Henry Kissinger said, “There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy’s life when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for buried treasure.” The thrill of the hunt and the pleasure of finding something genuine (or the defeat of learning you’ve been fooled) have kept people gemstone hunting for centuries. Since the California gold rush in the 1850’s, the United States has not failed to please its share of treasure hunters, and gemstone hunting has become a popular pastime, especially in states where the hunting has proven statistically to produce gems. Actually, the majority of gemstones sold in the U.S. are mined by amateur miners known as “rock hounds”.
On a rural farm in Hiddenite, North Carolina, for example, a 65-carat emerald was found by a man named Terry Ledford. Ledford had been gemstone hunting for years with little success, but one day while mining in North Carolina, he bent down to pick up what he thought was a piece of a 7-Up can, only to unveil the largest emerald ever discovered in North America.
The high country of North Carolina boasts some of the most productive mines for emeralds, rubies, aquamarines, and tourmalines. Gemstone hunting is also popular in other states. Gold and jade are still found regularly in California. Geodes are found in New Mexico. Opals have been mined in Nevada and Oregon. Diamonds are found regularly in Arkansas, and turquoise in Nevada.
For a fee, visitors can visit some of the popular mines and hunt for gemstones themselves. There are several ways gemstone hunting is done–a visitor can get dirty and search all day in the hills and mines, or they may purchase a bucket, randomly filled with freshly mined earth, and get to keep whatever they find in their bucket.
If the thrill of the hunt is not for you, but wearing natural gemstones is, Mosteller American Gemstones is a great place to start. Many gemstones mined in the United States are kept in stock and can be placed in rings, earrings, bracelets or necklaces. More expensive and rare precious gemstones can be special ordered. So leave the dirty work to our professionals at Mosteller American Gemstones and just enjoy the beauty of natural cut and un-cut jewelry, mined in the United States.