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Spruce Pine - Emerald Village

331 McKinney Mine Road

Emerald Village is a group of gem, mining, and historical attractions nestled deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway and within an hour's drive of Asheville, Boone, and Blowing Rock. Located in a spectacular mountain setting, Emerald Village is home to 7 real mines and has been featured on The Travel Channel. Come see why we say "Real Mines - Real Fun!" There's a lot to see and do! Be sure to bring your camera and take pictures to share back home. People come from all over the world to visit Emerald Village!


Ethan Everhart

Sunday, April 8, 2018
Lots of fun! Gems are higher quality the more you spend, so if your going with a group, plan on splitting up a larger bucket. The service there is great cashier's are very friendly, and the "gemologists" are polite and helpful. Prices leave a little to be desired, but there not too bad. Unfortunately, I did not get to go on the mine tour, but it looked authentic and interesting, and the self guided tour nearby (which I did check out) was a really interesting look at what old mining was really like. The gift shop was nice too.


Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Nestled in what I could best describe as a sleepy mountain town that has been spread out over the length of many terrifying winding roads instead of one dense central location, is the Emerald Village. This is the place to come if you are an amateur geologist or one-off mineral and gemstone hound, or want to try your hand at old-school above the ground mining. We went and tried our hands looking for emeralds in the tailings at Crabtree. We wound up with some quartz, a tiny piece of pyrite, some disappointed kids (one because we didn't find any emeralds, and the other because we took him away from rocks he was smashing with a hammer) and a good work-out. While tough to get to, our kids loved it and we spent the better part of 4 hours, including having a lunch we brought at the site. To ease the kids disappointment of not finding emeralds, we bought a huge bucket of assorted rough gems and minerals to go through. A free cutting of one of our finds was included with the price, so after an hour of chilly fingers and two big backs of loose rough gemstones, we picked out a Tiger's Eye we found to get cut and sent home to us when complete. All in all, would definitely recommend and would do again.

Tisha Barron

Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017
Very pretty in the cave where they used to mine for the mineral to make Bon AMI scouring powder. There is a pool with large fish. It's green and peaceful by the cave Lots of artifacts from the mining days. You can,gem mine and pan for gold. We enjoyed it very much.

Ed Stackhouse

Saturday, Sep. 23, 2017
There is a lot to do at this very hidden attraction near Little Switzerland, NC. There are numerous exhibits (mining related and not so much), most of which are free. There is a model railroad exhibit, wildlife exhibit, minerals exhibits and antiques galore. Oh, and the place has emerald mining. The staff is knowledgeable and quite friendly. They will even help you carry your buckets, if needed. Don't expect to make a fortune on gem quality minerals here, but you never know. Either way, you will get dirty and wet---and have a good time with the family mining gems. The drive is a bit long and daunting, but you will have fun if rocks are your thing. Native buckets have mostly (almost all) feldspar and moonstone. The mix buckets are great for the kids to get some minerals for the collection. They offer cabbing but not faceting. You can also risk mining the "dumps" on your own for a fee, but most people would prefer to sit down at the flume and enjoy a bucket or two. Don't expect to get rich--do expect to have a good day out with the family.

Joe Odum

Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017
This place is fantastic. There is a guided tour of an old gem mine. You also have the opportunity to find real gemstones such as quartz, sapphires,and various other unique gemstones. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in semiprecious and precious gems.

Emerald Village is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media