Franklin, North Carolina-Guide to Gem Mining

Here's the "Scoop"! Dirt or Testimony?
I have been gem mining with friends...Roll up you pant legs, put on a hat and 
ready yourself for a fun day. At the mine sites...there are experts ready to inform you on what stones to look for and what is just river rock. The fun lasted for hours and the new insight to what treasures lie beneath our feet was a blast!

I hope you enjoy you visit in Franklin, NC.
Ellen Goldstein 

Mining History In Macon County - Franklin, NC
Mining for ruby and sapphire began in Macon County in 1870. Called corundum, the minerals were mined commercially for abrasives and gave work to many men. Corundum and other minerals, mica and kaolin, were hauled to the railroad by horse and wagon and shipped out of Macon County in large quantities. Tiffany's showed an interest in the area in the 1890's but two other companies, American Prospecting & Mining Co. and US Ruby Mining Co., began work hoping to find the source of the rubies found in the corundum mines. Both companies ended the search in the early part of the 20th century leaving the area open to rockhounds and gem enthusiasts. The source hasn't been found - yet.

What To Bring To The Mines
Bring ziploc bags or a plastic butter dish to take your stones home in (no glass). Rubber gloves are handy if it's chilly or you have a nice manicure and a hat and some sunblock if it's sunny although many mines provide cover on the "flume". The wooden benches get hard as the day goes on so you might need a cushion to sit on or old towels work well too and you can use them to wipe your hands. Wear old clothes and tennis shoes or boots and bring a plastic bag to put your muddy shoes in and an extra pair to wear in the car. Bring a picnic lunch, most mines provide a place to eat out of rain or sun, plan to spend the day! And you will need to bring the camera for those pictures to show friends you played in the mud in North Carolina and found beautiful gem stones.

Welcome to the Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine!

Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine

(Native Only) Come enjoy the fresh mountain air, natural creek water running through the flume line and the scenic beauty of Cowee Valley. Our mine is not "salted" or "enriched" and contains only native North Carolina gemstones, including Rubies, Sapphires, Garnets, Moonstones, Rhodolite, Rutile and Sillimanite. These gems occur naturally in the Cowee Valley and are not as plentiful as in "salted" mines, but are much more valuable and many are "facet quality". We will be glad to help you identify your gems. The CHEROKEE CHIEF RUBY was found here in 1993. This huge gem quality ruby had a total weight of 1070 carats.
LOCATION: 41 Cherokee Mine Road off Ruby Mine Road

Mason's Ruby & Sapphire Mine

Mason's Mine is still a native dig your own gem mine, which it has been since the 1950's. But we now offer enriched buckets for those who lack the time or the ability to do the full mining experience. Now under the ownership of the Klatt family it's continuing to stay with the Mason's winning formula of customer service!



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"Opening Doors to Mountain Dreams"

Ellen Goldstein-the key to finding a mountain home, land in the Smoky Mountains of Franklin, NC.

Ellen Goldstein –Keller Williams Realty Call-828-342-9087

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