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gem mining

When I was 11, a family road trip brought me to North Carolina’s Sapphire Valley. One afternoon, while panning for gems at one of the area’s tourist mines, I spotted a crystalline rock about the size of a thumbnail. more

Jun 1, 2015 12:00 AM Blog

Green goodness

Photo courtesy of Jamie Hill

Rockhounds, they say, are a superstitious lot. “Very superstitious,” remarked Tony Elwood of Charlotte, who spent a late winter Sunday at the Crabtree Emerald Mine in Little Switzerland, N.C., along with his pal Mike Ruff. more

Apr 1, 2012 12:00 AM Features