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Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine

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Address: 41 Cherokee Mine Rd, Franklin, NC 28734-4127
Phone Number: +1 828-349-2941
Website
Today
09:00 - 16:00
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun 12:00 - 17:00
Mon - Sat 09:00 - 16:00
Description:

Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine is Macon County's ONLY 100% Unsalted...

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 145 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 105
    Excellent
  • 21
    Very good
  • 7
    Average
  • 3
    Poor
  • 9
    Terrible
Great Mining Experience!

The Cherokee Ruby Mine was a fantastic experience mining for rubies. Me and my girlfriend went just to get away and enjoy the quiet. We stayed at one of Jeff Warshaw's amazing... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 weeks ago
Jeremy V
via mobile
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145 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 145: English reviews
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

The Cherokee Ruby Mine was a fantastic experience mining for rubies. Me and my girlfriend went just to get away and enjoy the quiet. We stayed at one of Jeff Warshaw's amazing cabins on the mountain about a 1/4 mile up the road from the mine. Cherokee came highly recommended and did not fail. The owners were very professional, courteous,... More 

Helpful?
Thank Jeremy V
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Thank you very much for your review! We are happy to hear you had an enjoyable and successful visit to the mine! We are also glad that you were happy with the accommodations of our neighbor Jeff. Please post some photos of your gems - we would love to see them, and I am sure other TripAdvisor readers would as... More 

Hastings, Minnesota
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2016

We went early in the morning when they opened. That was the best so the owners could spend time with us. It was wondeful learning all about mining. It was middle of July 2016 and hot. Did some mining, then had alittle lunch that we brought and then mined for another hour. It was great having the owners look over... More 

Helpful?
Thank chris25ann
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Thank you very much for your review! We are glad to hear that you had and enjoyable and successful day, and thank you for bringing up some important information, particularly about the importance of arriving early. We have worked hard to make the mining experience an educational one as well. We look forward to seeing you back on the sluice! More 

Jersey City, New Jersey
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 October 2016

First of all, this is an unsalted mine, probably one of the only one in the same area. There are tons of gem mines in the area for tourists but this is only one where what you find is natural and not inserted by owners. We spent almost 4 hours here. For $25 for each person, you get 2 buckets... More 

Helpful?
Thank Neelay T
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Thank you for your review! Thank you for also pointing out that Cherokee Mine is the only 100% unsalted mine in Macon County. We are very happy to have helped you with searching for gems. As you pointed out, there is no guarantee at an unsalted mine that one will be successful, so if a "guaranteed experience" is what one... More 

Level Contributor
3 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 October 2016

Like others have said, you need to plan 4 hours for your stay and wear a hat. For $25 ($20 for veterans) you get two buckets of your choice. This is not a salted mine so you will only get natural gems from their mine. The way it works is that you choose your buckets then sit at the flume.... More 

Helpful?
Thank Rita W
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Thank you for your review! Thank you also for reinforcing the fact that mining at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire mine is not a quick process! And that proper attire for the weather (the flume is not covered, in order to provide the maximum available natural light) is essential. We are very happy that we were able to ensure that you... More 

Collinsville, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 September 2016

I have been coming to Cowee Valley to mine at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine for about 8 years. I think this was my 5th or 6th trip in that time. I admit I did have beginner's luck. With the previous owner's help I found an 18 carat orange-red garnet that yielded 4 cut stones of various size. I enjoy... More 

Helpful?
Thank RedMage
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Thank you for your review! And thank you for continuing to patronize Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine! We are glad to hear that you found us to be good teachers, and you also bring up several other important points. The benches do get a bit uncomfortable, but we always have supplied customers with foam pads to ease things. We also... More 

1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 September 2016

We had a great day of fun and collected a number of sapphires and other gem stones. Mat and Lisa are very knowledgeable and answered everyone's questions at an experience appropriate level. We are already planning our return visit!

Helpful?
Thank Bill F
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Thank you for your review! We are very happy to hear you had a successful and enjoyable day. We do try to work with each miner as an individual and address their questions in the best manner possible. The best endorsement we can ask for is when people come back again - We look forward to seeing you BACK on... More 

1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2016 via mobile

Excellent fun & educational here! Plan to spend at lease 4 hours a day here. Admission is 25.00 a person (and this includes the 1st 2 buckets) after that each additional bucket is 5.00. They also sell tailing bags 5.00 each bag. Matt is brilliant! He loves teaching you ! It was so nice to be at a mine with... More 

Helpful?
Thank Arlene M
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Thank you for your review! Your point about time allotment is very important, which is why we encourage miners to ARRIVE EARLY! Especially for first-time miners - we have had people arrive at opening and spend the whole day until closing just on their initial two buckets. Of course, the more you do mining, the better ( and quicker) you... More 

Largo, Florida
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2016

Terrific, very informative are helpful are Matt and Lisa. This gem mining stuff is addictive. And the fact that what you find is from these mountains was a plus whether we found something really good or not. Salted mines have stuff that's low grade coming from foreign countries. Granted you won't necessarily find something big but even the small stuff... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank lizzmbeth
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Thank you for your review! Yes, gem mining can be addictive, but at Cherokee Mine, it is a healthy addiction - it is "No Salt Added"! There is always the possibility that a big gem may show up, but that is completely up to Nature and what natural processes left in our alluvial deposit. And the best endorsement we can... More 

Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 September 2016

Had a great day at the mine finding several types of gems including sapphires, rubies and garnets. Would have missed some if Lisa and Matt hadn't checked my leftovers for me! ( A free service they offer) My visit started with an overview of what can be found at the mine by Stan, the cheery host at the gate. She... More 

Helpful?
Thank Diane S
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Thank you for your review! We are all very glad you enjoyed your day at the mine, and you bring up some important items, particularly about being prepared for weather (be it sun or otherwise), and that we do our best to work with each miner to maximize the chances of going home with gems. There are never any guarantees... More 

Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 August 2016 via mobile

This mine is unsalted, which is what drew my family to it. The earth has large cores drilled and sampled, then buckets are filled straight from the mine, which you sift through. Realize this means you may not find anything, but finding something means a lot more this way. Staff is very helpful, they love to answer your questions and... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank Taylor S
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Thank you for your review! You bring up several important points about gemhunting at an unsalted mine, and we try our best to make miners as successful as possible. We want miners to have the necessary information and skill to do the best job they can do on their own, but we also want to ensure that, if the gems... More 

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