Our third visit to theEmerald Hollow mine in Hiddenite. The first one yielded a nice emerald that was made into a pendant for my wife. The mine is a pretty well thought out attraction. There is a small legality of signing in for a mining permit and then you can go to the sluice for your first bucket of dire to work. At sign in you can opt to just sluice or sluice and search through the stream or even go and actually dig. The Hiddenite area is a unique geology which is one of the few places in the world where you can find emeralds. The real finds, large crystal emeralds, are at the commercial mines that are more advanced than. emerald Hollow. We enjoy the sluicing. You get a free bucket of raw dirt and then have a seat at the covered sluice way. Dump some dirt in the framed screen that is provided and rinse/ sift and rinse and maybe you will find something good, there are also more buckets to pay for and depending on what they have "salted" in them you can get something worthwhile out of it. We got 2 $25 dollar 5 gallon buckets and ended up with two big bags of items to take home. I go through them at home to really check them out. I know we got several emeralds, some rubies and garnets. It is rare to find clear crystal gems of great value but we are happy with a few that can be cut by a lapidary and mounted. You will get a little wet and will definitely get dirty but it is good family fun and worth the trip. The staff working the sluice are very nice and helpful. They even pick up discarded stones that are actually of value and give them to you and will tell you. What you have found.
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