The Visit Hickory Metro team encourages visitors and locals to explore the Hickory Metro region carefully and safely. The state of North Carolina has lifted all mass gathering limits at this time but encourages individuals to still practice the three W's - Wear, Wait, Wash. People who are fully vaccinated can do all of the things that they did before the pandemic. Those unvaccinated, should still wear a mask in public indoor settings & public outdoor settings when they cannot maintain social distance. To learn more about what our area is doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 click below. 

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Emerald Hollow Mine

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The Emerald Hollow Mine is the only emerald mine in the world open to the public for prospecting. Nestled snugly in the foothills of the beautiful Brushy Mountains, this North Carolina Emerald mine is located in the small town of Hiddenite, North Carolina. This is recognized as one of the most unique and interesting geological locations on the North American continent. Host to more than sixty different types of naturally occurring gems and minerals, a virtual treasure trove of gemstones can be found at our gem mine! Many of these are very rare, including emerald, aquamarine, sapphire, garnet, topaz, amethyst, citrine, rutile, and tourmaline, along with an abundance of world class smoky and clear quartz crystals. Hiddenite is also famous as being one of the few places on earth where the very rare gemstone "Hiddenite" can be found! The hours of operation are 8:30am to sunset (ranging from 5:00pm in mid-winter to 8:00pm in mid-summer). They are open every day of the year, except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

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