My wife and I arrived about 10 AM on Wednesday. No one else was there other than the owner. She quickly had us set up at the covered flume with screens, brushes, trowels and buckets. She gave us very clear instructions on what to do and what we should be looking for. We took our time and went through six buckets of dirt in 5 hours. We were joined by a group of four after the first hour and shortly after lunch time, there were about 25 of us "mining." Popsicles were offered in the morning and the afternoon to everyone. Restrooms are available on site and playground equipment is also available for small children who become bored. We were told that the busiest days are Friday's and Mondays. They told us that they are one of two local mining operations that own their own mines. The other mines around Franklin enhance their buckets and don't use native stones.
This is a family-owned business and someone was always checking with us to see what we had found or if we needed anything. Water and drinks are available as well as some snacks. They helped us to identify what we had found or told us that it had no value. When you finish, they will go through your finds and identify them for you.
You pay $5 per bucket that you dig or you can opt for specialty buckets enriched with sapphires, rubies, or garnets. They run $20 per bucket. Enhanced buckets are also available for $10 through $300. The enhanced buckets contain brightly colored rocks and minerals from all around the world. Some will contain geodes, clear quartz crystals, and amethysts. The $100 buckets appear to be 5 gallon buckets filled with dirt and many large rocks of different colors are visible. Enhanced buckets are great for small children as the rocks are much larger and easier for them to find.
After going through three buckets, I had found 45 garnets, one sapphire, two twelve-sided garnets, some peach moonstone, and several pieces of rose quartz. All-in-all we had a very enjoyable day and look forward to coming back.
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