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Cowee Gift Shop & Mason Mountain Mine

Open Now: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Open today: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Review Highlights
Gems and Fun

The owners Tom and Ginger are honest, helpful and add fun to your experience. Great place for all... read more

Reviewed 3 October 2018
Fort Smith, Arkansas
Best Gem Mining!!

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

Reviewed 14 June 2018
Rachael S
via mobile
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Traveller Overview
  • Excellent79%
  • Very good15%
  • Average4%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“native dirt”(15 reviews)
“salted bucket”(9 reviews)
“gem mine”(10 reviews)
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...more
Open Now
Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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5315 Bryson City Rd, Franklin, NC 28734-0422
+1 828-524-4570
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Reviews (106)
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All reviews native dirt salted bucket gem mine gem mining fruit stand pigeon forge few tips rocks gems the owner local mines franklin area wear old clothes native buckets ginger tom pile mason
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1 - 10 of 106 reviews
Reviewed 3 October 2018

The owners Tom and Ginger are honest, helpful and add fun to your experience. Great place for all day fun!

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank tdbowl
Reviewed 14 June 2018 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

Date of experience: June 2018
2  Thank Rachael S
Reviewed 29 May 2018 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

Date of experience: May 2018
1  Thank Journey315066
Reviewed 16 May 2018 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

Date of experience: May 2018
1  Thank ragle_336
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!

Date of experience: April 2018
1  Thank Hasbro-MLD
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

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank dions227
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

Date of experience: August 2017
2  Thank Marglenna
Reviewed 17 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

Date of experience: August 2017
3  Thank DeanR1963
Reviewed 13 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

Date of experience: August 2017
2  Thank rockdoctor48
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

Date of experience: August 2017
Thank Doogiest
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Questions & Answers
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Jeanne P
13 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.