The Big-B Mine. Johnson county, Wyoming.

Welcome to the Big-B mine website.

Our mission here is to sell aquamarine produced from the Big-B mine in Johnson County, Wyoming.

We intend to offer faceted gemstones, cabachons, and rough. When available.

Potential customers should know this.

The Big-B mine is at an elevation of 8,500 ft. High up in the Big Horn mountains, almost complete wilderness. Access is limited to only about 4 month's per year. Due to these facts, production is very limited. Since earth moving equipment can't be used, only hand and some power tools may be employed to mine the rough gem material.

The quality of our gemstones will vary, from highly included, to gem clear. The color also varies from rich greenish-blue to equally rich and more blue than green.Common heat treatment may be used to enhance the color of some stones. Any treatment(s) will be described.

It has been the feeling of all those involved, that these gemstones should be thought of as 'very rare'. The pricing might seem somewhat high compared to other more common aquamarine, due to its origin and limited production.

We do intend to sell gemstones that you will be proud to own, and at reasonable prices. To that end, feel free to contact us, and we will reach a happy aggreement.

You have our word on that.

Darrel Layton : owner. Gillette, Wy.

Larry McEachron : owner / manager. Gillette, Wy.

Please E-Mail us for ordering or information at


Many of our gemstones have been custom cut and polished by Gary Bowen of Gateway Gems in

St. Louis, Mo.

Gateway Gems

Gateway Gems has supported our efforts to bring 'Big Horn' aquamarine to the public market.

We are proud to have them cut the best of the Big-B rough into the finest gemstones.

Click here to go to Gateway Gems

Brazilian Jewelry

Original Brazilian Jewelry, Precious and Semi-Precious Stones.

Click here or on the picture to visit 1-Brazilian Jewelry

More gemstones will be added to this page as they become available.

This page was updated on 12-05-03

Big-B rough aqua

This was the rough that this gemstone was cut from.

Big-B aquamarine

The gemstone pictured above is unique. It is the first and only faceted Wyoming aquamarine that we know of. An excellent cut for a rare gemstone. This gem is slightly included, but might set a standard for Wyoming aquamarine. The picture just can't do justice to the real color or brilliance. This gemstone was heat treated and custom cut by Gary Bowen at Gateway Gems.

At 10.5 x 6.5 mm and 1.90 ct. This gem is the flagship of our fleet.

Item # : bb_gm1

$ : Contact us

Big-B aquamarine

This gemstone is a hefty hunk. It has been cab cut and polished in it's natural hexagon shape and size. It is well included, but has color that the picture just can't show. This gemstone has not been treated.

At 18.7 x 18.2 x 13 mm and a weight of 35.90 ct. It's a monster.

Item # : bb_hx1

$ : Contact us.

Big-B aquamarine

Here is a nice little rectangle cut cab. It is well included as is much of the Big-B aquamarine. Color is really nice. Not treated.

Item # : bb_cab1

11.7 x 8.7 mm RC. cut. 4.11 ct.

$ 29.00

Big-B aquamarine

Another nice rectangle cut cab. This stone is also well included but has a nice blue-green color. Not treated.

Item # : bb_cab2

11.7 x 8.7 mm RC. cut. 4.69 ct.


Big-B aquamarine

A different kind of cut for this stone. Not a natural hex shape, but very nice. The normal inclusions with a fine color. Not treated.

Item # : bb_cab3

16.2 x 7.6 mm FC Hex cut. 4.33 ct.

$ 30.00

Big-B aquamarine

This fair sized cab is cleaner than most Big-B aquamarine. Almost translucent with a beautiful blue-green color. Not treated.

Item # : bb_cab4

17 x 14.2 mm RC. cut. 13.32 ct.


Big-B aquamarine

This cabachon cut gemstone retains it's natural hexagon crystal shape. The color is quite nice even with the inclusions. A unique gemstone. Not treated.

Item # : bb_cab5

16 mm Natural hexagon. 12.17 ct.

$ 85.00

Big-B aquamarine

A nice square cut cabachon here. A bit greenish with inclusions, but nice. Not treated.

Item # : bb_cab6

10.7 x 11.7 mm SQ cut. 6.44 ct.

$ 45.00

Big-B aquamarine

An oval cabachon here. Somewhat deep with moderate inclusions. Good color leaning toward green. Not treated.

Item # : bb_cab7

8.7 x 10 mm OV cut. 3.88 ct.

$ 27.16

Big-B aquamarine

Another little square cut cabachon. Cleaner that much of the Big-B aquamarine with nice blue-green balance. I'm discounting this one due to the large surface inclusion. Not treated.

Item # : bb_cab8

9.8 x 9.8 mm SQ cut. 3.49 ct.

$ 13.96

Big-B aquamarine

This cabachon is a freeform pentagon. Fairly clean. Color tends toward blue with good saturation. Not treated.

Item # : bb_cab9

9.5 x 10 mm FF pentagon. 3.20 ct.

$ 22.40

Big-B aquamarine

Another oval cabachon. Well done and polished. Color is good blue with lighter saturation. Not treated.

Item # : bb_cab10

8.5 x 7.2 mm OV cut. 1.65 ct.

$ 11.55

The gemstones in this section are from the personal collection of one of the co-owners of the Big-B mine.

3.8 mm ruby

This gem is a fine Madagascar ruby. Well cut with minor inclusions. Very nice color and sparkle. It has a tiny nick on the girdle, not easy to see without a loupe. Sorry about these pics, the best I can do with a flatbed scanner.

Item # : madrub1

3.8 mm RD. cut. 0.31 ct.

$ 70.00


I have a nice selection of amethyst. Contact me to see if I have the one you need.


The golden yellow color of citrine is a classic. Do I have what you are looking for?


I just love these 3 little pink sapphires. They are a bit milky, but simply glow with color. Very nice as accent stones, or solitare earrings. Take all 3 for one low price.

Item # : 3_sapp1

3 mm each. RD. cut. About 0.30 ctw.

$ 25.00


I have a selection of smallish blue sapphires. Replace that missing accent stone, or create an earring. Quality and size varies, email me to see if I can fill your bill.


Iolite is a beautiful gemstone. It might appear blue or purple as you look through it. I have a few nice loupe clean stones to offer. Email me to see if I can select one for you.


We love aquamarine around here. These are not Big-B aquamarine, but I have a nice selection of clean stones to offer. I just might have the shade, size, and shape you want. I wish our flatbed scanner could do better pic's here, these really look better in person.

rutulated quartz

Rutulated quartz is always interesting. This large gemstone has red and gold rutile needles.

Item # : Rut_qtz

17 X 14.4 mm RC. cut. 20.4 ct.



Aquamarine was first found at the site of the Big-B mine in 1986. It was mostly by accident. Two friends out on a walk found some blue-green crystals near some tumbled rocks. The blue-green hexagonal crystals we're identified as aquamarine. A mineral claim was filed that year, but allowed to lapse in 1987. All the material found in that year was all that there was until the summer of 2001.

In the summer of 2001 the mine site was revisited by one of the original partners with an amateur geologist / gemologist. It was determined that this 'outcropping' of crystaline beryl was only lately exposed, by some thousands of years, as it were. It is thought that much more and better rough material will be found as the site gets bigger and deeper.


The geology of the area is odd at the least, and unique at the best. There are amounts of black mica, dark red garnet (almandite?), clear beryllium ore, and brittle feldspar. Of course, aquamarine is present, or we would not be here.

In terms of plate tectonics, the area of Wyoming is rather thin. This is most evident by the fact of the Yellowstone National Park area, in north west Wyoming. It seems to this amateur geologist that the thin crustal plate, and the up-thrust nature of the Big Horn mountains , might create good conditions for gem material deposits. After all, there are sapphires in Montana.

Gold, silver, iron, and coal are also found and mined in Wyoming. Diamonds of gem quality might exist near the southern portion of the Big Horn mountains.

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