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Rough Emerald



Emerald is a gemstone and a variety of the mineral beryl. Beryl is a rare mineral with a chemical composition of Be3Al2(SiO3)6.  It is rare because beryllium is an element that occurs in very small amounts in the Earth’s crust.

Even though the conditions for the formation of emerald are very unlikely, the gem has been found in a diversity of rock types. Many of the world's emerald deposits have formed in areas of contact metamorphism. A granitic magma can serve as a source of beryllium, and nearby carbonaceous schist or gneiss can serve as a source of chromium or vanadium.




The emeralds usually form in the schist or gneiss or in the margins of a nearby pegmatite. Mafic and ultramafic rocks can also serve as sources for chromium or vanadium. Emeralds are rarely mined from alluvial deposits. Emerald is usually a fractured stone that does not have the alluvial durability to persist great distances from its source.

Very few emeralds are mined in the United States. North Carolina has been a sporadic producer of emeralds in small quantities from a few tiny mines since the late 1800s.

Here are some places where you can dig some emerald yourself in The USA:

Crabtree Emerald Mine,  North Carolina

The Crabtree pegmatite is a beryl (emerald, green beryl, aquamarine and yellow beryl) and tourmaline-bearing granitic pegmatite. Emerald and green beryl occurs in the biotite and chlorite selvage and the pegmatite margin. Aquamarine and yellow beryl occurs in the pegmatite core. Fees and Info.




Hiddenite Gem Mines, North Carolina

Famously popular, Hiddenite Gem Mines is known for the discovery of some of the largest gems in the world. Comprised of several mines, Hiddenite Gem Mine’s group includes Emerald Hollow Mine—which is open for public mining—Adams Mine and NAEM (North American Emerald Mine). At this Great Smoky Mountain-area mine in Franklin, North Carolina, about 60 miles southwest of Blowing Rock, you might find rubies, sapphires, garnets, and rutile. Your admission fee gets you two buckets, a screen box, and a seat cushion, which you use at the flume line. For a dollar extra, you can get a shade umbrella. Admission: $15 for ages 12 and up, $10 for kids 6 to 11; free for ages 5

Gold ‘N Gem Grubbin’, Georgia

Gold n Gem Grubbin began in Cleveland, Georgia in 1984.  It started as a commercial gold mine and opened to the public in 1984.  We have happily served the public since with an old fashioned philosophy...customer service!  You can Find Gold, Gemstones (Rubies, Emeralds, Sapphires, Amethyst, Garnets). Fees and Info.


Old Mine Plaza construction site, Long Hill, Trumbull,  Connecticut

A well-known construction site locality bordering the NW side of Old Mine Park (Hubbard) Tungsten Mine, both sites have a mineral assemblage unique to the state. Cross-cutting veins contain the same muscovite-topaz-fluorite var. chlorophane-quartz assemblage found in the surrounding area. Light green beryl was also found in small granite pegmatite stringers less than 7 cm wide.

Other Places:
  • Oreana Tungsten mine, Rye Patch District, Pershing Co., Nevada
  • Fontana Reservoir Beryl Deposit, Swain Co., North Carolina
  • Makarah Outcrop, Sangre de Cristo Mts, Taos Co., New Mexico

See Also:
Part I: Top Spots For Gem Hunting In The US
Part II: Top Spots For Gem Hunting In The US 
What is Lake Superior Agate, and Where Can You Find It?
Top 2017 Mineral shows In the USA

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