2009. A beautiful sunny day it was at the Propst Farm in
Lincoln County, NC. I had been wanting to test out my new
digging toy and what better place than this. The red clay
here is so stubborn and tough it will wear out your joints and drain
your energy just by merely watching somebody dig here. Two
avid rock hounds Shirley and Richard Green invited me to come out with
them to the Propst Farm to dig for corundum
The picture above is
Shirley and Richard
digging hard. There had been a lot of rain
there recently so most of the holes were filled with water.
We had to use buckets to bale the water out before we could
even start digging. It was real muddy and messy.
Later Bob arrived on
the scene to help out with the digging. There is a layer of
gravel about 5 to 6
feet under the hard red clay. The layer consists of chunks of
broken up quartz rock ilmenite and the much rarer corundum.
The thrill of the hunt drove our muscles and joints to the
point of exhaustion.
Here's what I found
The first thing that strikes you about them is how heavy they
are when you hold them. I will eventually polish one of them
and post a picture here. Below are a few Bob found.
were also finding chunks of ilmenite. It was deceiving
because they were heavy just like the sapphires were. We thought they
were sapphires before getting all the clay off. I took
sample home and tested streak and magnetism. The streak was
and it was weakly magnetic. If it were magnetite the compass
needle would be pointed directly at it. If it were hematite
goethite the streak would have red or brown in it and it would have no