Erskine’s Bowie Arts Center will host the Upper Abbeville Gem and Mineral Exhibit beginning Saturday, Nov. 4 at 10 a.m. At the exhibit opening Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., mine owners from Due West and the surrounding area will be on hand to answer questions.
In a brochure about the exhibit, an explanation is given for the presence of gems in and around Due West: “The factors of temperature, pressure, space, chemical elements, and time have been just right in upper Abbeville County to leave deep, rich deposits of amethyst and other gems which, over time, have made their way toward the surface.”
Bowie Arts Center Director Ruth Burton noted that many residents are unaware of the “rich veins of amethyst, aquamarine, skeletal quartz, garnets, and other minerals and gemstones” in this area.
Four local mines—the Ellis Mine, the Cunningham Farm, the Diamond Hill Mine, and the Ashley Farm—are represented in the exhibit. In addition, John Rhodes of Carolina Explorations, who is a longtime collector of minerals, will offer a display as part of the exhibit. Videos from Bryan Major, “The Crystal Collector,” will be featured, and Teresa Kemp, owner of SC Wild’s Heritage Center of Plantation Quilts in McCormick, will also present a display.
The exhibit will continue through the month of November. The Bowie Arts Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, except during Erskine’s Thanksgiving closing Nov. 22-24.