Hidden In Plain Sight
Butterfly Brooch featuring Hiddenite: Buzz Gray and Bernadine Johnston
A lesser well known but equally yummy green gem is Hiddenite. See the fab butterfly's body in the image above? That would be Hiddenite, which under certain conditions can mimic emerald to the casual admirer. This cool jewel is a transparent green version of the mineral spodumene, first found in N.C. in the late 19th century.
in 1879 found its way to geologist Hidden who was on a mission at the behest of Thomas Edison to locate platinum in them thar hills. The sparklers made such a splash in the area they ended up naming the entire region Hiddenite. Since those early finds, the gem-mineral has been recovered from deposits in Brazil, Madagascar, and China.
"Sometimes an entire crystal has a uniform green color, but generally one end is yellow and the other green," he observed.
Modern jewelry fans are glad it was found at all, and continue to collect this exotic beauty for its clear green crystals, a trait that emerald lovers can rarely boast. You might pencil in a field trip to North Carolina as the hills still hold some of these beauties, and hobby mining is a robust pastime in that part of the country.