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´╗┐Gem Mines of Western North Carolina Outdoor Activities

Today, mining is a half billion dollar industry in the state of North Carolina.

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North Carolina is divided into three physiographic provinces: Mountains, Piedmont and Coastal Plains.

A concentration of gold bearing areas also exists between Rutherfordton and Marion, and many WNC counties have produced gold in the past.

are home to Mount Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi River. Its elevation is 6,684 feet above sea level.

Local streams and mountains occasionally carry gem garnet and other interesting minerals in much of Western North Carolina.

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Mineral Locations Map

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Craggy Pinnacle Garnets

Provided by NC Geological Survey

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North Carolina has a lengthy Black Converse Womens 8

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The largest emerald crystal ever found in North America came from NC.

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Western North Carolina Mountains are some of the oldest in the world. Among the minerals that make up Roan Mountain, the oldest are a specimen of metamorphic rock known as Cranberry Gneiss. Formed over a billion years ago from ancient ocean sediments, they represents more than a billion years of constant change.

Spruce Pine, NC leads the nation in the production of Silicates: (feldspar, mica and pyrophyllite).

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An interesting story was the find of a 1,000 carat plus aquamarine at a local mine in the Spruce Pine area. The finder literally stumbled over the stone, revealing a flash of bright icy blue. Needless to say, the person kept the gem with glee. Other rich finds have been made at the gold mines nearby as well. In fact, miners in the Burke county area found several diamonds while gold panning in the early 1800's at Brindletown Creek. Rumor has it that the persons involved did not recognize the stones for what they were, and smashed them with a hammer to test their hardness. This proved to be a poor idea, and the stones shattered. Later, the fragments were identified by a jeweler. The original largest stone may have been well over 17 carats. To date, 14 documented diamond finds have been reported in NC, with most in the 1800's.

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North Carolina became the first state to fund a geological and mineralogical survey in the year of 1823.

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In terms of minerals, North Carolina is one of the most diverse areas and contains some of the richest deposits of gems and minerals in the world. Home to outstanding gemstones, a half billion dollar mining industry, and the highest elevation on the eastern sea board (Mt Mitchell 6,684'), North Carolina is an exciting state for rock hounds, mineralogists, and geologists alike. Furthermore, North Carolina leads the nation in the production of high grade silicates that are used in everything from tile, paint and insulation to cosmetics and computers. There is a strong possibility that the very computer you are using to read this sentence contains Spruce Pine Silicon.

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Rock Hunting Locations of Western North Carolina

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In the 1970's the General Assembly designated North Carolina's official state precious stone the Emerald and North Converse All Star Dainty Ox Trainers Carolina's official state rock Granite. NC Emeralds are found near Hiddenite, NC. The largest open face granite quarry in the world is located at Mount Airy, NC.

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and interesting history of gem mining and production. Because of North Carolina's complex geologic history, beautiful and fascinating gemstones occur in many places in the western part of our state. Thousands of people visit these mines each year and enjoy discovering their own unique treasures. Some incredible finds have been made over the years, including some of the largest sapphires ever found in the United States and the largest emerald ever found in North American.

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