TUCSON, AZ (3 TV / CBS 5) -- A Scottsdale family made a sort of discovery that hasn’t happened in 40 years. They found a new kind of gemstone.
"At first it was frustrating, ironically enough, because I wanted to know what it was!" said John Hornewer. John's family had been mining for gold at an abandoned mine near Four Peaks. "I've been a gold hunter my whole life,” John said. “Always hunting for that gigantic nugget or that one lost Dutchman's mine.”
But what they found was much more interesting. It was a new kind of gem. They named the gem Sonoranite for the desert location where they discovered the new stone. “We cut it in half, and we polished that one side. I mean, that was -- that was it,” Josh Hornewer, John's son.
It’s a sort of discovery that hasn’t been made since the eruption of Mount St. Helens when it was discovered that volcanic ash could be turned into a gem called Helenite.
According to a website set up for the new gem, Sonoranite contains a mixture of gold, silver, copper, palladium, and cobalt, among other metals. "It's very blah. [It's] Nothing to see here in the rough. But to be able to take a piece like that and turn it into this, that draws you in and catches your attention. It's just the most rewarding feeling,” Hornewer said.
Sonoranite is making its public debut at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, which runs until February 16th.