Here’s a neat story about the recent discovery of a very valuable emerald right here in North Carolina.
Named the “Carolina Emperor,” the stone has been cut into a 65 carat jewel and may be worth $1 million dollars or more.
The find was made last year on a farm near the small town of Hiddenite, located in Alexander County.
The locality has been well known since 1879 when a geologist named William Earl Hidden visited the area to search for what the native farmers called “green bolts.” While Hidden was there, he also discovered a green variety of the mineral spodumene which was later named “hiddenite” after him. Subsequently, the community also came to be called by the same name; it is today probably North America’s best known source for emeralds.
I myself visited the location several times in my youth. However, I was never lucky enough to find an emerald.
If you’re interested in reading further on this topic, Greensboro Public Library has a couple of useful titles. Try In Search of the Scarce Gem Hiddenite and the Emeralds of North Carolina by M. Richard Harshaw, Jr., as well as History of the Gems Found in North Carolina by George Frederick Kunz.