Gems/Gold Panning North Carolina has a number of gem and gold mines where people can hunt for rubies, sapphires, garnets, emeralds, aquamarines, gold and more. For a listing of these mines as well as mineral museums and North Carolina mineral clubs, check the following Web site: /about/divisions/energy-mineral-land-resources/north-carolina-geological-survey/nc-geology. In North Carolina, you are not allowed to carry off any rocks or minerals from state parks or recreation areas. You cannot hunt, pan or dig for minerals on private property without the permission of the property owner. NOTE: Private property may extend into a river, stream, lake or other body of water. According the National Park Service, "Collecting, rockhounding, and gold panning of rocks, minerals, and paleontological specimens, for either recreational or educational purposes is generally prohibited in all units of the National Park System (36 C.F.R. § 2.1(a) and § 2.5(a))." Learn more.