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offlady Aug 24th, 2004 12:25 AM

Gem Mining in North Carolina
Besides searching for great BBQ, we have gone ruby & gold mining around Franklin the past 2 summers. This last trip we had trouble finding ruby mines. Is it seasonal? How do we avoid the tourist traps? We drove and drove and got tired and just went to the first one on the main road and got salted buckets for $25. We paid $1 per bucket elsewhere that weren't salted.

dwoodliff Aug 24th, 2004 04:41 AM

Sorry, I have no info for you -- have only been to NC once -- but your title caught my eye. Have you actually found rubies and gold nuggets? It sounds like fun. All my life, I've heard about diamond mining in Arkansas, but have never gone. Can you tell us more about your experiences?


Smokyboy Aug 24th, 2004 05:31 AM

I am a part time resident of Franklin. Gem mining is very popular. It is known as the "Gem Capital of the world". Indeed, there have been some very large rubys and sapphires to come out of here. For locations/info, go to Some have the choice of mining for native stones or enriched/ salted. (meaning the stones are added to the soil; a "sure-find".) As for BBQ alot of people like Fat-Buddies in Franklin; I prefer Oinkers in nearby Clayton, Ga.

ryanc Aug 24th, 2004 06:02 AM

If you are up for a drive there a couple good gem mines up in the Boone NC area- a lot of tourists, but some really good finds. We found rubies and a host of other gems.

Baligirl Aug 24th, 2004 06:17 AM

There are always going to be tourists, unfortunately. But I recommend getting a book on the Blue Ridge Parkway in NC -- bc there are some great places along there that are near Asheville with great mining. Might also try up near Cashiers and Highlands I think? Oh and for great barbecue, go to Lexington, NC. YUM!

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