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Alabama - Travel Channel Cash and Treasures
TREASURE HUNTING IN ALABAMA
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What this area is known for:
1.Paint Rock Agate
2.Red Carnelian
3.Lemon Yellow Carnelian
4 Jasper
5 Garnet
6. Iron Ores - Hematite, geothite
7. Gold
Biggest finds in this area:


1. Large nodules (10 pound plus) of highly prized but rare agate. Most agate is 1/2 to 5 pounds.

2. Bright Red and Yellow Chalcedony..

Local appraisers:
1. Dewey Moss's Rock Shop - Huntsville, AL. Dewey cuts and polishes gemstones and his wife Bess does spectacular wire sculpture.
Phone (256) 534-4383 Bess 534-2957

Local geocaching/treasure hunting clubs:
1. Huntsville Gem and Mineral Society

http://www.huntsvillegms.org/

2. Area clubs http://www.amfed.org/club.htm
Best time of year to go: Anytime but the heat of the summer months(July & August) . The weather is too hot and the vegetation is too dense. Summer time brings out snakes, ticks,poison ivy and the risk of dehydration. Collecting in the cool steams is one of the best options in the heat of the summer. Other helpful resources:
(newspapers, websites, etc)
1. The University of Nebraska web site. Roger Pabian's Agate Pages have pictures of agate from all over the world including Paint Rock from Greasy Cove.
http://snr.unl.edu/Data/agatepageintro.asp

Have a question about treasure hunting or geocaching in this region?
Post a comment for fellow treasure hunters below!


THE BEST PLACES TO HUNT
Regions can have multiple good spots to go add details to build a complete guide.
Location #1: The Paint Rock River Valley
Paint Rock Agate is found at the interface of the upper Mississippian limestone and the Pennsylvanian sandstone on the steep sides of the Cumberland Plateau.The sandstone weathers at a faster rate than the limestone and therefore a bench general forms at the interface. The agate can be found free of the limestone matrix but at the origin it is often found locked in the limestone. Permission must be obtained to prospect from the local landowners. This is the South so politeness and respect for property is expected. Many landowners will allow rock collecting but don't ask to hunt deer.

General description: Paint Rock is a highly colored (red, yellow, pink, and some green) agate with fortifications, moss, flame and plume. It is found as nodules and in seams.
How to get there: Turn north at the town of Paint Rock off HWY 72 onto HWY 65. The best area is around Trenton. Search both sides of the mountains and the gravel bars in the streams. I found beautiful red carnelian pieces in the Paint Rock River.

Grade this location: (A to F): A GPS coordinates:

Handy to bring along:
1 Shovel and a pick
2.Rock Bag
3.Water !! Bad mistake if you forget the water.
4.Good hiking boots
5. Long pants if you don't want to be cut with briers.
Helpful notes to newcomers: Some nice agate can be found in the streams which is more accessible than the steep mountain climbs. In fact wading in the cool streams and searching gravel bars is great fun. For the physically challenged this is the best bet.

Location #2: Pudding Stone - a variety of jaspers and red chalcedony cemented in a hematite matrix.
The small stones in the matrix make for more attractive cabochons.
General description: The site is an operating quarry.Ask permission to hunt gemstones. Many quarries will allow collecting if you stay out of the way and don't risk your life on steep slopes.
How to get there: Just as you cross the Alabama border on HWY 72 from Mississippi look for the quarry on the right. If you cross Bear Creek you went too far.
Grade this location: (A to F): A
Handy to bring along:
1.Bucket to collect
2.Rock hammer
3.Safety glasses
Helpful notes to newcomers: In a rock saw the material will bleed blood red from the hematite. Wait until you need to change oil before cutting pudding stone. The finished stones take a beautiful luster on tin oxide and leather.


Location #3: Geodes lined with quartz or calcite

General description: Geodes are found in the streams and fields around Athens Alabama. I have collected many geodes from this area including a quartz geode the size of a football. (see picture below)
Athens Alabama Geode
How to get there: Athens Alabama is located in North Alabama at the intersection of I 65 and HWY 72. Most geodes are located west and south of town.
The Historic District has a number of elegant antebellum homes including the main building of Athens State College. Each year during the fall an Old Time Fiddlers Convention is held. Lot's of country music and great fun. Search a few of the shops and you just might find a antique treasure.
http://www.tourathens.com/events.jsp
Grade this location: (A to F): A GPS coordinates:

Handy to bring along:
1.Wading shoes
2.Hand tools
3.Rock Hammer
Helpful notes to newcomers: The lighter stones are the ones you want. The rough geodes look like cauliflower heads.


Location #4: Paint Rock Valley Lodge and Retreat
General description: The Paint Rock Lodge is a great place for rockhound groups, family retreats, and hunting camps during deer season. I have found some beautiful Paint Rock agate and carnelian on the hundreds of acres owned by the Prince family. Ask Eddy about the polished 5 pound nodule of paint rock on display at the lodge that I donated.
How to get there:
http://www.prvlodge.com/

The Hunville Gem and Mineral Society has held some wonderful weekend hunts with Eddy and his family. They are great folks. True Southern Hospitality.
Grade this location: (A to F): A - one of my top sites.
This place would make a Great Show for Kirstin and crew; especially during the Blue Grass Festival. There are crafters with finished jewelery made from Paint Rock and Tennessee agate. Tennessee agate is a continuation of the same geological formation. http://www.tnagate.com/
GPS coordinates:

Handy to bring along:
1.Hiking Boots
2.Pick & shovel
3.Water
4. The food at the lodge is great
Helpful notes to newcomers: Come during the blue grass festival and hear great mountain music.
You might want to wade the river for agate washed down from the hills instead of hiking into the mountains. If you feel up to it, check out the Walls of Jericho. http://www.nature.org/success/jericho.html


Location #5: Falkville Alabama


General description: The Vulcan Materials group is a socially responsible company. Tours of their quarries can be arranged for educational groups. I lead a group from the University of North Alabama Geology Department. Marine fossils abounded; crinoids, cephalopods, bryozoans,brachiopods, and many other species were found.
How to get there: Falkville is located south of Athens on I 65. Arrangement to visit the site must be made in advance.

http://www.vulcanmaterials.com/default.aspx

Marine fossils are plentiful in Noth alabama. It is renowed for complete crinoids (sea lily).
Grade this location: (A to F): A GPS coordinates:

Handy to bring along:
1.Rock hammer
2.Safety glasses
3.Rock Bag
Helpful notes to newcomers: Always obey the instructions of the quarry personnel. Safety is of the utmost importance.


Location #6: Wetumka Alabama

General Description: The most devastating disaster ever to hit Alabama. The crater is approximately 5 miles in diameter. Larger than the Barringer crater in Arizona. The impact totally devastated a 50 mile diameter circle. Thankfully only the dinosaurs saw it. http://www.auburnastro.org/wetu.htm
How to Get There: Wetumpka is south of Birmingham. Take I 65 south to SRD 14 turn east to Wetumpka.
Grade this Location: B

Handy to bring along:
1. Camera
2. .
Helpful notes to newcomers: There are a number of sites around the rem of the crater. The city of Wetumpka has yearly tours each March.

Location #7:

General description:
How to get there:
Grade this site: (A to F)
GPS Coordinates:
Handy to bring along:
1.
2.
3.
Helpful notes to newcomers:




VIDEO FROM THIS AREA
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National Directory page - Travel Channel Cash and Treasures

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PHOTOS FROM THIS AREA
Upload pictures of your geocaching or treasuring hunting excursions from this area.




About this photo: Alabama Brilliant Wood - The interior of the wood is covered with Smokey quartz (weight 65 pounds)

Photo submitted by: Bill Reynolds

Alabama Brillant Wood


About this photo: Alabama Paint Rock
Door Knocker Sizr Pendant of Black Onyx and Agate

Photo submitted by:Bill Reynolds


Alabama Paint Rock

Alabama Paint Rock Agate


About this photo: Alabama Paint Rock Agate
Nodule weight 7 pounds - Bright red fortification agate.

Location; Rattlesnake Site - Trenton Alabama

Photo submitted by: Bill Reynolds



Athens Alabama Geode


About this photo: Geode collected at Athens Alabama - lined with quartz crystals

Photo submitted by: Bill Reynolds


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