Emeralds & Gems of Hiddenite, North Carolina

Small Town Mines Emeralds & Other Gems in Hiddenite, North Carolina

Emeralds & other gems have been mined in Hiddenite, North Carolina since the 1800s. They adorn museums and private collections around the world. Over the years mining companies have set out to mine NC Emeralds, Rubies, & Sapphires on a large scale. Their endeavor ultimately failed due to the rarity of the facet grade deposits.

North Carolina is the only place in North America where Emeralds are located & they're found in the little town of Hiddenite. A name synonymous with Hiddenite, NC Emeralds is Mike Watkins who developed the Emerald Hollow Mine. This mine is adjacent to the old Rist mine where many of the finest Emeralds were dug. 

The Mike Watkins North Carolina Emerald & Gemstone Collection

Mike Watkins was in a very unique position to acquire some the the finest Emeralds to ever come from Hiddenite, North Carolina. With his degree in Geology he established, owned and operated the Emerald Hollow Mine in Hiddenite, NC beginning in the 1970s.

Owning a mine in one of the most important geological regions in country was only part of the equation. He also became very accomplished in the art of faceting gemstones. These two impactful choices led him on a path that would put him in the presence of all the other mine owners & treasure seekers in Hiddenite, NC. These mine owners & the people who dug on their land would, if they were lucky, find breathtaking, rare, facet grade Emeralds. 

Since it was widely known that Mike Watkins was a skilled gem cutter, people naturally came to him for this service. His talent afforded him the opportunity to facet some of the highest grade Emeralds & other gemstones found in the area. The NC Emeralds he cut from his collection were found by the old timers. Most of them coming from the old Rist mine which is now known as the North American Emerald Mine.

Mike Watkins is an authority on North Carolina Emeralds & gemstones and a legend in the town of Hiddenite & the state of North Carolina. Over the years he would purchase many of the Hiddenite Emeralds & other NC gems that he had faceted for others in the past. He acquired one of the best collections of NC Emeralds anyone could ever hope to see.

We have been close with Mike for decades and bonded over our history in Hiddenite, faceting and our love of NC gemstones. We were fortunate enough to be able to purchase some of his collection that we refer to as The Watkins NC Emerald Collection. One of these Emeralds is considered to be the third largest known faceted Emerald in North America at over 39cts.

Currently a member of the GIA is working on a book about NC gemstones in which some of this collection will be featured. Each stone from The Watkins Collection either has or is in the process of getting an origin & identification report from the GIA. 


39.5ct Hiddenite, NC Emerald GIA Certified


 Large, cut Hiddenite, NC Emeralds

.84ct Hiddenite, NC Emerald GIA Certified


 GIA certified NC Emerald with beautiful color

 7.73ct Hiddenite, North Carolina Emerald 


Hiddenite, NC Emerald from Rist mine

1.56ct Hiddenite, NC Emerald GIA Certified 


GIA certified Hiddenite NC Emerald

13.5ct Hiddenite, NC Emerald GIA Certified  


Beautiful Hiddenite NC Emerald with GIA Certification

13.8ct Hiddenite, North Carolina Emerald


Large Hiddenite NC Emerald

We will be adding more Emeralds from the Watkins Collection in the near future. In this collection were some amazing faceted Hiddenite from Hiddenite, NC and we will be adding those as well.