If you're on the lookout for a specific precious gemstone to own, you might have a hard time finding it for an affordable price. Whether you're attempting to tap into healing powers or just rock a pretty new jewel, there's a mine in North Carolina that lets you discover authentic crystals to add to your collection.
Open year-round, Emerald Hollow Mine in Hiddenite, NC, has a few cool means of finding one-of-a-kind stones and minerals of over 60 naturally occurring kinds.
There are a few ways to find your treasures.
The most immersive is "creeking," which consists of looking where you stand and searching through the ankle-deep sparkling mountain waters, which bring down the deposits of crystals, especially after a hard rainstorm.
If you're not down to get wet, you can opt to sift or "sluice" through dirt from a designated bucket, which has several options regarding which type of stones might be inside. These buckets range from a $15 2-gallon size to a 25-gallon pail costing a whopping $1,000.
For those really looking to experience the full gem adventure, you can dig through the sediment in the creek bed with a trowel.
The $25 entry for the day covers the cost of the permits and tools used while participating in any of the activities except for the enriched buckets.
After a day's worth of hard work, you can even have one of your crystal findings cut, polished, and transformed into wearable jewelry.
Emerald Hollow Mine
Address: 484 Emerald Hollow Mine Dr., Hiddenite, NC
Why You Need To Go: You're almost guaranteed to find the real deal like emeralds, sapphires, topaz, amethyst, and tourmaline.
This article has been updated since it was originally published on November 11, 2019.
Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.