Caves and Mines

Gem Mountain Gemstone Mine Spruce Pine

Where is it at?

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Gem Mountain Gemstone Mine
13780 North Carolina 226
Spruce Pine
NC
28777
Tel: 888-817-5829

Where are we going today?

Underground adventure has never been so sparkly with Gem Mountain's Gemstone Mines!

There are two fun adventures to be had at Gem Mountain. The first, is real life gem hunting! How exciting that you could walk away with your very own shiny jewels!

They supply the tools, and then the whole family just has to focus on having fun, and seeing what you can find. The best part? You find them...you keep them!

You can even make jewelry from what you find, with their gem cutters on site. Imagine what you can find! They have Crabtree emerald, monostones, citrine, ruby, garnet, amethyst, and even sapphire.

All of the action takes place at the gemstone flime. It's here - rain or shine - that you can test your skills. All you do, is take a scoop of the rough material and place it on your screen, and rinse it with clean water.

Keep an eye out for the shiny colors!

If you want to experience a very cool mine tour, Gem Mountain can let you explore one of the oldest mines in the entire area. The Hoot Owl Mine has been dormant for years, but at one time they actually found stones weighing up to 150lbs!

The Bushy Creek Mine tours are conducted as weather permits, and reservations are necessary. Here, the primary stone found is aquamarine. There are a number of tools they use to find all the gems, and it's so much fun finding out all about them!

Underground AND overground fun at this North Carolina historic attraction.

Dig deep, and have fun!

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How much does it cost?

  • AdultsGem Mining Bags from $40. $75 Bucky Creek Mine.
  • ChildrenGem Mining Bags from $40. $35 Bucky Creek Mine.
LAST UPDATED 2015

When can we go?

9am - 6pm Memorial to Labor Day. 9am - 5pm rest of year

March 1st to December 31st. Closed Sundays

Teachers corner

They LOVE having school groups visit. Why not give them a call to arrange? It's a unique way to spend the day outside the classroom! They also have covered flumes during wet weather, so you can go anytime!.

I'm Hungry!

The general store sells ice cream, candies and treats!.

Healthy Eating!

It's worth taking bottled water and healthy snacks to enjoy, and keep you filled with energy!.

Any Top Tips?

Make sure you reserve the mine yours, as they fill up quite far in advance. .

Need a little extra help?

If you have special needs, just give them a call to see how they can support you. They can give you advice. .

Can I get one of those?

Anything you find, you keep! You can them get your gems made into jewelry, which makes a great gift!.

More information

There are different types of gem buckets that you can purchase to find gems in. They will inspect your bags for free afterwards. .

What people are saying?

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    Went through a $55 bucket. Picked out all the gems. The guys outside we're great and knowledgeable very helpful in letting you know what to look for, and helped pick out some stones over looked.
    Inside was a different story. The guy was like a robot. When asked if we were going to cut any stones, we said no didn't want to pay extra and wait 4-6 weeks for it to be shipped to us. He quickly went through identifying all the large stones, and the smaller stones we picked out we're too small. They only look for the stones 10kt. and larger. It was a fun...Read More

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    Love it, take my family and friends there to find stones. Everyone has a blast!

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    We visited in August, and elected to have two stones 'cut' and sent to us. My husband was told that we would also receive the remains of the original stones (which I think would be worthy of a good story behind the faceted stones), but they are nowhere to be found in the box. I'm thinking of calling and inquiring about this, as they should at least keep their word. Mind you, the faceted stones are beautiful and the pendant lovely, but had we thought about it before turning them over, we would have taken 'before' pictures to go with the 'after' faceted...Read More

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    I have been there twice and had a blast sorting through my bucket of rocks at the flumes. They have enclosed more of the flumes so that they are warmer. Do not get you stones cut there. Just go and grab a bucket - take you time - and have fun.

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    We went to Gem Mountian on 4/30/09 to go through their Aquamarine mine and we will never spend another dime with them. We were totally disgusted. We had 6 in our family go and were the only ones at the mine that day. When we arrived at "the hole", you could see alot of aquamarine laying on the surface. It took us about an hour to pick them all up (along with the garnets). It appeared that they just threw the rough stones in for us to find because nothing was found by turning rocks over or breaking up larger rocks after the surface stuff was picked...Read More

Submit a review

by Dave McClard

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Went through a $55 bucket. Picked out all the gems. The guys outside we're great and knowledgeable very helpful in letting you know what to look for, and helped pick out some stones over looked.
Inside was a different story. The guy was like a robot. When asked if we were going to cut any stones, we said no didn't want to pay extra and wait 4-6 weeks for it to be shipped to us. He quickly went through identifying all the large stones, and the smaller stones we picked out we're too small. They only look for the stones 10kt. and larger. It was a fun experience for the kids, and they had a great time making a game of finding the largest stone and the smallest.

by A Google User

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We visited in August, and elected to have two stones 'cut' and sent to us. My husband was told that we would also receive the remains of the original stones (which I think would be worthy of a good story behind the faceted stones), but they are nowhere to be found in the box. I'm thinking of calling and inquiring about this, as they should at least keep their word. Mind you, the faceted stones are beautiful and the pendant lovely, but had we thought about it before turning them over, we would have taken 'before' pictures to go with the 'after' faceted stones. Don't know if we'd ever go back there, and we visit the state every summer.

by A Google User

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We went to Gem Mountian on 4/30/09 to go through their Aquamarine mine and we will never spend another dime with them. We were totally disgusted. We had 6 in our family go and were the only ones at the mine that day. When we arrived at "the hole", you could see alot of aquamarine laying on the surface. It took us about an hour to pick them all up (along with the garnets). It appeared that they just threw the rough stones in for us to find because nothing was found by turning rocks over or breaking up larger rocks after the surface stuff was picked up. After we were no longer finding anything, our guide started finding aquamarine that we "missed" and gave them to us. I believe this was to keep our hopes up. A few of us suspected something fishy and started watching our guide. The best aquamarine found was pulled from the guides pockets!! All said and done, we spent approx $400 to find two stones of facatable quality and they quoted a price of $170.00 to cut one stone. You can go down the road and have that same stone cut for $50. We went to another gem place and showed them the aquamarine and garnets we found. They said the aquamarine was poor quality and the garnets were just rust balls. We have previously visited other mines in addition to Gem Mountain in the past and have had 50+ stones cut by two businesses. The quality of cut was excellent and the prices comparable at both. This year, Gem Mountain has a tickler price of $45 per stone and anything over a specific size, the price skyrockets. Other mines still cuts stone for approx $50, regardless of the size. We left several stones to be cut at another mine - none of which were found at Gem Mountain. Please do your research and dont get scammed like we did. Your better off spending your money on a salted bucket at another mine. You will spend less time, not be sore, and spend less money for higher quality aquamarine.

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