DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. - Want to get rich quickly? If you're feeling lucky, you may want to travel to far western Dinwiddie County and Lucky Lake Gem and Mineral Mine.
That's where people go to find hidden gems.
“There are a lot of Rock Hounds that are really, like to come and do it," Roger Fuller, with Lucky Lake Gem & Mineral Mine, said. “Maybe 20 percent are loyal customers that come back all the time.”
Fuller said visitors can find garnet, amethyst, citrine, silver Topaz, aquamarine, smoky quartz, jasper, and agate on the 277-acre property.
According to Fuller, the mine was discovered by two brothers who bought the property as a hunt club. While digging out a pond, they found rough gemstones.
The value of a rough gemstone comes after it is cut.
“When it’s cut, then you’re paying so much per carat for the stone," Fuller said. "Each one is different, depending on how rare they are and how nice the stone comes out.”
While most of the gems won't lead to early retirement, some stones make the drive to Dinwiddie more than worth the trip.
“One person found a 61-carat star Ruby and that was worth over $1,000," Fuller said. “Some Tourmaline’s have been worth over $1,000.”
Fuller added the real value of the mine was the fun time families and friends spend together.
“It’s so neat, it’s such a great place for kids to be able to come and have some sort of experience instead of inside watching video games or things like that, definitely an educational experience," Kelly Perry, who brought her seven-year-old son to the park, said.
“It’s not just fun," Emily Parrish added. "It’s a learning experience. That’s what we all try to do over the summer, when they’re not in school, try to teach them a little bit.”
Mine workers make sure no one goes home empty-handed.
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