Emerald hollow mine buckets

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Dig For Rare Gems At Emerald Hollow In North Carolina

Posted in North CarolinaAttractions April 14, 2021by Robin Jarvis

Rock hounding just doesn’t get any better than it is at this one, little-known gem mine in North Carolina. That’s because, at Emerald Hollow Mine in Hiddenite, digging for gems means you could turn up any of about 60 different gems and minerals that are native to the dirt in which you’re digging. And many of the gems found here are rare, like emerald, sapphire, aquamarine, topaz, garnet, citrine, amethyst, tourmaline, and rutile. In fact, Emerald Hollow Mine bills itself as the only emerald mine in the world that’s open to the public.

During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.

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Pay for just one method, two, or all three. You have the power to pick and choose which route to go.

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In addition to mining, the mine also has its own lapidary, where the stones you find can be polished and then used to create one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry right on the spot.




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Emerald Hollow Mine is open rain or shine seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. If planning to arrive after 4 p.m., please call the mine at (828)632-3394 to confirm. Learn more about the process of mining and about Emerald Hollow Mine from the mine’s official website right here.

Ever been gem mining? What’d you find? Join the discussion in the comments!

Address: Emerald Hollow Mine Dr, Hiddenite, NC 28636, USA

Sours: https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/north-carolina/dig-for-rare-gems-emerald-hollow-nc/






     Emerald Hollow Mine is the only Emerald Mine in the world open to the public for prospecting. We are nestled in the foothills of the beautiful Brushy Mountains located in Hiddenite North Carolina. This is recognized as one of the most unique and interesting geological locations in North America.


     We are a host to more than 60 different types of naturally occurring gems and minerals, a treasure trove of gemstones can be found at our gem mine! Many of these are very rare and include emerald, aquamarine, sapphire, garnet, topaz, amethyst, citrine, rutile, and tourmaline. We have an abundance of world class smoky and clear quartz crystals as well. Hiddenite being the 4th rarest gemstone in the world, can only be found in this small town of hiddenite, North Carolina.

     Each year, thousands of rock-hounds, tourists and educational field trip participants flock to this popular North Carolina attraction. Come experience the thrill of finding rare gemstones in the rough. It doesn't matter if you are a seasoned miner, an amateur prospector, student, or with your family. A trip to Emerald Hollow Mine guarantees a fun and exciting adventure for all people of all ages! Come with dreams of uncovering hidden treasures while experiencing a hands on learning experience. 


Click here to view John's YouTube channel!

Sours: https://www.emeraldhollowmine.com/
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Dig For Over 60 Different Types Of Authentic Gemstones At Emerald Hollow Mine In North Carolina

What are some fun things to do in North Carolina?

Now that you’ve learned all about panning for emeralds in North Carolina, you might be curious about other fun things to do in the Tar Heel State. Well, you’ve come to the right place! We might be biased, but we firmly believe that you can never run out of unique activities and adventures to enjoy in our great state. Whether you’re an avid hiker, skier, artist, foodie, or historian, you’ll find plenty of impressive outings. Some of our top recommendations include McGailliard Falls Park, Hawks Nest Snow Tubing, Lazy 5 Ranch, seeing the covered bridge at Ole Gilliam Mill Park, attending the Cheerwine Festival, the North Carolina Zoo, Sand Dollar Island, Salty Pirate, Shatley Springs, Hickory Nut Falls, the North Carolina Renaissance Festival, and a trip to the Biltmore. Learn more about these unforgettable things to do in North Carolina.

What are some kid-friendly hiking trails in North Carolina?

Hiking with kids can be one of the most rewarding experiences, although it does require some planning beforehand. Fortunately, North Carolina offers some beautiful trails that aren’t too strenuous and will entertain even the youngest hikers. Some of these include the Flytrap Trail and Sugerload Trail at Carolina Beach State Park, Pinnacle Trail at Crowders Mountain State Park, Hanging Rock Trail at Hanging Rock State Park, Occoneechee Mountain Loop Trail at Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area, Jomeokee Trail at Pilot Mountain State Park, and Raven Rock Loop Trail at Raven Rock State Park. Looking for more? Check out our list of kid-friendly hikes in North Carolina that are just one mile or less.

Address: Emerald Hollow Mine Dr, Hiddenite, NC 28636, USA

Sours: https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/north-carolina/emerald-hollow-mine-in-nc/

Finders, Keepers: Five of the Best Places to Go Gem Hunting in the U.S.

Crater of Diamonds State Park

Do you dream of the good life? For a lucky few, treasure may lie hidden beneath your feet. Across the United States there are dozens of public mining and digging sites packed with everything from diamonds and emeralds to jade and sunstone. The secret is knowing where to sink your shovel.

Often called “rockhounding,” the search for gems and minerals has been popular for decades. One of the earliest accounts of mining in what is now the United States comes from the Pueblo, a Southwestern tribe that began mining for turquoise some 2,600 years ago. As early Anglo settlers spread the word about the wealth of buried treasures beneath the land, immigrants flocked to the colonies to stake their claim.

The hunt for buried treasure is so interwoven into U.S. history that even today every state in the union has either a state gem or mineral—or both. (Generally speaking, minerals are inorganic objects containing a specific chemical makeup and molecular structure. Gems are precious or semiprecious minerals that can be cut and polished into colorful stones. Gold is neither a gem nor a mineral—it’s a chemical element.)

Today nearly every state has at least one fee-based mine or dig site that’s open to the public with a "finders, keepers" policy that allows visitors to pocket their finds. (Some places will even cut, polish and set found minerals into jewelry for a fee.) In North Carolina, for example, 50,000 treasure hunters try their luck at Emerald Hollow Mine each year. It’s the only site in the country where the public can search for emeralds and North Carolina Hiddenite, a lime-green gem (from the mineral spodumene) discovered in the area in 1879. The rare specimen can prove elusive, but it’s all about the thrill of the hunt.

“Hiddenite is small and can be difficult to find,” Jason Miller, co-owner of Emerald Hollow Mine, tells Smithsonian.com. “Oftentimes people mistake it for green bottle glass, because a shard of glass looks very similar.” North Carolina isn’t the only state that can call dibs on a unique gem or mineral.

Most gem hunters visit sites like Emerald Hollow Mine for the fun of it, but for others, like Karla Proud, it’s a profession. Proud has been hunting gems since her grandfather, a miner during the Great Depression, took her on a digging expedition in the 1950s. She specializes in finding Oregon Sunstone, the state gem (from the mineral labradorite) characterized by its glittery, orange-red hue and formed as the result of lava flow from volcanic eruptions that occurred millions of years ago.

Proud sells the cut and polished gems as jewelry, but sometimes her work takes her beyond her home state. One of her greatest hauls was in 1972, when she discovered massive quantities of tourmaline in a mine she and her ex-husband leased in Pala, California, 60 miles north of San Diego. One of her finds, called the “Candelabra” tourmaline (from the mineral elbaite), is now on display at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Another, also a tourmaline, wound up on a ten-cent postage stamp in 1974. 

“One of the foremen called me on the phone late at night, and his voice was shaking,” Proud tells Smithsonian.com. “At first I thought someone had been hurt, but he was just so excited. [My ex-husband and I] grabbed a case of beer—you didn’t have plastic water bottles back then—and drove to the cave. It was so dark inside that we were pouring beer on the specimens to see what their colorations were.”

Although Proud hasn’t struck similar paydirt in a while, she’s still an avid collector and is well known within the greater gem and mineral community. She joins pros and amateurs alike most winters at the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show in Arizona. The largest show of its kind in the world, annual event features panel discussions, lectures, booths and gems galore.

Though many attendees go for the jewelry, Gloria Quigg, publicity and show chair for TGMS, tells Smithsonian.com that part of the draw is the chance to mingle with other collectors who see the show as a chance to show off their finds. Not every gem on display looks impressive, but don’t discount seemingly simple rocks and stones. Quigg says that often, rockhunters choose to keep their finds intact rather than cut and polish them. Either way, the show offers plenty of chances to see specimens without getting dirty.

Jeffrey Post, who curates the Smithsonian Institution's National Gem and Mineral Collection, was at the Tucson show last February, where he rubbed shoulders with amateur and pro rockhounds and scored some rare gems. Among his finds was a tourmaline crystal cluster from Brazil called "the cranberry crown": a gem studded with delicate, nine-inch-long crystals that jut away from its base in all directions. He purchased a domestic, gem, too—an emerald from North Carolina that he tells Smithsonian.com "was unlike anything we've ever seen."

Post, who has been collecting and hunting for gems since he was a kid, says that there's a growing trend of treating and presenting gems as fine art. That rising cachet means rising prices, too. But he says that people can enjoy gem hunting no matter what the budget. Last year, he spent time at Rock Creek, Montana at a working sapphire mine that's also open to the public. He brought along a group of donors and friends, all of whom soon became enamored by the simple task of sifting through a pile of rocks for hidden treasure. "There's a legitimate sense of being able to find something that could be valuable," he says. "I couldn't drag them away."

Intrigued by the idea of finding a bit of bling in plain sight? Here are five public dig sites worth rolling up your sleeves for:

Emerald Hollow Mine (Hiddenite, North Carolina)

Finders, Keepers: Five of the Best Places to Go Gem Hunting in the U.S.

Tucked in the foothills of the Brushy Mountains in western North Carolina, Emerald Hollow Mine is the only emerald mine in the United States that’s open to the public. It’s also the only spot in the country where North Carolina Hiddenite, a rare gemstone discovered by geologist William Earl Hidden in 1879, can be found. The stone is known for its high chromium content, which gives it a lime-green hue, and forms in the hydrothermal veins of rocks. Visitors to the mine are equipped with a shovel, a pickaxe and a bucket and can hunt for emeralds, hiddenite, quartz and 60 other gems and minerals at its seven-acre dig site. There’s also a full-service lapidary on site that can transform rough stones into glittering mementos.

Crater of Diamonds State Park (Murfreesboro, Arkansas)

Finders, Keepers: Five of the Best Places to Go Gem Hunting in the U.S.

A visit to most state parks includes a hike or a bit of fly fishing. But Crater of Diamonds State Park brings something different to the table: some serious bling. Located about 115 miles southwest of Little Rock on the site of a volcanic crater, the park is a hotbed of buried diamonds crystallized from carbon, which formed in the earth's mantle billions of years ago and were thrust to the surface by the crater's explosion. In June 2015, one lucky visitor unearthed an 8.52-carat diamond—the fifth largest specimen found at the park since it opened in 1972—and the site regularly updates its list of record finds. Thanks to the mineral’s brilliant luster, a would-be diamond hunter’s best tool is often their own eyes, and it's not uncommon to find diamonds glistening in the soil.

Jade Cove Trail (Big Sur, California)

Finders, Keepers: Five of the Best Places to Go Gem Hunting in the U.S.

Don’t let the breathtaking ocean views that surround this central California trail distract you from something just as spectacular: the ground. The one-and-a-half mile Jade Cove Trailis a popular spot for jade hunters searching for the greenish-hued gemstone, which forms due to subduction or when oceanic and continental plates collide. Because the trail is part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released strict guidelines for jade hunting, but as long as specimens are in plain sight, rockhounds are welcome to pocket them. The region is also home to the annual Big Sur Jade Festival. This year, due to the Soberanes forest fire, the event has been rescheduled for the spring.

Morefield Mine (Amelia County, Virginia)

Finders, Keepers: Five of the Best Places to Go Gem Hunting in the U.S.

During World War II, Morefield Mine, located just outside of Richmond, Virginia, was used by military suppliers in search of strategic minerals like mica, beryl and tantalum for use in tanks and artillery. Today, it’s privately owned and is a popular site to hunt for amazonite, a greenish gem named after the Amazon River, and 80 other gems and minerals. Located 300 feet under ground and stretching 2,000 feet in length, the mine is always growing and changing. The area formed more than 250 million years ago when magma pushed from the center of the earth to the surface and cooled, leaving behind massive deposits of minerals. The mine owners periodically use explosives to blast the cave and open up new areas for visitors to explore. Equipped with five-gallon buckets (hammers and pickaxes aren’t allowed), diggers can bring home whatever they can fit into a single bucket.

Graves Mountain (Lincolnton, Georgia)

Finders, Keepers: Five of the Best Places to Go Gem Hunting in the U.S.

Several times each year, the caretakers of Graves Mountain, located about 130 miles east of Atlanta, invite visitors to dig for buried treasure at this site, which formed millions of years ago when sedimentary rocks metamorphosed. At one time, Tiffany & Co. mined the site for rutile, a crystal-like mineral it used to polish its collection of diamonds. Large traces of the mineral can still be found there today. The mountain’s next dig and rock swap will be held October 7 through October 9—participants can bring their own shovels and hand tools to search for quartz, iridescent hematite, bluish lazulite and other specimens.

Sours: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/hidden-gems-hunt-treasure-these-geological-sites-180957962/

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Field CollectingMixed messages on Emerald Hollow NC, any advice appreciated!!

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10th Oct 2010 17:43 UTCmingrl88

Hey Y'all,

I'm looking to hit up some mines while staying in Linville, NC at the end of this month (Oct 23-24 2010.) I have heard mixed things about the Emerald Hollow Mine in HIddenite and so wanted to ask the expert rock hounds out there, is it worth going? Or is it a tourist trap and they "salt/enrich" their rivers for the collectors with minerals not native to NC?!? I do not have enough info either way so I am not here to TELL one way or the other, but to ASK for more information if anyone has it. Hiddenite is an 1 1/2 hours from where I'm staying so I'm only going to make the trip if it's worth it.

Also, if you have been to any of the Spruce Pine NC sites could you let me know which and if they were any good? I am looking to go to the Crabtree Emerald Mine (about 1/2 hour from me) but again heard mixed messages. The latest is that MAGMA now owns it and its loaded with treasures.

ANY information would be great, and if you would prefer to e-mail be rather than post on here then please do at [email protected]


10th Oct 2010 18:11 UTCDonald Vaughn

If you are to be in that area definitely check out the Ray mica mine in Burnsville its public and has great Beryl; green, golden and aquamarine no emerald though. plus many other pegmatite minerals

11th Oct 2010 21:37 UTCRachel Cesana

Regarding Emerald Hollow: My husband went there when he was job training in NC. He did find a nice small specimen of emerald and a few other minerals. There is some salting.. best advice is to check out mineral list for that local on mindat and then do your own digging where you are allowed. Some of the stuff in the streams is obviouly not from that local( some was already polished!!) and if you buy a bucket of dirt to sift then there probably will be some salting. Check with staff, if they'll tell you, what is just from the area and what has specimens from all over. Good things can be found but be educated about it before you go.


17th Oct 2010 03:42 UTCmingrl88

Thanks everyone for your advice! I am thinking, since it is out of my way to go to Hiddenite, I'm going to stick to the Crabtree Mine and the Ray Mica Mine. Mindat says the Ray Mine is still open to the public and as of 2005 I can see reports of people visiting there. If anyone has any info on the Ray mine, like where might be the best place to start digging, (I hear there are lots of places to dig there) would be appreciated, as always.


20th Oct 2010 01:02 UTCMike Dennis

Iv been to all three in the last year all have the minerals listed on mindat.However you have to really work to find the good stuff its not just laying on top of the ground.

24th Oct 2010 03:10 UTCAnonymous User

The emerald hollow is a crap place. Do not go there. 100% salted. Do not believe a thing they say. read any review online..worst customer service and people there are. Any real rockhound or serious collector/miner steers clear of Emerald Hollow like the plague. Here is a quote from my buddy Laurie Adams one of the best NC collectors and dealers when we were discussing hiddenite(mineral)

"There are true mines in Hiddenite that are producing specimens of Hiddenite, but they are all private. ANYTHING at the Emerald hollow Mine, which is the name of the publicly open mine in Hiddenite (it is not called the hiddenite Mine) is salted, except for the native sand, gravel and clay already there. You CANNOT find anything at Emerald Hollow anymore that they do not want you to find. Yes they do sometimes salt poor emeralds and hiddenite there also. They will dispute this but they are lying if they do, they lie to tourists every day."

Do not go to Emerald hollow unless you like junk Brazilian minerals

Now the Crabtree is the place to go as well as the Ray.

Crabtree being the only real deal true public emerald mine in the US. As a member of MAGMA I visit quite often and they take great steps in keeping it open and cleared(to the dismay of the MCRock:X folks). I have seen many a fine emerald specimen come out in situ and loose. Like any other real mine it's a crap shoot whether you find something or not but if you do at least piece of mind comes with knowing it's real and not salted/planted.

24th Oct 2010 04:49 UTCBranden O

My wife and I just returned from Emerald Hollow mine, in NC. If you go, talk to the Lapidary for tips, he seemed to be the most knowledgeable. Most of the staff was trying to be helpful but had no clue, or didn't want to tell their secrets, as to what to look for when digging. It was a fun trip, we did find a few nice pieces while sluicing, granted yes, they were salted buckets but we didn't get the digging advice until we were about to leave. We will go back but next time we'll have done much more research on what to look for before we go.

24th Oct 2010 07:24 UTCAnonymous User

There is nothing to look for but minerals they salt the creek with and the grounds and buckets. Don't get me wrong..it's a great place if you have kids or are newbies who want shiny rocks but it's not for serious rockhounds or mineral collectors.

Here's another misleading bit of information on their "Public Mining Information" page; "finds worth thousands of dollars are not at all uncommon here. One recent find in the area is currently valued at over one million dollars! Best of all, the surface has hardly been scratched, offering mind boggling potential for plenty more big finds. The latest finds are astounding, breaking the largest emerald crystal record of 1686 carats."

Notice that they do not actually claim that these large emeralds came from their location. That's because they came from Jamie Hill's place, which is inaccessible to rockhounds. Sure, it's in the same "area" as their mine, but someone from another area could easily read that quote and assume they have a chance to find something similar at Emerald Hollow.

Lots of people go to Emerald Hollow and have a great time. I just wish that these commercial operations wouldn't make it sound like visitors have a chance to find a "million dollar specimen" by paying a few bucks to dig. Think about it. If a property owner is hitting specimens worth that kind of money, do you think they are going to let you dig some of your own for ten bucks or so?

If you also do a google search of something along the lines of "fun things to do in north carolina" find a site with reviews on Emerald Hollow ..like some people give for hotels. The one related item in reviews anywhere is how rude and unhelpful or clueless the workers are. Just a bad place to go.

Just stick with places like the crabtree, the ray mine, little pine garnet mine(awesome). No crowds..quiet in the woods..real North carolina minerals/gemstones.

24th Oct 2010 14:57 UTCGeoffrey Krasnov Expert

I used to visit the Ray Mica Mine fairly often back in the laste 1980's. The dump material has been gone through hundreds of times, but a small creek contnually wshes away silt and rainfall continually erodes surface workings. I found many great mica books, many with black tourmalines and some with pasty pale blue beryls. Light milky green beryls are also to be found, some up to a foot long. I always found that working near the base and tunneling in about three feet would bring the best results. Float material from the top of the workings find their way down, and in times of heavy rainfall are often covered back up.

26th Oct 2010 18:18 UTCDonald Vaughn

I was at the Ray this past spring and it was well churned up I only found a couple of beryls one was three inches in length

as well as some interesting micros. but I can tell you the nice ones are there if you dig.

24th May 2011 17:22 UTColivia

I have not been to NC in years since I was young, was wondering if there was anyone in Hiddenite that you could hire to guide you to these emerald mines (the natural ones/unsalted) and help you with looking for the veins these gemstones such as emeralds are found in?

26th May 2011 05:27 UTCAnonymous User

The only pubic unsalted real emerald mine you can gain normal access to is the Crabtree emerald mine. NAEM, Adams, Ellis, etc. are all on private property and unaccessable. You can email Tom Wright at [email protected] as he is always at the crabtree and you might be able to schedule a time when he could be there with you to show you the ropes. He has the largest collection of emeralds from that location that I know of. Also if anyone is interested in some real deal N.C. emerald specimens and rough he is selling a decent amount and posted this recently on another site

"On May 28th, Saturday, from 9:30 AM to closing, I am going to be in Hendersonville at the Crystal Visions shoppe, with over a hundred and fifty emerald gold filled wire wraps, specimens, and emeralds, emeralds, emeralds. It's I-26 East to the Mt. Home Exit, right, and about a half mile down the road on the left. All from the crabtree emerald mine"

5th Jul 2011 17:07 UTCTom Bennett

Crabtree was a cool place ! The guys from MAGMA were there and very helpful. It rained tons so we couldnt collect for more than a hour or so but we did find some nice little specimens.

26th Feb 2016 01:03 UTCJason martin

Although this review may be old I'm going to give some updated information. Emerald hollow mine is an active mine and we do actively find things as we dig through the different veins But for some reason people think that they can show up and spend an hour and find a half a million dollar emerald. If you're willing to put in the time you will find things because it's there. If you look at the largest emerald find you'll find that they were from hiddenite. There's only a few places that actively mine anything. Check your facts before you criticize. You say that everything is salted and went to Crabtree mine instead. Then the next statement is how it only took you an hour to find things. My question would be which is really salted. If you found nothing at Emerald hollow mine but found something in an hour Crabtree maybe should reevaluate. We do have a section of our creek that is salted. It is reserved for our field trips for kids. Our employees would have gladly escorted you to the dig site and pointed out what vein structure looks like if you had asked. I would encourage everyone to call and ask questions. Don't ruine someone else's experience because of your arrogance and ignorance.

24th Jun 2016 19:02 UTCDavid Yates

Hello my name is David Yates.

I am in Ky western area coalfieds.Trying to plan a trip to North Carolina. Also I am not just set on emeralds. Which reading tells me might be a good thing. Amethyst hematite coated or that lovely purple would be great,agate, Sapphire etc. Am very open minded just need info on what an which site to go for. Emerald Hill has odd,mixed reviews. Also Arkansas Mt Ida.is a place I have yet to explore and am getting too old to wait much longer..lol...So long story short any advice would be appreciated very much. Haven't planned a trip in 12 years.

Thank you

David Yates..

P.S. I do know some mine owners in Oregon and Georgia, Tennessee. I only mention this as it seems alot of the mine owners network each other my thought was if maybe they could get me on a not public mine and if that'd be worth the try

Again Thanks

David Yates

24th Jun 2016 21:57 UTCIan Nicastro

Emerald Hollow fee dig is great for kids and beginners, but it is not for advanced field collectors... most advanced collectors that have visited believe that >99% of the Emeralds that turn up in the fee dig buckets appear to be from Bahia, Brazil and that can be verified by the fact they are found with remnants of dark Biotite Schist matrix, and look exactly like the translucent to opaque material sold in bulk online from Brazil. The local hiddenite emeralds are actually found in quartz veins with calcite and muscovite, and those veins are found in a lighter-colored & finer-grained gneiss/schist, which is a different looking matrix than the Bahia Brazil material.

The Emerald Hollow mine sells material by the bucket for you to screen... when I went the buckets were entirely just the local topsoil with some Brazilian emeralds sprinkled and and then chunks of lapidary grade minerals like jasper and such, and a bit of broken low grade aquamarine chunks and a couple of tiny opaque rubies that may have been from elsewhere in NC or from africa, etc... there was absolutely no 'dump' material, mine matrix chunks, etc... like you find at the southern California pegmatite fee digs. That was my first huge tip off that something was awry... as an operating mine will generate lots of surrounding matrix material, etc.... I have spoken with the current lapidary guy on site in the past year and he said they have made some changes about being much more transparent about the origin of their material but when I went about 13 years ago I felt completely ripped off and had wasted gas and hotel cost after driving down from MD.

Their lapidary did say that Hiddenite does turn up on occasion from their on site workings, but not really much else. There property does have some small mineral bearing outcrops being worked in the fee dig area, but it's been heavily picked over and if you study the satellite maps you can clearly see their property does NOT have large enough workings to be able to produce all of the material they would need to operate a fee dig of that scale. Adjacent to their property is the gigantic NAEM/Rist pit which is closed to the public and not at all affiliated with Emerald Hollow. Just compare the size of the NAEM/Rist pit with the scarce amount of emeralds that came out of that famous site.

I wish I had known about the Ray Mine fee dig. The Crabtree always sounded fun, but I live no where near there anymore.


Sours: https://www.mindat.org/mesg-198857.html
Emerald Hollow Mine Hiddenite, NC

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