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.
EXIT Smokey Mountain Realty
Mother's Day Gemboree
May 7 - 9, 2010
Macon County Community Building
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
(Native Only) Under new management. This mine has an abundance of beautiful sapphires in all colors along with pink and red rubies. It's one of Macon County's oldest and most productive mines. The only mine with a guarantee that all will have success their first time. Dig your own dirt. Open 8a.m. to 5 p.m. 828-369-9742. Located in the Burningtown Community off Route 28 North. Follow signs.
Mason's Ruby & Sapphire Mine
“Opening Doors to Mountain Dreams”
Ellen Goldstein –EXIT Smokey Mountain Realty Call-828-342-9087