Property Organizer Login
Marty Kimsey
Ask a Question
* Notes Required Fields
Image Verification
To help us cut down on spam, please copy the letters you see into the space provided, then click Submit.

 Gem Mining in Franklin, North Carolina

Franklin, North Carolina is known also as, “The Gem Capitol Of The World.” Throughout Franklin, there are an array of rock and mineral places to go to mine for rubies, sapphires, garnets and other gems. So when your looking for something to do on a hot summer day, hit the road and head to one of the local mines here and find your hidden treasure.

Sheffield Mine - Franklin, North Carolina

Sheffield Mine - Please see photo above

Sheffield Mine is one of the oldest Ruby Mines still in operation in the Cower Valley. This mine was once owned by Tiffany's, but for the past 60 years or so it has been available to the public. Even though this mine has been in operation for many years, "There's still Rubies in them thar hills!"

What makes Sheffield Mine so special are its Star Rubies and Sapphires. This particular type of Ruby is only found right here in the hills of Cowee Valley and one other place, Burma, India.


Take Hwy. 28 North. At the stop light by Village Trader (gas station) turn left and this will continue you onto Hwy. 28 North. Cross the river, pass the Cowee Baptist Church and right across from the BP Gas Station you'll turn right onto Cowee Creek Rd., (the first asphalt road on the right past the church - you'll see a sign for Perry's Water Garden). Pass Cowee Elementary School and bear right at the first Y in the road and you'll pass Rickman's General Store. and then go left at the second Y in the road - which is Leatherman Gap Rd. About 200 yards on the left is our entrance. Big Sign - Can't miss it! At this point you are only 1/2 mile from the parking lot.

Contact Information:

Sheffield Mine
385 Sheffield Farms Rd.
Franklin, NC 28734
(828) 369-8383


 Mason's Ruby Mine - Franklin, North Carolina

Mason’s Ruby and Sapphire Mine - Please see photo above

Mason's Ruby and Sapphire Mine is an all-natural, non-enriched, sapphire mine that has been in continuous operation since 1942 in Franklin NC. It is one of the only dig your own mines in the area so that you can be sure that what you find was found by you first. We strive to ensure that we provide a safe, fun, and unique experience to your vacation.


From Franklin proceed north on St. Road 28 for about 3 miles, which at that point there will be a sign for the Macon County airport and arrows and signs pointing left onto Airport Road. Be alert on the road, there are a few tight corners to be negotiated. Travel past the airport, running parallel to the runway. After that point you will come to a junction of Olive Hill Road where you will continue nearly straight. At this point you will stay on Olive Hill Road and up through the pass. At the pass you are about 2280 feet above sea level.

Continue for about 2 more miles, watch for our signs, and you will come down a fairly steep slope to what may appear to be a dead end, but this is where Upper Burningtown, Middle Burningtown, and Olive Hill roads intersect. Continue to the left, follow the double yellow centerline. Just around the first bend is a bridge which crosses a branch stream coming from a very pretty waterfall which feeds into the Burningtown Creek. Continue to the intersection of Ray Creek Road and the Mt. Sinai Assembly of God. Continue across the bridge, you are almost there. Just a few easy curves to 6961 Upperburningtown Road, where the gate will be open 7 days a week weather permitting.

Contact Information:

Mason’s Ruby and Sapphire Mine
6961 Upper Burning town Road.
Franklin, North Carolina 28734
(828) 369-9742

Rose Creek Mine - Franklin, North Carolina

Rose Creek Mine - Please see photo above

Operating since 1952, Rose Creek Mine is one of 3 state licensed gem mines in Macon County, North Carolina. Centrally located in Western North Carolina in the heart of the Smoky Mountains. At Rose Creek Mine you can find Ruby, Sapphire, Garnet, Amethyst, Citrine, Moonstone, Topaz, Smoky Quartz, Rose Quartz, Quartz Crystals and more! All equipment is provided and we help beginners. You dig your own dirt in our mining tunnel and wash the dirt away in our covered flume. Mine rain or shine.


Directions to Rose Creek Mine From the South: Take highway 441 to Western NC then business 441 north into Franklin. In downtown Franklin, continue forward at the Franklin Motel onto Hwy 28 North. We’re located 5 miles north of town off Highway 28. Turn left before the river onto Bennett Rd, go about 1/8 mile then take the first right on Rose Creek Rd. Go up the hill and take the first left onto Lyle Downs Rd, turn left at the sign and follow the signs down to the mine.From the

From the North: Take highway 441 South into Franklin. After crossing Cowee Mtn, turn right onto Sanderstown Rd. Burglen’s Rock Shop and Mountain City Homes are landmarks. Sanderstown Rd deadends into Hwy 28. Turn left and cross the river. Take your first right onto Bennett Rd go about 1/8 mile then take the first right on Rose Creek Rd. Go up the hill and take the first left onto Lyle Downs Rd, turn left at the sign and follow the signs down to the mine.

Contact Information:

Rose Creek Mine
115 Terrace Ridge Drive
Franklin, NC 28734
(828) 349-3774

Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine - Franklin, North Carolina

Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine - Please see photo above

At the Cherokee Mine, their gem dirt is not "Salted," so what you find at the Cherokee Mine is natural and probably going to be worth some money. Cherokee Mine is open to the public and their buckets contain a variety of natural gem stones that are native to Cowee Valley. These stones would include: rubies, sapphires, garnets, moonstones, rhodolite, rutile and sllimanie.


From Franklin, take 441 North to 28 North. Follow 28 North until you pass Cowee Baptist Church, which will be on your right. Merge right onto Cowee Creek Road. Follow Cowee Creek Road until it becomes Ruby Mine Road, the road will for so stay to the right. Stay on Ruby Mine Road to the mine entrance, which will be on the left. The approximate drive from Downtown Franklin is 25 to 30 minutes.

Contact Information:

Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine
41 Cherokee Mine Road
Franklin, NC 28734

Gold City Gem Mine - Franklin, North Carolina

Gold City Gem Mine - Please see photo above

At Gold City, the gemes you find are both natural and enriched. All of the gem dirt is mined from the 40 acres property behind Gold City. There is a gift shop where you can by gems and jewelry. The buckets at Gold City contain the following gems: rubies, sapphires, citrine, silver topaz, garnets, amethyst, emeralds, iolite, tourmaline, amertrine and peridots. Gold City is famous for the "North Carolina Gem Bucket," which included one cut gemstone that's ready to be mounted. In addition, you can also get a bucket or a kit to take home with you.


Gold City is located on Highway 441 or 64E between Franklin, NC and Sylva, NC. As your heading towards Sylva from Franklin, right when you get to the top of Cowee Mountain, Gold City is just to your right, you can't miss it. It's about a 8 to 10 minture ride from Downtown Franklin.

Contact Information:

Gold City Gem Mine
9410 Sylva Road
Franklin, North Carolina 28734
(828) 369-3905


Cowee Mountain Ruby Mine - Franklin, North Carolina

Cowee Mountain Ruby Mine - Please see photo above

Cowee Mountain Ruby mine has been producing great finds for over 20 years. Miners may enjoy over 150 feet of covered flumes, so you can mine rain or shine. There are a variety of stones that can be mined at Cowee Mountain Ruby Mine such as: rubies sapphires, emeralds, amethyst, garnets, topaz, smokey and rose quartz and much more. There are both native and enriched buckets available, they also have an international bucket with stones from all around the world that may be mined. Pets are welcome, but must be kept on a leash at all times.


From Franklin, NC take 441N/Hwy 23 towards Sylva. Stay on 23 towards Sylva. Cowee Mountain Ruby mine will be on your right just as your heading up the mountain.

Contact Information:

Cowee Mountain Ruby Mine
6771 Sylva Road
Franklin, North Carolina 28734
(828) 369-5271

Jackson Hole Trading Post and Gem Mine - Franklin, North Carolina

Jackson Hole Trading Post and Gem Mine - Please see photo above

Jackson Hole Trading Post and Gem Mine has been in operation since 1977. Here one may sit in the covered comfort and mine for treasures, so you can mine rain or shine. At the Jackson Hole Gem Mine they are free from the "red clay mud" that so many of the other mines use in their buckets. The gems you will find at Jackson Hole are both enriched and native. All equipment is supplied and they offer friendly assistance for the inexperienced prospector. Off season hours vary so please call for hours of operations.


From Franklin, North Carolina Jackson Hole Trading Post and Gem Mine is located 1/3 of a mile above the Cullasaja Falls on Hwy. 28 & US 64 halfway between Franklin and Highlands, NC just on the left as you pass the the breathtaking Cullasaja Gorge.

Contact Information:

Jackson Hole Trading Post and Gem Mine
9770 Highlands Road
Highlands, North Carolina 28741
(828) 524-5850