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Cowee Gift Shop & Mason Mountain Mine

5315 Bryson City Rd, Franklin, NC 28734-0422
+1 828-524-4570
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Review Highlights
Best Gem Mining!!

We loved this place. The owners and their son were very helpful identifying what stones we found... read more

Reviewed 5 days ago
Rachael S
via mobile
Great Place & Very Helpful

Our third time here. Great friendly staff and willing to help and answer your questions. Our third... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
A TripAdvisor Member
via mobile
Read all 105 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” (15 reviews)
“salted bucket” (9 reviews)
“gem mine” (10 reviews)
Closed Now
Hours
Hours Today: 09:00 - 17:00
LOCATION
5315 Bryson City Rd, Franklin, NC 28734-0422
CONTACT
Website
+1 828-524-4570
Write a ReviewReviews (105)
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All reviews
"native dirt"
in 15 reviews
"salted bucket"
in 9 reviews
"gem mine"
in 10 reviews
"gem mining"
in 12 reviews
"fruit stand"
in 2 reviews
"taking home"
in 2 reviews
"few tips"
in 2 reviews
"rocks gems"
in 2 reviews
"the owner"
in 6 reviews
"new friends"
in 2 reviews
"local mines"
in 2 reviews
"franklin area"
in 3 reviews
"wear old clothes"
in 2 reviews
"lots of fun"
in 3 reviews
"native buckets"
in 2 reviews
"ginger"
in 16 reviews
"tom"
in 21 reviews
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1 - 10 of 105 reviews

Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

We loved this place. The owners and their son were very helpful identifying what stones we found and were happy to help! They give you a 5 gallon bucket. We had 8 people all use the same bucket, as we had some young kids in...More

Thank Rachael S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
1
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Our third time here. Great friendly staff and willing to help and answer your questions. Our third time here and will make this an annual trip. We have found many gemstones in our digging from their “unsalted” dirt pile. Be certain to wear old clothes...More

Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Spent the day mining with my Uncle, who had been mining in the Franklin area a few times a year for about 50 years. He's been visiting Mason Mountain Mine exclusively for the last 20. Impossible to overstate the experience here. The owner greeted us...More

Thank ragle_336
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 26 April 2018

My wife and I stopped off to get our hands dirty and were treated to our best gem mine experience yet. The staff was “hands on” and helped identify our newly found treasures. I highly recommend this place for a nice time discovering the gems!

1  Thank Hasbro-MLD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2018

People were Friendly, Prices were reasonable, had a great time. Unfortunately, in early March opening times may vary. web site said opened at 9am didn't open until 1pm, so we didn't get to do the dig your own. Will go back and try the did...More

Thank dions227
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 September 2017 via mobile

This place is great! The openers are great and it is a real mine with real gems coming out of it! Don't go anywhere else - dig in the native dirt pile - brought down from the mine daily - and watch the amazingness that...More

2  Thank Marglenna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2017

We went to several local mines on this trip. We stopped at the Cowee Gift Shop and spoke with Ginger, one of the owners. She was very helpful and friendly. We told her of our other disappointing experiences and she politely and professionally suggested that...More

1  Thank Dean R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2017

The rhodolite is worth going for but the rubies and sapphires are not native. They are added to the pile. The rhodolite is rough and the ruby and sapphire are water worn. If all was native, they all would be water worn or rough and...More

1  Thank rockdoctor48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2017 via mobile

We made our way to the mine and had a great time. We have two daughters 10 & 14 and they had a great time. We took dirt from the native pile and found a lot of garnets, some rubies and sapphires. A woman next...More

Thank Doogiest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2017

This was the best place we stopped at all vacation. Attempted to go to another mine (Sheffield Mine) and was sent away in a rude manner. Stopped at Cowee mine with about an hour left in their day and TIM was amazing, helped my boys...More

1  Thank cromerounm r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
Jeanne P
12 August 2016|
Answer
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
0
Votes
Angela H
11 April 2015|
Answer
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.
1
Vote
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