Crabtree Emerald Mine
The Crabtree Emerald Mine is currently one of only two emerald mines open to the public. This North Carolina emerald mine has been in operation since 1894, and has been producing wonderful matrix specimens since then.
North Carolina Emerald Mining at the Crabtree Emerald Mine
Although most of the emeralds that come from this location are not of true gem quality, they are still wonderful treasures to be discovered on your next treasure hunting vacation.
This North Carolina emerald mine has seen some amazing finds over the years:
- In 1976 a 200-carat emerald was discovered and was able to cut a 40-carat stone.*
- In 1977 a fine quality 1676-carat emerald was found. It’s unknown where it’s gone since then.*
- In 1985 an over 83-carat emerald was discovered.*
After setting idle for many years this wonderful living example of North Carolina emerald mining history is once again open. Today it’s being run and managed by a local group of rock hounds that have done this in an effort to bring this wonderful treasure hunting experience to the public.
For only $15 a day for each adult and free to children 12 and under your family can go down to the mine and collect some of your own wonderful emeralds. Other gems and minerals that are found here are black tourmaline, yellow and green beryl, and garnet.
Everyone wanting to go on their own North Carolina emerald mining expedition at the Crabtree Emerald Mine will need to make reservations, and then fill out and send in the mines release form.
Please keep in mind that like all true treasure hunting vacations no one can guarantee that you will find anything of value, but the most valuable treasure you will usually discover is not in the treasure it’s self, but in the hunt for the treasure.
If you or your kids can’t stand the possibility of not finding anything you may prefer to have a much better chance of finding something at an enriched mine see our Emerald Hollow Mine page.
Equipment You May Need to Get Your North Carolina Emeralds
So you’re wondering what equipment you might need to find some of your own North Carolina emeralds, well here’s quite a few things you may want to think about. Please keep in mind that only hand tools are allowed at the mine:
-Heavy-duty rubber gloves (especially if it’s during the colder season)
-Seat cushion (for sitting at the sluice, especially if you plan to make a day of it)
-Small hand shovel (if you plan on doing some creeking or digging in the mine area)
-Wading boots (if you plan on doing some creeking)
-Box screen (this is for both creeking and digging)
-Bucket (to help carry soil or gems)
-Shovel (this is only if you plan on digging in the permitted mine area)
-Rock hammer (this can be useful in creeking and digging)
The mine is open year round, just be sure to make your reservations with the folks that run the mine listed below.
Where to Get Your North Carolina Emeralds
To experience this wonderful family friendly North Carolina emerald mine you’ll want to fly into Ashville, NC. You’ll need to get a rental can since the mine is 43 miles away. You can make reservations at one of the hotels in Spruce Pine, NC which are just minutes from the mine.
To get to the Crabtree Emerald Mine from Spruce Pine, NC get on US highway 19E heading west. Follow this for 4 miles to Crab Tree Rd. Turn left (south) on Crab Tree Rd. and follow it for just under 5 miles. Turn left (east) on McKinney Mine Rd. and follow it for about 2.4 miles. Chestnut Grove Church Road will be on your right, just after that, take a left (north) on Nydegger Rd. Follow Nydegger for approximately 1 mile. You will come to Emerald Mine Rd on the left (north). Emerald Mine Rd. will turn around to the west and about 1 Mile up the road you will come to the Crabtree Emerald Mine on your left hand side.
Contacting the Crabtree Emerald Mine
To make your reservations at the mine or to get additional information about North Carolina emerald mining contact the folks listed below:
You will need to send your signed form and payment to use the mine to:
PO Box 542
*Please understand the fact that although some gems are found of these sizes, the odds are very much against a person not directly in the mining business ever even seeing a gem of that quality. Treasure hunting vacations are not about getting rich, they are not about the treasure you find in the ground, what they are about is the treasure you find in searching for the beauty that nature has to offer, and the treasure of enjoying time with family and friends. Enjoy your trip for these things and you will have a treasure hunting vacation of a lifetime.
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