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“Blah......not much else”
Review of Sheffield Mine

Sheffield Mine
Ranked #7 of 35 things to do in Franklin
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Sift through the dirt to find rubies or other minerals.
Reviewed October 4, 2008

My husband and I had seen Sheffield Mine featured on the travel channel, like so many others and we had planned our vacation not just based on the show, but our love of playing in the dirt. We did our research, read all the reviews so we were prepared for extremely rude people, sneaky employees and jaded instructors. Our experience at Sheffield was nothing to write home about. And what I mean by that was that is was just AVERAGE. We knew what we were paying, the hours and the stones we would be searching for. We arrived right before it opened. The staff was friendly enough. I did not find the instructor to be overly rude. Just doing his job. The employees walking the flume were pretty average. I did not have anybody just grab my tray and dump it. I do find it odd that even though rubies are notoriously more rare than sapphires that rubies were the only thing we found. No sapphires were mentioned at all. So I do have a suspicion that some sapphires were probably dumped after thoroughly cleaning the trays. And they do stress cleaning. We visited the Mason Ruby and Sapphire mine the very next day, and had much better results for about $10.00 more. And we were there from 8am to 5 pm. Would recommend Sheffield if you only have a couple hours and aren't looking for anything worthwhile. Just to kill time.

5  Thank XTina114
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 5, 2008

My wife and I went to this mine to find some native stones, upon arriving we we herded into the shop area and instructed as a group of about 25 the fine art of looking for rubys, etc. Half the time you couldn't hear as other staff were shouting outside. This mans attitude (the instructor) left something to be desired, not friendly at all.

They told us to get our dirt and get started, we did, as everyone else and it was hrs before someone found something that they decided was a Honker, but in the meantime employees were constantly there saying nothing there throw it over and the people in my immediate area and myself did so. We went through 8 buckets and found a grand total of 4 rubies so small they could not be used to make gems.

Money and time wasted, staff personalities were atrocious. and I would not recomend anyone to go to this mine and spend their money or time.

4  Thank Nashville_TNBiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2008

Disappointment is putting it mildly. My family, including my husband, kids, mother, brother and sister, drove 3 hours from Atlanta to mine at Sheffield. We were very excited because this was the first time in 25 years that we had been to the ruby mines! Growing up, my family went to the North Carolina mines every summer (not Sheffield's, but the Jones and Jacob mines, which are now sadly closed). My mother is a huge expert on all kinds of gems, jewelry, and rocks in general.

However, the man who gave us an orientation on how to mine was extremely insulting and abrasive. I don't know if his sarcasm was meant to be funny, but we didn't find it humorous at all. Then he insulted us behind our backs to boot; I will spare the details.

One worker who was "helping" miners to look over their rocks wasn't much friendlier. I will mention that one helper who was a very young man was extremely friendly and helpful. If it weren't for this young man, I would say the whole mine was a rip-off. Unfortunately, this young man left shortly after we arrived.

My instincts tell me that this mine is not to be trusted. However, because my family had "mined" for years, we knew what we were looking for. I did find a couple of small rubies after I was told I could dump the rocks in my screen because I had nothing. I actually felt funny that someone would come over and look over my screen of rocks without my asking him to do so.

One lady at the mine found two big rubies while we were there, and a horn was blown and we were all asked to say, "Yee Haw." When my sister found a large ruby, the workers acted nonplussed, and they didn't bother announcing it or doing the Yee-Haw thing (in fact, they acted a little weird). When I asked about it, I was told that the ruby my sister found was from a Rainbow (or salted) bucket, and they only made a fuss for ones found in Native dirt. Funny, because the orientation man told us during his orientation speech that the Rainbow buckets DID NOT CONTAIN RUBIES OR SAPHIRES! And how did they know my sister found that ruby in a Rainbow bucket? She never told them which of her buckets she found it in. And this ruby was rough and not cut like most of the gems in the Rainbow bucket. Then, too, their website states, "All of the Rubies & Sapphires that you might find at Sheffield Mine are NATIVE!" Yet, they told my sister that the ruby she found was from Arizona! Sounds fishy to me.

Also, their website states that one Native bucket should take at least an hour to go through. Well, the helper worker told me to dump half the bucket into my screen, then he looked it over and said nothing was there. After I dumped the second half of the bucket and washed away the mud, he looked it over and again told me I could dump it over the edge because nothing was there. So, based on this worker's recommendations to dump the rocks, it took me all of 10 minutes to go through a Native bucket! An hour they say? Hmmmmmm...

We will never go to Sheffield's again. If you choose to go, be very cautious, and go with a thick skin to withstand the dripping sarcasm. Oh, and if you need the red mule to take you down to the mines from the parking lot (like their website claims), you need to beep a heck of a lot more than three times to get their attention. You need to beep three times, and again, and then proceed to go to the fence to see a worker and yell down for a ride. The worker who drove the mule WAS friendly, I must admit. He should get a job at another, friendlier mine.

6  Thank AtlantaMom3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2008

Visited the mines and my daughter enjoyed the experience. She found a terrific stone and we left them an order to have it cut, (pre-paid of course). Never received it, and numerous messages to them have been unanswered. So if you go, enjoy it for what it is, but don't bother to have the gems cut there. You'll never see it again! It was a huge let down to her. We were so looking forward to having a nice stone to remember the experience. Instead, a very disappointed 8 year old, who occasionally still inquires....

4  Thank flnichol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2008

Our family went there because like so many others, because we seen it on TV. The Sheffield Mine was the first mine we went to. The employees went through our rocks and threw them out saying they were not sapphires or ruby's. We did not know any difference because we had not been mining before. We spent all day there and left with 5 useless pebbles. When we went to Rose Creek Mine and the Mason Mine we new what we were looking for. They were so helpful and explained everything about the rocks and gems. We new then that the Sheffield Mine had really waked us good. They threw away what we know now was very large Sapphires and Ruby's. The guy kept saying on the intercom for everyone to look their rocks over good before throwing them over, because they would be by later to pick up what we threw away. But the problem was we did not throw them away, their employees did. Go Figure. We had a great time at the other local mines and we will surely go back next year. We ended up with many large ruby's, sapphires and other gems. But we will never go back to the Sheffield Mine. That place is like throwing money out your window.

6  Thank t59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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