Family Friendly Gem Mining Experience

If you've been asking yourself, "Where can I dig for gems in North Carolina?" look no further than The Emerald Mine of Little Switzerland. Nestled in the hills of North Carolina, this emerald gem mine is located in the emerald mining district, which means it has a wide variety of stunning gems, including not only emerald but also garnet, ruby, sapphire, iolite, topaz, amazonite, and amethyst.

the world of

We are the retail outlet for The World of Gems Inc., an American-owned family wholesale business, which began in 1966, which deals only with gems mined naturally and ethically from the earth.



The original "Carolina Queen":
At 277.7 carats, this exquisite gem has been independently estimated by 3 master faceters to cut a 40 to 50 ct. clean emerald.

It was found around 1976 by Bill Collins, then owner of the now-defunct Crabtree Emerald Mine, and was on display at the Colburn Museum in Asheville, NC, before being withdrawn and traded for debts on labor by the entrepreneur Terry Ledford.

At The Emerald Mine of Little Switzerland, we own and cherish this gem as the most magnificent ever found in North Carolina.

Weather permitting

We are open from April to the end of October, so what are you waiting for? No matter if you are an amateur, student, geologist, professional jeweler, or artist, come visit us and learn something new about nature's amazing gems. Search for several different types of naturally occurring gems, and after gem mining, be sure to browse our unique jewelry store, which features items from all over the world. Check out our amazing finds and contact us today, or better yet, come see us in person! We are looking forward to meeting you and seeing what treasures you dig up at our emerald mine.


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Better yet, see us in person!

We love our customers, so feel free to visit during normal business hours.

The Emerald Mine

Our GPS Address is:
2120 McKinney Mine Road
Spruce Pine, NC 28777

+1 (828) 765-6832 or
+1 (828) 765-1695

Easter until October 31st in the afternoon!

Open Weekends from Easter to October 31st in the afternoon, weather permitting.

Hours Flexible: Call ahead for an appointment! +1 (828) 765-6832