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Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine

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Address: 41 Cherokee Mine Road, Franklin, NC 28734
Phone Number: 18283492941
Website
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Today
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Mon - Sat 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Description: Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine is Macon County's ONLY 100% Unsalted Mine...
Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine is Macon County's ONLY 100% Unsalted Mine, located in the heart of the Beautiful Cowee Valley of North Carolina's Smoky Mountains. Please note: Operation of the mine is weather-dependent, and the mine will close for inclement weather. Please also note: ---Admissions for Dig-Your-Own Buckets cease at 1:00 PM. ---Admissions for Pre-Filled Buckets cease at 2:00 PM. This is to enable sufficient time to process the gem ore and maximize the success of your mining experience. Our mining ore is 100% virgin material, and requires between 30 and 60 minutes to properly and completely search, so the earlier a customer can possibly arrive, the greater the odds of having a successful day. Please visit our website for complete information regarding Hours of Operation, How-To's, and other important information.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 94 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 66
    Excellent
  • 13
    Very good
  • 6
    Average
  • 2
    Poor
  • 7
    Terrible
New and Different doesn't mean BAD

I have been to this mine many many times over the years. I have spent my birthday there in several occasions . I was saddened that the mine had been sold, because of the... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed August 20, 2015
A TripAdvisor Member
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94 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2015

I have been to this mine many many times over the years. I have spent my birthday there in several occasions . I was saddened that the mine had been sold, because of the relationship I had with the past owners, however I was made to feel at home by the new owners as was my best friend who had... More 

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Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2015

Our son (11 year old) wanted to go mining for rubies. We found lots of stones but no rubies. We had a great time and learned some things also. Wear sunscreen. Take shoes that can get wet or rain boots. You'll need lots of water and snacks during the summer. You park close to the sluice so you don't need... More 

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A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2015

Drove all the way to find they close at 2 pm! Would help to list on trip advisor so customers do not drive all the way for nothing.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Thank you for your suggestion. Please note that, directly under the address and map is the link to our website, which has complete information regarding: Hours of Operation, Mining Fees, How-to's, Proper Attire for Mining, and other important information. However, for the benefit of other people who may not follow the website link, this information will be added to the... More 

Brookfield, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
34 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2015

My family visited the Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, and had a great time. My first bit of advice is to take the bad reviews of this place with a grain of salt. There are some people that can find fault with anything and everything. There was no trace of sarcasm at this place, but the wit is definitely not... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Thank you so much for your review! We do try to keep the atmosphere light and cheerful, and customer participation is encouraged. Thank you particularly for pointing out the necessity of proper attire and being prepared to spend a day in the weather - we cannot stress that enough! A positive attitude is also a big plus - and you... More 

Illinois
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2015

If your looking for a 'one of a kind' vacation then this is your place! We loved it so much we mined for 3 days, we planned on only doing 1. The owners, Matt & Lisa, and Stan are so helpful, patient and kind. Are the rubies, sapphires, and garnets that you find, 'planted' in your buckets? Nope! Do they... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Hey there - Thank you for your review! You folks were a pleasure to have at the mine, and the transformation from that first hour of "I have no idea what I am doing!" to the "AHA!" moment was wonderful to behold. The fact that you all kept coming back affirms our belief that we are doing things right! Thank... More 

Shelbyville, Indiana
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2015

We did not care for the long, bossy same speech that we had to hear the owner give over and over. The $30 price for 6 small buckets you dig out of a small pile of dirt seemed high. Most dig yourself places let you walk back to the dig area and dig your own dirt. We feel it is... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Hello, I will admit to being pedantic, but not bossy. I give the same speech to almost all the customers (except for returning customers, and those who profess long experience with mining), especially the great number of first-time miners. I would ask if it would be better if I gave no speech other than "Here's your screen, there's the ore.... More 

Manchester, Tennessee
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2015

Took my 7yr old son here bc he is really into rocks just like I am. Everyone at the mine was really helpful and enthusiastic about teaching us all about the different kinds of stones we were hoping to find. They took so much extra time and care to show my son what he had found and even helped him... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Matthew M, Manager at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

We were happily surprised to see you back so soon, since you had said your son was going on a "mine tour". It was a pleasure having your son and you there - and back again! Cherokee Mine is certainly challenging for most children - and even some adults. We are very much looking forward to seeing you both here... More 

Charlton, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2015

We chose Cherokee because it is only a mine and not a gem cutting or retail type place. The buckets of material are not "salted". Whatever is in the buckets is what was deposited there over time. The owners helped us look for gems and checked anything we thought may be gems . We did find a variety of stones... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

We are gratified that you had a successful day, and look forward to seeing you again! Thank you for your review, and for pointing out the necessity of keeping a good "Weather Eye". More 

Cincinnati, Ohio
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2015

Everyone was very nice, informative and helpful. I feel like we got the real experience of mining (not salted). We even found a few rubies. I would recommend this activity for anyone, even if they didn't want to be archaeologist when they where kids. Consider heat (sun is good for finding gems), attention span and available time when deciding on... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Thank you for your review, and confirming what we tell people about sun exposure, attention spans (this applies to adults as well as children. . .) and the time needed to properly process and examine each bucket of gem ore! We recommend budgeting between 30 and 60 minutes per bucket, and, if you opt for the "Dig-Your-Own option, allow for... More 

Sanford, Florida
Level Contributor
86 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2015

Our grandsons (both 8 years old) had the greatest time. They thought they were going to be rich. So much fun and such great memories of watching them pan for rubies and emeralds. We went back twice because they had such a good time.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

It is always gratifying to see families at the Cherokee Mine - especially the number of Grandparents who take the time to get the grandchildren out and experiencing new things. No better endorsement than children wanting to come back can be had - especially since the Cherokee Mine is such a challenging experience, due to the 100% unsalted nature of... More 

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