Welcome to the Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine!
Come enjoy the fresh mountain air, natural creek water running through the flume line and the scenic beauty of Cowee Valley, in Franklin, North Carolina!
At the Cherokee Mine, our gem dirt is not "Salted" or "Enriched"  with semi-precious stones from elsewhere on earth. We are one of the last native gemstone *ONLY* mines open to the public, and our buckets contains a virtual treasure trove of naturally occurring North Carolina gemstones, including: Rubies, Sapphires, Garnets, Moonstone, Rhodolite, Rutile and Sillimanite. These gems are native to Cowee Valley, and many found are of facet quality.
Each year, thousands of people from around the world flock to the popular western North Carolina town of Franklin to experience the thrill of finding rare gemstones in the rough. Whether you're a serious or amateur rockhound hoping to fulfill dreams of finding hidden treasures, a teacher desiring an experiential learning experience for your students or a family seeking quality outdoor recreation, we invite you to browse our site to learn more about what Cherokee Ruby Mine has to offer. See you on the flume line!!

Photo Courtesy Rick Jacquot

Our Gemstones

Browse our constantly growing
gallery of both rough and cut
gemstones which can be found
right here at the Cherokee Mine!

How to Mine
Here's a little primer so you
know what to bring, and what
to expect when you get here.

Getting Here
Open 7 Days a Week
*Weather Permitting*
April 1st thru October 31st
9:00am to 4:00pm
Last Customers accepted
between 3:00 and 3:15pm

If you are just interested in finding something neat, I would recommend one of the salted places. It takes less time and you'll find something, but won't be worth much. True rockhounds go to places like Cherokee to find only native gems and minerals.  Mark L - Herndon, VA
News & Events
 April 1st, 2013