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Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine

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Address: 41 Cherokee Mine Road, Franklin, NC 28734
Phone Number: 18283492941
Website
Today
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Open 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 cease at 2:00 PM, in order 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 125 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 90
    Excellent
  • 16
    Very good
  • 7
    Average
  • 3
    Poor
  • 9
    Terrible
Another beautiful day of relaxing therapy

Our annual trip to this gem search attraction. As always, Mike and Lisa provide a day of geologic education, smiles, help, making this outing more than one expects. We don't come... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed yesterday
letsast
,
Fort Myers, Florida
via mobile
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125 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 125: English reviews
Fort Myers, Florida
Level Contributor
90 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

Our annual trip to this gem search attraction. As always, Mike and Lisa provide a day of geologic education, smiles, help, making this outing more than one expects. We don't come here to get rich or to find poor quality gems from overseas seeded in a bucket. We come here because it is exactly the opposite. When we find a... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank letsast
Nashville, Tennessee
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

Just got back from a day at the Cherokee Ruby Mine with my entire family. It was GREAT! Kids (two boys 10,11) loved all the sluing. We found just about every type of gem including thee nice Sapphires. This is a true mining experience with live sluice box, fresh dirt from the mine – NOT salted! (if you are going... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank virtualrw
Roanoke, Virginia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

The staff seemed more interested in impressing customers with knowledge of geology than helping one to find gems.

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

Thank you for your review! First, we do not have “brochures”, we have “rack cards,” which have on one side photographs of the mine and of the gems found here. On the back, there are more photographs, directions, a map, and one paragraph with some basic information about visiting the Cowee Valley, mining in the Cowee Valley, and yes, even... More 

Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Be careful of your GPS! Our GPS led us to a gated community at the top of a very windy road. Follow the instructions on their website. :) These mines are off the beaten path....way off. We almost gave up several times, but we persevered. The folks at the mine are very knowledgeable about the goodies you may find. They... More 

Helpful?
Thank SKGlo0712
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Thank you for your review! You bring up several important points, one of which is that THE GPS LIES! Please follow the directions on our website. The mine is only four (4) miles off of State Highway 28, also called Bryson City Road. DO NOT TAKE COOK CREEK ROAD or FLOWERS GAP ROAD!!! We do try to impart comprehensive information... More 

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Drove over an hour to come here but it was full by noon. Kind of weird seeing that there were not many people here. Oh and do not go here if it rains because they will not be open. I ended up going to Sheffield mine and had a great time. I found 37 carats of rubies so I am... More 

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

Thank you for your review! Now, let us address your points: As stated on our website (the URL is listed in the business description on this TripAdvisor Page), we do limit attendance to 25 miners. In the last 6 days, we had reached that number before noon 3 times. One of those times (was it Monday?) we had reached capacity... More 

Pottstown, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I had an opportunity to visit Cherokee last week. I enjoyed it so much, I went back two more times before heading home! I'm still digging through my two 5 gallon buckets of pay gravel, which I brought home, and finding ruby and sapphire as I do. As a matter of fact, I learned a quicker way of classifying my... More 

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

Thank you for your review! One of the best endorsements we can ever receive is when people return to the mine. Even better is when they change plans and do it several times in one vacation trip! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! Several of the things you mention are quite relevant to anyone who considers a day of mining... More 

1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

I visited the mine last month with my 7 year old daughter, we arrived early to get ahead of the heat. The staff is very friendly, welcoming and educated about what they do. We went through 4 buckets and found a few nice gems, a 5 carat pink sapphire, smaller blue sapphire, rutile, moon stones and many garnets. Took gems... More 

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

Thank you for your review! You mention one of the most important things we try to stress: Arrive EARLY! Not only is it cooler earlier, but you have a far better chance of admission if it gets busy - we do limit our admissions to 25 people so that we may provide the best possible customer service to our miners.... More 

Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Wonderful experience, very friendly people. Great learning experience as well. We found several small gemstones and then dropped them off at the lapidary down the road to be cut and polished. We would do this again.

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

Thank you for your review! You bring up some important information, namely that we do try to make a day at Cherokee educational as well as fun! We are also glad that you patronize other local businesses, and look forward to seeing you back on the sluice! More 

Bay Area, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I chose to visit Cherokee because they were the only mine I found that offered only native material - no "salted" material (where minerals and gems are planted in the buckets to be sure you find something). Matt is very knowledgeable - I'm a geologist and gemologist and I was impressed with the depth of his knowledge for someone who... More 

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

Thank you for your review! It is always fun for us when professionals in the field come to the mine, because we will shamelessly pick their brains to increase our knowledge base, and to improve our presentations and instructions. I have already incorporated several things we discussed into the flumeside Gem Identification session! A day without learning something new is... More 

Hobe Sound, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

What a great day! The staff was very helpful and patient. They were wonderful with small children. This was a first for us, they took the time to explain what we were looking for and checked after us to make sure we got everything. Make sure to bring water, snacks and sunscreen as it can be an all day experience.

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

Thank you for your review! We are grateful for your kind words, and you bring up several important points. We do try to make gem mining accessible to younger miners, because without them, there is no future for this type of activity. It is important to note that not all minor miners have the desire or attention span for mining,... More 

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