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Gem Mine Experience and Tips in North Carolina

Gem Mines are awesome tourist attractions, where you can find your own precious gemstones. This could mean rubies, emeralds, sapphires, maybe even some precious metals like gold in some mines. Gem mining can be expensive and sometimes the gems are even planted in the dirt, so the company monitors how many rocks you get. Luckily, Gem Mountain pulls the dirt out of the mine and leaves it to you to search for hidden treasures.

What you will need

How to Find a Real Gem Mine

Gem mines can be found with a quick Google search in many different areas. Boone has at least three to four by the cabin we like to stay at, one of which uses real dirt from the surrounding mountains.

What to Wear to Gem Mine

One thing to be aware of when Gem Mining is that you will get dirty. The way the mine is designed is wooden benches with a little ditch of water going over your lap, and around the entire mine. Even if you are careful, little kids or even adults sitting nearby can always splash you or ruin your outfit. This does not, however, mean to dress like trash. Wear jeans and a shirt that you don’t care about but still looks fairly good on you. You know the one.

Why Metal Shovels are a Must

If you get there and they only have plastic shovels, get to the dollar store and get a proper metal shovel. The plastic shovels don’t scoop well enough and therefore will simply bring you anger issues and depression.

What you can Find

Different mines have different stones, and this can greatly vary in both size and type. Gem Mountain has sapphires, topaz, ruby, emerald, citrine, all sorts of themed buckets to dig through and enjoy.

What a raw Sapphire, Citrine and Amethyst look Like

These buckets are what we found in one afternoon. The green one is the citrine, the bluish black is the sapphire, and the purple is the amethyst. 

How to Dig in the Dirt

Mining is very simple. They bring the buckets of dirt to your spot and plop it down by a sifter. Use a shovel to scoop the dirt and gravel into the sifter and shake it like you’re strangling your worst enemy in the water. Be careful not to splash anyone in your violent rage. Look for the rocks among the gravel left in your sifter. Pick out the gems and dump the garbage rocks off to the side. Continue until the bucket is down enough to pick up and dump straight into the sifter.

Finding out What the Rocks Are

At most gem miner places there is a sign hanging up that shows what your rocks are. The signs at Gem Mountain do come down, but don’t touch them. There are spiders on the back of them, and nobody wants to get a chomping from Charlotte.

Gem Cutting

Inside the main store is always some people to check out what you fond and determine what rocks will be the best for cutting, grinding, and polishing for necklaces and rings. These people sometimes also point out other rocks in your haul that are of value as well as separate the better rocks from the eh rocks.

Black Market Minerals

If the gem mining experience is not for you, Black Market Minerals has your back. Black Market Minerals is a shop where you can buy rocks of all types, shapes, and sizes for a decent price, and even pick up some cool jewelry too. Happy crafting!

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