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Hiddenite is an unincorporated community in east-central Alexander County, North Carolina. It is part of the Hickory–Lenoir–Morganton Metropolitan Statistical Area. The town of Hiddenite was incorporated in 1913, but its charter was repealed in 1919. Hiddenite was named for William Earl Hidden (1853–1918), a mineralogist sent to North Carolina by Thomas Edison to look for platinum. Hidden discovered the gem that came to be known as "hiddenite" in 1879 in mines nearby. Hiddenite is a variety of spodumene and is the only precious gemstone that cannot be synthesized. Until recently it was found only in Alexander County, North Carolina, but in recent decades it has been subsequently found in Madagascar and Brazil. The area around Hiddenite also yields emeralds, sapphires, and many other precious stones. Sluicing and digging for precious gems is a popular recreational activity that draws many visitors to the area.
Hiddenite's altitude is 1,140 feet (347 m) above sea level. The community is also a poultry producer. Native and lifelong resident Raeford A. Thomas is generally considered to be the unofficial "mayor" of Hiddenite.
The Hiddenite Celebration is held on the 4th Saturday in September. The Celebration begins at 9 a.m. and concludes at 4 p.m. The Celebration invites people to see and participant in arts and crafts from different cultures. The main culture is the folk ways of North Carolina. Hispanic and Hmong folk ways are also celebrated at the Celebration. The Celebration is full of entertainment and food from around Alexander County. The annual Hiddenite Half-Marathon is held at the Celebration. The marathon is 13 miles and begins at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church and the finish line is marked in front of the Lucas Mansion. Anyone can participant in this event and trophies are given to those who place.