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North Carolina Mountain Activities

Gem Mining in Western North Carolina

An important and interesting part of North Carolina history is in its gem mining. The Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina are the oldest in the world. They have provided the area with more types of gemstones than are found anywhere else in the United States. More than fifty pounds of sapphires were found in the area in the 1800s, and that is how the town of Sapphire received its name. In fact, North Carolina is the only state where all four of the hardest stones in the United States are found: diamond, emerald, ruby, and sapphire. Gold from North Carolina was used to mint the first gold coins, and the largest emerald, weighing over 1,600 carats, was found here as well.

Gem mining is a great family activity, and no reservations are needed. Moreover, the mining is done indoors, so inclement weather needn’t keep you away.  Please call 828.966.9646 or visit the Gem Mining Website to plan your gem mining trip.

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