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Old Pressley Sapphire mine NC

I just wanted to offer up a little opinion for any that might be in Western North Carolina and hoping to do a little mining. Canton, NC is the site for at least two sapphire locations which I have visited many times in the past and had good success. One was called Woods Creek mine and it is now totally grown over and apparently not open to the public for digging as there are no signs. The mine at the top of the hill is called the Old Pressley mine. They said that they had one charge for digging into an area where they dumped loads with a front end loader directly from the mine. However when they took us to show us the digging area it was a spot about twenty feet wide with no grass on it. No mounds of dirt at all. Just as flat as the rest of the field. When we asked where were the piles of dirt, we were told that it had rained a lot. There was sitting right on top of the soil were a few small pieces of feldspar and mica which is the typical host rock for the sapphire at that location. The young man picked up a piece and sure enough, there was a small sapphire included. It was gray in color and nothing above specimen grade but he proclaimed it a "cutter". Buckets of dirt were offered from ten dollars up to a hundred. Since we had driven all that far, we opted for a twenty dollar bucket. Being a very long time rockhound and having dug at these mines many times before, I grew a bit suspicious when I noticed the dirt that we had purchased was the color of potting soil and the dirt that we had just seen that supposedly came from the actual mine was tan colored. We sluiced the bucket and included was ONE small host rock feldspar which included one small gray sapphire. Bottom line, if you like going to salted mines to play in the water there are others in the state which will put a lot more in your bucket.

From jack - July 07, 2010 at 10:20:19

Message: 69184

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