North Carolina Gem

I was looking online and came across the “Carolina Emperor”, which is an emerald that was found in Alexander County, North Carolina. I found it interesting because it is said to be the “largest” recent emerald discovery in North America and North Carolina. When miner, Terry Ledford, came across the emerald ( before being cut) it was a 310-carat gem. Im sorry, but that is a nice size emerald, why would anyone cut it down? I never understood the purpose of cutting down an emerald, diamond, ruby, etc., unless it was being sold in smaller pieces. Even then, how do you go from a 310 carat gem to a 64- carat stone, yes it is still big, but not as big anymore. Well after being cut down to a 64-carat emerald geologist are still saying it is a great discovery. I wonder, how is it that we are just now coming across emeralds (gemstones) of such large sizes and its 2010. Especially since miners have been digging for many decades. Is it really that rare to come in contact with stones that are of great value? You would think not, especially if an area has been untouched. Although I wonder if the heavy machinery has anything to do with them being “small”? Considering some miners, like Terry, use large drills to pill back 3 to 4 layers of dirt to get to area in the Earth where these emeralds are found. I wonder if the vibrations form the drilling causes a disruption in the growing process. Sadly Terry doesn’t say how much the Carolina Emperor is worth, or who it is being sold to. The only thing that is known is that Alexander County has now made a name for itself.

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One Response to North Carolina Gem

  1. Wendy Foster says:

    Just as Alexander County has a claim to fame, Macon County, NC also is known for gem mining. Rubies, sapphires and garnets in large quantities have been found in Franklin. It seems that the NC mountains are full of the right stuff! Your question regarding whether disturbance by drilling can cause issues with the growth of gems is one that deserves an answer. Wonder if Dr. Pillar knows?

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