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“A great local place to visit”

Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine
Ranked #2 of 13 things to do in Philipsburg
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine and the Montana Sapphire Store - Wash Gravel Find Montana Sapphires. Direct from the Mine: Montana Sapphire Gemstones and Jewelry. Sapphire Mine Open Seasonally: The week before Memorial Day through the last weekend in September. Gallery Open Year Round in Beautiful Downtown Philipsburg, MT. Indoor gravel washing, heat treating, faceting, Montana Sapphire Gemstones and Jewelry direct from the mine. Rocks, fossils, crystals and more...
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Hayden id.
Level Contributor
31 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“A great local place to visit”
Reviewed May 1, 2013

The spot to see some of the local gems at a very good price. We found that they had some of the best prices in the area, and were very helpfull in our quest for that special gift.

Visited April 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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175 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Butte, Montana
Level Contributor
112 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Family day trip for hidden treasure”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Several of my family members and I met up at Gem Mountain for a sunny morning/early afternoon sorting through dirt piles for gems. We found many beautiful one, of varying sizes. I don't think I would consider myself an expert panner, but it was fun to learn different methods of washing and settling the rock and sand mixture to reveal the gems.
Really low-key outing for a family who likes digging in the dirt.

Visited September 2012
2 Thank lizardgeek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
28 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Can't complain about 33 carats of sapphires”
Reviewed April 7, 2013

I loved this! The drive from Philipsburg to the sapphire mine was easy and beautiful. Once at the public mining location we were greeted by friendly staff and instructed how to best find sapphires and other gems in the pay dirt there. I found 33 carats of sapphires and a small piece of tiger eye. After 2 buckets of paydirt, we moved on to the next adventure; touring some nearby ghost towns. Do this if you get a chance. You'll always remember it in a good way.

Visited June 2012
2 Thank Robyn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Missoula, Montana
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“What a cool thing to do in PB”
Reviewed March 27, 2013

We loved mining for sapphires! The owners were friendly and we would certainly go back for more lovely gems!

Visited March 2013
1 Thank LovinMontana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grangeville, Idaho
Level Contributor
70 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“An Attraction You Need To Do At Least Once”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

I recently went to Gem Mountain Sapphire Town Store with quite a few family members to try our hand at searching for sapphires. Since the actual mine is closed for the season, we had to settle for the store. We 4 bags for which we paid $20 dollars per bag. We were takin to a room where we were shown how to shake the dust off the bag of rocks, and then shown how to wash them and place them properly onton tables where we were then instructed on the proper technique for searching for the sapphires. We found a lot of smaller ones, an some larger ones, most of which had flaws and were not suitable for cutting. However, we did find 6 really good ones, 2 were over 2 carets each. For an added price and a 9 month wait, you can have your good stones cut and prepared for a jewelry setting. One person in our party did this. It is time consuming and tidious, but enjoyable when sharing the experience with others. The people working there were very helpful and friendly. The only negative was you had to stand the whole time, and for those of us with hip, back, and knee issues, stools would have been nice. The other negative was not having adequate lighting. We were told however, that our tables could be moved outdoors since the weather was nice if we preferred, but that would have been a hassle. All in all I think most of us enjoyed the experience. Is it something I would do again, probably not, but that's because it's not really my thing. However, It was really fun getting to experience it this one time. Other members of our party have gone there several times as they totally dig it. Also, for those who would like to buy a bag of rocks to take home and search for sapphires at their own leisure, you can do that as well.

Visited January 2013
2 Thank Sue L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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