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Gemstones and Gold Found in NC Mountains

  • Gemstones and Gold Found in NC Mountains

If you are a rockhound, pan for gold, or enjoy digging for treasures, Gem Valley NC is a gem mining, fluming, and gold panning facility found in Jefferson, North Carolina. 

Gem Valley NC, Ashe County's only public gem mining facility, is near the site of the former Ore Knob Copper Mine, which was in operation from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s.

Gem Valley opened in 2006 for gem mining, pluming, and gold panning, and those looking for treasures hidden below the surface. 

The secret to finding gemstones is knowing where to look and where to shovel.

Gem Valley NC does this for you and will load as many buckets of soil as you wish.  It is their promise each bucket from the mine will have gemstones.  Gemologists are available at Gem Valley who will help you identify your stones for free.

Both Precious and Semi-Precious Stones Are found in North Carolina Mountains

There has been a growing appreciation and renewed interest for colored gemstones, such as the deep blue sapphire and the exotic, green-toned emerald, along with many other varieties of rocks.

 The value of a natural deep blue sapphire or an emerald either perfect or with few imperfections is more valuable than a diamond.

Some of the more desirable semiprecious gemstones found in North Carolina include aquamarine, golden beryl, amethyst, almandite garnet, citrine, emerald, and smoky quartz.

The North Carolina General Assembly named the emerald as the official North Carolina precious stone in 1973.

There is Gold in the Creeks at Gem Valley

North Carolina has the honor of having the first documented discovery of gold in the United States.  With the discovery of gold in 1799, North Carolina led the gold rush until 1848.

Not only are there gemstones found at Gem Valley NC, but the creeks that flow through the property yield an exciting amount of gold.

Again, knowing where to pan is helpful.  One of the best places to uncover gold is in shallow areas of creeks around boulders and in between cracks and crevices of bedrock.

The Gem Shop and Museum at Gem Valley

The Gem Shop and Museum has a plethora of information about local geology.  The shop also offers gifts, stones, jewelry, and other information about rocks, minerals, and gemstones.

Want to see your new stone treasures sparkle and shine?  Gem Valley offers custom gem cutting orders by experienced individuals who will cut and design your new finds into a unique creation for you.

An All-Day Event

Many visitors stay the day.  In the park, there are tables and grills available for picnicking and restroom facilities in the Gem Shop.

Gem Valley is only one of the many interesting things to do for those who visit Ashe County.

 It is only twelve miles from downtown West Jefferson. 

Visit Gem Valley’s website for hours, admission, and other information.


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