I just discovered this! So close to my home... I have to make a trip soon.
"TheEmerald Hollow Mineis the only emerald mine in the United States open to the public for prospecting. Nestled snugly in the foothills of the beautiful Brushy Mountains, this North Carolina Emerald mine is located in the small town of Hiddenite, North Carolina. This locality is recognized as one of the most unique and interesting geological locations on the North American continent. Host to more than sixty-three different types of naturally occurring gems and minerals, a virtual treasure trove of gemstones can be found at our gem mine! Many of these are very rare, including emerald, aquamarine, sapphire, garnet, topaz, amethyst, citrine, rutile, and tourmaline, along with an abundance of world class smoky and clear quartz crystals. Hiddenite is also famous as the only place on earth where the very rare gemstone "Hiddenite" can be found!"