Mining for Cape May Diamonds

My enthusiam for full time travel can be traced back to my 3rd grade Social Studies book. Each glossy page of that oversized book, clad in a paper bag, ala my mad book covering skills, held an adventure in which I can clearly recall saying, “I want to do that!”.

Some of those “I want to do that's” were:

  • gnawing on a raw stick of sugar cane – which was realized when Whole Food Market came to town.
  • attending the Kentucky Derby in a fabulous hat – which was realized in 2012
  • and searching for Cape May Diamonds where the Delaware River spills out into the Atlantic Ocean
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A Facet Cut Cape May Diamond

 
Our recent attendance at a wedding in Cape May yeilded the perfect opportunity to fulfill this 32 year old goal!

So on Sunday morning, after all the wedding festivities had ended, we headed to the very bottom of NJ for an adventure!

First stop, the Cape May Point State Park to learn just exactly what Cape May Diamonds are.

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Here's one we bought for $1

We learned that it takes about 200 years for quartz to travel the entire length of the Delware River and during that time, each tumble is smoothing all the edges and creating smoky translucent pebbles.

We also learned that we were in the wrong spot, and that they are found most plentifully in the shadow of the sunken ship, 1/2 mile down the road… Did someone say “Sunken Ship”???

Before we headed to Sunset Beach, home of the Cape May Diamond, Tonia and I climbed all 199 steps of the Cape May Point Light House.

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Her in flip flops, a gown and tiara, she's always 2 parts fabulous mixed with 1 part up for anything!

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It was super windy at the top, but the view was definitely worth the effort!

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That's my mom :)

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The Motherlode!

Then back into the car for a quick drive to Sunset Beach. The sight of the half submerged Atlantus (part of the World War I Concrete Fleet) told us we were in the right spot.

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The Atlantus

The second clue was everywhere you looked, people were digging!

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Even this guy's looking for them!

At first I thought this would be your typical 'needle in a haystack mission' but I was wrong. The Cape May diamonds were easy to find and plentiful!

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Here's a great one!

I'm super thrilled by this adventure and can't wait to get myself a rock tumbler so I can shine up all the great ones we found!