Things You'll Need
- Rock hammer
- Geologist field book
The Georgia state mineral, the staurolite crystal, has been found in large quantities for generations in northern Georgia. The staurolite crystal is often referred to as a "fairy stone" or a "fairy cross" by local residents due to its easily recognizable cross-like shape. These crystals, according to GAMineral.org, have been collected for many years as good-luck charms. Finding a fairy cross in North Georgia isn't a difficult process, and if you want to find a few of these unique crystals, all you'll need to know is a bit of geography.
Obtain a map from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources or the U.S. Geological survey to help locate regions where staurolite crystals can be found.
Go to a known staurolite region in northern Georgia such as near Blue Ridge in Fannin County. Adjacent areas are also prospective areas to find these crystals.
Look for any visible metamorphic rock such as quartzite, marble, slate or gneiss. These rock structures are easily identifiable by using a geologist field book. North Georgia has a large amount of slate, marble and quartzite rock. Look particularly for broken rock. The crystals are typically found embedded in larger rocks on some cliff sides and smaller mountain bases.
Locate old trails around the metamorphic rock region, such as game, hiking or hunting trails. Over time, traffic along these trails tends to turn over soil and rock, sometimes exposing staurolite crystals embedded in smaller rocks. Travelers used to find these crystals after fields were cleared and wagon wheels created trails, which wore down the soil exposing the rocks, according to Stone Cross Mountain.com.
Use a rock hammer to loosen larger rocks to get to the crystals. The crystals are typically very small, about the size of Pez candy or smaller, and embedded in rock. Note that most specimens of staurolite crystals aren't removed from their rock embedding because many clusters of these crystals are present within the rocks.
Try signing up for a mining trip, or ask the local mining companies about finding staurolite crystals.