No matter how commonplace rocks are it always seems that little kids are enchanted by their varying hues and shapes. They collect them in shoe boxes and bags and show them off like a horde of treasure. If your child has a rock collection or simply craves a little treasure hunt, you might want to stop by Nantahala Gorge Ruby Mine and let them explore a little.

If you’re visiting the mountains, one of the cool watercooler facts you might not know about is the rich deposits of natural rubies and sapphires that can be pulled from the North Carolina hills. There are several gem mines in and around the area, each specializing in different types of gems, rocks, and deposits. As far as quality goes, Nantahala offers a very fun experience, especially for the kids. Their onsite gemologist will identify and help guide you on sifting methods as you and your family gets to experience old fashioned mining techniques.

I would recommend springing for the family sized buckets, even though they’re a little bit pricey. This will ensure you get a wide selection of treasures to take home with you. Kids especially will enjoy being able to have something to remind them of their experience without it being the typical touristy merchandise that is for sale at most shops in and around area attractions.

What kind of gems can you find at the Nantahala Gorge Ruby Gem Mine? There is a long list; rubies, emeralds, sapphires, garnets, topaz, amethyst, citrine, peridot, moonstones, rhodolite, apatite, aquamarine, turquoise, ametrine, Mexican opal, rose quartz, smoky quartz, chrysophase, and a continuing variety of both precious and semi-precious gems can be found within the sluices and bags available for purchase. Though most of the gems you get will be far from jewelry quality, you can still find ways to turn larger stones into jewelry and if you want to have something a little fancier, the gift shop at the Nantahala does offer to have professional settings done for your gems or you can buy the other jewelry they have on display. The customizability of your gem experience is a nice plus to have to ensure your experience is one for the scrap books.

In addition, you can often purchase a package deal where the gem mining experience gains added perks if you purchase a rafting excursion with Carolina Outfitters Rafting or stay at the local Carolina Vacation Lodging, so if you want to plan out a few days in the region, you’ll be able to gain some valuable coupons while you’re at it. Overall, this is a fun experience almost custom made for the 10 and under set and for those of us who are secretly tickled by playing treasure-hunter.

Nantahala Gorge Ruby Mine

11900 US Hwy. 19/74 West

Bryson City,   NC   28713

Nantahala Gorge Ruby Mine

11900 US Hwy. 19/74 West

Bryson City,   NC   28713