our lapidary is currently open by appointment only.
Unlike some other lapidary shops, "We guarantee that your Gemstones to be cut by our certified Lapidarists" A piece of jewelry made by us is something that you will surely be very proud of. Best of all, our services are very affordable. Your jewelry will prove to be a great investment!
Let us introduce you to our Lapidary Professionals
A lapidary (lapidarist, Latin: lapidarius) is an artist or artisan who forms stone, minerals, or gemstones into decorative items such as cabochons, engraved gems, including cameos, and faceted designs. The primary techniques employed are cutting, grinding, and polishing.
Carving is an important, but specialised technique.
Mike Watkins (Geologist and Gemologist GIA)
Responsibilities: I am responsible for the day to day management of the lapidary, mineral and gemstone procurement, mining and water permit compliance, roadway maintenance, and purchase and sale of all minerals and gemstones on site. It’s a very demanding job and requires my full attention. I am also responsible for all training in the lapidary, certifications, and handing down years of knowledge of trial and error to the next generation of Lapidarists.
Favorite Minerals and Gemstones: Emeralds faceted with the "emerald facet" and dark blue Aqua Marine with the "Scissor facet". “Never seen a rock I didn’t like. Each mineral has its own personality”.
Hobbies: Fishing and actually catching fish, playing guitar, saxophone, mandolin, piano, and many other instruments. I really enjoy writing my own music, riding my Harley motorcycle fast (like I stole it), collecting arrow heads and artifacts, digging for rocks and umpiring baseball, which I have done for 35 years. At the end of the day I love to read my bible.
History: I found my first quartz crystal when I was seven years old. This began my wonder and amazement for geology. As I grew up I pursued sports and earned a scholarship playing football. This allowed me to pursue a degree in geology and I was able to realize my full passion for minerals and precious gemstones. In 1979 I won the international cut of the year for my development of the scissor cut and it remains our most popular facet to date. I have had the pleasure of traveling all over the world. Mexico, brazil, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Germany, Spain, Africa (Ivory Coast), Alaska, and Hawaii have all been called my playground for a short time. The only continental state I have not collected minerals and rocks in is Rhode Island. I have had the privilege of learning gold and silver smith skills, wax casting, custom jewelry design, cabbing, faceting, basically anything you need done in a lapidary. I am highly skilled at all levels of lapidary work and truly enjoy teaching and passing on my years of knowledge to the next generation of Lapidarists.
Issac "Drew" Ervin (Geologist)
Responsibilities: I evaluate all open orders currently under way in the lapidary and facilitate their completion. My biggest strength in the lapidary is Mineral Identification (specifically hard to identify minerals). I handle mineral specimen sales, faceting, evaluating minerals specimens for a gemstone quality facet or cabochon. I then advise our clients as to which method will achieve their desired look. I also am responsible for the Earth Science Tour as the Educational Speaker and Merit Badge Instructor.
Favorite Minerals and Gemstones: Hiddenite Smokey Quartz facet and pretty much any Pseudomorph or Carbonate. I also truly appreciate Paleoanthropology and any mineral or fossil that can show a natural progression of time through the impact of its environment.
Hobbies: : Live music events, exploring nature, tai chi and chinese medicine, cats, rock climbing/bouldering, mineral/fossil hunting, gem cutting (faceting and cabochoning), disc golf, harmonica, saxophone, thrift shopping.
History: My name is Isaac Drew Ervin. I grew up 15 minutes from the town of Hiddenite on a cattle farm and visited this mine on numerous occasions. I still have my precious finds that continue to inspire me to this day. I can still remember the exact location I found them. Based on those experiences and my passion for travel and discovery I set out on a journey of how our Earth was formed. I attended UNC Wilmington and received my Bachelors of Science in Geology Class of 2013. I had the privilege of serving as officer in the University’s Geology Club which funded its own field trips for geological research and mining exploration. While living in Wilmington, NC I took the opportunity to study coastal environments, oceanography, invertebrate paleontology, and also made my way inland to study hard rock geology in the Raleigh area, West Virginia, and New Mexico. After having such a rich college experience, I was thrilled to be back at the Mine where I have the opportunity to influence the future generations and pursue my passion for Geology and quest for knowledge.
A visit to the Emerald Hollow Mine almost guarantees that you will find some precious and/or semi-precious stones in their rough, natural state. We can transform these into spectacular finished gemstones and mount them in elegant jewelry for you. With a sparkling gemstone serving as a constant reminder that you or a loved one actually found that gem, this jewelry will be a very special treasure and cherished for life.
Our full service Lapidary Shop is staffed with highly skilled professional Geologists and Gemologists that can be trusted to turn your rough stones into beautiful faceted gems or polished cabochons. After your stones have been cut by our experts, we can mount them in a gold or silver setting of your choice. We offer a huge selection of jewelry settings to showcase your gemstones,so you can dazzle in your own one of a kind piece!
Offered at incredible prices, we also have a large selection of
impressive, custom made jewelry pieces, mineral specimen and finished gemstones on display in house.
Jewelry repair is also avaliable, including ring sizing. We can work with 925 Sterling Silver,10k and 14k Gold,however we cannot work with nickle,platnium,copper/gold/silver plated materials or titanium,
Whether you have your own gemstones or need us to supply them, you can depend on us for all your jewelry needs!
For a list of the basic Lapidary pricing please,
contact the lapidary at
828-635-7548 or email our Lapidary Director Mike Watkins: firstname.lastname@example.org