Emerald Village

McKinney and Bon Ami Feldspar Mines

Last Updated: May 18th, 2023

Website: http://emeraldvillage.com

The Emerald Village complex is located a few miles from the North Carolina Mineral Museum.

First, take the self guided tour of the Bon Ami Feldspar Mine at Emerald Village .

Pay your fees at the retail shop next to the mine cave.

In 2016 the Fees were: $8.00 adult. $7.00 seniors (60+), $6.00 students through high school, pre school (free))
The Bon Ami Mine is a typical feldspar mine of the 1920s-1940s. This tour features a brief description of Spruce Pine Pegmatite geology and the mining equipment and feldspar processing techniques of that period. You should plan to last 45 minutes to an hour.

Take lots of time in the display room at the bottom of the steps. You can watch an excellent video there and see examples of minerals found at the various mines in the area. If you plan to go to the Crabtree Emerald Mine, look at the samples of emeralds in the crabtree matrix so you have a good idea of what to look forwhen you collect at Crabtree.
Collecting at the Emerald Village McKinney Mine Tailings

You can collect from the tailings from the McKinney Feldspar Mine and Bon Ami Feldspar mines onsite at Emerald Village.  The procedure is to check in at the main retail store down McKinney Mine Road from the Bon Ami Mine. You sign  waiver of liability forms and pay the fees there.

The fee schedule in 2016 was: adults 13 and older-$20,
children 12 and under- $10.00

You will need sturdy shoes and some 5gal strong buckets for the samples you collect. You can rent geology hammers if you do not have your own!

Here are some pictures of What you may find at the Tailings

There is a collection of the minerals found in the McKinney Mine tailings in the Emerald Village office to help you know what to look for when you collect at the tailings.

Nice pieces of green muscovite mica (upper left), smoky quartz (gray), and cream colored potash feldspar.

You may find some nice almandite garnets asscciated with the feldspar and mica

You may find some Unakite; peach colored feldspar with green epidote

Photography and website by Robert S. "Bo" Smith