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Photo Courtesy Rick JacquotRuby
Ruby = passion...
Ruby-red. The most important thing about this precious stone is its color. The name 'ruby' was derived from the Latin word 'rubens', meaning 'red'. The red of the ruby is incomparable: warm and fiery. Two magical elements are associated with the symbolism of this color: fire and blood, implying warmth and life for mankind. So ruby-red is not just any old color, no, it is absolutely an undiluted, hot, passionate, and powerful color. Like no other gemstone, the ruby is the perfect way to express powerful feelings. A ring or pendant set with a precious ruby found by you at the Cherokee Mine bears witness to the passionate, unbridled love that people can feel for each other.
Color is a ruby's most important feature. Its transparency is only of secondary importance. So inclusions do not impair the quality of a ruby unless they decrease the transparency of the stone or are located right in the center of its “table”. On the contrary: inclusions within a ruby could be said to be its 'fingerprint', a statement of its individuality and, at the same time, proof of its genuineness and natural origin. The cut is essential: only a perfect cut will underline the beauty of this valuable and precious stone in a way befitting the 'king of the gemstones'. However, a really perfect ruby is as rare as a perfect love.
Photo Courtesy Rick Jacquot
Most folks don't realize that rubies and sapphires are actually the exact same mineral – called “corundum.” Sure... you hear of pink, blue, white, lavender and other colored sapphires, but have you ever heard of a "red sapphire"? Of course not - because they are traditionally called rubies.
The mineral known as Garnet has been used since the Bronze Age as both valuable gemstones and lowly abrasives. Like rubies, garnets are most often associated with the color red, but like corundum, it also appears in a variety of colors spanning the entire color spectrum. The name "garnet" comes from the Latin granatus ("grain"), which is thought to possibly be of reference to the pomegranate - a fruit with deeply translucent red seeds similar in shape, size, and color to some garnet crystals found in our mine. In the USA garnets are the January birthstone, the traditional gemstone for the 2nd wedding anniversary, the state mineral of Connecticut, and the official gemstone of New York.
Composed primarily of titanium dioxide, rutile has among the highest refractive indices of any known mineral and is found in metallic grey, an earthy reddish/brown, violet or jet black. It strongly resembles hematite when cut, and when mounted, makes a striking primary or accent stone.
If you are just interested in finding something neat, I would recommend one of the salted places. It takes less time and you'll find something, but won't be worth much. True rockhounds go to places like Cherokee to find only native gems and minerals.  Mark L - Herndon, VA
News & Events

The Mine will be CLOSED on Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

Effective 7/17/2015, New Mining Rates will be in effect.

Beginning Wednesday, September 16th, 2015, the mine will be closed each Wednesday until the end of the season. Those dates are: 9/16, 9/23, 9/30, 10/7, 10/14, 10/21, and 10/28. The mine will also be closed on Tuesday, September 22nd.

In addition to offering buckets of mine gravel, you can also now “DIG YOUR OWN” buckets!