Ray Mica Mine
A McRocks Cookout & Rockswap Field Trip
Madison, North Carolina
July 7, 2006
Report by Mike Streeter

As part of the McRocks cookout and rock swap festivities, I led a group to the Ray Mica Mine in Yancey County, NC. The Ray Mine is a former muscovite mine and is best known for its beryl crystals. A wide variety of other collectable minerals can also be found at the Ray, including tourmaline, muscovite, moonstone, fluorite, hyalite, columbite, apatite, quartz, garnet, thulite and many more.

We met at the National Forest trailhead before making our way up the 1/2-mile trail to the creek that runs through the lower spoil piles. Due to an explosion of poison ivy on the forest slopes, we restricted our collecting to the creek bed area. While many fine rocks and minerals were recovered, I gave all that I found away, so I don't have any specimen pictures to share in this report, but you can check out one of many other Ray Mine field trip reports on McRocks.com for representative rocks and minerals. The following pictures tell the more important people-side of the story.

Everett Harrington &
Guri and Alex Zeigerman

Guri & Alex Zeigerman

Group digging in creek bed

Herb Bastuscheck

Joe "Crickwalker" Dunleavy

Ernie Walker & Herb


Beverly Sapp & Anne Bair

Lloyd Brown

Those who were new to the Ray found out how stingy the mine can be when it comes to finding beryl. But, just about everyone had at leat one crystal or fragment to show for all their hard digging and rock busting.