This mining facility offers a native mine for true rock hounds, as well as an enriched mine for children. Star Rubies and ... More
This mining facility offers a native mine for true rock hounds, as well as an enriched mine for children. Star Rubies and Star Sapphires can be found here and the site also offers picnic tables, snacks, and refreshments. Wire Wrap Classes are offered for teens and adults as well as GeoCraft Classes for kids.
This was our second trip to Sheffield Mine and it was not nearly as nice as the first. Firstly, we and most people there got hardly anything compared to the first time about 2 years ago. The owner(?) would not weigh the tiny little stones my son(10) got. The stones were so small I would be less than 4 carats IF they were rubies. We got the rainbow buckets (8) and to be honest they had a LOT less cool rocks for kids to find. Overall I think Sheffield Mine has lost its novelty and is more into taking your money. We won't go back but will try another mine in the area.
We went to Sheffield mine and bought in at $15 for two raw buckets. Between my buckets and my BF buckets we found nothing after two hours of scrubbing the rocks. The kid working there came by and would check each time we cleaned our rocks. Nothing. He said he felt bad and tossed me one. Nice kid for certain. Anyway, someone else there mentioned that the owners were getting their dirt for the buckets in a different location and the finds were not what they were the previous year. I also wanted to bring home some raw buckets to try my luck but take my time, at home. NOPE, can't take the raw buckets home with you. What? I can take the salted (rainbow) bucket but NOT the raw bucket. That's weird. Someone said the owner used to let folks buy the raw to take home but now they are "weird about it." Next time I'm going somewhere else. The only good part was the fun my BF and I had washing rocks in the flume "mining."
I'm wondering if alot of the visitors are taking enough time to clean, clean, did I say clean, their rocks. I always ask for someone to double check too- theyre just as curious as I am & the advise is priceless. thank you Mike "EAGLE EYE". Just visited In July- its our sixth year, and found a 152 carat ruby. B PATIENT ITS FUN. super Honker winner gets a free bucket for a lifetime. THANKS SHEFFIELD MINES!!! Karen & Don Simo- Vermilion Oh
After reading the reviews we went to Franklin and rented a cabin for a week. We went to Sheffiel Mine and I got a 75 carat "gem quality" ruby the very first day. To give you an idea, it's bigger around than a quarter and about an inch high. Got the "honker horn" and a neat badge and certificate. Gem cutter in town wants $750 to cut it into ring, necklace and two earings.
We went back a second time and the wife found a 150 carat black saphire which one gem cutter told us would yield 6 great black star saphire gems. She held onto that "rock" all day for some reason having no idea what it was. When we went to leave she asked an employee if it was anything and he about fell over backwards, We actually started laughing thinking he was kidding.
Yes we found scads of smaller ones too. I don't know if we'll ever get them cut as they are so beautiful in the rough. I have a mobility issue and they came up and got me and took us up when ready to go. Like anything else keep your mind right and you'll enjoy it. You can't hit a homerun everytime at bat. We're going again this year.
We had a fantastic time! The staff is friendly and helpful. Had so much fun we added a day to our vacation and went back for a 2nd day! Get there early and plan to get dirty and wet. The native buckets do take some time and work so I wouldn't recommend making a day of it with small children. They do have "Rainbow" buckets that have gemstones that are easy for children to find - some were even carved into arrowheads. The little ones around us really got a kick out of those!
I'm from Ohio & have been taking vacations in the Franklin NC area for the past 8 years. Sheffield mine is the best when it comes to actually finding native rubies & sapphires. I have went to almost every mine in the area & for the past 5 years I have only visited the Sheffield mine. The number of people going to this mine has risen significantly every year. This mine is not like alot of the mines in the area. You are not guaranteed to find anything if you choose the native buckets but if you wash your soil/rocks over & over & over you should find something in almost every bucket. It may only be a little tiny piece of a ruby but it's still a ruby. I don't like the other mines that plant the gems in the soil for you to find. That is cheating in my book. They do have rainbow buckets (mostly for the kids) that want to be guaranteed to find something. These rainbow buckets are filled with different large gem rocks that have been planted into each bucket. Items in these buckets aren't worth much but are nice to look at & make great paperweights.
I have read several of the previous comments & don't agree with them. The staff at the mine is great & among the best you find at any mine. You see the same staff year after year. The staff keeps coming back because they love this mine & the people associated with it. This place does get very busy on the weekends. I recommed going during the week & arriving before 10:00am. During the week I have never seen more than 10-15 people waiting when I arrive before 10:00am. I usually go to the mine 4-5 days in a row during my vacation every year in Franklin. I have found countless rubies & sapphires under 10 carats in the rough form. I have even found a 45 carat ruby, which is the largest I have ever found.
I suggest your bring a spare shirt & shoes for the ride home. Also, suggest you bring a cooler with drinks & snacks. All that washing of the soil/rocks on the line makes you very thirsty & hungry. Sunscreen & a couple of old towels are also very handy. As for the price, where else you going to spend the day 10:00am - 5:00pm & spend less than $20 per person? This is a great value & buckets of fun.
We visited a few months ago and paid to have a gem cut and polished and shipped home. We never received it, and my numerous emails have gone unanswered. Don't trust them to cut your gems......please! It was a huge disappointment to my daughter, who was so looking forward to having a special memory of our trip.
We had visited a couple mines the day before going here and had great experiences, however, after succumbing to the tourist attraction of Sheffield Mine...we arrived (30 minutes before they opened as recommended in their advertisements)...and there was already a line of almost 50 people! We waited and chatted with other miners...then finally they opened the gates. We were basically herded in like cattle and "ordered" to where to stand and wait for instructions...where we waited...and waited. A lady behind us asked "but we did some mining elsewhere yesterday" and her comment was responded to by "but this is different". Yes...it's different...we were not "welcomed" nor were we thanked for being there and for $15 per person to just get started (which the day prior we'd paid cheaper with fruitful outcome) I don't think so! It was touristy and we truly did not believe our business was appreciated...so we walked away and will not recommend it to anyone...kids or not!!
*Terms & Conditions: Savings calculation is based on Flight + Hotel vacation package bookings for a 3 month period for 2 adults with a 2+ night length of stay compared to price of the same components if booked separately during same period. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, travel dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages.