|By: David Cowley|
As with most gemstones the emerald can be created as the result of volcanic activity, where the extreme pressure and heat creates the gemstones. Another process knows as hydrothermal circulation, which in the most general sense is the circulation of hot water containing dissolved minerals passing through pockets in the underlying bedrock, evaporate caused the stones to cool as large crystals.
Emeralds belong to the beryl family of gemstones. This family also contains aquamarine, goshenite, morganite, heliodor, quartz, ruby and red beryl to name a few. The emerald has a hardness of 7.5 to 8 and is composed of chromium and vanadium. When iron sulfate pyrite is entered into the mix the result is the rich green color traditionally associated with the emerald.
The very rare Trapiche emerald displays a pattern of dark lines radiation from the center of the crystal like the spokes of a wheel. The term trapiche is derived from the miners belief that the spoke design reminded them of the processing wheel that is commonly used in Colombia that is used to extract the juice form the sugar cane.
Energy healers believe the emerald can heal relationships of the heart, health, clear vision, faith, intelligence, memory, inspiration, love, romance, cleansing and clairvoyance. It is believed to have more metaphysical properties than any other gemstone.
Emeralds can be found in Hiddenite County in North Carolina. The Emerald Hallow Mine will allow treasure hunters a verity of techniques when searching for this precious gemstone which is more valuable per carat than diamonds. The fees vary based on the type of hunting you plan to do.
Prospect by collecting sand and gravel from the creek bed, and then using a screen to wash the loose dirt away from the gravel and gemstones. Be sure to look at the material left in the screen from all angles including from underneath.
Take a shovel, pick ax and a 5 gallon plastic bucket to the mine area and pick your area. Fill the bucked with loose dirt and gravel. You could then use the screening method or you could take the bucket to the stream or the sluicing area and then wash the material collected and look for your treasures.
You can purchase pre-loaded buckets of gemstone bearing material from the mine operators and simply sit down at the sluicing area and wash the loose dirt away. Roll around the remaining material looking for the elusive green color.
Loose dirt is shoveled onto a screen and the screen is then shaken to remove small particles and sand. Watch the screen while shaking it, emeralds will often flash as they roll around. Always examining the screening area with the sun facing you. The sunlight will reflect through the emeralds making them easier to spot. Examine the screenings from various angles and roll the gravel around while doing so. Before discarding the screenings always look from underneath the screen with the sun at your back. Many dusty stones can be missed until you see the light pass through them.
Happy Treasure Hunting.