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“A Great Family Activity”

Emerald Hollow Mine
Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Hiddenite
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The one and only public emerald mine in the world, covering 69 acres.
Reviewed November 30, 2012

This summer 2012 was the second time we have been to Hiddenite Gem Mine in the past 4 years and both times it has been exceptionally fun. They do have the traditional buckets you can purchase and use in the sluice, but I HIGHLY recommend for the most fun to go gem mining in the creek. Both times we have mined in the creek and have found lots of gems- mostly crytals and quartz like amethyst, rose, and clear quartz. You can also find fossilized wood and other fun stuff. They are always happy to tell you what you have found when you take them back up to the office.
Even in the summer it is nice and cool at the creek because they are located in the foothills and the entire creek is shaded by trees.

4  Thank OhioJamerican
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"gallon bucket"
in 15 reviews
"digging area"
in 10 reviews
"gem mining"
in 16 reviews
"gems and minerals"
in 5 reviews
"big rocks"
in 4 reviews
"dirt road"
in 6 reviews
"change of clothes"
in 8 reviews
"gem mine"
in 14 reviews
"a lot of fun"
in 17 reviews
"water shoes"
in 7 reviews
"getting wet"
in 4 reviews
"fun experience"
in 8 reviews
"picnic tables"
in 9 reviews
"school groups"
in 4 reviews
"emerald hollow"
in 15 reviews
"picnic lunch"
in 5 reviews
"staff was very friendly"
in 5 reviews

213 - 217 of 309 reviews

Reviewed October 21, 2012

We went in April of this year (2012).
Let me start off by saying, it is very nice area. I knew from other reviews about the enriched buckets, I'm glad they do this, so I get my little money's worth. We did the sluicing thing for a while and they put a lot of "finds" in there.

Then it was a trip to the dig area. I found some nice small quartz but I am a novice rock hunter (from the muddy south Louisiana) but they did try their best to help me find something. I don't understand why people are labeling this as salted. My only complaint with this is the hike from the hill side with heavy buckets. It's a long hike, but the smartest person was seen with his child defeated this task with a small wagon. We spoke with him and he found some decent stuff

Everything is marked off to let you know where the boundries are. It's still a nice sized of area. There was a field trip of kids there and they appeared to have lots of fun. Watching them in their little area (it was seeded for them for a reason) was halarious. Like an Easter Egg hunt.

The last thing we did was the creek. They don't allow metal tools for good reasons. Bare foot + metal is not a good outcome. The lady there told us they salted the front area for the school kids, (who already left) and said we could go pick around that area. There were some older people already doing that, so we went further down. I dug under a rock to about shoulder deep and got two nice pieces of green rocks (not emeralds I think it was fluorite). The water was nice and cold.

If you want to find some decent things, google "how to dig for emeralds" or something. It can help you. Just don't expect to find it lying around.

All in all this was one of the better places we went. I am currently planning to take another trip to this place again and visit the mine more than once. FYI, don't stay at the Ramanda in Statesville.... Trust me.

5  Thank Kelly C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 20, 2012

FUN! No matter the age. There were 3 year olds and 70 year old in our visit! Make sure you wear tennis shoes and outdoor clothing, as you may get dirty. It was so much fun panning! There are several options when you visit. You can purchase buckets in different sizes and pan at your own pace, in covered area which has seating. However, I could not stay seated! This was very exciting for this 55 year old and my 65 year old aunt. Several in our group did the "whole" thing. They went down to the water's edge, wore boots, rented the picks and such. They had fun as well. The staff was very helpful. I had NO clue what to look for and they assisted me. We left w/ lots of gemstones! So fun and very inexpensive. Time to allow...I would plan on 1-2 hours, but you could easily stay longer.

1  Thank Jonezgrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2012

Waste of money. Salted. We wasted an afternoon. I think I could have found a better gem on the side of the road.

3  Thank SusEd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 11, 2012

Some of these reports are negative in the worst way. Our family has been there three times and have not found the employees to be negative in any way. They were friendly,courteous and very helpful especially to our two litthe grandsons who wanted to keep every stone they found. We did not find the first indication of any negativism at Emerald Hollow whatsoever and as soon as gas prices drop plan to return. Yes its in backwoodsy and yes they only have two two holer rest rooms but they did have store bought toilet paper instead of corn cobs. If you didnt like it,dont go back. Because I have a breathing problem, they allowed me to park at the bottom of the hill. As for the Wilson Clan of Jacksonville, we are!!!. Have a great day and happy gem hunting.

3  Thank Dennis W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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