In a brilliant marketing move, a tourist-saavy city council self-declared the city of  Franklin, North Carolina the “gem capital” of the world.    Here you can “go panning” for sapphires, rubies, and any number of chunky, occluded stones.  If you are in the region, you can channel your inner prospector and join the hunt which involves hours of sifting dirt over a flume.  People with keen eyes and lots of patience can go home with some whopper-sized prizes.  Pretty tempting if you can spare the time.

If you can’t make the trip, you might consider calling Carly Waito who has perfected the art of PAINTING the 4C’s.  Her work is eminently mountable.

Gallery representation: Narwhal Art Projects