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“Once a great place, not any more!” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Gem Mountain

Gem Mountain
Hwy 226, Spruce Pine, NC
828-765-6130
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Ranked #2 of 10 things to do in Spruce Pine
Attraction details
Deltona, Florida
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Once a great place, not any more!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

Let me start by saying that my family has been going to Gem Mountain for close to 2 decades. When we first started going there it was wonderful. We went there so much, we became friends with the family that owns and operates the place. We found beautiful rough gemstones, we have boxes of them here at home, and had several different stones cut, everything from topaz and amethyst to emeralds and sapphires. And the quality of the cut stones was exceptional!!! Emeralds that appraised at $6000 and other stones that appraised in the hundreds of dollars but which only cost us between $45 and $65 to cut. We were so pleased. Sadly those days are long gone! This last time we went up there, it seemed like any other visit and we spent over a thousand dollars on getting a large stone cut, several rings and a few smaller stones cut. We received the order today and are livid!!!! One ring was completely wrong, wrong cut, wrong size, just wrong. The large stone supposedly broke while they were cutting so instead of one large cut stone, we got 2 smaller crappy stones. We've been playing phone tag with them all day and pretty much getting no where. As much as I loved this place growing up, I am sadly disappointed that their quality of customer service and the quality of the items coming out of there. We will never be going back.

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Augusta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Not the usual weekend activity”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2013 via mobile

Prices for buckets were a bit higher than similar operations and down here there are a lot of them but they did have a bunch of different options. We were a family of 1 adult and 2 boys. We got the opal bucket and the 130 bucket mixed. It kept us busy for a couple of hours and we did find a couple of gemstone quality but while my 6 year old boy spent the entire saying oh look! My 13 year old got bored after an hour. (Though for that hour he was just as excited). The buckets were definitely salted but again we felt it was worth the money for my two beginner rock hounds to have a great first experience. Will we go back? Maybe.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ocean City
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Great Fun”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2013

This was my first trip to Gem Mountain. My sister had been there before and was excited to take me. I was not disappointed. The first day we went to Brushy Creek mine and loaded up mainly on garnets and aquamarines. There were loads of them and it was great fun to chip away on some rocks to extract them. There were loads of different stones everywhere. There were four of us and we had plenty of things in our sack when we were finished. When we had the gems checked there were a lot that were suitable for gem cutting.

The second day we did the Hoot Owl mine and scored loads of emeralds. We sorted though what had been previously mined and had been salted with more gems. There were many of our finds suitable for cutting. The mine area is breath taking.

We mined for two days and at the end we were all thrilled with what we were taking home. Our host for the mine trips was Charles. I can't say enough nice things about him. He was knowledgeable and helpful. He showed us what to look for and gave us great tips. He didn't just watch us mine. He went around gathering gems and putting them in our buckets. When we'd find something different he readily knew what it was. He drove professionally and safely. These mines are up some scary roads so you'll appreciate his driving skills.

You'll want to bring a few supplies with you. You may want to bring gloves, snacks, and drinks. It's nearly 4 hours at the mines and it can get very hot. You want to wear comfortable shoes and preferably boots. You'll be doing a lot of stretching so you want good shoes on for comfort and traction. They provide buckets to collect the gems and a rock hammer. When you get back to base you can clean your stones and bag them. They will go over your finds and let you know what are gem quality stones.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“gem mine”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

this was the best place for finding gems and rocks stephen loved this gem mine he found alot of gems and rocks that were shining it is along drive from boone but you go trew the mtns

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Lynchburg, Virginia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“We're hooked!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

My son, my parents and I purchased the 5 gallon bucket with one free cut on our first day in Spruce Pine. We had a ball finding our treasures...so much so that we returned the next day to try our hand again! We have one topaz, one emerald, and one garnet we're having cut. We can't wait to see them! And we're already planning another trip next year!

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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