Trip Planner: USA / North Carolina / North Carolina Mountains / Franklin / Sightseeing / Mason Ruby & Sapphire Mine
Mason Ruby & Sapphire Mine is located in Franklin. Plan your Mason Ruby & Sapphire Mine visit and explore what else you can see and do in Franklin using our Franklin trip builder.
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Great family activity! The staff are super friendly and helpful! My son and I really enjoyed finding our gems! more »
Visited with family and found it fun as well as educational. The kids loved getting dirty digging for Rubies. Clean area with friendly staff. more »
Family came in from Virginia to visit and we took them mining. We live here so we took them to Mason's. The kids had a blast and was so easy for family to dig dirt and then carry to sluice. It was a b... more »
We visited mid-July of 2016 and had an awesome time. The staff was very friendly and were ready and willing to help us with all of our questions. Great instruction on how to spot sapphires. Our 3 kids (age range 7-15) had so much fun and are looking forward to going there again on our next family trip! Wear clothes and shoes you won't mind getting wet and dirty!
While on vacation, we (myself, husband, 4 children ages 21, 19, 17, 15) took a detour to go to this mine (on our way to Myrtle Beach). First thing to know before you go: 1. To increase your odds of finding a big sapphire, go early and plan on spending the entire day. We were mislead and thought you could only get a bucket, but actually, you can dig and go through as much dirt as you want. 2. Low quality sapphires are the only gems that truly come from this mine. We paid $30 per person to walk to the dirt piles to get our buckets full. This is mining for your own saphhires. 3. The staff was not helpful, though my family did love Charlie (little Yoda). He was there favorite part of the experience and he was the only staff member that was helpful. 4. Don't bother and waste your time looking for small sapphires. Look for the bug ones. I did find a 29.55 K sapphire, but not sure what I'm going to do with it. Not worth much because low quality. 5. Verizon doesn't have coverage out there so we couldn't use Google maps to find our way out. Print or write directions before you go.
I have now made the road trip here 3 times from Cleveland, Ohio (twice in the last 4 months) and am already planning my 4th! This is the closest you can get to authentic sapphire mining because IT IS authentic Sapphire mining! You find unique, native, in the rough, Macon County Sapphires from dirt you dig from the mine right there on the property that was once mined by Tiffanys. From the moment you arrive the friendliest staff ever (Judie) gets you acquainted with the facilities and how to go about finding your first, straight out of the ground, local, in the rough natural sapphire! You go up to the mine where you dig your own dirt, bring it to the flume and dump it in the screen. One of the flume guides (Steve, DJ, Charlie and Ardell helped us) teaches you what to look for as you clean your dirt and will double check your screen for you. You pay one flat rate for all the dirt you can clean and can keep anything you find! If you want, you can skip the pains of digging up your own sapphires and purchase buckets that have been "salted" (they have gems and semi-precious gems added for you). I figured the salted buckets would be more for the kids but even the adults I saw buy those buckets had a blast and were excited with their "finds"! 8 days on their flumes and I still have more fun each time I go. As I get to see more rocks in my screen I have began to notice which non-sapphire rocks are more rare. Thanks to the owner, Miner Al, we now have nice basic knowledge of different native minerals and some pretty nice specimens of some of the more eye catching ones that we found ourselves! Kynite, Quartz of various colors, Pyrite, Mica, a cats eye like stone, Garnets of various colors and compositions are just a few regulars in your bucket. I have never gone a day at this mine without finding sapphires, My longest dry spell has been a few buckets. Some days are more successful than others and I have yet to find my "Bell Ringer" of 10 carats or more (I have been there a few times when others have found them and got to ring the bell! Its a pretty awesome moment!), but I always have at least a few sapphires in a baggy to show for my efforts at the end of the day. This staff and the owners go above and beyond to make you feel at home and have the best possible experience at their mine. They have made their flume Wheelchair accessible and will make every effort to accommodate those with special needs. I have seen them do it first hand. This place and its people are amazing. I highly recommend it for anyone, young or old, who wants to experience a unique piece of American history that has been meticulous preserved and "updated" for a modern public to experience.
Hubby and I were there April 2-4, 2016. We found a total of 4 bell ringers, 10 CRT by my hubby, a 12.20, 14.10, and 10.05 that I dug up. I also found a rare colored stone had it verified at Ruby City and they called it a "Watermelon Ruby" something that has never been found there before. There have been rubies found before, in fact the day I found this one, another Ruby was found as well. We have been minning here for 11 years and love it there!!! Grant it, the quantity of stones we have found in the past is diminished some but the quality of the stones is what we are after now. Miner AL and his staff are wonderful! There are some new faces at the mine but the two people that provide the backbone of the customer service for 9-10 years are still there. I love this place the people we have met and have seen again that visit the mine have become dear to us as well! Cannot wait to be back to see them again!! If you don't work at the hunt for the stones you may not be as successful as we have been, you have to wash a lot of dirt to find the jems! Good for all ages and I love to match the kids play in the dirt. I would recommend that the children do the "salted" buckets or the dig in the salted mine! I watched a child's eyes lite up as he found all the pretty rocks and it was priceless! What a hobby to introduce to a child or grandchild! Try it you may get rockhound fever.
While on vacation, my wife wanted to do some gem mining... Real gem mining... So we did some research, got some ratty clothes and came to masons. Chances were that we wouldn't find much of anything... Well, we didn't. I found a few karets worth of sapphires and my wife found less, but we had a good time. Digging in a hole and cleaning the clay off is the experience. We came out with a little pieces that we can brag about, but no bell ringers. We still had fun and would go back... Definitely worth the experience.
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