Gems & Minerals from the N.C. Mountains and around the World
The Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum, located in a historic jail in Franklin, houses thousands of specimens of gems, minerals, fossils, Indian artifacts, fluorescent minerals, and sea shells.
- the States Room, with minerals from 49 states, Canada, and Australia
- the North Carolina Room, with specimens from the state of North Carolina
- the Native American Room
- a display of fluorescent materials rivaling any such collection south of the Smithsonian
- a display of minerals used in making glass
- the Fossil Room, with relics such as Carcharodon teeth, petrified wood, and a dinosaur bone and egg
- the Central Room and the World Room, which feature specimens from dozens of countries and a display of “Writings in Stone” including a 1/16th replica of the Rosetta stone and a map of Hezekiah’s tunnel
- Jewelry and curios composed of minerals from all over the world are available in a small gift shop. The museum offers classes for those interested in the lapidary arts, a library containing hundreds of books devoted to gems, minerals, fossils, and related subjects, and a workshop containing lapidary equipment.
Hours of Operation
May through October hours:
Monday through Saturday: 12 pm – 4 pm
The museum is open Saturday evenings in the summer during “Pickin’ on the Square” music fests.
November through April hours:
Saturday: 12 pm – 4 pm
Hours of operation and fees are subject to change. Contact directly for most current information.
For more information about the gem and minerals heritage in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge mountains and foothills, go to our Gems & Minerals page.