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Cowee Gift Shop & Mason Mountain Mine

5315 Bryson City Rd, Franklin, NC 28734-0422
+1 828-524-4570
Review Highlights
Very nice people running this mine and gift shop

Going to this mine was a lot fun. We opted for the native dirt pile. I found a couple of very... read more

Reviewed 20 May 2017
Anderson, South Carolina
via mobile
Hidden "Gem" that's lots of fun!

We just visited this gem mine/gift shop for the 2nd time and had so much fun! You really will find... read more

Reviewed 29 April 2017
Knoxville, TN
via mobile
Read all 100 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!
  • Excellent78%
  • Very good15%
  • Average5%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“native dirt” (15 reviews)
“salted buckets” (10 reviews)
“gem mining” (12 reviews)
Closed Now
All hours
Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
5315 Bryson City Rd, Franklin, NC 28734-0422
+1 828-524-4570
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Reviews (100)
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11 - 20 of 100 reviews

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
Reviewed 3 September 2016 via mobile

The only complaint that we have is that we live too far away from Franklin to come as much as we would like to. What a treat it is for us to visit this place and the town itself. We have always found amazing gems...More

Thank Greg R
Reviewed 3 September 2016

I have been visiting this same panning and jewelry store/gift shop since I was a kid and my grandparents lived in Franklin, N.C. The same family has owned this mine and store for the past 51 years. In other words, you can trust them to...More

Thank AlphaMareWy
Reviewed 23 August 2016

Spend 15 or 100 dollars and you get a big bucket full of dirt rocks and gemstones. We got 3 of the 15 and one wow bucket for 100 dollars. If you are a true rock hound you will enjoy the sifting of mud and...More

Thank Pam D
Reviewed 13 August 2016 via mobile

Many places around Franklin N.C. offer buckets of dirt that have been salted with stuff from Amazon or eBay that not real and skill and even luck play no role in that sort of venture. Here you can dig native soil in search of sapphires...More

1  Thank Daniel M
Reviewed 26 July 2016 via mobile

Our family visited July 2016. Can not say enough good things about this place amd their staff. Absolutely the best gem mining experience we have ever had. We come to Franklin often since we have kids we always make a gem mine stop and this...More

1  Thank Jenascar6
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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.