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Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine

41 Cherokee Mine Rd, Franklin, NC 28734-4127
+1 828-349-2941
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Review Highlights
Think it through before you visit

As a kid, I went to a typical roadside "salted" mine. I remember having fun and finding a bunch of... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Brian Y
,
St. Petersburg, Florida
REAL mining in North Carolina!

The husband/wife team here give you as close to the real experience less you digging up the dirt... read more

Reviewed 15 June 2018
Chrswfe
,
Sorrento, Florida
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Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine is Macon County's ONLY 100% Unsalted Mine, located in the heart of the Beautiful Cowee Valley of North Carolina's Smoky Mountains.
  • Excellent76%
  • Very good13%
  • Average5%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible5%
Travellers talk about
Closed Now
Hours
Hours Today: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
LOCATION
41 Cherokee Mine Rd, Franklin, NC 28734-4127
CONTACT
Website
+1 828-349-2941
Write a ReviewReviews (190)
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"an umbrella"
in 8 reviews
"bring sunscreen"
in 5 reviews
"mining experience"
in 14 reviews
"rent umbrellas"
in 3 reviews
"beautiful butterflies"
in 3 reviews
"sun umbrellas"
in 2 reviews
"bug spray"
in 3 reviews
"authentic experience"
in 5 reviews
"bring lunch"
in 3 reviews
"be patient"
in 4 reviews
"several years"
in 4 reviews
"great memories"
in 3 reviews
"explained everything"
in 2 reviews
"five hours"
in 2 reviews
"rock hound"
in 4 reviews
"north carolina"
in 6 reviews
"last summer"
in 2 reviews
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1 - 10 of 190 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago

As a kid, I went to a typical roadside "salted" mine. I remember having fun and finding a bunch of stuff- but many, many years later I felt it was a little cheesy and sought out a more authentic experience for my own kids, which...More

3  Thank Brian Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Thank you for your review! Your review highlights several important points: Cherokee Ruby and Sapphire Mine is an authentic unsalted mining experience. While many of our mining customers find many nice stems, it is an unsalted mine – some people will find more, some will...More

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Reviewed 15 June 2018

The husband/wife team here give you as close to the real experience less you digging up the dirt yourself. This IS NOT the typical side of the road "mining" stand that is all over NC. You get two buckets of untouched dirt direct from the...More

1  Thank Chrswfe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this reviewResponded 11 July 2018

Thank you very much for your review! We all work very hard to make this the atypical mining experience and concentrate on the educational aspects as well as the recreational (A/K/A "FUN") parts. Thank you also for mentioning the importance of being prepared for the...More

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Reviewed 9 June 2018 via mobile

Awesome experience ! My first time ever gem mining and I learned so much from Matt and Lisa. They were very informative and offered to look behind us to ensure we didn’t miss any! I especially liked Matt’s personality and humor, pay attention so you...More

Thank ennisdavis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this reviewResponded 10 June 2018

Thank you for your review! We are glad your first mining experience was so positive - we all work very hard to make this a learning experience. If you do miss some of the jokes, there will be more to follow. . . and thank...More

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Reviewed 22 January 2018

I took my daughter and grand children there last summer. It was fun getting in the mud and water looking for stones. The people who run it are knowledgeable and helpful. They explained not only how to sain the mud but the stones to look...More

3  Thank anailipo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2018

Thank you for your review! We are glad to hear you and your family had a fun time, and we are happy to hear that you found our instruction helpful, and that you took advantage of our second-look service! We look forward to seeing you...More

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Reviewed 3 November 2017

This mine provides only buckets of native soil, thus you won't find salted buckets of minerals from Brazil here! So, if you want the real North Carolina experience, this is it! We had a great time there, taking a break to eat the lunch we...More

Thank Connie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this reviewResponded 30 November 2017

Thank you for your review! We are all very happy you had an enjoyable experience here at Cherokee Mine! Thank you for pointing out our 100% Unsalted Ore, and also pointing out that lunch is an important part of planning your trip here. Well-prepared miners...More

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Reviewed 20 October 2017 via mobile

Stan, Matt and Lisa are great! Started going to Cherokee about two years ago, first time I found a nice blue sapphire and was hooked. Most recent find was a 16 carat Ruby, but keep in mind it is an unsalted mine so there are...More

2  Thank Steve G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this reviewResponded 30 November 2017

Thank you for your review! And thank you for being a great miner! To our TripAdvisor readers: Steve is a Cherokee Mine success story. Over the last couple years, Steve has progressed from a neophyte miner to a skilled gem hunter. Through perseverance - and...More

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Reviewed 16 September 2017 via mobile

This is a small mine they only take up to 20 people maximum. They have a neat sluice box fed from a river. It costs 25 a person to get in and then you buy your dirt. The dirt is unsalted meaning they don't put...More

2  Thank Jaboy84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this reviewResponded 30 November 2017

Thank you for your review! We do limit the attendance, so that we can devote enough time and attention to all of the miners on the sluice. (Minor correction: 25 is the upper limit, but it can at times be lower depending on conditions.) Definitely...More

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Reviewed 11 September 2017 via mobile

My wife and I have been to several mines and sluiceing troughs over the years, and this place is the best we've seen! Not only do they have great quality, completely unsalted buckets, but they are also very educational in showing you what you're looking...More

3  Thank Nick M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this reviewResponded 30 November 2017

Thank you for your review! We work very hard at providing the best possible mining experience we can, and part of that is by providing the most comprehensive information. We have tried to make Cherokee Mine educational as well as fun! We are also happy...More

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Reviewed 9 September 2017

This is the best mine I’ve ever been to (and I’ve been to quite a few). My husband and I were really happy with the quality of unsalted dirt. After mining all day, we found several different gems (thanks for helping us figure out what...More

1  Thank skerst1023
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this reviewResponded 30 November 2017

Thank you for your review! Lisa and I are always happy to hear of successful outings at Cherokee Mine! If possible, please post photos of your necklace here, so that others may see what a finished piece containing genuine Cowee Valley gems can look like....More

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Reviewed 2 September 2017 via mobile

My husband had gone here as a kid, and it was nothing like he remembered. We were disappointed that we were unable to dig our own dirt. The guy was very informative, but it felt kind of like a typical mining tourist trap. Their are...More

2  Thank Shannon D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this reviewResponded 29 November 2017

Thank you for your review! Unfortunately, Time Marches On. Many things are quite different from when we were kids. We do feel that the characterization of Cherokee Mine as "a typical tourist trap" is unfair, as we have worked very hard to keep the Cherokee...More

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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
Pam Z
17 March 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Terry G | Reviewed this property |
How long is the trailer? The road to and from the Mine is paved but a little narrow, once you turn off the main road. To get to the main parking lot you have to negotiated a left hand turn off this road. I agree a 20 foot... More
0
Votes
ladyhawk98
15 January 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from ProudMom69 | Reviewed this property |
We went last year and it was $30.00 for two buckets then they got a little cheaper. We found some beautiful stones that we had cut at cowee lapidary down the road. We also found a couple large pieces of rutile and had 2... More
0
Votes
Samuel S
21 December 2016|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from TJ H | Reviewed this property |
it is an unsalted mine so the potential is there to find what your looking for unless it's a diamond. Rubies and Sapphires are pretty abundant.
0
Votes