How and where to hunt for emeralds

Hunting for and finding a rare emerald can mean financial profit and independence but it won't be easy. Here's a few tips.

Are you on a mineral hunt hoping to find a perfect emerald just waiting to make you wealthy? It has happened to others so it could happen for you. Finding an emerald is a matter of luck really, but you can push your luck in a certain direction by knowing where to begin hunting for the precious green stones. If you happen to find a beautiful green rock it doesn't necessarily mean it's an emerald though. Other stones like green fluorite, peridot and garnet can fool someone who doesn't know the difference. Emeralds aren't found in abundance but where one is found usually others are as well. Finding a perfect emerald is a very tall order since most emeralds contain natural flaws. An emerald with few flaws is usually valued higher than a diamond.

Emeralds have been found across the globe in places like Russia, Pakistan, Brazil and even North Carolina but are most commonly found in Colombia and Zambia. One of the largest and most perfect emeralds ever discovered was found in Hiddenite, N.C. but they have also been found in Maine and Connecticut.

There are some conditions which are perfect for hunting emeralds like finding pockets of pegmatite dikes and mica schist. If you're a geologist you know what those terms are but the average person may need to learn more about these conditions before investing great money on emerald searching. Pegmatite is a course-grained granite where uranium and tungsten are often found. Mica schist is a crumbly composition that varies in color from brown to yellow to green. Often when emeralds are found they are located in a yellowish sand-like setting containing other minerals. Finding a large patch of yellow or black composition in an other wise red or brown dirt can signal the possibility of an emerald find. Emeralds which are found can be green, bluish or a shade of yellow-green.

The discovery of a real emerald warrants an investment into the surrounding area since emeralds are often found in numbers. Most found emeralds contain way too many imperfections to be of a large value but continuing the search can prove very rewarding. They can be found in a mica-rich area simply laying on the ground or can be found in tunnels and rivers. No easy mining methods exist - emeralds must be dug out of the dirt or sifted from water and river rock. Care must be taken while digging emeralds since low quality emeralds may chip and crack very easily while removing them from their dirt bed. High quality emeralds, however, are hard and not likely to chip.

There are some areas where emeralds have been found that are open to the public for hunting. Pay a small fee and you can sift through dirt and water in hopes of finding one of the rare gems. The likelihood of finding an emerald in this manner is rare since most of these areas have already been mined but some people still find a small chip on occasion.

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