Rockhounds: ever mine your own?

I used to collect rocks as a kid, but I haven’t done a lot since college. Lately I’ve felt the need to go a huntin’ agin.

Looking around on the internet, I found that there’s a lot of played out mines that let you mine for yourself, or dig through the mine’s tailings. That sounds like it would be fun, and I was thinking about making a long weekend out of it.

I live in Ohio, and while there seems to only be a few here, there’s a bunch in North Carolina.

Also, I’ve noticed that some places give you ‘seeded’ matrix, rough material from the mine with a few gems mixed in (and not necessarily from that mine). I think I would prefer to go somewhere that doesn’t do this, and hopefully get my matrix directly from the mine.

Anyone done this? Anyone done this someplace near Ohio? What kind of equipment do you need? Did you actually get anything? Is it worth it? Will the fact that I have bum foot prevent me from doing this? And do you carry the canary’s cage on a stick out in front of you, or do you mount on your shoulder or something?

There’s a state park in Murfreesboro Arkansas where you can dig for diamonds. You get to keep whatever you find for the price of the state park fee. They are mostly chocolate to yellow, but they have seen very color possible including white.

There’s the Royal Peacock mine outside Las Vegas where you can did for opals. It’s a bit if a rough drive, and you have to take your own water, both for drinking, mining and storing your opals until they’re fixed. The minimum charge is $75 for the less strenuous raking area (smaller, fewer gems, I think) or $180 for the hillside dig. That’s where they find the big fancy pieces.

Good luck.

There was a series on the Travel Channel called Treasure Hunter hosted by Kirsten Gum. (It’s off the air now.) They used to show her mining for assorted semiprecious and precious gems all around the country. I’m pretty sure there were some areas in the Midwest.

I must be tired, but the thread title read to me: “Ringworms:ever mine your own?” Totally different thread. Totally.