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Ch. 2: Diamonds

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6                   HISTORY OF THE GEMS FOUND IN NORTH CAROLINA.
over a wide area of surface in the counties of Burke, Rutherford, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, and Franklin, and I have no doubt if a regular search were to be made for them, they would be more frequently found." To the counties named by Professor Genth, must now be added McDowell, and these all form, with the exception of Franklin, a group lying together in the line of the general drainage of the country, southeast of the Blue Eidge. Franklin County is far to the northeast of the others; and any diamonds occurring there must be derived from the disintegration of another belt of crystalline rocks, that traverses the eastern portion of the State, near Weldon, in Halifax County, or else have been transported for a long distance by streams.
Up to the present time there are about ten authentic occurrences of diamonds in North Carolina, besides several reported discoveries that are not entirely reliable.3 One such instance was that of a quartz crystal found near Danbury, which was examined, and pronounced a (genuine) diamond, by the local jewelers, who valued it erroneously at some thousands of dollars.
The first specimen in order of time, was found in 1843, by Dr. F. M. Stephenson, at the ford of Brindletown Creek, in Burke County. It was an octahedral crystal, and was valued at $100; but no particulars of it are on record. Another was found in the same neighborhood by Prof. George W. Featherstonhaugh, but there seems to be no account of its characters preserved. In 1845, a diamond of 1-J carats, a distorted octa­hedron with curved faces, clear and flawless, though tinged with yellow, was found in the gold washings of J. D. Twitty's mine, in Rutherford County. It became the property of the late General T. L. Clingman, of Asheville, who for many years took great interest and did great service in developing the mineral resources of North Carolina. This stone was described by Prof. Charles U. Shepard,4 who announced the existence of itacolumite in the gold-bearing region of North Carolina, at the meeting of the American Association of Geologists and Naturalists in 1845, and under the impression that the itacolumite is their matrix, had predicted the further discovery of diamonds in that region, as in Brazil. For this reason diamonds, when found, were naturally submitted to him. C. Leventhorpe, of Patterson, Caldwell County, N. C, reports a small and poor specimen found in a placer mine on his property in Rutherford County, and states that he presented it to Prof. Shepard, who retained it in his cabinet. The next important diamond was found in gold-washings
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