Ontario's official gemstone, amethyst, is one of the many natural resources found on the north shore of Lake Superior. The coloured crystalline silica mineral quartz found in this area comes in beautiful shades, like Precious Purple and Thunder Bay Lavender. Visitors can mine their own amethyst at the Panorama Mine, 35 miles (56km) east of Thunder Bay, which is the site of the largest deposit of amethyst in north America, discovered in 1955. The mine currently produces 40 percent useable amethyst by volume and has a large digging area open to the public that contains 20 percent useable amethyst. All one needs is a bucket and spade to enjoy a mining experience.
Address: East Loon Road
Telephone: (807) 622 6908 (Amethyst Gift Centre)
Opening times: Open daily, from 10am to 5pm (until 6pm between 1 July and 31 August)
Admission: C$7.08 (adults); Free for children under 5 years old