Thursday, March 12, 2015

Gem Mining with Judy

Hi! I'm Judy from the JET Team, and the creative half of JemsbyJBandCompany - Bill is the "manufacturing" half. Today I'd like to share with you one of the most interesting adventures that Bill and I have had!


Herkimer Diamonds


Our very first "Gemstone Mining" expedition was to the Herkimer Diamond Mines, located a stone’s throw away from our home. Our grandson Harrison accompanied us on one of our trips, expecting to find enough "diamonds" to buy himself some things he had been wishing for. We were able to capture some of these world famous diamonds, although none were of a quality suitable for jewelry-making!


Bill and Harrison at the Herkimer Diamond Mines


It’s hard work digging in the dirty, dusty mines. Proper clothing and utensils are available for rental, but Bill and I purchased some of our own. Basically, you just need a good sturdy trowel, a spray bottle of water and a sifting pan - which can be made out of window screening. Oh, and you need lots of patience as it is not an easy process getting the diamonds out of the rock. The water is used to wet the rock in order to see the diamonds, and the sifting pan captures the smaller stones as you dig out clumps of the dirt in which they reside.


Our Herkimer Diamond finds


Our favorite trip was to the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, where you will find mines which have rubies and emeralds! You can purchase a bucket of fill and sit at a trough while sifting the fill through running water to see if you have found a ruby. Bill actually found a "squeaker", which is the gem mining term for a modestly sized but small ruby find, and he made it into a pendant for me. I was amazed to learn that rubies are actually pink, not the deep red color you often see in finished ruby jewelry!


Bill looking through the stash of gems we found in North Carolina


You can also pan streams that are artificially stocked by the owners, with gemstones such as amethyst and rose quartz. This gives you the experience of what its like to search for and find gems, but the stones are not native to that part of North Carolina. We did try it though, and brought home a wealth of gemstones which we have since made into jewelry.

I would love to go back again!
Judy

19 comments :

Keystring said...

Great article! I live really close to the Herkimer Diamond Mines! I need to get over there and dig a bit!

Urban Pearl Studio said...

Thank you for sharing! I have always wanted to do this!!

Michele said...

What an adventure and looks like so much fun for the whole family!!! Lovely gems finds!!!!

Laura Stamper said...

Bring me next time!

capitalcitycrafts said...

What a fun adventure!

Jennifer said...

That's something I've always wanted to do!

Mollie Ann said...

Oh, I've always longed for this kind of adventure! Let's go!!!

Donna Arena said...

Fantastic story Judy! The thing about rockhounding is once you have one experience...YOUR HOOKED!!! LOVE your finds...it's really neat when the little one's get involved...I've turned my granddaughter into as rock-o-holic with a pretty impressive collection I might add!!!

Brooke said...

I love learning more about gemstones, what a fun read and adventure.

Nancy Russell said...

I think mining for gemstones would be so much fun. I always enjoy watching the Weather Channel's shows on mining. What great fun you must have had.

cserpentDesigns said...

Sounds like you had a blast! I need to go visit the tourmaline mines in our local mountains one of these days.

Tracy said...

This sounds like so much fun!

Beadsme said...

What fun! Great finds too.

Erika said...

This sounds amazing, and I would LOVE to have a go - especially at the Herkimer Diamond Mines!

SendingLoveGallery said...

How Fun, Judy! I've always wanted to do this... :)

WanderingJewel said...

That sounds like so much fun. I'm hoping to go to a mine one day.

Gloria Flynn - EarthEnergyGemstones said...

I would love to go do this! What a fun adventure. I remember the man who lived across the street from me when I was a child. He'd go out into the desert and come back, many hours later, with the most amazing gemstones. He cut and polished them and made them into beautiful pendants and rings. It would be so fun to do that!

Ribasus said...

What fun! Thanks for sharing your adventure!

Gemstones on My Mind said...

This sounds like a fantastic adventure, I can't wait to try it with Larry and maybe my grandson! Thanks Judy!