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“DUPED” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Gem Mountain

Gem Mountain
Hwy 226, Spruce Pine, NC
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Ranked #2 of 10 things to do in Spruce Pine
Attraction details
Virginia Beach, VA
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2009

After seeing Gem Mountain featured on the Discovery Channel, my sister put this on her "Bucket List". Two of her grown children flew up from Florida to go on this expedition along with me and my two grown childen. We drove for over six hours only to "GIVE" our money away for useless pieces of ROCK.

I found lots of pieces of GARNET (the look like meatballs) only to find out they are specimen pieces and aren't worth a darn. Yes, "tehcnically" they are garnet, but not like the garnet crystals you can cut into a stone for mounting.

I know this because I took all my pieces to a local gem cutter who said I had nothing worth cutting. VERY DISAPPOINTING.

He said that what Gem Mountain is doing is switching our pieces of junk out for other gems. That is why it takes so long for you to get your pieces back from them that you find if you choose to have them cut them for you. My suspicion is that we are getting synthetic gems. I, too, ordered from them. I still want my jewelry, so that is why I am not cancelling my order. I will have my stones appraised when I get them.

Isn't it funny that they claim they have gem cutters on site, but you never see them????

DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY. I would go on line and order gem stones off the television before I would ever do something like this again.

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59 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Greensboro, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Great fun and nice gemstones!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2009

I went here with my sister and we both had a blast going through the blasted rocks finding gems in the rough. Make sure to wear tennis shoes, pants, and bring gardening gloves because the rocks are sharp. I would not recommend this to anyone who has trouble getting around or is not in somewhat decent shape. Bring snacks and water because you will be out there for 4 hours. Our trip was well worth it, I found lots of aquamarines, garnets, black tourmalines, and morganites nice enough to cut into gemstones. Don't worry if you don't know what these look like in the rough. Charles was our guide and he was LOTS of help! He was very nice and pointed out the stones and even found some and threw them in our buckets. I left 3 stones to get cut and they sent them to me about 7 weeks later. They turned out better than what I expected and I'm going to get some of them set into jewelry. The trip paid for itself when I received the cut stones and saw the appraised value! Now I have jewelry I can say I found! Check this place out if you are visiting NC, if you don't take the trip you can always buy buckets of stones and sort through them.

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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Mining Tour not what we expected..........”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2009

I wish we had read trip advisor reviews before paying $60 each to be dropped off at a large hole! My son even asked if the people had just tossed a bucket of the gems from the "Gem Mountain" store. He might be on to something...... The people are very nice, but not worth the money. Also, pack a lunch!!!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Gem Mining? More like pickup.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2008

We went to NC for a vacation and wanted to do some real gemstone mining. After reading tons of reviews on places and it seemed this was a legit place to go. We drove over an hour to reach the establishment. We bought the gemstone mining tour which was roughly 70 bucks If I recall. I was very excited to go to an actual mine and hack away at rocks, while we waiting I watched everyone sift through salted buckets. Been there done that. So we got haled away in two minivans to a unknown location which seemed to be hidden away behind some housing. When we got out we were given bucket hammers/picks, and made our way up a hill to the so called mine. There were tons of rocks sprawled out and the guide gave us a quick run down on what to look for. Anything green or black he said. Then it seemed like it was a mad dash for stones that no one knew what they were looking for. I quickly noticed that the whole place was salted with rocks. What a bummer it was. We were there for way more then we should of been, the place was picked dry in 30 minutes. With false hopes that there was anything to even hammer at. It was not a mine, it was just some rocks and it was salted before we got there with worthless stones. Spend 25 bucks to get a salted bucket, and have more fun sifting rocks. I would not recommend the mining tour to anyone, and some of the other people in our van felt the same way.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodbridge, Virginia
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Gem Mountain Thumbs Down”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2008

The staff was less than helpful. They asked if I had ever done this before, I lied and said no, they said here is your bucket keep what you want and throw the rest over the railing. While searching, I found leaves, string and other items one would not normally associate with having come out of a mine. I suspect they are reusing the leftovers, but charging full price as having been unsearched

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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