Plantation Emerald Mine (Old Plantation Mine; Tarper Mine), Shelby, Cleveland Co., North Carolina, USA

The best known pegmatite in North Carolina is the Tarper Mine, also called "Old Plantation", which was discovered in 1909 in Cleveland County near Shelby.

Excavations have exposed several parallel pegmatite veins. One pegmatite is emerald-bearing - about 15 m in length and 0.3 to 1 m in thickness. Small miarolitic vugs or "pockets" in the vein containe druses of microcline, platy albite, smoky quartz, schorl, pale green beryl and emerald. Emeralds suitable for cutting, are long flattened prismatic crystals with bright green colours. Many crystals show thin, tube-like inclusions, which create a cat's eye effect. Small and opaque emerald crystals were also found in the quartz-feldspar zone of the pegmatite.

Ref: E.Ya. Kievlenko, Geology of gems, 2003, p. 78


See the article Old Plantation Emerald Mine by Daniel Russell.

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