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New gemstone found in Arizona introduced at Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase

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TUCSON - An Arizona businessman and miner is introducing a new gemstone called Sonoranite this weekend that he and his brother found about a decade ago in Arizona.

John Hornewer said that they made a discovery by a fluke hiking trip in the northern desert of Scottsdale and they came across an old abandoned mine.

"We started exploring it, we found gold in the ore," he said. "Maybe about eight years ago we were crushing it for the gold and just out of fluke, we took one of the pieces, polished it and it takes a phenomenal polish."

They came across this stone that has metals in it like gold, silver and copper.

Hornewer said that since the rock is extremely hard and the gold has to be dug out with hand tools, it was too difficult to get out enough material to make it worth it. So they decided to keep it in.

Hornewer said that rough pieces are one dollar a gram, while finished products are up to $35 a carat. One gram equals five carats.

Priscilla Casper

Priscilla Casper is an anchor and multi-skilled journalist for News 4 Tucson. She anchors weekdays at noon and 4 p.m.

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