We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A fun morning, and we got some really nice gems”

The Greater Foscoe Mining Co.
Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Foscoe
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed June 14, 2011

This was our second trip to the GFMC and last year our son found an emerald which once cut ended up being 2 carats emerald cut and rather nice.
This year we got the $106 bucket and found a ton of really nice stuff.
We only got a small portion of it cut and in the end we are very happy with our gems:
One 5 carat London Blue Topaz (perfect clarity) in oval brilliant cut- more stunning than anything we have seen in jewelry stores.
Two 2 carat sapphires cut in emerald cut which we will be having made into cuff links.
One 2 carat emerald cut in oval brilliant which my hubby has not decided yet how to use.
One 2 carat Iolite cut in oval brilliant which I will be having made into a ring
One 10 carat smoky quartz which had perfect clarity and we had cut in an oval brilliant to be made into a pendant.
Those were probably 1/15 of the gems that we found.
We also found a geode the size of a large baseball, which we had cut and we polished- very cool hands on geology experience!
We'll be back again!

3  Thank JT_1837
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (50)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

46 - 50 of 50 reviews

Reviewed September 6, 2010

Had a blast! Being from Florida it was fun to be a tourist for once. Wife and I bought the $53 bucket and I happened to mention to one of the employees that we had no idea what we were looking for. They told us to scrape each piece on the mesh and if it didn't scratch to keep it . We did as told and came in with a whole screen full of gems. A huge amythest,blue sapphires,several nice topaz, imperial topaz, citrine, about a dozen garnets, dozen rubies and several emeralds of which we had two cut a one and a half carat and a two carat. Plus all the chips and broken gems you could shake a stick at. Be a tourist for once and give it a try.

1  Thank Hutch1953
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2010

After reading both reviews about this place, we (family of 12) decided to try it out..with some hesitation. We walked up to the place and were a bit weary. We bought a $53 bucket, which was rated 3 stars (they ranged from $6-$212 per bucket). The entire family shared the bucket and it took us about 20 minutes to shovel through it. As in the other reviews, sifting through the bucket and dipping it into the mucky water is a bit gross, but the kids loved it.
When the bucket was gone, we went down to the bottom of the hill and met up with the guys that sift through the GOOD vs. BAD gemstones. If you get a chance to have the tall blond guy sift through your bucket, he knows a lot about gemstones...choose him.
Out of this bucket, we found several Garnets, Emeralds, Sapphires (pink/blue), Aquamarines, etc. One of us even found 2 of the most rarest gemstones that is you can find (Imperial Topaz). Since we were so excited about our finds we headed over to the jewelry place right next door. Kenny (the owner and jeweler), was AMAZING!!!! He taught us about each gemstones we found and the value of each one. Kenny truly enjoys what he does, he is extremely patient, and has several ideas if you want to make your gemstones into jewelry.
We loved this place so much we came back a couple of days later and bought a $212 bucket. Keep in mind the bigger the bucket the more gemstones you will find. OH BOY! We found 10 times more this time, then we did at the first visit. Huge Sapphires, Rubies, Emeralds, and etc. Again, we went over to Kenny and he helped us out again.
The entire family was so happy with our day (s) at Foscoe Mining Co. that we will absolutely come back again!!

2  Thank JScat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2009

Wanted to let everyone know to stay away from this place. The previous review says it all. What a let down, go to the other places. The price is crazy for what you get. The "gems" come in a bucket of dirt, as if gems are found in topsoil. I get the whole concept that it's supposed to be fun, looking for gems, "striking it rich" (btw, you aren't). We've been to other places and at least they have rocks mixed in with the gems so you at least feel like the stuff was dug out of the same place. All you do here is shovel dirt and gem mix into a bucket, place it in the water and the dirt washes away. There's no need to pick the gems out of the mix, because they are the only thing left. We went through the $16 bucket in about 10 minutes. You can buy the same stuff you "find" for about $3 in the gift shop.

The only bright spot of the place is that the guys working there were very nice.

1  Thank ckralich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2008

Greater Foscoe Gem Mine...Please do not waste your time or money stopping at this Gem Mine. It looks wonderful from the road, however it is the biggest ripoff site near the Blue Ridge in any direction!! We paid $53.00 for a bucket of dirt guaranteed to contain gemstones. What they don't tell you is that the gemstones are unusable. Mostly, they are Gemstone chips and whatever big you do find is flawed, and still uncuttable. If you want good quality Gems, try Emerald Village, or Gem Mountain, we got sooo much more for our money at those mines.

Thank oceanwhispers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed The Greater Foscoe Mining Co. also viewed

Boone, North Carolina Mountains
 
Banner Elk, North Carolina Mountains
Linville, North Carolina Mountains
 

Been to The Greater Foscoe Mining Co.? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing