Review of the Hogg Mine in LaGrange, Ga
March 2010 Dig
Over the weekend several of my friends and I took a trip up the Hogg Mine in LaGrange, Ga., to see for ourselves what the mine had to offer. Georgia itself only has a handful of digging sites and the Hogg Mine has managed to be listed among the top of the list for Georgia rockhounds, even garnering the attention of the Travel Channel's “Cash and Treasure” show with host Kirsten Gum.
Equipped with buckets, shovels, safety glasses, gloves and a hammer our quartet turned out bright and early at the meeting place, Donnie's Corner Store, to be briefed on our visit to the mine. The Hogg Mine is a private mine that is only open on certain dates for public digs, therefore the official meeting place prior to be taken out to the mine is conveniently located only a couple of miles from the hotel and about a mile from the actual mine site.
Once at the mine we were given the customary tour of the different areas where specific gems and minerals could be found. We started near the back of the dig site and began our hunt for the rose quartz that the mine is renowned for. Right away a fellow digger uncovered the find of the day, a beautiful aquamarine.
Unlike many of the mines that I have been to, this one was absent of the sluice runs that some mines offer to rockhounds looking to really clean their finds, however, due to the size of many of the gems and minerals we were uncovering, it didn't have much of a negative impact, especially for those of us who brought there own squirt bottles for rinsing rocks. There is a shelter provided at the parking area for periods of inclement weather and a port-a-potty is also available on-site.
After a few hours of working in the rose quartz area I moved up to the tourmaline field where I spent only a few minutes before uncovering a very large piece of rough black schorl (tourmaline.) After cleaning it up the piece weighed in at 14 lbs 6 oz. From there I rounded up the gang to try our luck at the beryl pit and managed to come up with a few notable pieces.
All in all I give the mine a thumbs up. Everyone in our group found noteworthy pieces of most of the minerals that were available on site and everyone left with full buckets. The cost for digging at the Hogg Mine was a bit higher than most native mines I've frequented, especially given the types of minerals that can be found there. I've dug at ruby and sapphire mines for less. What Hogg Mine does have going in its favor is that it is a true native mineral mine and it takes elbow grease to get at the goods.