Mine for Gems You Can Take Home

In yet another conversation about summer plans (I pump people daily) I found out about Morefield Gem Mine in Amelia, Virginia. The mother of a girl in my daughter’s class said that this is one of her daughter’s favorite vacation destinations. They are heading there next week as soon as school gets out.

When I asked her if this was a place to tour a mine, she smiled wide, saying, “Oh, no, you can dig” then told me the particularls. It sounds like a minerologists dream–whether the digger is five or ninety-five.

For the admission price that ranges from free for the three and under crowd to $12 for adults, including seniors, you can fill a five-gallon bucket with the loot you find. No gold here, but the bounty includes: topaz, garnets, purple amethyst, and microcrystals. In the past, the mine has been used by various operators, including the U.S. Bureau of Mines, because of its mineral wealth-there are over 70 types. Mica, feldspar, beryl, phenakite and amazonite are among them. In the photos on the Web site, there are people in hard hats underground. I don’t see if that’s part of a tour you can take, but there is a gift shop and a display on-site as well as the old mining equipment ,including the mine cars.

From June 12-July 14, Tuesdays to Saturdays, Morefield Gem Mine is open to the public. Starting the end of September it is open on Saturdays only.