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.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine

Certificate of Excellence
Sponsored by:
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: 41 Cherokee Mine Rd, Franklin, NC 28734-4127
Phone Number:
+1 828-349-2941
Website
Today
09:00 - 16:00
Closed now
See all hours
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.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 154 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 114
    Excellent
  • 21
    Very good
  • 7
    Average
  • 3
    Poor
  • 9
    Terrible
Mining

The owners were very educational and helpful in teaching us how and what to look for. They were very thoughtful and gave great information of the different gems/minerals to look... read more

Reviewed 5 days ago
Gayle W
via mobile
Add Photo Write a Review

154 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
Showing 154: English reviews
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

The owners were very educational and helpful in teaching us how and what to look for. They were very thoughtful and gave great information of the different gems/minerals to look for. If you have never been mining before or want a placee that is terrific you need to go here. Thank you for making this trip exciting and educational. I... More 

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

Thank you for your review! We work very hard to make the mining experience both fun AND educational! We want miners to have the best possible information and techniques, and try to keep it interesting with a bit of comedy - all this and a floor show too. Ten Stars - WOW! THANK YOU!!!! We look forward to seeing you... More 

Buford, Georgia
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

I came up to Cowee Vally nearly 50 years ago to mine for Rubys.and gemstones and it was very rustic. You paid a small fee and given a shovel and a bucket and were pointed to a muddy hillside and that was it. Cherokee Ruby and Sapphire Mine has changed that for the miner. They bring in the buckets fresh... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank kmh3212
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Thank you for your review! We are very glad to hear that you approve of the changes that have occurred from fifty years ago! While we are not responsible for all of the improvements over the years, we have added the gem presentations and information sharing at the mine, as well as the option to check your gravel one more... More 

Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The Cherokee Ruby and Sapphire gem mine was a great little day excursion. The staff was very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. I had 3 buckets and was able to find and pick out some stones fairly well after some good guidance. I did find some sapphire, garnet, and other stones during the day. One person found a sapphire the size... More 

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

Thank you for your review! We are very happy to hear you enjoyed your day at Cherokee Mine. We do our best to make sure our miners have the best possible information for gem hunting, and the best possible odds of going home with gems in their pockets. For you butterfly lovers, this is just the start of the butterfly... More 

2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

A very fun day with excellent helpers who teach you what to do and what to look for, and they'll go through your leftovers to make sure you didn't miss anything! A really fine time sifting through the pay dirt and found some nice little garnets and a few sapphires. Worth the trip

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

Thank you for your review! We are happy to hear you had fun mining - that is one of the most important factors of any activity! We try our best to provide an enjoyable and entertaining atmosphere at the mine, in addition to providing the best-possible information we can. We look forward to seeing you back on the sluice! More 

Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Matt and Lisa couldn't have been more knowledgeable and instructive. What a wonderful experience for RockHounds and novices alike. Would definitely return.

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

Thank you for your review! We at Cherokee Mine try very hard to make the experience enjoyable for miners of all skill levels, but especially for new miners. We want novices to have the best possible experience because they will be the future "expert rockhounds" who will keep this activity flourishing. Conversely, we enjoy the experienced miners because they often... More 

1 review
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Yes, it can be seen as work, but if you are rock hound, love the chance of finding something valuable, and want the source to be all natural, this is the place for you. Matt and his wife were fantastic in their friendliness and help. You can not only find a rare valuable gem here, but you can get an... More 

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

Thank you for your review! First of the 2017 Mining Season! We are constantly striving to provide the best service we can to our miners, and you bring up several important steps we take to accomplish this. And getting here can be "interesting", especially if you rely on the GPS in the mountains. . . Follow the directions on our... More 

Albany, New York
Level Contributor
22 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2017

We visited Cherokee Ruby Mine it was worth the extra drive to get there. I went with my 3 teenage nephews and we all had a blast. Allow plenty of time to do your sifting because if you are an a mature (like we were) it takes time to go through a bucket. We all found gems too. Thank you,... More 

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

Thank you for your review! We are always happy to hear when families have a great time at Cherokee mine. You point out something very important: Successful gem hunting at an unsalted mine TAKES TIME. Just as "Knowledge is Power", "Patience is a Virtue". We are glad that we were able to provide you with some "power" for finding your... More 

Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 15 March 2017

This is my favorite of all mines in Franklin, NC. It is not salted, which means sometimes you find gemstones and artifacts and sometimes you don't. With that being said what I have found is some of the finest rubies and sapphires in North Carolina. The pigeon blood rubies are second to none. I've been fortunate to find 5 such... More 

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

Thank you for your review! As an unsalted mine, there is no way to predict what or how much one may find, but you can be assured that what you find at Cherokee is 100% from the on-site excavation. We are happy to hear of your successes, and look forward to seeing your future finds! See you on the sluice!... More 

Boca Raton, Florida
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 December 2016

This is an authentic mine. We've been to many of the local gem spots and this one was the best. The owner was so kind and knowledgeable. We learned a lot about what we found and took home more gems than we've mined in one trip before. We also leaned a few new techniques. This is our favorite spot!

Helpful?
2 Thank jerseysong88
Matthew M, Owner at Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, responded to this review

Thank you for your review! We are very happy that you had a successful day at Cherokee Mine, and we are especially happy when we hear that people learn something new. We do try to make the experience at Cherokee Mine informative as well as fun! See you back on the sluice! More 

Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 5 November 2016 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 

Travellers who viewed Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine also viewed

Franklin, North Carolina Mountains
Franklin, North Carolina Mountains
 
Franklin, North Carolina Mountains
Franklin, North Carolina Mountains
 

Been to Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine and other visitors
10 questions
Ask a question

See all questions (10)

Questions? Get answers from Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?