Emerald Village, Little Switzerland

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Emerald Village Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
184 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • This has some neat exhibits of an old feldspar mine. The waterfall is beautiful, and a wide variety of gem items in the gift shops. Staff was very freindly  more »
  • My husband and I had the BEST TIME!!! Not only is the area itself just stunning, the staff at Emerald Village were awesome as well! We had great chats with the woman in the Mine gift shop and with Wal...  more »
  • Stopped off here on our road trip and were really glad that we did. There is lots to see on the overall site that spreads on both sides of the road. Although obviously abandoned some time ago you almo...  more »
Google
  • Lots of fun! Gems are higher quality the more you spend, so if your going with a group, plan on splitting up a larger bucket. The service there is great cashier's are very friendly, and the "gemologists" are polite and helpful. Prices leave a little to be desired, but there not too bad. Unfortunately, I did not get to go on the mine tour, but it looked authentic and interesting, and the self guided tour nearby (which I did check out) was a really interesting look at what old mining was really like. The gift shop was nice too.
  • Nestled in what I could best describe as a sleepy mountain town that has been spread out over the length of many terrifying winding roads instead of one dense central location, is the Emerald Village. This is the place to come if you are an amateur geologist or one-off mineral and gemstone hound, or want to try your hand at old-school above the ground mining. We went and tried our hands looking for emeralds in the tailings at Crabtree. We wound up with some quartz, a tiny piece of pyrite, some disappointed kids (one because we didn't find any emeralds, and the other because we took him away from rocks he was smashing with a hammer) and a good work-out. While tough to get to, our kids loved it and we spent the better part of 4 hours, including having a lunch we brought at the site. To ease the kids disappointment of not finding emeralds, we bought a huge bucket of assorted rough gems and minerals to go through. A free cutting of one of our finds was included with the price, so after an hour of chilly fingers and two big backs of loose rough gemstones, we picked out a Tiger's Eye we found to get cut and sent home to us when complete. All in all, would definitely recommend and would do again.
  • There is a lot to do at this very hidden attraction near Little Switzerland, NC. There are numerous exhibits (mining related and not so much), most of which are free. There is a model railroad exhibit, wildlife exhibit, minerals exhibits and antiques galore. Oh, and the place has emerald mining. The staff is knowledgeable and quite friendly. They will even help you carry your buckets, if needed. Don't expect to make a fortune on gem quality minerals here, but you never know. Either way, you will get dirty and wet---and have a good time with the family mining gems. The drive is a bit long and daunting, but you will have fun if rocks are your thing. Native buckets have mostly (almost all) feldspar and moonstone. The mix buckets are great for the kids to get some minerals for the collection. They offer cabbing but not faceting. You can also risk mining the "dumps" on your own for a fee, but most people would prefer to sit down at the flume and enjoy a bucket or two. Don't expect to get rich--do expect to have a good day out with the family.
  • This place is fantastic. There is a guided tour of an old gem mine. You also have the opportunity to find real gemstones such as quartz, sapphires,and various other unique gemstones. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in semiprecious and precious gems.
  • They were very accommodating. I have a family of 6, so it was very nice.
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