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Hi, I came to the USA 5 years ago where I, after taking a lapidary
class, became fascinated with rocks, stones and metal. For the last
three years I been studying silversmithing and love it. Next week I
will be going home to Austria for vacation and on top of my list is
of course a trip to the Habachtal, the (to my knowledge) most
important emerald mining site in central Europe.

Have any orchid members been there or know any details or stories? I
found a few (german) websites but prefer personal experiences. I
just know about the famous story of 1957 where a lucky(?) guy found
a large emerald (est. half a Million German Mark at that time) and
after giving it to a gem cutter received back a large facetted piece
of green glass and a few small stones. The cutter could not be
convicted and went free.

Thanks so much for your input,

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Hi Isabella, The last time I went up the mountain to collect sample
of the emerald was in 1997. It was under the auspices of
International Gemmological Conference organised by the German
Gemmological Association. We stayed in a place called Kammerlin?
village near to Habach. The owner of the mine is belonged to a
lawyer and lease to a miner and his address is Steiner Lois,
Mineralien. schmuck. Habach 6, 5733 Bramberg, tel/fax: 06566/7597.
You should visit their rock and mineral shop, very special collection
of emerald crystals and sphene from Habachtal. The mine is about
1,800 m but there is small dirt track which you can drive but to one
thousand metre and walk the rest of the journey. I think you need a
permission to visit the mine site. Quite interesting especially
nearer to the mine, very steep wall you need to pass.

Enjoy your pick!