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You Are Here: Home Page » Activities » Gem Mining

Identifying Gemstones

Gemstone Characteristics

Gem Mines near the Blue Ridge Parkway

Gem Mining in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Gem Mining on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Gem Mining on the Blue Ridge Parkway can be an exciting experience. Many rare and unusual stones can be found throughout the numerous gem mines along the Parkway. This activity can be fun for the entire family as there is no age limit to gem mining.

Most gem mines offer buckets of “native” or “enriched” rough material that is sifted through to reveal beautiful gemstones. You’ll sit at the flume (a long trough of running water) and using a screen box, sift through the dirt to find your treasures. Don’t wear your Sunday best because discovering gemstones can sometimes be a dirty job!

How to Identify Gemstones

Once you collect these beautiful stones you will want to identify them. Staff members at your gem mine will be able to give information on what types of stones you found along with their relative value. Most gem mines also offer professional gem cutters to turn your stones into jewelry or memorable keepsakes.  Before you head out be prepared by reading up on some of the common gemstones you are likely to discover.

Characteristics of Gemstones

Gemstones are classified by many characteristics, the first being their chemical composition. This puts many gemstones in similar categories separated only by their color. For example, rubies and sapphires are both from the mineral but are labeled differently because of their color structure. Gemologists also use the hardness, luster, cleavage and specific gravity of a gemstone to determine its classification. Learn about the characteristics of some gemstones you might find.

Gem Mines near the Blue Ridge Parkway

Foggy Mountain Gem Mine
We offer something for everyone in the family. Great fun for the children as they hunt for gems in our fully stocked mines and incredible shopping for the adults with the finest in colored stones from around the world. We have cut gems, museum quality mineral specimens, and custom jewels for those looking for that specific piece of jewelry. We offer the inspiration, imagination and creation without the price. Great family fun at affordable prices. Mention this ad for a 10% discount on your next gem mining trip!
More Info |
Milepost 291 ~ 828-963-4367
4416 NC Highway 105 South ~ Boone, NC 28607

Foggy Mountain Gem Mine

Spruce Pine Gem Mine
Spruce Pine Gem Mine has been family owned and operated for generations,so you can mine with one of the oldest mining families in the nation,mining since 1810.We offer buckets of the finest gem ore from the best native gem mines.Search for your own valuable gemstones in the safety & comfort of our locaion south of Spruce Pine,North Carolina.We can make custom jewelry from your finds or from gemstones in our Gemstone Shop.We are nationally recognized in magazines, books, PBS & local TV stations.
More Info |
Milepost 331 ~ 828-765-7981
15090 Hwy. 226 South ~ Spruce Pine, NC 28777

Spruce Pine Gem Mine

Monday - Saturday
Year Round

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