George Warren was just looking for stones for his slingshot. He took some of the “greenish-colored rocks” to his home in Alexander County.
Then in 1897, George’s parents had a mineralogist examine the stones. It was called hiddenite after William Earl Hidden, who had come to North Carolina in search of platinum for Thomas Edison.
Hiddenite is a greenish variety of spodumene, closely associated with emeralds. Mining of hiddenite sprang up in the 1890s but died off when mining operations proved unsuccessful. Hiddenite is found only in North Carolina, Brazil, China and Madagascar. It’s sometimes used as gemstone.