Gem Mining is an amazing and educational activity.

Some of us have had the amazing experience of gem mining near blue ridge Georgia – well, not necessarily the real deal, just at a gem-mining flume offered by so many businesses throughout the Appalachian Mountains. Although they might offer different versions of this gem grabbing activity, the principle is really the same:  one sifts through dirt already “salted” with gemstones and walks away with their findings.

So what can you find when participating in such an activity? The most common find is of course Quartz in various qualities and varieties. Others that may fill your purse are pyrite, garnet, ruby, sapphire and emerald, but here I would like to concentrate on quartz, its origin, varieties and meaning.

gem mining near blue ridge gaFirstly, what is quartz? Quartz is SiO2 – that is silicon dioxide, better known as glass, containing the two most common elements found in the Earth’s crust, silicon and oxygen. The commonest for being the crystal quartz, which is the silicon dioxide in its purest form, giving a clear, see-through material, which can be sometimes confused with a broken bottle. Almost true, as it really is glass, except Mother Nature makes it instead of factory production. It has been recognized for its energy enhancing qualities, and it is used to ward off bad dreams and healing ailments. In fact, it is not uncommon to have people carry small pieces of this beautiful material in their pockets or purses. Crystal of course has its commercial uses also because it’s thermal and chemical stability.

gem mining for amethystA more attractive quartz that is recognized by most of us is amethyst. A beautiful substance, known for its purple vibrant and deep color so well known in jewelry making. The beautiful color of the stone is attributed to the presence of manganese and iron impurities. Amethyst is the birthstone of February and it is known to prevent intoxication. The name itself is derived from the Greek “amethistos” meaning “not-drunken”, offering an antidote against drunkenness. In fact, many wine goblets were carved out of amethyst, offering protection against intoxication. It is also known as the “wisdom” stone, symbolizing humility, piety and spiritual wisdom – hence it is a favored gemstone of Bishops of the Catholic Church. This stone is also known to correct ailments of the blood, especially if set in a silver setting and worn constantly.

gem mining for citrine

CC BY-NC by Cletus Awreetus

My second favorite quartz is the Citrine. On the same lines of the Amethyst, the Citrine, as otherwise know, the stone of the mind, is basically glass with an amazing amber or yellowish  see through appearance. Citrine is also known as the “Merchant’s Stone”, promoting clarity, self-esteem and positive energy. Its color is derived from irradiation and aluminum built into its crystal structure. Citrine is a November birthstone and it is known to stimulate digestion and assist in spleen and pancreas problems.  It is also known to positively affect constipation and helps to detoxify the blood.

What gem mining experience would be complete without finding smoky quartz? Might sometimes be confused with a broken brownish or grayish looking glass, smoky quartz might not be as attractive as Amethysts and Citrine, but is also exhibiting healing and mystic properties. Irradiation and built in aluminum, just like in Citrine, what gives this stone its color. It is very common; hence, it has a lesser value than Amethyst and Citrine. Smoky Quartz is the birthstone for November, and it is said to have metaphysical and healing properties against negative energy. Smoky Quartz is really a “grounding” gemstone, thought of as a stone of serenity and deep thought. It assists in treating fertility issues and in general, health issues of the lower torso.

Therefore, whenever you get a chance and take Gem Mining Vacations or drive by Gem Mining Sites, do yourself the favor and stop in. The experience alone is worth the minimal expense. The gemstones you walk away with will top it all, as will provide you with not only some very pretty and colorful decorations for your home, but might even make a believer out of you and help you with physical and metaphysical shortcomings. They also make wonderful presents and the larger gems will make for great conversation pieces around your house. Who knows, you might even get lucky, and find that ever so rare piece which will make beautiful and valuable jewelry.

Looking for a place for gemstone mining in Georgia or fun things to do in blue ridge GA – give the Lilly Pad Village a chance!