Mine Emeralds

Cut and Polished Emeralds

Emeralds are gemstones that belong to the beryl family. Created by the extreme pressure and heat generated during volcanic activity or by the process of hydrothermal circulation, emeralds are composed of chromium and vanadium. Once iron sulfate pyrite is introduced to chromium and vanadium, an emerald crystal takes on a rich, green color and becomes a gemstone more valuable than diamonds when measured carat for carat. The metaphysical property contained in emeralds is believed to enhance the healing of relationships and is also believed to enhance clairvoyance, cleansing, clear vision, faith, health, inspiration, intelligence, love, memory and romance.

Large machines are used to mine large quantities of emeralds in industrialized mines worldwide from Columbia to Africa; however, individuals can mine emerald-rich locations with just a few simple tools.


1. Choose your location. Research where emerald-rich sites are located before setting out on your destination. Typically these will be along or near a creek bed where natural events have produced the right conditions for the creation of emerald crystals. Some potential mining locations have tourists attractions set up to facilitate your prospecting efforts.

2. Using your shovel, scoop sand and gravel from the creek bed you have chosen to prospect and deposit it into your five-gallon bucket.

3. Shovel a small amount of your collected sand and gravel onto your sluicing screen.

4. Shake and roll your screen to sift the sand, and watch for a flash of emeralds in the debris. Roll around the remaining particles in your screen and examine the screening area from various angles to catch the reflection of emeralds in the sunlight.

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5. Alternatively, if you have chosen a location that is already set up for prospecting, after completing Step 2, carry your bucket of sand and gravel to the sluicing area and wash the loose dirt away in the trough provided.

6. Collect your emeralds and store them in your collection container.

7. Repeat Steps 3 through 6 until your sand bucket is empty; and then begin the process over again.