when we were in North Carolina we had the chance to visit the city of Cherokee and go to a gem store. They had buckets of dirt that came from mines and you could buy a bucket and go out to try your hand at finding gems in the dirt.
You would put some of your dirt in a wooden box with a screen at the bottom and as the water rushed through a sluice it would clean the dirt and you would look through rocks to find gems. It wasn’t really mining and more touristy but it was still fun because we found some cool gems.
After finding the gems we took them inside the shop and they told us what we had. Our piles of rocks are visible here from left to right on the red mat you have citrine, amethyst, garnets, calcite, one tiny ruby, and emeralds.
Our kids really enjoyed finding the gems. I’ve seen a lot of places like this in the South. I don’t remember seeing any in Utah or in the west in general. It was a fun treasure hunt. I hope I don’t get silicosis from the hard rock mining.