Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Gem Mining in Hendersonville, NC

We love gem mining! When we travelled to western North Carolina in April of 2014, we went gem mining for the first time at Elijah Mountain Gem Mine. We all had a blast. Because we were going back to the same area, why not make another trip to the same gem mine? This time, my husband had discovered that this particular gem mine was started 8 years ago by a homeschooled boy. This was a special project he wanted to start and it has grown a lot since then. I might be a little biased, but I love homeschool families and thought that bit of information was quite interesting.

We ordered a $60 bucket of gem-rich dirt and sat down at the flume. The older kids remembered what to do and got to work immediately.

I tried to get Liam into the gem mining fun, but just moments into it he attempted to put a rock in his mouth. He was then handed over to my husband to hold for a bit while I helped the other two kids. Liam didn't seem to mind this. He's too young to really know what he was missing out on.

George didn't look up at me very much for me to snap his picture. I got him to show me what he was doing, but of course him showing off his rock covered his sweet face. He was a busy boy.

George showing off one of his rocks

Bridget had a particularly good experience. On our last visit, we had purchased a rock chart to be able to identify the rocks and gems we had collected. Bridget had fallen in love with a particular rock called "peacock copper". It's a shiny rock with pink, purple, gold, and other metallic colors. I casually asked the woman who was helping us get set up how common it is to find this particular rock and if we even had a chance to uncover one, as my daughter so badly wanted to find one (I wanted to explain to Bridget that if it was a rare stone that she probably will not find one). The woman, while giving me a wink, said that she thinks Bridget has a very good chance of finding some peacock copper today.
As we were nearing the bottom of our bucket of dirt, the woman returned and very carefully snuck a special surprise into the remaining dirt in our bucket. After some small talk with Bridget about the rocks and gems she had already uncovered, she scooped up another bit of dirt for Bridget's sifting box. Bridget put it into the flume and seconds later saw the rock. Bridget, being an extremely shy girl, cracked only a small smile. But being her mother, I knew she was beaming on the inside. Finally a bigger smile appeared on her face. This made her entire trip. Unfortunately, I did not take a picture of any of this because I was too busy living in the moment.
I did, however, get a picture of Bridget with another one of her discoveries: a geode! After telling Bridget what it was and how Bridget would be the first person to ever see what was on the inside of the rock, the nice woman took us inside and cracked it open for us. Here is a picture of the kids with the geode cracker (with geode already in place):
Once cracked open, we took it back to the flume to rinse it out and see it sparkle. Bridget and George were both very impressed. This all made for a very enjoyable gem mining adventure.

I love a family-oriented business (especially when started by a homeschool, as mentioned earlier), but what I love more is when someone goes above and beyond to do something nice for my children. It wins them major points with me. The gem mine was great to begin with but with the outstanding customer service, it's become our favorite gem mine. I'm already planning on another trip here in late 2016 or early 2017 when we are officially studying rocks gems in earth science.

1 comment:

  1. I am going to have to put this on my list of places to take C when he gets old enough! Thank you for posting about it.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...