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Rio Doce Mine

14622 Hwy 226 S

Spruce Pine NC 28777


P.O. Box 296

Little Switzerland, NC 28749



Fax: 765-2097


Rio Doce Gem Mine is open everyday from Easter through Halloween.

The operating hours are from 9:00 A.M. until 6:00 P.M.


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So you want to be a Lapidary?

Think you got what it takes to cut your own stones and turn them in to lasting family heirlooms?

lapsch1 featheredBelieve it or too can do it!  Rio Doce has an in-house lapidary school complete with lapidary supplies with the extras like rough, gem rough and facting supplies.  Our lapidary school enjoys students from Tennessee, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and more.

Whether you want to make this your life's work; Amethyst-cut-stone2cut gems for your own investment; or cut perfect gems as your hobby; no one can teach you better than our own Rio Doce staff who have been trained by the world-famous Jerry Call himself.  The opportunity to learn from a Master Gem Cutter is a rare one indeed!


"The opportunity to create valuable gifts for family and friends at a fraction of jewelry store prices is only a class or two away!"

Instruction is on an individual basis. You will work directly with our staff!

You will receive a Graduate Certificate when you have completed the course and passed the final examination of proficiency. the course consists of six, one-week segments, Monday through Friday, 9am till 5pm. You may, however, wish to take only one week. After your first basic week, you will be cutting gems to perfection in round and emerald cut. Each additional week brings much more and you can take as many weeks as you choose.   The course teaches you how to cut rare and extremely difficult stones, like Kunzite, and soft stones.

You'll learn the optics and orientation of gems; "hammering" techniques; how to select your rough material with sure knowledge of the return; and re-cutting of damaged gems.

Expert gem cutting is a growing profession with great future potential for financial gain and personal enjoyment. For vocation or avocation, skilled faceting is a profitable field.