As I told you last week, Uncle John and I went to Hiddenite NC for the Great Emerald Hunt and to dig at the mine and try to find some emeralds. We made the four-hour drive from our Atlanta area homes on Friday afternoon. We dodged some traffic on the interstate by using the back roads, and we finally got there.
Saturday morning we got up bright and early and drove to the mine. We were the first customers of the day at Emerald Hollow Mine. We told them we wanted to dig. They issued our dig permit and gave us our complimentary bucket of dirt ticket (pictures coming later in the post). We also found out that the digging area was about a 400 yard walk from the parking area. Doesn’t sound like a long distance, but when you are carrying shovels, screens, and buckets, it can be a bit of a challenge. I decided to leave Lana’s nice camera in the truck and take pictures with my phone (sorry in advance for the poor photos and the limited number).
We headed into the dig area without a clue on what to look for or how to proceed. That didn’t stop us, though. We discovered the mine was a large tree covered hillside pock-marked from many other dig sites. We scouted around for a bit, then settled in to figure out what we were supposed to do. In retrospect, we should have done more research on how to do what we were doing. Maybe the hosts at the mine should have an introductory seminar on how to dig, but neither of those things occurred. John and I picked out a spot and started the hunt. One of the mine employees stopped by and told us to look for seams of mica and quartz and follow the seam until we (hopefully) hit a vein or some type of gemstone. Alas, in about 6 hours of digging, we found nothing….
We didn’t want to leave empty-handed, of course, so we trekked back to the flumes and claimed our complimentary buckets of dirt. I found a few nice stones in the bucket, so I forked over $25 more and got an “emerald” bucket. It was a good bucket and yielded a number of emeralds and a few other stones. I found some orange calcite, emeralds, blue aventurine, blue sodalite, and a couple of pieces of quartz. Not bad for $25, but I would rather have found some hiddenite or emeralds as we dug. I don’t think I will be heading back to Hiddenite to dig any time soon, but John and I are considering a trip to Hogg Mountain (near LaGrange GA) soon to dig there. Stay tuned for pictures and a post about that trip (should it happen)!! Below are the few pictures that I took.
And just in case any of you were wondering about hiddenite, below is a picture of a hiddenite faceted stone.
There you have it! The Great Emerald Hunt results are in. We didn’t strike it rich at Hiddenite, but we did find where the stones weren’t! Have you been to Hiddenite? If so, what did you find? Leave me a comment and let me know, or, even better, share a picture of your finds with me.