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Hunting for Fairy Stones

Writing a letter to a friend.

By AGBPublished 8 months ago 4 min read
Staurolites Crystals found at Fairy Stones State National Park, Virginia

10/9/2023

Dear Friend,

Hope you and your family are doing well back on the island. I’m very excited to tell you that yesterday we found some Staurolites at Fairy Stone State Park in Virginia!

Ever since we moved to NC I have been eager to find those little rascals. As soon as we arrive here, I got a myself a couple of rockhounding books called A Rockhounding Guide to North Carolina's Blue Ridged Mountain and Rock, Gem, and Minerals Collecting Sites in Western North Carolina. You would be amazed on how many gems and minerals this one state has to offer, they are practically all over the place!

So according to the books the staurolites are found near the border of NC and upper Georgia in Cherokee County NC. They are supposedly found in the creeks around that area. But when I visited the sites mentioned in the books, I didn’t find any. I was kind of bummed out because those sites are like a 5-hour drive from where we live. Anyways, my husband was telling his boss about our bad luck finding the stones and he said, "Why drive 5 Hours when you can go to Fairy Stone in Virginia that just 1.5 hours away from where you live?" We were like "Say Whaaat??"

It still took us some time to get there.... almost a year! lol. You know how it gets,we were busy with work and taking care of the family. But this past weekend my in-laws were intown visit us, and we were like "What the Hell, let go up to Fairy Stones!" It was fun and funny at the same time! His parents are a bit pinkies ups kind of people, and I had them on their knees on the dirt searching for the stones! They were very excited about it too. “I think I found one, check it out!” they would tell me. It was fun, not to mentioned our little boy, he was running all over the place excited to see the staurolites we were finding.

The Staurolites were hard to find at first because they are the same Iron-ore color of the dirt, but after we found the first one it became easy to spot the rest. They are all over the place along the trail. No digging was required to find them, they were just laying on the surface of the ground. We just brushed away the dead leaves and there they were waiting to be found.

While we were searching for the fairy stone an old gentleman came to talk to us about the stones and gave us some tips on how to find them. He gave us a card with a picture of all the shapes we can find there, it was very helpful because it gave us an idea of what exactly we were looking for.

So, a little history about the Staurolites of the area.

The locals call these gems Fairy Stones, hence the name of the park. The legend of the fairy stones says that hundreds of years before Pocahontas Father, Chief Powhatan, rained over the land that is now Virginia, fairies danced and played around springs of water with naiads and wood nymphs. One day an elfin messenger arrived from a city far away and brought news of the death of Christ. When the fairies heard the story of the crucifixion, they wept and as their tears fell upon the ground, they crystallized to form beautiful crosses. Historic superstition held that possessing one of these rare stones would protect its owner from illness, accidents and even ward off a witch’s curse…. But of course, you and I know what these minerals really are! Just a beautiful combination of silica, iron and aluminum crystal in twining formation creating a cross shaped mineral.

At Fairy stone State Park, they have four varieties of Fairy Stones, The Roman Cross, the St Andrew’s Cross, the Maltese Cross (the rarest of them all) and the single “brick” shaped fairy stone. It was cool to learn that Staurolites can only be found in just a few places around the world, such as Virginia, Georgia, New Mexico, Brazil, and Switzerland! But Virginia is the only place in the world that has the most abundance of them. Fairy Stone State Park is also the only place in the world where you can find them with the most perfect cross-shaped formation.

And now to the best part of this letter!!! I added some Fairy Stones for your collection. We found mainly the St Andrews cross and the single brick. I hope you like them.

Hopefully next time when you come to visit, we can take you to Fairy Stone State Park and hunt for more Staurolites and maybe find the other shapes they have.

Until then we are planning our next trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains. I'm excited to see what new gems we might find there.

Talk to you soon.

With love,

AGB

short storyNature

About the Creator

AGB

Traveling geologist, outdoor enthusiast and adventure seeker.

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Comments (1)

  • Dana Crandell8 months ago

    What a great way to write about the adventure, in epistolary form, and thanks for including the legend of their origin. These are something I haven't had the opportunity to hunt, but I'm going to have to add it to the bucket list.

AGBWritten by AGB

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