*Indian Paint Rock cut by Eidos
*Signed, numbered, dated

Dimensions: 2" long (5cm); ½ high (1.2 cm)
Weight: .7 oz (19 gm)
Size: ~7½ (adjustable)

Item #731 - Sold

Indian Paint Rock Ring

Indian Paint Ring
Indian Paint Ring on model
Indian Paint Ring Back
Indian Paint Ring
Hover to zoom, Click to expand

Zenz points out that some Indian Paint is either poorly silicified or not silicified at all so it cannot be called 'jasper,' nonetheless he gives it one paragraph and one photo in Agates III "for completeness." Indian Paint Rock is Rhyolite with Hematite from Death Valley, California. The mining location is now within the National Park boundary and nothing can be taken even by the casual rockhound. It's a good thing something will be left there for future generations.

Indian Paint is quite variable, the patterns in this specimen are more like those of a wild cat whereas the Sunset Cottonwoods Necklace has a landscape with a lighter background and pink colors. Leigh cut this rock into an unusual shape with a high ridge line which is most evident in the bottom photo.

Rhyolite is an igneous rock of volcanic origin. Melody says it "lights the fire of creativity within the soul." Hematite is the mineral form of iron oxide which she calls a "stone for the mind." Ahsian says it can help us see the silver lining in difficult situations.

How did volcanic Rhyolite show up in Death Valley? Perhaps it came from the cluster of craters north of Death Valley. The largest crater is called Ubehebe which seems a bit silly since that's the Paiute name of a mountain to the south. To the Timbisha Shoshone Indians, apparently the crater has been known as "Tem-pin-tta- Wo’sah," meaning "Coyote’s Basket." Who but trickster coyote would use a volcano for a basket? Valerie Kuletz (see below) says that "It was told by the old ones that Coyote brought the people to this place in his basket. When he fell asleep, the people crawled out of the basket and went away in all four directions. This happened at Wosa (Coyote's 'burden basket'), now called Ubehebe Crater." A recent National Geographic article calls the crater "potentially active." Current estimates of its last eruption seem to be in the range of 300-800 years ago. USGS lists the threat level in 2016 as "moderate." It's fascinating that the people trace their origins in this country back to a form of emerging from the underworld as so many other Native American origin stories do. It makes you question the "land bridge" idea, doesn't it?

Death Valley is an endlessly fascinating place for a desert rat like myself. (Incidentally, that isn't a derogatory term... our desert Kangaroo Rat has got to be the cutest little fellow around. Plus K-rats have excellent taste in real estate: they seem to build their burrows so they can have a lovely view from the entrance.) Fascinating as it is, visitors should take the name "Death Valley" seriously. Death Valley holds the record for the hottest temperature recorded on earth -- 134°F (56.7°C) on July 10, 1913. On July 15, 1972 the ground temperature at Furnace Creek was 201°F when the air temperature was 128°F. In 1996 Death Valley had 40 consecutive days of temperatures above 120°F (49°C). Now please listen kids: I've found lost hikers in the desert (and in our little mountains too), also hikers who were nauseous and enervated suffering from the heat. If you're going hiking in temperatures above 90°F, acclimate first so you know what you're getting into. Realize that if you start stumbling or feeling confused you are likely dehydrated. Take the 10 essentials (google it) and especially a map and compass in addition to your GPS (once my friend's GPS was 180° off and fortunately we both realized it was bonkers or we could have been out all night), take plenty of water, you will need extra to pour on your head... and most importantly, take the earbuds out of your ears and pay attention, be present, enjoy the magnificent desert!

This ring is adjustable, presently approximately a size 7½. When you order, be sure to let me know what size you need so I can adjust it for you.