What Can You Find At The Morefield Gem Mine?
The Morefield Gem Mine is a one-of-a-kind experience for both kids and adults.
The mine is a fantastic way to learn about minerals and mineral collection in a genuine mining setting.
About the Morefield Mine
The information provided in this article by YesDirt.com is for informational purposes and is subject to change. Laws are updated. Accessibility guidelines and restrictions change. Be sure to confirm the land status and collection rules before you travel to an unfamiliar location or collect any material.
The Morefield Gem Mine is one of the few active mines in the United States where regular gathering is permitted.
The mine is a terrific place to start for anybody of any age who wants to learn how to identify rocks, minerals, and jewels.
On any one day, over ten mineral species can be found, and with experience, time, and depending on what is being mined underground, more of the pegmatite’s almost 80 mineral species can be discovered.
What Kind of Mine is Morefield Mine?
The Morefield Gem Mine is a mineralized pegmatite dyke with a predicted depth of about 300 feet and a length of 2000 feet. Mica, tantalite, amazonite, and huge topaz were once mined there.
Over its many years of operation, the mine has produced a wide range of mineral specimens.
It has produced up to 80 different mineral species, with additional “unknowns” sometimes being discovered. Many are modest, but they are still significant and exciting finds.
Interesting Facts About the Morefield Mine
The mine is a world-class amazonite site that has been mentioned in rock and mineral literature.
A full-size diorama of the Morefield Gem Mine is on display at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History, and it is made of minerals recovered from the mine.
This and the mineral hall are well worth a visit if you’re in the D.C. region.
Exhibits and a Gift Shop Featuring Mine Dumps
Screening with a Sluice (Screens and shovels available)
Having a picnic (Bring your own drink; no alcohol allowed)
Morefield Mine History
Many people want to know how the mine was discovered.
In September 1929, Mr. Silas Morefield was hunting on his farm when he stumbled across an outcrop of quartz with a big beryl crystal exposed, according to the narrative published in the Lapidary Journal of Jewelry Artists.
Silas was familiar with the minerals from the Rutherford Mine and the Champion Mine, both in Amelia County, and assumed that this outcrop was a pegmatite.
He bored a hole in the outcrop, filled it with dynamite, and fired it. He uncovered large amounts of mica and amazonite.
Where Is The Morefield Mine?
The Morefield Mine is located at 13400 Butler Road, Amelia Court House, VA 23002, United States. It is temporarily closed as of May 2022.
The public and students cannot visit until further notice.
Miners are still digging deeper and farther away from the current workings to get a better sense of the veins or dike’s true magnitude.
As we have gained a better understanding of the deposits over the last 20 years, the amount of pegmatite deposits has risen.
In addition, the property next to the Morefield Gem Mine is being developed for a quarry site, and heavy equipment is traveling in all directions, including across the Morefield entrance, causing significant traffic congestion.
This has no bearing on the Morefield Gem Mine’s future operations or growth, and the mine site remains untouched.
What Rocks Will I Find At Morefield Mine
Morefield Mine is known across the globe for its amazonite, quartz, and amethyst, and when you mine there, you will find more on the ground than anywhere else in the United States.
Rock is scattered about on the surface for collection by visitors.
Everyone who arrives will take something intriguing and/or colorful home with them.
With seeing small minerals, children may have an advantage over parents because of their shorter stature and proximity to the ground.
Amazonite gets its name from the Amazon River in South America.
It is the trading name for a gem that ranges from green to bluish-green to greenish-blue and is used to make beads, cabochons, and tumbling stones.
Amazonite’s chemical formula is KAlSi3O8, and it is assumed trace levels of lead are responsible for its green hue.
Quartz is an essential rock-forming material and a large component of the earth’s crust.
Silicon dioxide (SiO2), often known as silica, is the chemical composition of quartz. Quartz is known for its hardness, so it polishes well and is difficult to break.
Irradiation, impurities of iron, and, in certain circumstances, other transition metals, and other trace elements, all of which result in intricate crystal structure replacements, give amethyst its violet hue.
The mineral has the same hardness as quartz, making it appropriate for jewelry.
How do you Find the Rocks and Minerals at Morefield Mine?
You normally find the mineral rocks when you’re mining by digging and breaking apart chunks of rock and clay to discover the gems inside.
Although tools are not allowed at the Morefield Mine, as someone has already broken apart and scattered the rocks around for the visitors, so it is just a case of picking up the rocks and turning them over in your hands to find the minerals tucked away inside.
How Do You Collect the Stones at Morefield Mine?
You may use your own shovels and trowels at Morefield Mine.
You can collect the stones and gems by picking them up and transferring them into a bucket. When you leave, you carry them out in a ziplock bag.
How Many Stones Can You Take From Morefield Mine?
For the price of admission, each paying customer can take a 5-gallon bucketful of any rocks and minerals they find home in a ziplock bag..
What Tools Do You Need At Morefield Mine?
You are welcome to bring your own shovels and trowels. Hammers, hand picks, huge picks, and sledgehammers are not permitted.
What to Wear When You Go To Morefield Mine?
There will be no flip-flops or open-toed shoes allowed. Wear clothes you don’t mind getting messy in. A change of clothes, especially for youngsters, may be necessary on a rainy day.
Morefield Gem Mine is a fun spot for the entire family to visit. Dig in the dirt, make new friends and find some stones.
Visiting the Morefield Mine is a truly fun day out for the whole family while being an educational experience as well. Who knows what rocks and gems you may find during your visit?
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