Cowee Gift Shop and
Mason Mountain Mine
Covered Flume Area
Family Owned and Operated by Tom and Ginger Johnson
The family mining tradition has remained making the mine a popular gathering site for families and miners from all over the world who come to Macon County still searching for gems.
In addition to Rhodolite garnets, named for the native Rhododendron that grows across the mountains, the property has six other minerals – Corundum, which is Ruby and Sapphire, Kyanite, Moonstone, Smokey Quartz, Garnet, and Cordierite (a form of Iolite).
At Mason Mountain Mine customers become friends and friends become family!
We offer the best hands-on training you will ever need to begin finding gemstones. Once you find a few, bring them to our gift shop to have them examined by one of our professional staff to see if any can be cut into something beautiful!
Tom & Ginger, Your Hosts
GIFT SHOP & HOURS
Looking for that special souvenir? When you stop by our gift shop our friendly staff will happily assist you. As you browse our shop, you will find gems and minerals from our property, surrounding areas and from all over the world. Whether you are looking for jewelry, T-shirts, hats, specimens, toys, or home decor you can find it in our gift shop.
Gem Mine Hours 2023
SUMMER – FALL 2023
(Mar. 1 thru Oct. 31)
August 17 = CLOSED
November 1 – 7 = CLOSED
Sunday – CLOSED
Monday – 9am-5pm
Tuesday – 9am-5pm
Wednesday – CLOSED
Thursday – 9am-5pm
Friday – 9am-5pm
Saturday – 9am-5pm
WINTER HOURS 2023
(Nov. 8 – Dec. 23)
Nov. 23 = CLOSED
Dec. 23 – Dec. 31 = CLOSED
Sunday – CLOSED
Monday – CLOSED
Tuesday – CLOSED
Wednesday – CLOSED
Thursday – 10am-3pm
Friday – 10am-3pm
Saturday – 10am-3pm
Gem Mine Hours 2024
Jan. & Feb. 2024 = CLOSED
Opening Day = March 1, 2024
Cutting Lesson $150.00 (Must make a paid reservation)
Return Policy – If you are unhappy with your purchase, we do offer exchanges only.
Exchanges must be made within 30 days of purchase date, returned in original packaging with receipt!
UNWORN AND UNUSED.
Tom teaches gem cutting lessons throughout the season.
Cutting demo lesson: $150.00
All lessons are by appointment only.
To schedule a lesson call (828) 421-1457
At Mason Mountain Mine you can have your treasures turned into jewelry that will last forever. Our knowledgeable staff can assist you in identifying which findings would best make into gemstone jewelry. A wide selection of mountings from rings, pendants, earrings, and bracelets help customers design that unique piece of jewelry.
Pricing of cutting and mountings vary depending on the size of stones and whether mounts are silver and gold.
Contact our gift shop at:
(828) 421-1457 for pricing.
Dig Your Own
Our native dirt pile where your gem mining experience begins. Native dirt from the private mine site located atop Mason Mountain is brought down to this pile for miners to sift through. Soil samples from this location indicate a wide variety of minerals including Rhodolite Garnet, Ruby, Sapphire, Kyanite, Moonstone, Cordierite and Smoky Quartz.
Our experienced staff will guide you in how to discover native material. We have a gemstone chart available to help you identify your findings as well.
Just place the dirt in the screen and rinse thoroughly. Concentrate on material that is smooth, heavy and has color. Until you become familiar with the native material, be sure to have our staff help you in the beginning.
- Dig: $40.00
To ensure gems are discovered, miners can purchase enhanced buckets that have gems added to the native dirt. This will guarantee a find of additional minerals.
These buckets are many of our miners' favorites!
- $30.00 Super Bucket (approx. 4-6 pounds of gems)
- $50.00 Super Bucket (approx. 10 pounds of gems)
- $100 Super Bucket (approx. 20 pounds of gems)
- $300 Super Bucket (approx. 50 pounds of gems)
For our avid rockhounds, we offer barrels that range from $500.00 to $1,500.00. These barrels are said to “Rock your world” as a rockhound.
Once your mining is completed at the flume line, be sure to take your findings into the gift shop for identification by the shop staff. The staff will select any findings that could be cut and made into jewelry. We offer cutting and jewelry making for our customers. Our turn around time ranges from 3-8 weeks depending on the season.
We Ship Dirt
Can't make it during our season?
No worries, we ship dirt all over the United States. Please visit our ONLINE STORE to purchase one of these buckets and have it shipped to you.
Or call us at (828) 421-1457 to have some magical dirt delivered to your front door!
Mark Your Calendars
Mine Event - Super Supper Bucket Event
Private Guided Mine Excursion
Must be 18 years old
Please call (828) 421-1457 to make a PAID reservation.
Cost $200 per person per event.
Emergency Services Night
Saturday, June 3
6 pm – 10 pm
Call for details
7 pm – 11 pm
All rates apply
No reservations needed
Customer Appreciation Day
9 am – 5 pm
No reservations needed
Bobby & I have been coming to Mason Mt Mine for about 10 years or so. Feel like part of the family! It is a place to relax, dig in the dirt, learn something new every time and most of all, make new friends! You won't find better native dirt in the area(and we've tried almost every mine) and Tom & Ginger are some of the sweetest souls you will ever meet! We love it here and send as many Pittsburgh folks down as we can! Very grateful for the Johnsons!
Cowee Gift Shop and Mason Mountain Mine
When we first started mining, we checked out several mines. We fell in love with mining here. Tom and Ginger always have knowledgeable employees at the mine to help you know what to look for! They sort your rocks and tell you what’s good, pretty or just leaverite (leave it right on the ground).
Ginger has an eye for design and Tom cuts and finishes the stone to perfection. Large stones or small, cabochon or faceted, silver or gold, the jewelry comes out looking amazing. Each year we add to our beautiful collection of jewelry. We know the stones are real! We mined them. We know the settings are good quality and the workmanship top quality.
The gift shop has a wide variety of single stones or beautiful jewelry already made and ready to wear.
Tom, Ginger, and Brad; as well as Benji’s and Brandon's families became friends as we visited yearly. Now they are extended family.
We've brought family and friends to share our mining experience!
We furnish all mining equipment
We Ship Dirt
Buckets can be purchased and mailed right to your doorstep. Please visit our ONLINE STORE to purchase buckets that can be shippped to you. Or call us at (828) 421-1457 with questions.
Find Our Gift Shop and Gem Mine
We are conveniently located 5.5 miles north of Franklin, NC in the Cowee Valley of Macon County. We sit nestled against Mason Mountain along Hwy 28 North between Franklin and Bryson City.
5315 Bryson City Road, Franklin, NC 28734
(text only after hours please)