[September, 2012] There is a gemstone mine in Idar, Germany, which is the only one open to the public in Europe.
Here they can get four kind of stones such as agate and jasper.
From around 15th century up until 1875, it was a working mine.
It was not organised industry, but farmers around there came, dug and sold in order to get some extra money.
In early 19th century, the economical situation was bad and a lot of people around here emigrated to Brazil and some of them found that in Brazil they can get tons of agate easily.
They started exporting them cheaply, so the gemstones here became too expensive and that led to the closure of this mine.
Which means that there are still treasures in there.
Also I leaned that gemstones are born during the volcanic activity.