A couple of weeks ago, my brother John and I ventured over to LaGrange, Georgia to check out the Hogg Mountain Mine and hunt for aquamarines. Despite the fact that we didn’t find any of the blue-green gemstones, we had a great time, met some interesting people, and are planning a return trip when it is a bit cooler!
This isn’t hard rock mining, but we were certainly working in the pit! This first picture is the entrance to the mine pit.
We moved a little deeper into the mine and made it to the main pit. As you can see from the bright blue skies, it was a sunny day, and it got hot later in the afternoon!
I know you are probably wondering what the picture above is. Well, it’s part of the wall of the main pit. The white is almost like talc – very soft and easy to dig in. The dark splotches are tourmaline. Tourmaline is a very brittle stone and breaks away easily. The idea is to dig into the wall and try to find aquamarine that may be hidden in the wall. Of course, there are other stones to dig around and to find. Lots of clear quartz crystals (with very sharp edges, so wear gloves!), and some beautiful rose quartz.
The picture below is another view of the wall. Note the rusty-red streak going down the wall. Lots of iron in the soil, so you do get rust!
You’ve seen the mine and the wall we dug in, so what did we find?
This is a small sampling of what I brought home. There are clear and rose quartz crystals, a chunk of darker quartz at the bottom right of the picture, three pieces of black tourmaline, and my purchased aquamarine on the left. Not bad for a day’s work. I can see the rock tumbler will be busy!!
The tourmaline (shown above) is in the walls of the pit. Luckily, there was another section of the mine where it was simply on the ground for easy pickup.
What we went to try to find, though, was aquamarine. We dug for the entire day and didn’t find any. That’s the nature of the gem hunting game, though. You never know what you might find and you might not find anything. The owner of the mine, though, had some specimens available for purchase, so I bought myself a small aquamarine rough stone. I like it and will tumble it soon to see how it turns out!
I love the blue-green color and it’s my birthstone. If you remember from The Gemstone Chronicles Book One: The Carnelian, Beebop used his aquamarine to help defeat the kelpie, and the stone is one of the gemstones in the Elven Sword, so this stone has a lot of meaning for me!
I hope you will go out exploring the area in which you live and see what kind of gemstones you can find! if you do, drop me a note and let me know what you find. Who knows, I might have to make a trip to see if I can find something cool in your area, too!!