Gemstone mining in Europe and the USA

Gemstone mining in Germany

News June 2022: In no other place in Germany is the fascination for gemstones as great as in Idar-Oberstein. People have been searching for the gemstones in the Hunsrück region since the High Middle Ages. The Steinkaulenberg is one of the place of orgin – it is the only gemstone mine in Europe that is open to the public. In the visitor shaft of the gemstone adventure world, you can go 400 metres deep underground. Agates, rock crystals, smoky quartz and many other gems shine here.

Idar-Oberstein gemstone experience world

And on the mining grounds outside in the gemstone world, visitors can get hands-on themselves. Parents, children and young people have the opportunity to go on a treasure hunt: In a kind of rock grotto, protected from wind and weather, on more than 60 square metres they can dig for shiny gemstones. Some very beautiful pieces have already been discovered. There is no guarantee of success, but certainly a lot of fun and a sense of adventure. The gemstone adventure world is open from Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On sundays and public holidays it is closed. The visitor gallery in the Steinkaulenberg is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Find garnets in Austria

In Carinthia, in the Nockberge Biosphere Park, there is a world for garnet fans. In the centre of Radenthein there is a garnet museum, the GRANATIUM. In a 300-metre-long underground gallery, the most beautiful red gems can be observed.

Garnet Museum-Granatium Gemstone mining

The highlight of the Garnet Museum is the prospecting area, where visitors can use real tools to dig gems out of the rock. Afterwards there is the opportunity to wash, sort and work the “Carinthian gems” in the crystal-clear water of the Kaningbach. For a fee, professional gemstone cutters in the Granatium will make the treasure shine. Spectroscopes are used to generate and analyse absorption spectra of coloured and red stones. These absorption spectra are almost like individual fingerprints which allow to determined red stones.

Emeralds mining in the Hohe Tauern National Park

The Habachtal in the Hohe Tauern National Park hides a very special treasure. Here you will find the only major emerald reserve in Europe! It is said that even Emperor Nero possessed such a gemstone from the Salzburg region. Even today, the valley attracts many amateur miners. A trip to the Hunsrück is also a must for fans of the purple amethyst.

Hohe-Tauern-National Park-gemstone-Emerald

Most of the emeralds that are found are as big as a fingernail. Many videos on YouTube document the fact that gemstones can actually be found here in the Leckbach. YouTube show as well practical tips. If you are looking for information on the quality evaluation and classification of emeralds, you will also find a lot of information and the necessary devices on our gemmology website.

Emerald-mining-Habach valley

Many people like to combine gemstone searching with hiking. Here, too, the side valley of the Oberpinzgau is a good idea. Since 2010, there has been a hiking trail that leads to the gemstone locality and tells lots about the emerald mining on information boards.

Searching for diamonds in the USA

In the US state of Arkansas there is a public national park, the Crater of Diamonds State Park, which was formerly a diamond mine. It is calculated that visitors find one or two diamonds in this area every day.


This year alone, 260 diamond finds with a total weight of more than 44 carats have been registered. In sum, more than 75,000 diamonds have been found in the Crater of Diamonds. So the chances of finding a treasure is good. Diamonds are found in all colours of the rainbow. The three most commonly found colours are white, brown and yellow.

Finding sapphires in the garden

Some people do not have to search for anything at all, because they are incredibly lucky and the most valuable gemstones are right in their garden. One such example: workers building a well in Sri Lanka and they found a gigantic block of sapphire.

Sapphire-discovery-Sri Lanka

It is the particularly rare specimen of a star sapphire. The stone block was reported on a weighs of 510 kilograms, which is equivalent to 2.5 million carats. On the international market, its value is estimated at around 85 million euros. It has been named Serendipity Sapphire – the stone of serendipity -. According to experts, it is potentially the largest sapphire on earth.

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