.  They will be cleaned, polished and faceted for a small price.  Then if you want them set you can find a jeweler and pick out a setting.  I am doing a tie tac for my son's tiger eye!  I found a blue, purple, pink, several red rubies, orange and clear sapphires.  The clear sapphires look like diamonds when they are a finished product.  They are second in strength compared to a diamond.  They have no value, but the colored sapphires run high.  A pair of small earrings cost $299.00  - Sapphires are only found a few places in the world, India, Australia and Montana.  My son got a tiger eye!  We found around 40 sapphires in a the large bucket.  You get to take the bucket of gravel home with you.  If you are in the area the mine is located just outside of Helena, Montana.  Ready Set Diggem!

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