385 Sheffield Farms Rd
Franklin, NC 28734
Ph. (828) 369-8383
Native star rubies at Sheffield mine in Franklin, NC. Novice and experienced rock hounds welcome! 488 carat ruby found in 2002! Look for native rubies or for gemstones from around the world. We supply all necessary tools Rock & gift shop open 10am daily, April thru October. Group rates available.
How do I find Rubies & Sapphires?
1-Pick out a bucket that has rubies in it!
I know – they all look the same! So good luck!!!
2-Pour no more than 1/8th to 1/4 of a bucket of dirt into your tray at one time. If you pour in more dirt, you will have so many rocks that you won’t be able to see anything but rocks and more rocks – your rubies will probably be playing hide and seek under the ton of gravel in your tray and the more you roll them around the sneakier at hiding they will become!
3-Immerse the tray into the water and moosh around the dirt and break up any mud-balls! This is the time to get your hands muddy – don’t be afraid! You won’t melt in the water and the dirt is only temporary – you will someday be clean again – promise!
4-Bring your tray out of the water and rest it on the edges of the flume. Now move the larger stones to one end of the tray and put the rest of the stones into a circle in the center of the tray and using one or both hands, roll them around. Don’t press hard – no need to hurt yourself! The rocks will bang against each other and knock dirt off for you. Let them do most of the work!
5-Put the tray back into the water and rinse off the mud that you just scrubbed off.
6-Bring the tray out of the water again and gather the smaller stones to the center and roll them around again.
7-Repeat Steps 5 thru 6 about 3 more times, or until you no longer see mud coming off of the stones and your hands don’t seem muddy any more either! Do not fail to complete this step!!!
8-Now it’s time to look for rubies and sapphires! Oh, 1 hint – SUN LIGHT helps – a lot!!!!!! Spread the stones out in the tray so that there aren’t rocks sitting on top of other rocks. Look for a Pink, Purple of Reddish hue. Look for a glossy surface. A ruby or sapphire will be heavier than an ordinary rock of the same size. A ruby or sapphire will not fall apart or impart a pigment on the screen bottom when youn try to scratch the tray. They will make a scratchy noise. But so will quartz – quartz is orange, or brown, much like the dirt, but rubies and sapphires have a different look about them. Our sapphires tend to be in the pink/white category, so you probably won’t find any blue ones – sorry – but the pink ones are beautiful too! You might be fortunate and find one that has the classic 6 sides. Any or all of the above can indicate that you have found a ruby or sapphire! If you are sure of it, put it in your film canister, if you are unsure, put it in the tin can & we will help you to identify it!
As of 7-26-10
414 Honkers have been found along with
14 Super Honkers
& there’s lots more in the dirt still waiting to be found!!
From Downtown Franklin – Take Hwy. 28 North. Cross the river, pass the Cowee Baptist Church and right across from the BP Gas Station you’ll turn right onto Cowee Creek Rd., (the first asphalt road on the right past the church – you’ll see a sign for Perry’s Water Garden). Pass Cowee Elementary School and bear right at the first Y in the road and you’ll pass Rickman’s General Store. and then go left at the second Y in the road – which is Leatherman Gap Rd. About 200 yards on the left is our entrance. Big Sign – Can’t miss it! At this point you are only 1/2 mile from the parking lot!
From Asheville -
Take I-40 West and get off at Exit 27.This puts you going in the correct direction with no choices on your part until you get to Exit 81 (Atlanta, Franklin, Dillsboro exit). Take Exit 81 and you will be put onto Hwy 441 – no directional choices – you will be going SOUTH. At this point, you are approximately 30 to 40 minutes from us. At some point, you will start up a steep incline and eventually, you will start down a steep incline and when you start to see civilization again and when you stop riding the brakes (oh yeah, it is a steep incline!) then look to the RIGHT. You’ll see Mountain City Mobile Homes. Right there is a road named Sanderstown Rd. Turn Right there and stay on Sanderstown Rd until it ends! Turn Right again (now you are on Bryson City Rd aka Hwy 28). You are not in downtown Franklin, but now you need to Follow directions from Downtown Franklin.
From Cherokee -
Go South on US 441 and turn right onto Sanderstown Rd. You’ll know that you are at Sanderstown Rd. because there is Showcase Mobile Homes on one corner and Burglens Rock Shop on the other. Follow Sanderstown Rd. all the way to it’s end and turn right onto Hwy 28 North and follow directions as if coming from Franklin. Don’t look for the river – you’re already past it.
From Atlanta – Follow US 441 North into Franklin, then turn right onto Main Street. You’ll immediately turn left onto Hwy 28 North. Now follow directions from Franklin.
From Chatanooga – Follow Hwy 64 East to US 441 North and turn left. Follow directions as if coming from Atlanta.
From Nashville & Knoxville Take I-40 East to Exit #27 (the second Waynesville Exit also known as the Clyde Exit). Now follow directions as if coming from Asheville.