Gold and more in them thar hills

Published 10:05 am Monday, April 4, 2022

At the next Live@Lanier, Thursday, April 21, 5 p.m., Shield Flynn will guide you on an armchair tour of NC areas of gold, industrial minerals such as mica and feldspar, and collectibles such as the lithium gemstone hiddenite found only in Hiddenite, NC.


Before the California Gold Rush in 1848, North Carolina was the leader in US gold mining and processing. In 2011, gold was named as the official state mineral, joining emerald, the official gemstone. Today in Polk County alone, according to, there are 20 gold mine sites. NC is also estimated by to have the largest amount and variety of gemstones and minerals in the US.  Collectors can find amethyst, corundum, ruby, sapphire, garnet, topaz, aquamarine, and more.

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A rockhound since 8 years old, Shields Flynn, earned a geology degree, owned and operated a collectible minerals business, and has collected in locations as diverse as the UK and Namibia. This Felburn Nature and Wildlife Program, enhanced with photographs from his published books and archives, emphasizes minerals found within 1-2 hours drive of Tryon.


Samples from his collection will be at the program and throughout April in the Library display case. 72 Chestnut Street, Tryon • 828-859-9535 •


Submitted by Vincent Verrecchio