Blue Topaz is the gemstone of Texas, and it's finders keepers at one Texas Ranch. This might be a good road trip idea, and we can dig up our own necklace and ring material for Valentine's Day.

The Bar M Ranch near Mason sits in the Texas Hill Country, and there's a lot to see out that way besides gemstones. They've got lots of bed and breakfasts and wineries too, so we could easily make a weekend of it.  And we might come back with some of that fancy Blue Topaz too.

Bar M Ranch has been allowing visitors to hunt for Topaz for six years now, and you can do it from 8:30 a.m. until sundown, Feb. 1 though Sept. 30. They want you to make a reservation, and you can do that HERE.  There's no guarantee we'll find any Topaz, but if we do it would be a good story and could produce some sentimental jewelry, not to mention it would make a great social media post.

We can take our own equipment to the ranch, but the Hahn family that owns the place also rents out screens and shovels for $6 per day.  It costs $15 for each adult to hunt for gemstones, and $10 for kids.  So the hunting is not free, but if you're able to find a gemstone, that would be worth the price of admission and then some.

If you find Topaz that's actually blue, that's the most rare form and worth the most money.  Other varieties of Topaz are yellow, orange, or clear, and those aren't worth as much, but would still make a pretty cool ring or necklace, especially since your hard work made it possible.

Even if we don't unearth any Topaz, oh well!  It still sounds like a fun trip, and a reason to head west and experience another hidden Texas treasure.

If gems aren't your thing, don't forget about the Fossil Park that lets you keep the fossils you dig up. And THAT place is free!