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.

“Super Time!”

Mason's Ruby & Sapphire Mine
Ranked #4 of 36 things to do in Franklin
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Mason's Sapphire Mine is an all-natural, dig your own sapphire mine that has been in operation since 1942 in Franklin NC. We also offer enriched buckets so everyone can find something to love! Masons mine is a safe, fun, and unique experience to add to your family trip!
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed 13 July 2014

From the time we pulled in, it was like going back in time, we felt VERY welcome right away,
we camped for three nights, really really private, great time. Loved the campsite. The staff here
are the best customer service oriented, sooooooo sweet, from all the handsome men to our new best friend Judy, Ron and I had the best time. We will go back again.
Lisa Marie & Ron

1  Thank Snookie222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (357)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

203 - 207 of 357 reviews

Reviewed 7 July 2014

Just got back from a spur-of-the-moment trip to this gem mine and I have to say, the 4+ hour trip was definitely worth it!

We really appreciated that our tickets covered us for the whole day, especially given our large family. We chose to go with the native mining rather than the "rainbow" (i.e. - salted buckets) mining and we're glad we did. The staff, especially Brandon and Dakota, were awesome. They gave us a good explanation of what type of soil to dig in, then set us free to go poke around in the mine area.

Down at the sluice area, Brandon and Dakota were very helpful (and patient!) in checking out what we had dug up to see if we had any gems hidden in the gravel. They offered explanations of some of the other stones we were seeing, such as quartz and mica, and gave us helpful info about the shapes we should be looking for. It only took us about 30 minutes before my stepdaughter found a 10.5 carat sapphire, much to her delight. Once they spotted it, they led her up to the office to check it out, ring the bell, and write her name up on the wall announcing her find. Brandon and Dakota also addressed each of us by name every time (they ask you to wear a nametag) they spoke to our family, which made it a bit more of a personal experience.

Getting to Mason's was a bit tricky since Google Maps was having a hard time figuring out our location and cell service in the area is spotty to non-existent. The drive is gorgeous but twisty, and we were making jokes about the Walking Dead, The Mist, and Children of the Corn before too long. There are signs for Mason's along the way but can be hard to spot if you're not looking carefully.

The site itself is nicely maintained. Parking was very easy (yay for no parking charge!) and the mining area is literally only a very short hike over a pretty bridge and up a path. This is a natural mine, so be prepared to swing a shovel and get a bit dirty in the process. The sluice / flumes are generally covered or have shade trees overhead, but I'd recommend bringing sunblock anyway - my stepdaughter got a little crispy while digging in the mine area. I'd also recommend good shoes - my girls wore flip-flops and they were fine, but I think my sneakers were the better choice.

There's a small creek where you can cool off (and wash off!) but it was COLD. You can wear rubber gloves while washing and sorting through your gravel but we chose not to and it was just fine. There's also a changing room where you can switch from mud-covered clothes to clean ones, which is a good idea - we all got pretty muddy while sluicing our gravel but had brought a change of clothes with us. Bathrooms are porta-potties (hand sanitizer included) but I can happily report they were pretty clean for porta-potties and didn't smell badly, thank heavens. They do have some snacks available for sale at very affordable prices and picnic tables where you can sit and have lunch or some munchies.

In the end, it was a muddy but extremely fun day. We ended up with 30 or 40 carats of sapphires and some great memories. After today's really, really outstanding experience, we'll definitely be heading back to Mason's again in the near future.

2  Thank 151melissad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 July 2014 via mobile

Masons was hands down the highlight of our 3 day N.C prospecting trip.the saphires were plenty we left with 60+ karats, but the staff is what made it memorable.Tod and Charlie really go the extra mile to make you feel welcome and successful . We will definitely be back.

1  Thank jake g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 July 2014

its a really nice place,the staff are friendly and entertaining,although the stones are small ,you get to dig your own dirt in a natural mine.meaning they dont add anything to the dirt,so you know it was all your own effort.its a little ride outside of town,but the sluices are covered,so you dont sit in the hot sun.and for $30 you get to dig all day long wich i find is a good deal.and dont forget to watch the video on their website,its hilarious.

1  Thank Conchita P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2014

We were there yesterday. It was a really long drive outside of town (Franklin) to get there. We paid $30 each for four of us. We were there nearly a full day and found very little and nothing of value. The staff was nice and helpful and it was fun, but I felt the price was too high. We drove over from Blue Ridge, GA to fulfill a special wish for one of our kids. We were disappointed. If you go, plan to pay the fee for the experience and don't count on finding gems.

3  Thank Kimberly_Taylor2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Mason's Ruby & Sapphire Mine also viewed

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

Been to Mason's Ruby & Sapphire Mine? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

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

Claim Your Listing