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“Excellent time, friendly owners” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine

Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine
41 Cherokee Mine Road, Franklin, NC 28734
(828) 349 2941
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Ranked #8 of 26 things to do in Franklin
Attraction details
Manchester, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Excellent time, friendly owners”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2014

We spent a Saturday afternoon at Cherokee Mine, and had a great time. The owners were very friendly, helpful, and knowledgable. They were very good with our kids, taking the time to explain what each gem was and how to identify them. We left with a few good stones and lots of good memories.
The only caution we would give, is to avoid Cowee Lapidary, even though the mine owners recommend. The man at the counter was surly and rude. He treated us like we were dumb because we didn't understand how our raw stones would be cut, and what type of jewelry we could have made.

Visited August 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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60 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Franklin, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“A Perfect Afternoon”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014

We are rockhounds, so what attracted us to Cherokee is the fact that they do not salt their buckets, and that you can fill your own bucket from the pile. We found out that the material is not commercial tailings, but actually comes directly out of their mine. The owners are very good people; so gracious and happily educate you on what to look for, how to wash and sort the stones, and give you a history lesson on the site. They even look through your "throw away" pieces to be sure you did not miss anything. They also set out hummingbird feeders so you get to see the local avian and butterfly population while sitting at the flume in the beautiful mountain setting. Make sure to go to their website to get directions because Google Maps et al will lead you astray. A splendid day.

Visited July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Macedonia, Ohio
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“What a great way to relax”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014

Must see and do in Franklin is the Cherokee ruby mine. Maria and Ray put out the welcome wagon for the summit lap group and we all had fun found great stones and left feeling like we had made new friends and family its a must do

Visited July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Best quality gems”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014

We spent a week in a cabin close to the Cherokee Mine all in all we mined at the Cherokee for 4 days and we dug our own dirt every day. Found many sapphires and rubies that we are having made into jewelry, one was even a star sapphire around 14ct. You may find more at other mines but the gem quality is less and less likely to be able to be cut. Even owners of other mines go to the Cherokee when they want to find the good stuff. Maria is a true rock hound as she "loves rocks" and has been running the mine for decades. Ray is an awesome guy and will help you in any way he can, sometimes even his kids come out to help out. The Cherokee is an all around great family owned and operated mine.

Visited July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kennesaw, Georgia
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“A Hit With Teeneage Girls”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014

My daughter, two nieces (all teenagers) and I mined at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine yesterday (7/17/14). The owners, Ray and his mother Maria, were very nice and extremely helpful. We opted to pay the extra $10 to dig our own dirt from the mine (unlimited buckets), which is a 5-minute walk from the sluice. It's the same dirt that you can buy, but the girls wanted to post that they "dug their own dirt."

We found one garnet capable of being cut/polished and mounted on an earring stud, several smaller garnets as well as many garnet chips. We also found several pieces of rutile and moonstone. Maria showed us a sizable ruby (about the size of a pencil eraser) that was found by a couple sitting at the other end of the sluice. Maria and Ray went through our screenings and found a sapphire and a piece of indian pottery (about the size of a corn flake, and you could clearly see the designs).

Ray felt bad that we didn't find more, so he gave us a sizable sapphire (about the size of 7mm pencil eraser - sorry, I'm an accountant and this is all I could think of) and a smaller ruby. He also gave us a bag of screenings containing smaller sapphires that we could identify with a black light when we returned home. For the record, I've never had a mine owner be so generous!

Overall, it was a beautiful day and a great experience thanks to Maria and Ray. I would recommend Cherokee if you are looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience with lots of personal touch.

Visited July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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