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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Crabtree Emerald Mine (Read 4912 times)
JoeM
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Crabtree Emerald Mine
Mar 4th, 2014 at 9:46pm
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I know we have a section for the minerals of Mitchell County, NC already,
but this world famous mine deserves to be set apart and I am
quite surprised it hasn't been venerated on these pages before now.

Here is a link to Ed Speer's "North Carolina Emerald" site with a very thorough history of the Crabtree.
http://www.speerminerals.com/NC%20Emeralds/Crabtree/Crabtree.htm

I'm linking you to the Crabtree page but the whole site is highly recommended reading.

The beautiful blue-green of the Crabtree emeralds,
and the unbelievable opportunity to hunt for them in my own backyard,
was the first "gemstone" bug to bite me and I used to spend
as much time there as I could.
I realize now that I have not been to the mine since October, 2008.
I also have recently realized that all my fieldtrip pics to the mine
were lost in early 2009 when a tree in our yard was hit by lightening.
It was a ritual either upon arriving or departing from the Crabtree
to stop at the top of the hill above the mine and take a picture of the view looking north-northwest.
One of my very favorite anywhere of the Blue Ridge.

I will keep looking for some old pics, and some of the rocks!
I was trying to find good examples to compare to the Pop-Pop Point emerald
found here in Wake County.
As it is, I could only find some of my "better and best"
personal finds to share with you for a start to this thread.

The Crabtree Mine was mined by Tiffany for a while for the
"cabochon" material, the emeralds in matrix, as much as the "gemstone" emeralds.
Which is why I was mining it, too! Wink
Here's a slabbed piece of the emeralds in matrix.


  

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JoeM
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Re: Crabtree Emerald Mine
Reply #1 - Mar 4th, 2014 at 9:52pm
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And here are two pics I posted to "compare" with the Pop-Pop Point emerald, plus a new one.
The first is of two conjoined emerald crystals of a pretty "paler" green
that I have slightly polished.
The piece is roughly 1/2 x 1/2 in.
The piece in the last pic is just a little larger.
  

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JoeM
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Re: Crabtree Emerald Mine
Reply #2 - Mar 4th, 2014 at 10:17pm
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Here's my second bestest find! Wink
It was a good find.
I picked up this piece of solid biotite mica with a little quartz running thru it.
(That's one of the things you want to look for. The emeralds don't ever seem to be far from the mica.)
This piece had a little splotch of green visible on the side
so I tossed it in the bucket to look at later at home.
I started cleaning the piece by sticking a knife into the edge
and splitting the mica wafer open in two halves.
It was a happy moment. Cool
I saved one half of the mica sheet that split off, and the
green "splotch" I initially saw on the side, and probably did
way too much cleaning on the rest of it. Tongue
You can be the judge.

  

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JoeM
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Re: Crabtree Emerald Mine
Reply #3 - Mar 4th, 2014 at 10:28pm
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And last but not least, The Queen!
I was just a little faster than the other guy on this one.
I was at the right angle for the sun to reflect brilliant green in my eye a second before his. Wink
Try and notice the mica she's wrapped in.
I'm going to get this cut one day,..maybe. Roll Eyes
Here are pics from two different angles and their respective close-ups.

  

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JoeM
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Re: Crabtree Emerald Mine
Reply #4 - Mar 6th, 2014 at 11:42pm
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And I found these old Crabtree cabs today looking for something else. Roll Eyes
  

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Scott LaBorde
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Re: Crabtree Emerald Mine
Reply #5 - Mar 7th, 2014 at 9:43am
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Great cabs Joe.  It's good to see all those good Crabtree specimens in one spot.
  

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JoeM
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Re: Crabtree Emerald Mine
Reply #6 - Jan 29th, 2018 at 10:22pm
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Came across a nice chunk of the classic good old Crabtree cabochon material recently and thought I'd share some pictures.
I cut a few slabs and what is left is too pretty to cut any more,....for now. Wink
Slabs are photographed wet.
  

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JoeM
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Re: Crabtree Emerald Mine
Reply #7 - Jan 29th, 2018 at 10:26pm
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While I'm posting pics from Crabtree here's a couple of a big piece with a nice display of the tourmaline.
Longest crystal is 2 inches.
  

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Rebecca
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Re: Crabtree Emerald Mine
Reply #8 - Jan 30th, 2018 at 10:19am
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BEAUTIFUL!
The slab with the green polka dots is wonderful! I have to say my favorite would be the slab on left, that is pretty stunning. Hard not love that big green streak. The black and white so perfectly showcases it all.
Reminds me of a bright green fireball I witnessed streaking across the sky from a porch that felt like it was hanging in the sky Alpine Lodge in Little Switzerland. It was low on the horizon, all the way cross from left to right; and felt like it was right above us. Totally surreal.
At least I have that memory from that area, because I sure don't have any of that green on my material from Crabtree. However, I do have some interesting stuff.
Like this. Found it today looking for other Crabtree specimens in a box I hadn't gone through yet. I always thought it was green mica to be be cleaned off. Now that I cleaned it, it is definitely not. Some looks like the green tourmaline from there, but some of the spots are very very interesting. I can't decide and too bad I can't take better pictures. It is about 2"x2"
« Last Edit: Jan 30th, 2018 at 11:45am by Rebecca »  

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Rebecca
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Re: Crabtree Emerald Mine
Reply #9 - Jan 30th, 2018 at 11:46am
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another pic
  

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JoeM
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Re: Crabtree Emerald Mine
Reply #10 - Jan 30th, 2018 at 7:26pm
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Yes, it's hard to say, Rebecca.
Looks like it could be some actinolite or chlorite?
  
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Rebecca
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Re: Crabtree Emerald Mine
Reply #11 - Jan 31st, 2018 at 9:48am
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Big sigh...yes, it looks like actinolite. However they are pretty crystals...gemmy although super small. You will have to examine the rock in person though, because underneath some of them, the green is a totally different "Spring" green color.
  
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