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Name Comments
88 teresa lara
Location: wi

Monday 17 Sep 2012 23:05:22 EDT
looks fun :-)
87 The Hiebners
Location: Bradenton, FL

Sunday 9 Sep 2012 16:36:23 EDT
We picked the Cherokee Mine because it was unsalted. What we found was a fun, relaxing - even educational introduction to gem mining. The mine is a family business - run by generous, kind people. The owners were knowledgeable and helpful - working through our finds to ensure we found everything (and gently pointed out our rocks). Next time we are in the area, this stop will be at the top of our list.
86 The Harts

Monday 20 Aug 2012 00:25:14 EDT
Had a great time and lucked out with the weather today. Lots of fun pulling out some interesting small finds. Big excitement watching the couple next to us pull a huge beautiful ruby!
85 Dr. Paul Pentecost
Location: Roanoke, VA

Monday 13 Aug 2012 09:49:04 EDT
To Ray and Mom. Wll be back in about 6 weeks. Will have the general servey work dome on the mimeral content at the mine. Tell ray he was just great look forward to haveing move fun with him very soon.

Dr. Pentecost
84 Tonya
Location: Ohio

Tuesday 26 Jun 2012 09:30:40 EDT
My family and I have never been to a mine, but this mine looks great. Planning a trip in July to come find some gems! CAN'T WAIT 6(^)6
83 Karen
Location: Baltimore, MD

Sunday 24 Jun 2012 13:07:42 EDT
This was my second visit to Cherokee and I'm looking forward to my next one. Thanks, Maria, for your help. My cousin and I had a super day!
82 Daniel May
Location: St. Louis, MO

Wednesday 30 May 2012 19:25:20 EDT
I had a wonderful experience washing and sorting thru gravel. I found a sapphire and some garnets. Maria was a kind and generous woman who helped me tremendously (Thank you Maria!). I am glad i took this trip. Peace!
81 Zac & Casey
Location: Iowa

Saturday 12 May 2012 12:05:01 EDT
We were on a road trip and were looking for a place to mine. The Cherokee mine stood out as the only unsalted mine in the area. The area was beautiful, the mine was exactly what we were looking for; however, what stood out the most were the friendliness and helpfulness of the owners, Maria and Ray. They truly made the trip memorable - so much that we brought our family back one week later. We highly recommend staying at the Cabins - looking forward to our next trip.
80 Natasha
Location: Denver, CO

Monday 7 May 2012 23:37:54 EDT
:-D Best Mine ever!!! The owners were very knowledgeable, friendly, and excited about what they do. I found a really nice sapphire and some really cool garnets... along w/ some other stones. It is a beautiful place and they also have the coolest cabin in the woods that was really reasonably priced. Highly recommend this mine-it is the only one that is not salted. Enjoy! Thanks for everything Ray and Maria:)
79 Gary and Joanne
Location: Long Beach Island, NJ

Monday 9 Apr 2012 11:49:59 EDT
Joanne and I spent 3 wonderful hours panning for precious gems at your lovely location on April 6. Maria "you have the patience of a saint" thank you and Ray so very much for a lovely birthday experience! I found exactly what I came for- a beautiful deep red Cowee River Valley ruby as well as several pink and blue sapphires. As Ray said "the mountain gods favored me" on my birthday! Bob is cutting my stones now and I can't wait to see what he comes up with.
78 Marisa and Scott
Location: Blairsville, GA

Saturday 29 Oct 2011 20:17:23 EDT
We spent the afternoon mining for gems and we had a great time, despite the cold. Maria was super helpful in showing us what to look for and even went through our discards to make sure we didn't miss anything. I almost threw out a 37 carat pink star sapphire because it was broken and did not have a hexagonal shape. Maria pointed it out to me and I took it to the lapidary. I am having it cut to make into a necklace. We will be back when the weather warms up! I recommend this place to anyone who wants an authentic native mining experience!
77 Kevin Keller
Location: Inman s. c.

Monday 17 Oct 2011 06:45:09 EDT
we were in dillard ga this week end and found out about you we will be looking to come up in the spring.

The Keller's
76 Doug Cummings
Location: Winchester, Va.

Tuesday 27 Sep 2011 12:23:49 EDT
I just want to thank Mom and Ray for a great time and for showing us the mine, very interesting.

Thank's Doug
75 Rick and Tina Delahay
Location: Staunton, VA

Monday 19 Sep 2011 23:11:47 EDT
My husband and I drove here from Pigeon Forge where we were staying for our 14th anniversary. We wished we had stayed at the cabin so we could have mined for the entire 3 days! My husband found a ruby and rutile. Bob has them both now making a 4 carat ruby ring and earrings and a pendant from the rutile. Thank you so much for taking extra time to show us what we were looking for. I didn't want to leave! It was a great experience. I can't wait to return!! Thanks Ray and Mike for the extra homework :-) I am hooked!!!
74 Thomas Packer
Location: Hampton, Virginia

Sunday 4 Sep 2011 23:08:45 EDT
When I last visited the mine I had a wonderfull time the owners/operators are the most personable and helpfull folks, lots of advice, tales of past finds and a lot of laughs. I "panned" out alot of semi-precious gems which I've run through the tumbler to finish them off, but my prize of the day was a 85 ct lavender sapphire!! I have pictures to prove it!!!! One of the best days I've ever had!!!
73 Mark Petzold
Location: Grand Rapids, MI

Monday 22 Aug 2011 23:48:14 EDT
Our family had a great time. I highly recommend going here.
72 Stan and Becky
Location: Georgia

Monday 22 Aug 2011 17:48:14 EDT
We have been going to Franklin to mine since 1971. We just spent 3 of the most pleasurable days at the Cherokee mine. This mine has always been our favorite. We would like to thank Maria and Ray for being such helpful and gracious host. They are both "gems". We found some really nice stones and left 11 (yes 11) for Bob to cut.

If you are planning on mining, you should go to the Cherokee Mine. Only native stones are found here. If all goes as planned, we will be returning before the end of this season. Thanks again Maria and Ray for re opening and maintaining the Cherokee.
71 Dr. John Secter
Location: Ft. Thomas, KY

Friday 19 Aug 2011 19:58:24 EDT
We had an awesome time with Ray and his mom.They couldn't have been more patient and helpful. When my father-in-law found that massive ruby it was extra special!!It was well worth the drive past the other places!!!! Thanks Ray and mom. John and Lisa and family
70 Lori and Chris Schubert
Location: Northern Virginia

Sunday 14 Aug 2011 19:48:32 EDT
8-| We just returned from our second trip to Cherokee Ruby and Sapphire mine. Once again, we had a wonderful time. Ray, Maria and the rest of their family continue to be the nicest people in the world. Thank you for spending extra time with us and showing us around. We found some lovely stones and a nice 17.8 carat sapphire. We also found rubies and lots of other smaller sapphires. We left several stones to be cut, with Bob at the Cowee Valley Lapidary.(He smiled!!!!) We highly recommend this mine. We won't go anywhere else. Wonderful findings and even more wonderful people!

We hope to visit again soon.
69 John & Becky
Location: Indianapolis Indiana

Friday 12 Aug 2011 18:50:52 EDT

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our couple-day visit recently. We picked this location based on comments here and it was worth it. Ray and his family truly are as you'll read here - very friendly, extremely knowledgeable, and willing to help ensure you don't miss a treasure by inspecting all you sift. We found several small sapphires, the largest weighing in at 12.9 carats, as well as moonstone, sillimanite, garnet, and some nice pieces of rutile, the largest at 49 carats. No rubies for us during our visit but we learned a lot and had a great time. A special hello to Mark and Tony as well, who we understand are regulars.


John & Becky