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Cowee Gift Shop & Mason Mountain Mine

5315 Bryson City Rd, Franklin, NC 28734-0422
+1 828-524-4570
Review Highlights
Mine gems and have them cut!

Miners can purchase buckets of salted soil or dig from a pile of native soil brought directlr from... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Zephyrhills, Florida
Best place for gem mining. Wonderful staff, very helpful.

We not only had fun but felt like we learned so much about various gems, and Tim, who was there to... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina
Read all 95 reviews
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Tom and Ginger Johnson own and operate the mine and shop. The mine has grown over the years to provide you with the best environment for all your rockhounding needs. We offer full access for the handicap to enjoy all the fun as well. Check in at the gift shop for instructions to our access road, so you can drive right down to the flume. At our gem mine we offer strictly native dirt at the dig pile, plus enriched buckets and all the best help so you can start finding gems right away! In our gift shop we carry a wide variety of snacks and drinks to keep you going. There is also a nice deli nearby if you need a little extra and for the really hungry, Franklin is only 12 minutes away. We also have a wide range of rough specimens from all over the world as well as from our "back yard" which is literally our mountain where the mine site is located. You will see many different types of gold and silver mountings and jewelry already manufactured from our jewelry bench that will astound most folks. So stop on in if you can, we will be happy to see you even if it's just to say hi and catch up on things!
  • Excellent79%
  • Very good15%
  • Average4%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“native dirt” (14 reviews)
“gem mining” (12 reviews)
Closed Now
All hours
Hours Today: 09:00 - 17:00
5315 Bryson City Rd, Franklin, NC 28734-0422
+1 828-524-4570
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Reviews (95)
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1 - 10 of 95 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

Miners can purchase buckets of salted soil or dig from a pile of native soil brought directlr from the mine. If you choose the native mining experience, all equipment needed is provided and either 1/2 day or full day digs can be purchased. We purchased...More

Thank minerakl56
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We not only had fun but felt like we learned so much about various gems, and Tim, who was there to answer our questions and identify the rocks, was so helpful. When we finished, the folks inside separated out gems and showed us the most...More

Thank mwall1945
Reviewed 8 June 2017

We had a really enjoyable day at the mine. Tom and Ginger were super nice and Tim was extremely helpful in helping us identify our finds. I'm a newbie at this, and by the second bucket or so, I was getting the hang of identifying...More

Thank Daniel K
Reviewed 29 May 2017 via mobile

We visited Mason Mountain Mine on Friday. Tim was very helpful with identifying rubies, sapphires and garnets from our buckets of native dirt we dug from the native dirt pile near the sluice area. They brought in some fresh dirt for the digging pile early...More

1  Thank Rebecca H
Reviewed 28 May 2017

Ginger and Tom are the BEST! Their "crew" will help you find the best gems in their native dirt pile and you will NOT be disappointed. They are also lapidaries and will cut, polish and set your stone(s) in beautiful, unique settings. You will NOT...More

Thank Marglenna
Reviewed 20 May 2017 via mobile

Going to this mine was a lot fun. We opted for the native dirt pile. I found a couple of very broken pieces of corundum and a lot of quartz, and I mean a lot of quartz. I guess it's luck of the draw in...More

Thank BunnyOnTheGo
Reviewed 29 April 2017 via mobile

We just visited this gem mine/gift shop for the 2nd time and had so much fun! You really will find things worth taking home and more than likely, at least a stone or two worth having set in a piece of jewelry. Not only can...More

1  Thank TravelBugg82
Reviewed 13 November 2016

We went to another mine earlier in the week, but this was much better. The gems were much bigger and even found some Kyanite which was new to me and rubies. We found more and bigger sapphires. I found a lavender sapphire that they are...More

Thank boyd945
Reviewed 12 October 2016 via mobile

My husband and I have been to Franklin many times to go mining for gems. We went here two trips ago and just got back from the last one!We have found very nice gem quality stones! Ruby, sapphires, emeralds and more! See my six carat...More

Thank Lou Ann N
Reviewed 7 September 2016

This was so much fun and so easy. Get a bucket of dirt and sit beside a flume and sift dirt and mud through screen then pick up the stones however, lots of the stones are valuable gems. Lots of fun for everyone.

Thank highwayhoney
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Questions & Answers
Jeanne P
12 August 2016|
Response from texdawg89 | Reviewed this property |
I would say yes but there is some slight incline and there are no provisions for getting up close to the "trough" where the water runs to sift through the dirt to find stones. However, the owners are Christians and very... More
Angela H
12 April 2015|
Response from Adrian H |
If I'm not mistaken, salted means there are stones added to the dirt to guarantee finding something. Unsalted means nothing was added, so you'll only find what nature put in that particular pile of dirt.