Gem Mountain Gemstone Mine

Gem Mountain Gemstone Mine, Spruce Pine: Hours, Address, Gem Mountain Gemstone Mine Reviews: 4.5/5

Gem Mountain Gemstone Mine
4.5
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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About
We offer gem mining at it's best! You can mine the buckets here at the flume line or you can take the 4-hour trip out to the mine to dig your own. The mine trips do require a reservation. You can do the mining at the flume rain or shine. We also have a General Store/Gift Shop, Jewelry Shop, a free fluorescent mine display, a picnic area to go along with the gem mining. We are located one mile off the Blue Ridge Parkway so there are lots of places to do hiking if you like. Come and enjoy a fun-filled day with us!
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
150 reviews
Excellent
94
Very good
29
Average
11
Poor
7
Terrible
9

KurtRB
5 contributions
Mar 2021
We took the Hoot Owl mine tour on 3/30/21. My son and I boarded a van with five other folks for about a 30 minute ride (including ~15 minutes of VERY rough "roads" on the way to the mine) to the Hoot Owl mine. Mining here began in the 1800s, primarily for feldspar and mica, but it is not currently an active mine. It's cool to walk through the large caverns and see the veins of different materials running through the rock. Your actual mining experience takes place outside of the actual mine, in a large pile of material brought to this location from a different mine (that is not open to the public). You are given buckets and shovels to dig through the pile, looking primarily for emeralds. Screens are available, but unfortunately the flume does not work, so you have to wait until you are back at the shop to clean up your findings.

We found a large number of emeralds buried within black mica. After we ran all our material through the flume at the shop, the experts there identified three of our samples as containing emeralds of high enough quality to have cut into stones - the other samples were just pretty green/black rocks. We didn't elect to get them cut (price range shown to us for this was $115-$285) but may in the future.

Overall, a great experience for my son and me. I have to admit I was slightly disappointed to learn the material we were digging through came from another mine, but I understand why. Our guide was not very engaging, but would answer questions put to him and would dig through the pile himself, giving his finds to the kids on the tour. The experience is a bit pricey at $90/head (kids younger than 11, I think, are half price) and I wouldn't do it again, but I'm glad we did it last week, as it was something my son really had on his bucket list.
Written April 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi! Thank you so much for the review. We are glad you enjoyed your time with us. I did want to take the time to ask you about the guide. You said he was there to answer your questions and actually did some digging for you and gave your son the emeralds. I'm not sure what else you expected but I would like to ask you to give us a call or respond back. We take comments very serious and want to make any improvements we need to. Thanks!
Written May 19, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rose P
Nashville, TN330 contributions
Oct 2021
Did the family mixed bucket for $115 and got a bunch of gems (and got one free cut, valued $60). I had assumed that it would be cut right then. Takes 6 weeks, pay $12 for shipping and handling. Very pretty place and great photo ops. A lot of fun. Came away with a bunch of gems. Our 11yr old was very happy. There were two gem mining places closer to our condo in Banner Elk, but picked this one because the buckets were from the two mines they own. Figured it was the real deal since they also offer mining tours. We didn't do the tour because it was a little pricey and also took 4hrs. Will see how the cut stone turns out!
Written October 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ralph O
Hastings, FL23 contributions
Mar 2020 • Family
My wife, daughter and I went & did the $30 bucket it was nice there is an are for panning that is heated. The gym store as well as the gift shop were very nice and fairly priced. The men's room was clean and up to date
Written March 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your review! Let us know what we can do to earn 5 stars!
Written May 19, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lauren B
Baltimore, Maryland, United States59 contributions
Jun 2022 • Family
Wow. It exceeded all expectations. Kids (5&6) are really into reality mining shows so we planned a trip here. We did the day at the off site mine, mining our own treasures. We found much more then we expected to and kids found good stuff on their own.

Found garnets, tourmaline, golden beryal, aquamarine and clear quartz.

There was shade and areas to take a break. They drive you up the mountain to the mine, provide buckets, hammers/⛏️. We brought gloves which I recommend bringing. Plus a cooler of lunch/snacks/water and a camp chair.

It was really great for the kids ages, stones were big enough for them to find and enjoy the hunt.

The shop will sort out what is viable to make jewelry with and can make it for you then mail it to you. We choose to just take our raw treasures, but had plenty that was viable for jewelry.

Pictures are just the viable gems we found.
Written June 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Isaac
Burnsville, NC1 contribution
May 2021 • Family
We love to gem mine and heard rave reviews about Gem Mountain and were so excited to go. I read reviews on here and thought there are way more positive than negative and went on. To be honest we checked out all of them while we were there.

I'm not sure what the people are talking about. The buckets are far superior than Rio Doce. The quantity is way more at Gem Mountain. You get better gems that are worth more.

As far as the staff go, you will never find nicer people than they are. The owner, Kay is always there front and center. She is one of the nicest people I have ever met. This is a family run business and we met several of the grandsons while there.

I would highly recommend Gem Mountain to all my friends and family.
Written May 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you so much for your review!
Written May 19, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Patpar
Statesboro, GA6 contributions
Jul 2020
Gem Mountain was our second stop to mine for gems while in Spruce Pine. The rock bucket was okay with a variety of rocks/gems, but quantity and quality was not as generous as our first stop. The gentlemen outside were very helpful when we had questions about the types of stones. Service inside the store was not great. The man that assisted us in identifying the rock to be cut was less than helpful and lacked a positive customer service attitude. It was an overall good experience, but did not meet the standard of Rio Doce.
Written August 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your review. We will definitely take the comments and make any changes. We pride ourselves in being a 34 year company with excellent customer service and high percentage of repeat customers. We never want anyone to leave feeling that they are less than friends. We have been called the friendliest gem mine anywhere. Be sure to stop in the next time you are in town!
Written May 19, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Erika M
13 contributions
May 2021 • Family
We chose to go on one of their mine tours to Brushy Creek Mine. It was wonderful. Our guides, Caleb and Logan, were friendly and engaging. Although you could dig and break into the rocks, we found plenty of great discoveries on the ground or through slight digging. When it started to rain too much, Caleb drove us to Hoot Owl Mine to go into beautiful caverns and answered lots of questions. Upon returning to Gem Mountain, someone went through our rocks to tell us if we found anything worth faceting. If you want, they will even facet them for you, for a fee. We had a few faceted, and cannot wait for them to arrive. The staff here is friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. We would certainly come here again.
Written June 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Nancy C
Madison, GA110 contributions
Oct 2020 • Couples
We bought the $35 bucket and split it to mine. We had a great time. We found several gems and I am getting a pair of earrings out of the find. I do agree with a previous review. I will let you know more when I get them in the mail!!!
Written October 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you so much for your review!~
Written May 19, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Russ S
3 contributions
Apr 2021
The other gem bucket mines in the area are at least friendly, will engage with you, talk about their product or mining in the area. Not Gem Mountain... bad vibe and unwelcoming every time I visit. I can not speak for their material as I have given my $$$ to the business just down the road with fantastic, over the top, owners that engage and are extremely friendly. I hope GM can take this advise and change, I want all businesses in the area to thrive
Written April 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your review. We take these seriously as we have been in business for 34 years and a very high percentage is by repeat customers. We pride ourselves in having the best buckets in the area. We have always been reviewed for our friendliness and cleanliness. The owners are always present and all but a couple of the staff are family. With that being said, we always take the time to talk with everyone and we have over all these years made what were once customers extended family members. Next time you're here please take the time and stay longer. You won't be disappointed!
Written May 19, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Go315325
1 contribution
Nov 2020 • Family
We have enjoyed going to Gem Mountain for years! The kids love “mining” and finding treasures. We have found some really nice stones that Kay and Madonna helped turn into beautiful jewelry! We enjoy the gift shop too. There’s always something for everyone! We look forward to visiting again!
Written May 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Gem Mountain Gemstone Mine

Gem Mountain Gemstone Mine is open:
  • Mon - Sat 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM