Field Trip Report:

Sheepcliff Aquamarine Mine
Jackson County
Final Days of the Sheepcliff Mine
Spring and Summer 2003

by: Richard Jacquot

These next pictures are some of the specimens that John Deney collected.

Smoky quartz specimen that now resides in the Henderson County Mineral and Lapidary Museum in Hendersonville, North Carolina.

I told you that twice during our dig, a specimen was unearthed by the track hoe as we watched, this piece was one of those specimens. The track hoe pulled it out of the ground, and Mark beat everyone to it and retrieved it from the track hoes teeth. I later acquired the specimen for my collection and it now also resides in the Henderson County Museum. It is a perfect double terminated 8" x 3" beryl in matrix. It was recently displayed at the Denver Colorado Gem and Mineral Show, and may be one of the finest specimens to come from the dig.

This dig inspired me to do my article on the Sheepcliff Mine in the December 2003 Rock and Gem magazine, it was the first article in years on anything in Western North Carolina and I felt that a tribute to this mine was a good way to bring focus back to our area.

The story of this mine is a prime example of why we need programs like the "M.A.G.M.A. Land Acquisition Fund", we need to work together to preserve sites like this one from being destroyed. Although there was no way we would have been able to afford this site, there are many more sites that produce the same material, that are located in rural areas where the land is affordable. With programs like ours, we will be able to save these sites for future generations of Rockhounds.

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