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Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine

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Address: 41 Cherokee Mine Road, Franklin, NC 28734
Phone Number: 18283492941
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Today
12:00 pm - 5:00 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...

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.

In addition, Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine is open from May 1st though October 31st. Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine is CLOSED from November 1st through April 30th.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 103 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 72
    Excellent
  • 14
    Very good
  • 7
    Average
  • 2
    Poor
  • 8
    Terrible
Didn't Find a Big Gem (they don't 'salt' their buckets), But Had A Good Time

I came here twice! The setting is really nice, as others have said, a nice drive into the hills. There is a long sluice box set up with benches, so it is easy to rinse the dirt... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed November 19, 2015
expat326
,
San Francisco, California
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103 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
158 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2015

I came here twice! The setting is really nice, as others have said, a nice drive into the hills. There is a long sluice box set up with benches, so it is easy to rinse the dirt. The Owners are helpful and provide initial gem identification help and will look over your screen to see if you miss anything. You... More 

Helpful?
Thank expat326
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Thank you for your review! nd thank you for your return visit - we can ask for no better endorsement than that. Thank you also for posting pictures (In the interests of full disclosure, the cattle are down the road apiece - NOT at the mine. Customers will not have to share seating at the sluice with the cows)! Have... More 

Franklin, North Carolina
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2015

This was our first time to this mine & it was a gorgeous drive! Upon check in we were greeted & instead of going over the usual talk the lady gave us a speech and made us answer questions about stones that we had never heard of (we are adults, just looking to relax on vacation). When we got to... More 

Helpful?
Thank Stephanie B
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Well, let’s do this one by the numbers. Cherokee Ruby and Sapphire mine is not the “Usual” mine, so we do not give the “Usual” talk. The “Usual” information is not necessarily applicable when applied to the last remaining 100% Unsalted Mine in Macon County. You state you are asked about stones you never heard of, yet these are the... More 

Knoxville, Tennessee
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2015

We go here frequently, and there is one very good reason why… smiles is what we find on our faces while searching the clear creek-fed flume cleaned dirt, along with many rubies! The owners are fantastic, informative, and very helpful in the process of finding and identifying the contents of the screened dirt. It is also in a very beautiful... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Tia and Steve S
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Congratulations on starting off our second hundred of reviews here on TripAdvisor - Thank you for you review! We do work very hard at trying to preserve the authenticity of the Cowee Valley mining experience, and, while time marches on, comments like yours show that we are succeeding! And we know when you two show up it is going to... More 

Corbin, Kentucky, United States
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2015

I have been to almost all the local mines in Franklin. I have to,say this day was terrible and not a pleasant experience at all. First they do not show you that the dig pile is a bunch of large river rocks until after you pay and once you do pay, they want you to dig all six buckets at... More 

Helpful?
3 Thank Jenny I
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Congratulations on being our 100th Tripadvisor Reviewer! While we would have preferred a positive review upon reaching the 100 Review Mark, we will address your negative review item by item, as we normally do. It is probably a mere coincidence that the same day we moved up from #9 to #6 of TripAdvisor’s “Top Things To Do In Franklin”. First... More 

Honesdale, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2015

This is a great place for couples, singles, and families for mining gems in a non-salted mine. It can be a whole day event or shorter. Even if you haven't done gem mining before no need to worry, since the staff is well informed and will show you samples of the gems your are looking for. If you are unsure... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Joyce M
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Thank you for your review! We cannot ask for a better endorsement than when customers make repeat visits - Thank you! We do our best to provide complete information regarding gem hunting and identification, and when we see people who are attentive and actively participate in the learning process, we also see people who become successful gem miners. All of... More 

Goodlettsville, Tennessee
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2015

Wow, wow, wow! My wife and I stopped in early on Labor Day and spent The whole day having the time of our lives. We got there when they opened and spent seven fun filled hours learning about the gems, the area, methods to mine the stones, and a lot about Matt, Lisa, and "mom". By the way, "mom" is... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Ryan W
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Thank you for your review! All of us are very glad that you enjoyed your day at the Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine! We were especially glad that you came early - it is the best way to maximize your mining experience and not have to be rushed at the end of the day. While there is no single correct... More 

1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2015 via mobile

What a fun day !! Matt ,Lisa and Mom are so helpful. I had no idea of what I was looking for . They were very patient with me asking every five minutes what is this . Great place to take the family . By time you leave you will know the difference between all the different types of gems... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Elizabeth S
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Thank you for your review! All of us are glad you had a good day at the mine, and we always appreciate when customers acknowledge our efforts to educate them about this type of mining. And our tips & techniques can be used at any mine, once your know the attributes of the gems that mine produces. Thank you again,... More 

1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2015 via mobile

My wife has been dying to go to the mine since hearing about it from a friend. Finally had our chance this weekend and we were not disappointed. After a beautiful ride up to the mine we met mom at the office. She explained everything to us gave us our screen, umbrella, cushions, small buckets and directed us to the... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Jim H
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Thank you for your review! We are glad you both had a successful day, and while The Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine can be a challenge for first-time miners, we do try to educate our customers so as to maximize their chances of success. We can't wait to see you one the sluice again! More 

2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2015

I had been planning a trip to Franklin with my 10-year old son for two years, and I wish that I had started with the Cherokee mine instead of finishing with it; I wouldn't have gone to any others. There are three key components which make this mine better than the rest. First, the soil is virgin; it has not... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Rodney S
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Hello Rodneys! Thank you for your review! We are always thrilled when young miners have a great day - without them, this hobby has no future. So it always makes us feel our efforts are worthwhile when people are attentive to our suggestions and information sessions, and then have a successful day. Thank you also for providing the TripAdvisor community... More 

A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2015 via mobile

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 

Helpful?
1 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Thank you for your information-filled review! We are glad whenever long-time Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine customers give us a seal of approval - it shows that we just might have "The Right Stuff" to run this operation in a manner which provides the most authentic possible mining experience. Plus, your review helps reinforce important aspects of any visit here,... More 

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