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Dells Mining Co.
Ranked #2 of 17 Shopping in Wisconsin Dells
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed October 14, 2013

Fun break on a less than perfect day. The location outside downtown has a better ambiance since it's open air.

With 2 little kids we had no problem splitting a bucket of sand/rocks between them to pan for gems. The fun lasted about 15 minutes, which is fine for the age of kids (2&4). The find included some fun rocks - they tell you about what you find and try to sell you a polishing and setting of the stone. My kids didn't care about that and the sales lady was kind enough to take our "no" and not push. Don't upgrade to a bucket that guarantees a polished stone unless you're planing to do something with it (i.e set it in jewelry). It's in a baggie in the dirt so it loses a bit of the coolness factor when panning.

All in all, we'd come back again. You can keep all the rocks and my kids enjoyed looking through them for a while after our trip.

2  Thank onetalldrinkofwater
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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91 - 95 of 145 reviews

Reviewed September 10, 2013

This is a bit pricey and the way they do the sales it seems like a scam, but kids just love it. The fun of sifting through the sand to find gems keeps us coming back. We did wait a little for the "free consultation" afterward and then thought better of it and headed out. (They told us we were missing our "free consultation", we didn't feel like waiting for them to try to sell us something...) We were happy with our experience, we just go in knowing it is a bit over-priced.

2  Thank Kris B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2013 via mobile

My wife and I figured we see what it was about. You chose between a $15,$30,$60,or$125 bucket you sift through it and see what you can discover. We chose $30. In the end we got some cool gemstones. Uncut and unpolished but still cool. One was a amethyst cut and polished. I liked that they put it in a plastic bag cause most would think nothing of it. 1.5 ct runs about $30. Next We said what the heck lets try $125. You chose your bucket and sift away. We "mined" a 2510ct rose quartz. Very big and pretty. Also we got a .5ct ruby. That was $130 ruby. After we were done they payed out your finds and explained what you have. They gave you the option to keep the gems or have which ever you choose to be cut and polished. Yes it can seem to be up selling you but let's be honest what will you do with a pile of gems. I had the ruby put into a necklace for $65. Heck of a lot cheaper than a jewelry store and my wife can say she mined it. The rest of the stones we may have cut later and others left in the raw state. We had a lot of fun and "got our $$ back". But making a memory was more important.

2  Thank Jeepfrk_cj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2013

We recently stopped in at the Dells Mining Co. downtown location. Basically you buy a bucket of sand to sift through; the employees have added pretty rocks and gems to the buckets so you're guaranteed to find something.

We bought the $30 bucket. The employee showed the kids how to dump a bit of sand in the sifter, set it in the water trough, and then look for the gems. My kids (ages 11,11,9) really liked looking for the gems and rocks, and it went right over their heads that the gems are sorted into the buckets in advance.

When you're done with the sorting is when the selling spiel starts. Of course, they want you to get the gems appraised for free (as if they don't already know what's in there), and then they try to get you to pay to polish the stones, or set them in rings or necklaces. My daughter found a gem supposedly worth $30; I saw several other customers finding this gem as well (it's in a small plastic bag.....talk about taking the fun out of discovery!). Obviously they put this particular gem in some or all the buckets. The employee tried to talk us into making the gem into a necklace. We politely told her we weren't interested and left.

3  Thank kren250
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2013

I was really expecting more from how much we paid. All you do is pan for the rocks, and my kids really weren't interested in that. Barely worth the $16 we paid for the cheapest bucket, and we even had a coupon. We did get some cool rocks, but the whole thing was spoiled by the staff. They spent the whole time acting like pushy car salesmen. It's not their fault, because I'm sure that's what they're supposed to do.

4  Thank Colleen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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