Gem Mining in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina

family gem mining in the smokiesGem mining at authentic mines in North Carolina is a part of local history, and the potential for finding precious stones of all kinds is huge! You could potentially find many natural gifts the Great Smoky Mountains can share, like ruby, sapphire, topaz, emerald, amethyst, rose and smoky quartz, and more!

Take Home A Special Piece of the Mountains

Gem mining and panning for gold are unique experiences for visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains. This family-friendly activity allows you to experience local history, get your hands dirty, and take home a special, incredibly unique piece of your vacation!

Fun For the Whole Family

The Great Smoky Mountains offers many family-friendly activities and adventures, from horseback riding to ziplining! Gem mining is a great way to spend the day if you want something a little less daring but no less fun! Be sure to plan a gem mining excursion between your kayaking tour, your hiking or biking adventure, or your shopping trip!

A Few Gem Mining Tips

Be sure to wear a hat or bring sunblock if it’s sunny out. Wear clothes and tennis shoes or boots you don’t mind getting muddy. Bring a plastic bag to stow the stones you uncover. You may want to pack a lunch, as well! Call or visit the website of the gem mining site you plan on visiting for more information about what to do and not do while you’re there! But, most importantly, be prepared to have FUN no matter where you go or what you find!

Artisan Gemstone & Mineral Gallery
Artisan Jewelers Genstone & Mineral Gallery is the largest gem and rock shop in North Carolina. Located in one of the most mineral rich areas of the United States. We offer Custom Stone Cutting, jewelry designing, ring sizing and repairs. Master jewelers in yellow gold, white gold, silver and platinum. With over 3500 sq. ft. showcasing precious gemstones, semi-precious gemstones, raw minerals, jewelry, beading supplies, books, fossils, and carvings.
3348 Georgia Road Franklin, NC 28734 (828) 524-9193 Get Directions
Deep Creek Tube Center & Campground
Deep Creek flows out of the Great Smokies National Park and by our campground. We rent light-weight vinyl tubes for $6 (all day rental). Tubes are available at a discount to registered campers and groups. Life jackets are available for children. Our camp store also sells creek shoes and other tubing accessories and souvenirs. We have twenty-one rental cabins, from modern campground cabins to hand-hewn log cabins, plus a large house for small groups. More than 40 campsites, from creekside tent camping to pop-ups, travel trailers, RVs and mobile homes. Gem Mining: Pan for rubies, sapphires, quartz, topaz, emeralds and other colorful gems at the Deep Creek Tube Center Mining Company.
1090 West Deep Creek Rd Bryson City, NC 28713 (828) 488-6055 Get Directions
Gold City Gem Mine, Jewelry and  Rock Shop
Gold City Gem Mine,Jewelry and Rock Shop offers Gem Mining both native and North Carolina,Gold Panning and Turquoise Panning all with(NO ADMISSION FEES) Home of the 1061 CARAT SAPPHIRE featured in People Weekly, Disney Adventure and Rock and Gem Magazines. Come visit us here at Gold City and Spend the day mining for precious gems Sapphire, Ruby, Emerald, Amethyst, Topaz, Citrine, Tourmaline and much more! Visit our Rock Shop where we have stones from around the world. You'll find it all here at Gold City in our 5000 sq ft building on hwy 441N! Gold City offers something for everyone. Covered flumes outside and when it's cold a full sized heated flume inside.
9410 Sylva Rd Hwy 441 N Franklin, NC 28734 (828) 369-3905 Get Directions
Come and enjoy our beautiful Smoky Mountain vistas as you gem mine by the Cullasaja river on Highlands Road. It's the most scenic drive up to the waterfalls. We offer paydirt "loaded" gem buckets. We have onsite jewelry cutting and jewelry mounting by our experienced jewelers. Experienced gem ID. We also offer gem bags "to go" so you can enjoy it later at home! You'll be mining for many beautiful gemstones. Many Folks have found Ruby, Sapphire, Topaz, Moonstone, Garnet, Emerald, Black Tourmaline, Pyrite, Bloodstone, Rose Quartz, Kyanite, Moss Agate, Smoky Quartz, Carnelian, Chalcedony, Aqua Marine, Citrine, Amethyst, Quartz Crystal, Iolite, green, blue & pink aventurine, Lapis, rainbow moonstone, Lepidolite, Ametrine, Dravite, Diopside, Ruby Fuchsite, Turquoise. We're a clean, friendly gem mine. Handicap accessible. We discount large groups, birthday parties, church groups, and school groups. It's good clean dirty FUN for all ages!! Gold mining by the river coming this summer!! The Gemstone Gallery specializes in Fine jewelry in gold & silver & large variety of cut gemstones! We offer a large collection of Mineral specimens, Gemstone beads, wood carvings & artwork in gemstones. We do custom work by experienced jewelers onsite. Gem Mine Hours: Wed-Sun 9:30-5:30, Wed-Sun, April-October Gem Shop Hours: Wed-Sun 9:30-5:30, Wed-Sun, March-December Reservations/Appointments: 828-342-3135
4961 Highlands Rd FRANKLIN, NC 28734 (828) 369-9505 Get Directions
Jackson Hole Trading Post
Cleanest mine around, help for the inexperienced, on Waterfall drive between Franklin and Highlands. HW 64E. Handicapped Accessible.
9770 Highlands Rd, HWY 64E Highlands, NC 28741 (828) 524-5850 Get Directions
Mason's Ruby and Sapphire Mine
The Mason Ruby and Sapphire Mine is Macon County's Only True "Dig Your Own" Mine (as well as enriched buckets) where customers enjoy a Real Mining Experience for native North Carolina Corundum. All Tools are provided and we'll Teach you how much Fun mining can Be. From Lifelong Rockhounds to the First-Timers, we offer excellent customer service and honest information about Mining and the materials found Locally and from around the World. Guests can also enjoy our quiet Primitive Campground for a Relaxing Vacation. Mining Fees are $30 for 12 years old and up. $15 for ages 6-11, and kids 5 and under are free....This price includes all tools and all the dirt you can dig and wash. We also offer discount Packages and Military Discounts to make your Vacation dollars stretch as far as possible. Just 11 miles from Franklin, Enjoy the Scenic Drive through Historic Burningtown while taking in the Beauty of the Local Natural Treasures some of us call Home! All are welcome~!
6961 Upper Burningtown Road Franklin, NC 28734 (828) 369-9742 Get Directions
Experience the fun and adventure of mining for gems here at Old Cardinal Gem Mine (open since 1900), located in the beautiful Cowee area of Franklin, NC. We help beginners find rare, native Rhodolite Rubies, Sapphire moonstone, and enriched stones. Our flume is partly shaded for those hot summer days and, all the equipment you will need is furnished. If you find that perfect stone, we offer gem cutting and mounting for your stone. We also have gem dirt to go! Group rates are also available. We are located just 5 1/2 miles north of Franklin on hwy. 28. Watch for sign to Mason Branch Rd, take that right, go a few hundred yards then take a left onto Rockhaven Dr. Look for a sign at the gate. Get ready for the thrill of mining for gems!! Our gem mine hours are 9-5 Monday - Friday and Sunday, closed on Saturdays.
71 Rockhaven Dr. FRANKLIN, NC 28734 (828) 524-7306 Get Directions
Fun for all ages! Gem Mine rain or shine in our Covered Outdoor Gem Flume along the Little Tennessee River. You will discover many different gemstones and fossils including topaz, rubies, amethyst, emeralds and many others. We help you to identify your gemstones. We welcome all rock hounds and treasure seekers, it’s great fun for the entire family. We offer leisurely self guided kayak trips down the Little Tennessee River. The trips are 2 1/2 -3 hours long. Enjoy nature at its best. Your adventure and treasure await you!
155 Robin Lynn Lane Otto, NC 28763 (828) 349-1717 Get Directions
Rose Creek Mine
Good, Clean Dirty Fun! Located in Franklin, NC, Rose Creek Mine is where you come to dig in our gem tunnel. We provide all equipment and help you to identify the stones. Our miners have found garnets, rubies, sapphires, smoky and rose quartz, amethyst, emerald and more. Lapidary equipment also available in our great gift and rock shop. Hours of operation: Wednesday - Saturday 9-5, Sunday 11-5.
115 Terrace Ridge Drive Franklin, NC 28734 (828) 349-3774 Get Directions
Buckets are already dug onsite filled for you. Select your own LUCKY buckets - you might just find what we call HONKERS (rubies over 30 carats) or REAL LUCKY and find the next SUPER HONKER (rubies over 100 carats!!!) We also offer "SALTED" buckets for all ages, so that everyone is sure to have a FUN TIME with treasures to bring home.
385 Sheffield Farms Road Franklin, NC 28734 (828) 369-8383 Get Directions