We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Open today: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Save
Review Highlights
Had another good time

This was the 3rd time we were there. Had a good time looking for rubies. Had better luck last... read more

Reviewed 11 July 2018
Andrea M
,
Winneconne
Gem Mining and Lily Pads

Fun time with our friends ... mining for gems facing a pond with lily pads, flowers, and big... read more

Reviewed 25 September 2017
jidodds
,
Aiken, South Carolina
Read all 141 reviews
  
Reviews (141)
Filter reviews
141 results
Traveller rating
71
30
14
10
16
Traveller type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
71
30
14
10
16
Show reviews that mention
All reviews rainbow buckets native buckets carat ruby better luck gem mining free bucket several years wonderful family wear old clothes fun experience black light take home small sapphires mud warren dirt gems
Filter
Updating list...
1 - 10 of 141 reviews
Reviewed 30 August 2018 via mobile

We had high hopes of this place to get through some native dirt to find some rubies or sapphires. We arrived and went to the flume and found 3 people. We asked how they were doing... they showed us a few rubies that you had to squint to actually see. They were tiny tiny specs of worthless rubies fragments. They had several buckets maybe 6 or 7 buckets they had already gone through. The attendant invited us inside to discuss the options. Why that couldn’t be done there at the was on the flume I don’t know. But I asked what might be typical finds in the dirt. He dumped out a small plastic tube of more of the tiny small “worthless” fragments. I mentioned that those are worthless and you rally cannot do anything with them. He said oh yes, you can save them up and place them inside a locket. Then shined a laser pointer across the room to some horrible looking locket hanging in a display case. Well I certainly was not interested in wasting my time. My brother went for it and spent 20 bucks for 3 buckets. Well the attendant insisted that he go through the dirt with a fine tooth comb to find those worthless fragments that was really not enjoyable to pull out worthless eye squinting fragments that he actually had to use a UV light to see if they illuminated to even tell if they were rubies. There are better places where you can pay a $30 /day fee, or less money and get through more native dirt and have a chance for a more reasonable find. There are at least 3 other native dirt mines very near by that are much better.

Thank JohnF5468
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2018 via mobile

The first couple of places we went to we found out later after we found loads of all kinds of semi precious gems, were salted. This means that they don’t come from where you are. They’re basically brought in for tourists to find and be guaranteed to find them and just have a good time. Sheffield do have this if you have young kids (ask for a rainbow bucket) BUT the main focus is on unsalted sapphires and rubies which are naturally occurring in that area. My largest is a 91 carat right now but I can’t bring myself to have it cut!!

Thank fionad1382018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2018

This was the 3rd time we were there. Had a good time looking for rubies. Had better luck last time but still enjoyed the time looking. We did find some but no honker this time. Better luck hopefully next time.

Thank Andrea M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2018

Well I am a rock hound from way back, so I was really excited when my hubby said that he would take me out for a day of mining. I only had the one day to enjoy getting dirty, so I did my research on where I wanted to go and travel time to get there. I found Sheffield Mine and was stoked to go. They are supposed to be known for their "Honkers" to the point that they have a club where they take your picture with your stone and give you a certificate and their prices weren't bad, 20.00 for entry and that includes three buckets of either natural or rainbow dirt. I was sadly disappointed.

Originally I was going to pay for entry for hubby and myself and then just mine his buckets, but the owner pointed out that if hubby wasn't going to mine then I didn't need to spend that much and I could buy additional buckets once I mined through my three. I am glad he made that suggestion once it was said and done because I would have regretted wasting the time to mine through all of that dirt.

We arrive there around 2:00pm and got down to getting dirty, by 4:30 I had mined through two buckets of natural and one bucket of rainbow dirt. I really wanted some rubies and sapphires to take home. I can count the number of rubies I found on one hand and I think I found two small sapphires. The only decent size stones I found were from the rainbow bucket and nothing to write home about.

The owner was very nice and friendly, but the quality of the finds were terrible. Oh and one last thing, make sure you use the restroom before you go. They have restrooms on sight but they do not work well and would not flush when I tried to use it. They are in a small divided concrete block building, one side for men and one for women. There are no lights and there are bugs. I will not be going back here.

1  Thank Marci B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2018 via mobile

In spite of the humid weather, having your hands actively working in the sluice keeps you cool! It is not a stupid tourist attraction, but a real glimpse into the search for gems!

Thank Erin W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2018

You will enjoy spending family time hunting for precious gem stones in this nicely run mine. We prefer it to any other around. It is near the original Tiffany mine, also.

Thank Wunder3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2018

This mine is a great place to start looking for your own Rubies . For one price you get 3 buckets of natural dirt from their mine . You sit at the flume and they show you how to scrub the rocks at help you find the gems . I found a 36 ct.. my first time there. Which put me in the hunker club . Finding a hunker let me get a free bucket of dirt every time I go which is great . Can't say enough about the mine. Can't wait to return in May

Thank Kimberly M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2017

Here, as with most mines in N.C., you can get buckets with minerals/gemstones from all around the world, or buckets with just native soil (here you're hoping for sapphires and rubies.) I bought a bucket of the native soil and did ok...remember, usually the quality of the stones in the native material is not top notch so you may not even bother to have it faceted or cabbed. I did buy one of the 'Rainbow" buckets with a variety of minerals in it and I must say, I was amazed and impressed. Best such bucket I've seen anywhere; in addition to LOTS of good quality 'common' minerals it also included a nice geode, a good piece (maybe 5 x 6") of quality amethyst crystals!!, and several Iolites (also known as water sapphires!) I love Iolites, but I've never seen them in a bucket like that before. The gift shop also had a REALLY nice 'package' for a youngster or a beginner adult: a small screen, a bag of minerals, instructions, etc. Great place!

Thank 379conniel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2017

Fun time with our friends ... mining for gems facing a pond with lily pads, flowers, and big bullfrogs. People of all ages were there ... grandpartents with grandkids, seniors, parents with children. Everyone seemed to have a good time! People next to us found a pretty large ruby!

Thank jidodds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2017 via mobile

What a wonderful afternoon we had gem mining, also known as playing in the mud! We found lots of small rubies, nothing to write home about, but it was immensely fun! Richard was a great guide. Well worth the price

Thank Nancy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
View more reviews