Gem Mining Vacations
One of the things I have always wanted to do is take a gem mining vacation. Now digging around in the dirt may not be you idea of an exciting vacation , but I happen to find the idea fascinating. The idea that I might find a rare stone or exquisite gem appeals to the gambler in me. I know that I will not find anything right away and it will take hours of work. It is kind of like writing hubs, it takes time and dedication to make it pay off. I have scoured the Internet for possible gem mining locations and reviews. I have put them together for you in case you would want to become a gem hunter too.
What will you find?
There are all sorts of gem mines throughout the United States. Ruby and sapphires are popular in North Carolina. If diamonds are your best friend than you might want to take a look at the crater of Diamonds in Arkansas. It is said to be the only active diamond mine in the United States. Opals are found in Oregon and jade and gold can be in discovered in California. If you look around you might find your state has a gem mine too!
Where are the Gem mines?
Gem Mining seems to be plentiful in the southern states. North Carolina's Macon County has Sapphires and Rubies. The claim is that they are the Gem Mining capital of the world. The Website boasts that they have uncovered a 2 and a half pound ruby. Below is a website that features many of the gem mines available in North Carolina.
Spruce Pine's Gem Mountain Gemstone Mine is well known for their aquamarine, garnet and moonstone. At this gem mine there are jewel cutters who can make your treasure into gems for jewelry! Admission is free however there is a cost of 25 dollars a bucket!
In Arizona you will find an abundance of copper and turquoise in their Gem mines.
If Diamonds are more your taste then 0ff to Arkansas you go to experience the best in Diamond mining. Diamond Crater state park has a 37 acre plowed field you can go and plunder for diamonds of any color. According to the website valuable diamonds are still being found on the property. The Website keeps an up to date listing of the most valuable diamonds found by the prospectors. This sounds like a great place to go. You can dig for your own treasure and you have the hope of finding a neat prize.
Below are some links to other gem mines in the United States. Not only will they tell you what you can find but how to prepare for the trip! Maybe you will find one that is near you!
Popular Gem Mines in North Carolina
- Emerald Village - Gem Mines North Carolina
Emerald Village has real gem mines North Carolina where you can take gem mine tours in North Carolina and go panning for gold in North Carolina.
- Spruce Pine Gemstone Mine
Find Hidden Gems by Gem Mining at Spruce Pine Gem Mine. We have been mining the North Carolina Mountains for 200 Years! Gem buckets at our location or shipped to yours, plus gemstones and custom gold and silver jewelry.
- Gem mining in the Gem Capital of the World | Franklin, NC
How do You Mine?
Mining for Gems is an all day affair so wear you most comfortable clothing. You are going to get dirty so it may best to bring an old towel to wipe off with. A picnic lunch is advisable, The gem mines provide places for you to eat out of the weather. Bring with you an old container with a lid such as a margarine container or a a zip lock bag to keep all of our valuables.Most of the time you will be given a bucket of dirt and you will have to use a screen to clean off your gems in the water. Some of the gem mines allow digging. I was surprised that a lot of the mines a lot do not..
Popular GemsClick thumbnail to view full-size
What to Look for in Crystals
Just like diamonds you look for the color and clarity of the crystals. Some gem stones are clear and some gems are milky. Some gem stones have pearl like color and some crystals come in box like shapes. As you can see in the slides on the left there are many beautiful gem stones. But before you get excited and trudge out to the southern part of the USA , be wary that gem stones of this stature have been found in Gem Mines in Africa and Australia
Can you actually find Gems?
According to some blogging gem finders... yes. the two samples to the right are examples of gems that were located at the Rio Doce Gem Mine in Western North Carolina. Good luck on your search and have fun finding your treasure.
Yes You can find Gems!
You know sometimes you ask a question and somebody comes along and answers it! A reader Larry Coleman shared with me in the comments below that he had found the largest sapphire in the Ruby and Sapphire mine in Mason, NC. I have included his pic and the link to the site below. Way to go Larry and thanks for sharing!
Fragment of a meteorite
Mining for Meteorites
You may not exactly mine for meteorites but you can have a lot of fun looking for them. Meteorites that fall from the sky are being sought after by scientists. One article from the Smithsonian magazine states chunks of meteorites are going for $25,000 a gram. More recently meteorite hunters have found meteorite fragments in California that have gone for $1000 a gram! Meteorites are rare as they often burn up in the atmosphere. Meteorites are often found in the western part of the U.S in states such as New Mexico, Arizona and California. Why are meteorites so sought after? Scientists believe that these fragments have the building blocks of life. It is believed they hold the key on how life began on Earth.
If you are interested in finding your own meteorites the Farmers Almanac has a listing of meteor showers predicted for 2012!
Now the latest talk is of mining asteroids. Investors are clamoring to drill in near space asteroids for precious platinum metals. It is the hopes of the investors to make a tidy profit as well as try to drive down some of the costs of most consumer goods here on Earth. The company, Planetary Resources hopes to send up mining robots in the asteroids nearest the Earth. They plan to send up robotic telescopes to scan out the best asteroids at the end of 2013.
The biggest crystal ever found
The value of Gemstones
$300-$600 per carat heated
$1000 per carat unheated
$75-100 per carat