Treasure Hunting for Gems in America
All facts listed below come from sources dating back to 1973.
So… although the premises are all correct…the dollar values
may have changed somewhat. Now for a quick addendum. I sometimes
repeat topics, though I try hard to bring new elements to these
topics that I had not written about before. However, if you
occasionally catch me repeating myself–perish that evil
thought–forgive me, for I know not what I do. That said…here
Well now folks…common knowledge has it as follow. Emeralds
originate these days from Columbia…or at least the good ones.
Rubies and Sapphires are found in Burma…diamonds come from
Namibia, South Africa…and pearls are found in the South Seas.
Right? Well…yes…but for those who don’t have plane tickets
handy…fret not. For you can find these gems right here in the
good ol’ U.S. of A.
Emeralds…read this as Beryl. Well…beryl is colorless…but
when nature slips in a minute amount of chromium…the beryl
becomes green, and is known as an emerald. A rare occurrence my
friends…that’s what makes 'em valuable. So now…lets get down
to cases. The year is 1969. Not so long ago. We’re near a village
called Hiddenite, in North Carolina. A young treasure hunter by
the name of Michael Finger hits the jackpot. He finds an emerald
weighing 1,383 carats. It’s two inches in diameter. It’s three
inches long. It’s the largest emerald ever found. No value given
in my sources. However, Wayne Anthony, finds an emerald not too
far from the spot Michael found his. It weighs 50 carats. When
cut…it’s worth $100,000.
You like Rubies folks? Want 'em for nothing? How about a little
known fact to go along with desert? Carat for carat, a large ruby
is more valuable than a diamond. Here’s a tidbits. A five carat
ruby is worth double the value of a five carat diamond. A ten
carat ruby…three times as much. And on and on. So…why is that
when everyone knows diamonds are the costliest of gems? It’s
because large rubies are extraordinarily hard to come by. Try
finding a five carat ruby. Especially a good one. Even I can’t
get one for you. And I can get anything. By the way, the word
"ruby" come from the Latin word “rubeus”, which means red.
So…for the nitty gritty. Where to find them? If you include
sapphires in picture, they abound in 15 states in just about
every section of the country. Largest sapphire ever found in the
USA…111 carats. Value…more than $75,000. Found in California,
in a gravel bed by panning. One chap, when panning in North
Carolina–looks like a hot state folks–found 19 rubies and made
himself about a thousand bucks. Not a bad day’s pay…eh wot?
Pearls? Did I hear pearls? Listen, how many of you out there
like Seafood fra Diavolo? The year is 1857. David Howell is a
shoemaker. Life is rough. Heeling and soling and selling
shoelaces doesn’t cut the mustard. Food is expensive in New
Jersey. Feeding the wife and kiddies ain’t no easy task. So what
does Davy do? He goes to Notch Brook and fishes out some mussels
for din-din. They don’t say how he prepared it. But when he sat
down to eat that evening…and bit into a juicy mussel, and
chipped his tooth. What he had was a 400 grain pearl. And had he
not ruined it by biting into it…it would have been worth, back
then, over $20,000.
The year…1972. The place…Big Sur, California. Two men are
working on a rock ledge, thirty feet beneath the Pacific. What do
they find? An eight foot long chunk of Jade. Value…$180,000.
Not long after…near Jeffrey City, Wyoming…more jade turns up.
How much? Try 3500 tons of it. Value…oh…roughly $65 million.
And on it goes my friends. For those of you who are adventurous
types, there’s gems in them thar hills. And if you should go a
traipsin’ on out into the wilderness…and find the big
Find…just remember who it was that showed you the way. It was
Benjamin is who it was folks. Benjamin Mark…in case you want to
pass along a little commish.
And now…for a little self-promotion…take a peak at my home
page anytime after midnight, Sunday. Look for Noah’s Ark. Got
some neat jewelry stuff going up there.
And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
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