We have all dreamed of striking up a treasure trove filled with precious metals and jewels at some point in our lives. With gem hunting, you can actually turn that into reality. Pick beautiful gems straight from the source in all their rawness, and take them home with you in some of the best gem hunting grounds in the country.
Emerald Hollow Mine, North Carolina
Hidden in the foothills of the Brushy Mountains of Hiddenite, North Carolina, the Emerald Hollow Mine is the only emerald mine in the country that is open to the public. You get to pick your bucket as it comes down the line straight from the emerald mine. And, if you are lucky, you will also find other gems aside from emerald, such as topaz gems, amethysts, aquamarines, or even the rare hiddenite, from which the area got its name.
It boasts a seven-acre dig site where you can hunt for over 60 types of gems. A full-service lapidary is also on the site to transform your rough finds into glittering souvenirs.
Gem Mountain, Montana
Located in the remote mining town of Philipsburg, Montana, the time and effort it takes to get to Gem Mountain is worth the hunt for precious sapphires. The equipment you need to get started are going to be provided with admission. They usually price gravel by the bucket, and the staff will help you filter out which ones to keep or throw back to the dirt.
Gem Mountain is close to Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park, so you can also visit them and other attractions in “Gold West Country”.
Topaz Mountain, Utah
There are many interesting gems to keep all gemologists and jewelers in Salt Lake City and the rest of the Beehive State busy. But out of all of these gems, Utah has chosen topaz as its state gem. The hues of Utah Topaz range from a deep sherry to a bright amber. The gem itself is sensitive to UV light, and exposure can cause its vibrant color to fade to clear.
You can get yourself a piece of Utah Topaz in Topaz Mountain, southwest of Provo. Should you find one, you must put it in a UV-light reflective bag sold by the tour operator to shield it from the sun’s UV rays. You may also find other minerals in the area, such as Bixbyite, which is a black crystal made of manganese iron oxide.
Crater of Diamonds State Park, Arkansas
You have heard of the phrase “diamond in the rough”, but have you ever seen one for yourself? The Crater of Diamonds State Park is the only place in the world that lets the public dig for diamonds. It is on the site of a volcanic crater located 115 miles from Little Rock, and you can easily see diamonds glistening in the soil here.
You can bring your own tools for the hunt of rent from the site. The volcanic ground also holds more than 40 other precious rocks and minerals, so you can certainly unearth treasure in the Crater of Diamonds State Park.
Gem hunting literally rocks. After your first find, it can be pretty hard to stop digging for more. No matter how much resources you spend on gem hunting, you will never hit rock bottom as long as you leave no stone unturned.