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Offline 4maynardsTopic starter
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« on: June 15, 2011, 12:25:46 pm »
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New to NC and treasure hunting. I want to take my boys treasure hunting and heard about the emerald mines. A lot of them seem like tourists attractions more than serious digs.

Which mines are the best to visit?

How about MD'ing for gold? Is it allowed?

Thanks,

Dave

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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2011, 12:28:55 pm »
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I have a Uncle that's that there and they use to hit the spost all the times.

Found some good suff.

Up about 82 he doesn't get out much any more.



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Offline 4maynardsTopic starter
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2011, 12:36:12 pm »
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what is the spost?


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Offline Homefire
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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2011, 12:42:49 pm »
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Quote:Posted by homefire
I have a Uncle that's that there and they use to hit the spot all the times.

Found some good suff.

Up about 82 he doesn't get out much any more.




LOL! Typo!   Spots.    They would just go out to some rivers and hit it.

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Offline BitburgAggie_7377
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« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2011, 01:46:31 pm »
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The stuff is definitely there.   (Which isn't to say that there might be an unscrupulous operator or two that will salt the occasional bucket...but most of them realize that is a loosing proposition in the long run.   As for the gold, you'll have to check the rules for National and State Forests.   When it comes to private property it's still up to the owner (but who knows for how much longer the way things go)

BA

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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2011, 02:23:11 pm »
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Majority of the gem mines are tourist traps. I would not call them unscrupulous. Cause they do provide what they say. Gems!  There are only two all local native mines that I know of in N.C. One is Cherokee and the other is Mason. The rest may use local soil and it's possible to get something they did not plant in the dirt. But most get bulk low grade emeralds, rubies, and sapphires etc, from overseas and salt the buckets. For kids according to what age they are that still may be best. Unless kids are finding they lose interest. Warning there it does cost a lot more. Mason mine is an all you can dig mine. I think its about $30 per day. But it is material they have gone through already and picked out the larger stones. But stuff does get past them. You take a bucket out to their waste field and fill it up then go back to the sluice. Best finds there for me was two 1/4 carat cut pink sapphires and a 1/3 carat cut lavender sapphire. Good clarity and no visible inclusions at 10x. Two pinks made it in to celtic crosses for my daughters and the lavender made it in to one for my wife. You do have to work for it. Cherokee mine they bring small buckets out by the sluice and you go through them. Can't remember for sure but I think they are about $2 per bucket. Did get some nice garnets, sapphires, and a few pieces of Rutile. Ended up getting one rutile cut to a 1 carat Texas star.  I did get some assorted other stuff both places. For a beginner "gem mine" I would suggest Rose Creek. They do salt their buckets, but you do get more local stuff there. The owner is the local gem club prez. A really nice guy. You can even find Cherokee pottery there. After you are finished they put the stuff in bags for you and mark them as to what they are. My wife and Mother in law loved it. One thing good about there for a first time gem hunting is they are real good on explaining what to look for and helping out. If you want to go out on your own I would suggest road cuts and where creeks run under bridges.

Some of the stuff we got the last time we were there. Most sapphire or rubies and emeralds are not facet grade. But you can find some.
{alt}
 I did these. The ones on dope sticks are in progress.  I have not made it to the point of faceting gems myself.

A free form cab I made. I did end up with 3 - 1 carat faceted emeralds.
{alt}
I don't have a picture of them but I also made two oval cabs by splitting one piece in half so they matched / book ended. And put them in findings for my wife and I.

 Most gold found in the area is flour gold. It may be tough metal detecting pickers + are far and few between. That being said some large stuff has been found. But panning or sluicing would probably be your best bet.

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« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2011, 06:35:48 am »
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Forgot there are two Mason mines.  The one I was talking about was Mason Ruby and Sapphire Mine not Mason Mountain Mine.

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« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2011, 10:51:47 am »
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Even with the 'enriched' mines, you can get some pretty nice scraps South American (I presume) gem cutters. If you go the real mines, check the dump areas set up for tourists to empty their rejects. Most don't recognize a gem in the rough so it's lucrative. I quickly wore out my welcome at a ruby mine in Franklin, NC for scavenging tho. Owner of the operation said dump was theirs. Sue

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« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2011, 11:43:24 am »
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I forgot about that. It can be worth you while to look on the ground or scrape pile. They probably recycle that in the buckets. Even at the gold mines I found stuff. Working the wheel barrow at a trommel I found 2 large native garnets. And a piece of non-native black tourmaline by the road some one had dropped from the enhanced gem mine they had there.



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« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2011, 11:50:33 am »
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Forget the Traps!  Hit the Local Creeks around them.

 Cool

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