12 July 2010

Der's Day Out*

For over a month, I had been looking forward to an outing with my friend/sorority sister Toni,

and her husband The Fart Master** John.

Yep, that's right. We were at Sheffield Mine in Franklin, North Carolina, hunting for native rubies:

All those buckets right there? Full of dirt from just over the hill. This mine was owned by Tiffany & Co. back in the 19th century. And today? People are still finding rubies hundreds of carats in size.

Gentlemen? Sign me up.

I paid my $15 for two buckets of dirt (and later signed up for a third bucket) and began five hours of rock-grinding, mud-slinging, and many, many laughs:

Oh, yeah. I was ready to find a Honker and vowed that if I did, I would smear mud on my face. So, the search began. Mike, one of the mine's employees, would stop by from time to time to help with identification or show off his favorite ruby finds:

That? Is a BFR with bits of ruby crystals scattered throughout. Just gets the blood pumpin'!

Suddenly, there it was, my big find of the day. A 23 carat "Squeaker." It wasn't the Honker I was hoping for, but close enough:

I'm seriously thinking of opening a spa at the end of the flume. "Come to Sheffield Mine! Get a ruby and a facial!"

And here's my baby:

Not very big:

(Yes, that's a saucer, so you get an idea of scale.)

But it's all mine! Now, I just need three more to have a ring, earrings, and necklace set.

Guess I'm going back! Who's with me?

*Among a handful of my friends, my nickname is Der. It all goes back to a friend's son who, as a toddler, couldn't say "Heather" but could definitely say "Der" and so the nickname stuck.

**Dear John, I love you. Der. :)


sybil law said...

I would seriously LOVE that!
Der. Hahahaha :)

Avitable said...

You look like an extra in a German Scheisse film.

HEATHER said...

Too cool!!
I went there as a child with my grandparents! I really must go back sometime. Looks like you had a great time! ;-)

Ashlie- Mommycosm said...

I've always wanted to do this...except for diamonds. Looks like you had fun :)

Unknown said...

German Scheisse film? Anyway ... So how much is 23 carats of native ruby worth?

BTW - you do look ... attractive when you're dirty. :)

Grant said...

That looks like great fun except for being outdoors and the exertion and dirt and cost and rubies and location.

Megan said...

Yeah, how much is that worth? More than $15 I hope!

MrsRobbieD said...

We plan to go to the Diamond Mine in South Arkansas later in the fall. Not my Idea of sitting in a dirt field in 100+ degree temps.

Unknown said...

love the nickname Der... mine was DUH when my cousin was little she couldn't say Amanda so it came out DUH... i mean SERIOUSLY!?!?! DUH??? yea... so im GLAD that DIDNT stick! lol :o)

hello haha narf said...

also...i have a cousin heather that i often refer to as der.

Irrational Dad said...

Fun stuff! I bet it was HOT down there though.

Shelli said...

Ruby is my birthstone and, huh, look at that, my birthday is in 12 days. ;)

Faiqa said...

I wannna rubeetoooo!!

Jewelry always makes me a little less articulate.

metalmom said...

Nice find, Der!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a fun day! And that err... mud make up... looks great on you :P

Michael from dadcation.com said...

I wanna rock! You need more Twisted Sister in your life.

Miss Britt said...

Somehow you actually pull of mud.

marty said...

I wonder if they have a Ruby Tuesday promotion.

If not, where are the marketing people?

Alecia @ Hoobing Family Adventures said...

I have a garnet from a similar outing years ago at a mine in northern Idaho. I had it cut and cleaned but have yet to put it into jewelry. To be honest I had kind of forgotten about it. Thanks for the reminder!