Debbie and I took a short trip to Helen, Georgia this past three days to mine some rough gems at Dukes Creek Gem Mine. We had a very good time in Helen and found some very good rough to cut at the fee mine. We got some great opal, ruby a""nd emerald specimens. Also found smokey quartz, aventurine, sodalite and some fantastic agate. Now I have the fun of cutting stones in order to convert them to jewelry. We also purchased some small uncut geodes which I will slab and then polish to make a geode wind chime.
While there, we also visited downtown Helen, watched river tubers for some time and went to a cooperative art shop where an internet jeweler friend has some pieces displayed. Her work was the best jewelry in the shop. Many other genres of art were there including painting and pottery.
All in all, we had a great time, spent almost no money and got home without any problems. If you are ever in the region, you should visit Helen, such a quaint "German" town. Helen is located near the William Holland School in Young Harris, GA and also Dahlonega where the US had a gold coin mint and you can still do panning for gold.