I’m taking a gemstone hunting trip on April 25 to Graves Mountain, Georgia!! What? I’m not going to my normal spot at Gold n’ Gems Grubbin’? That right! I’m headed about 2 hours east of Atlanta to Lincoln County, Georgia to one of the premier crystal hunting spots in the entire United States, Graves Mountain!
What is Graves Mountain?
What exactly is Graves Mountain? According to the Georgia Mineral Society, Tiffany’s originally mined Graves Mountain for rutile used to polish diamonds. It was sold a few times and mining finally ceased at the site in the mid-80’s. Now the mountain is open by reservation and a couple of times per year for an open mining days. The next open mining days event is April 24-26.
What can I expect (hope?) to find at Graves Mountain? How about some of the following?
Minerals and crystals:
Graves Mountain has lots of Rutile (titanium dioxide. Rutilated quartz is one of my favorite finds and looks like gold threads inside the quartz. Rutile is also the mineral that makes the star in star sapphire. Below is a picture of rutilated quartz and a star sapphire. I don’t expect to find a star sapphire. Sapphires aren’t usually found at Graves Mountain, but it would be cool!
One of the coolest stones I could find at Graves Mountain is the iridescent hematite. If you remember from The Gemstone Chronicles Book Three: The Emerald, the heroes of the story arm themselves with hematite as it is supposed to make a warrior invincible in battle. I’ve found hematite at Gold n’ Gem Grubbin’ before, but it was the dark grey version. Iridescent hematite is completely different in appearance and it’s beautiful!
Lazulite is another mineral that is sometimes found at Graves Mountain. A cool blue color, it reminds me of the lapis lazuli used by Alatariel in The Gemstone Chronicles Book One: The Carnelian to test the intentions of the humans before they enter the Northern Forest.
Besides the rutile and hematite, other minerals to find at the site include pyrophillite, pyrite, quartz, blue quartz, and many others. I plan on bringing home a ton of crystals!! The last pictures are of pyrophyllite and pyrite.
I will, of course, post pictures of my finds after the dig. Hopefully, it will be a good haul and make me want to go back in October, when they open the mountain again for a public dig.
Are there any good mineral prospecting sites where you live? I would love to know about them! Who knows? I might have to take a road trip!