Mason's Ruby and Sapphire Mine the Original
Dig-Your-Own Gem Mine!!!
Mason's Mine is still a native dig your own gem mine, which it has been since the 1950's. But we now offer enriched buckets for those who lack the time or the ability to do the full mining experience. Now under the ownership of the Klatt family it's continuing to stay with the Mason's winning formula of customer service!
Hours of Operation:
March 1st through December 1st we're open 7 days a week 9 AM till 5 PM except Easter, the Thanksgiving holiday, days of inclement weather, or if we don't have any customers by 1 PM. We don't accept new native miners after 2:30 PM and 4 PM for enriched.We now have the bugs straightened out and we now accept CREDIT CARDS (including American Express and Discover) and of course cash. Reservations to mine are not required unless you have a group of ten or more. By the way you can get a $5 discount on the admission for each person if you can get a group of 10 people or more together!
Why Choose Mason's?
Mason's is one of the original native mines and has a long and colorful history. We have the shaft timbers to prove it. Many of the mines now are mines that sprung up on easily accessible major routes and they do not have a history of mining. Another thing we try to do is tell you the true story. There are many misconceptions out there. We do have a salted digging area, but we do not to claim the stones are from the local area. Many mines claim native dirt for their piles which they are, but that doesn't mean the stones in them are native! Another thing is that at the salted mines people find handfuls of stones weighing up to 1500 carats apiece or more and believe they are native. A large sapphire or ruby at the native mines start at about 10 carats and a big haul of stones is about 50 to 100 carats in a day! The geologic literature does not mention emeralds, topaz, aventurine, sodalite, etc. as being found in Macon County (personal communication with the NC Geological Survey Western office). You can find sapphires, rubies, garnets, rutile, kyanite, sillimanite, mica and quartz in the native mines of the Cowee Valley area (Cowee Valley Ruby Mining Story) by Rene Fafard). That holds true for our mine. A third thing is our award winning customer service. We have won the TripAdvisor's Certificate of Excellence. Just check out our reviews and see why! We put an average of 1 flume guide to every 15 customers. They are knowledgeable, helpful, and fun. One more thing Judie our greeter, has never met a customer that she didn't like!
What to Bring to the Mine
Since we are a Dig Your Own Mine you need to be prepared for outdoor conditions. If it's raining or been raining our digging area gets VERY SLOPPY. Bring rubber boots with tread and a rain coat. Also if it's rainy we do reserve the right to close the mine if we feel safety issues warrant it. Please call ahead at 828-369-9742. During thunderstorms we will close the flume till the storm passes. Regardless of weather conditions you might want to consider bringing a change of clothes, and sturdy shoes or boots. At all times we highly discourage the wearing of flip flops, sandals, and other open toed shoes. There are many rocks in the digging area and the shovels are sharp. Also bring rubber gloves or buy them from our store to wash the dirt . The rocks can be sharp! We provide all the tools necessary for mining: shovels, buckets, screens, and we have hand truck rentals. Rock hammers, and picks aren't necessary and we discourage their use. We are located a long way from town so be prepared to bring your lunch, but we do have drinks and snacks for sale in our store to tide you over. Well behaved pets on a leash are welcome at our mine, but please scoop the poop!
When you get here, you will go through a short orientation showing you how to find the much-coveted Mason Sapphire. Our expert staff will help you determine what to look for, rules for the mine, and instructions for finding the right digging spot. Afterwards its off to the fields you go, with a shovel and bucket, in search of gems hidden beneath the earth's surface. You return to one of the 4 flume lines where you will be assisting in sorting the rocks from the riches. After the day is over we weigh and package your treasures for safe travels to wherever you may live. Dig your dirt. Wash it off. Keep the gems.
Here's a video to show you how Masons Mine Works
Bring lunch and prepare to get dirty
Mining is a messy business so dress accordingly as you WILL get dirty. We have snacks available on site or you can bring a bag-lunch and use one of our multiple picnic locations. The mining fee is the same whether you get here at 9 am or 2:30 pm, so plan your day to take advantage of this. We have a special handicap flume allowing those in wheelchairs to get in on the fun. 2 flumes are covered but sunscreen is not a bad idea.
Our amazing staff!
The experienced and friendly staff will make you feel right at home. If you aren't used to real southern hospitality, you are in for a treat! They also happen to be real good at the sapphire mining! Come down and say hey even if you don't want to mine.
Gem Cutting and Mounting
Once you have found your gems at Mason's Ruby and Sapphire Mine many of our customers wonder what should they do with their finds. There are few places in the country that will cut your gems even in the larger cities. Well you're in luck! We have our partner business to help you out at http://www.rubycity.com/. Just go to their services button on their site for a list of cutting and mounting prices. Feel free to check through their other services and products they have available. When in Franklin please visit their store, because your trip to the area isn't complete until you've seen their free museum and fluorescent display!
A Cabbed Mason's Sapphire!