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Thread: Where to Hunt Native Gems in North Carolina?

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  1. #1
    us
    Dec 2010
    98
    2 times

    Where to Hunt Native Gems in North Carolina?

    I was wondering where I can find native gems/ nice looking rocks near Murphy, NC. Im not really interested in "Pay to dig, or buy a bucket sites". Are gems only found in certain places like Franklin, NC or can gems be found statewide? Some pictures of what I should look for would also be nice!

    Some other questions:
    Gem quality stones are clear, right?
    Are opaque gems like Emeralds, Rubies and what not worth anything or is it only the clear examples that are worth something?


  2. #2
    se
    Sep 2006
    Sweden
    White's or Minelab
    3,995
    300 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Where to Hunt Native Gems in North Carolina?

    Gems can have 2 different qualities, some of the opaque materials are used to make so called cabochons - i.e rounded shapes with a sort of dome. Some of them can be worth a lot due to certain effects. Chrysoberyl cats eye for example can be worth a lot.
    Or opal with a play of colour can be worth a bunch, but opal with no play of colour is worth next to nothing.

    Then we have faceting quality, which has to be clear or it decreases the value of the gem.
    Some gems are rare to find really clear and when found as clear gems claim premium prices - Emerald for example.

    Basically you can still get some value from i.e. opaque ruby but it will be no where near the prices of a clear piece of ruby.

    Kinda hard to explain, some gems are more appreciated (and higher priced) as transparent materials others are not.
    Geologists are gneiss, tuff, and a little wacke.

  3. #3

    Jul 2013
    1
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by Furismo View Post
    I was wondering where I can find native gems/ nice looking rocks near Murphy, NC. Im not really interested in "Pay to dig, or buy a bucket sites". Are gems only found in certain places like Franklin, NC or can gems be found statewide? Some pictures of what I should look for would also be nice!

    Some other questions:
    Gem quality stones are clear, right?
    Are opaque gems like Emeralds, Rubies and what not worth anything or is it only the clear examples that are worth something?
    Has anyone responded? Have you found any good public, walk to sites. In Pennsylvania there are many mountain creeks alongside roadways where you can just pull over to the shoulder and walk down a small embankment to the stream. Would love to find a place like that here. Anyone?

  4. #4
    us
    Jul 2013
    Middle GA
    Fisher F2
    51
    8 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Bridal Veil Falls, northwest of Highlands, NC is my favorite place to find garnets. This use to be a beautiful water fall right off the shoulder of the road that you could actually drive your car under. In years past, it collapsed somewhat but you can still walk to it. The garnets wash down the mountainside onto the road and are very plentiful after a rain. I have been fortunate enough to be there right after a rain and even hunted during a couple of showers on my annual Fall visits. Garnets may not be that valuable to some but you can find some larger quality pieces that can be finished for jewelry. I found a little over 3 carat stone that was finished into a nice oval 2 carat ready to be set in a pendant necklace. I've also done the tedious hours sluicing through buckets of muck to find a variety of native stone and some places not so native at those roadside gem mines. Salting the mud keeps it interesting for the kids but a big No No for those with a little knowledge. I was much more interested in the area where the dozier was cutting and scooping. But of course, many of these places won't allow you to access the mining area. Cant recall the exact place but there are several places that will allow a number of people to dig by meeting up at a store on a specific day. Pack your lunch, bring your own tools and leave your car. They take the group of people to the property to spend the day. Think they were finding aquamarine?
    mattyshore likes this.

  5. #5
    us
    Frank

    Jun 2013
    Jefferson City, Tennessee
    JW Fisher Pulse 8X; Minelab CTX 3030 & Sovereign Elite; White's GMT, GM II, Beach Hunter Id, Surf PI, Coinmaster Classic II, 6000 Di S2, Two 2000-D S3's, old GM 66-T with 5 coils & GM 65-T with 3 coil
    2,297
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    Prospecting
    Gems can be found in many locations in North Carolina from the western mountains to near the Piedmont. However, probably the most are found from along the eastern slopes facing the Blue Ridge Mountains, throughout many areas of the Blue Ridge Mountains and in the foothills east of Blue Ridge Mountains. Gem Prospecting can be done in many of the National Forests but there are limits to what you can take. Streams within the National Forests are fairly good places to look as well as streams and rivers where you can access them from Public Land are sometimes good. Just be aware, that unlike some states, a stream or river flowing through private land can and probably is owned by the landowner or landowners and you will need permission to look there. Aquamarine and a few other types of Beryl can be found just outside of Burnsville at an old Mica Mine in the National Forest and Rubies and Sapphires can be found on Chunky Gal Mountain between Franklin and Hayesville, also in the National Forest. Do some research on the web and I am sure that you can find many more locations.


    Frank

 

 

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