Activities > Gemstone Mining Information

Gemstone Mining in the Appalachians

gemstone mining for miners of all skill levels

gem mining - gemstones

There are gemstone mines located in a few areas along the Blue Ridge Parkway. These tourist area gemstone mines can be a day full of fun. Part of the thrill is finding the native gemstones in one of the salted buckets. You will get a quick lesson on how to identify the regional gemstones while still in the rough. The list of gems and stones found include but are not limited to: star ruby, garnet, sapphire, emerald, topaz, aquamarine, amethyst, smoky quartz, moonstone, peridot, citrine and many more. The best part is you get to keep everything you find. You also have the choice to have your special finds made into a piece of beautiful handmade jewelry.

When To Come

Most of the gem stone mines are only open from April to November. Gem and Mineral Capitol of the World, Spruce Pine, North Carolina, offers buckets of the finest gem ore from the best native gem mines on a year-round basis.

Our Favorite Spots

Whether you are staying in Asheville, Boone, or Blowing Rock you are within an hour of a gem mine.

Spectacular mountain settings provide the backdrop to Emerald Village, home to 7 mines and it is located right off of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The North Carolina Mining Museum is a great place to learn the history of mining in this area and enjoy the display of collections of old mining and historical equipment.

Coming Prepared

Make sure to wear comfortable clothes and always bring plenty of warm clothing. While it can be refreshing on a hot day, the lower temperatures in the high elevations of the Blue Ridge Parkway mixed with the cold water rushing through your tray while you look for gemstones is a recipe for chilly conditions in the Spring and Fall.

Tip: Make sure to bring your wallets. You're sure to see beautifully crafted and high quality gemstone jewelry that you just must have.