The Pigeon Forge Gem Mine is a recreation of the old Ruby and Sapphire mines that were in the Cowee Valley. This mine was built in the mid-1800. Back then the miners would divert a stream onto a flume and dig. Then load all the dirt in a bucket and wash away the clay using screens. A few stones would appear if anyone got lucky after a day of digging. Some areas around proved to have more stones but by 1930’s the miners gave up. There were not enough to get rich. The remaining mines were open to the public so they could mine for a price.
The mines at Pigeon Forge Gem Mine have buckets with gemstones from all over the world. It is hidden in sand and dirt. So start digging and cleaning, and you will be amazed at your luck. You will be rewarded with more gemstones, more than the old miners found in a week.
Legend has it that in 1882 a couple of prospectors panned the Little Pigeon River. They dug up an enormous amount of gems and went off to Big Billy, the local merchant. Billy set up the General Store over the mines thus protecting the stones. He would have Assayers check the gems and cut and mount them. Today seven small miners work the mine through the night. In the morning they trudge off to their cottage in the forest. Hear them whistling while they work at night!
Buy a bucket of dirt and mine for stones and take them to a trained Assayer. He will be identify the stone and let you know which one can be cut. He will also tell you how big of a gem you can get out of it. The stone is given to the lapidary for cutting and polishing by a professional stone cutter. Then it goes to one of the jewellers for professional mounting into the setting you chose. Pickup your precious jewellery or have it shipped home if you are not there.
Besides their custom made jewellery, the jewellery store inside the General Store contains many rare and exclusive pieces. You can find cute costume jewellery for children to 14 kt gold pieces with precious stones. Most of their rings, pendants and earrings is mostly made in either silver or gold.
Their buckets have several prices and all information is available on their website.
Pigeon Forge Gem Mine Travel Tips
- Other Hours: Closing can be different every day since it is depended on business.
- Bad weather can also cause early closings and in the winter late openings.
- Tips & Warnings: Entry is free.
- All the stones in the buckets are real and there is no gold in them.
- They do not sell online.
- The selection of gifts and souvenirs include fossils, Native American souvenirs and educational toys.
- Sawyer's Farmhouse Breakfast- American, crepe
- Domino's Pizza- Pizza
- Reagan's House of Pancakes- American
- Bennett's Pit Bar-B-Que- Grill
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Fancy a good night's sleep after a tiring day? Check out where to stay in Pigeon Forge and book an accommodation of your choice.
20.35% of people who visit Pigeon Forge include Pigeon Forge Gem Mine in their plan
11 AM - 12 PM
64.29% of people start their Pigeon Forge Gem Mine visit around 11 AM - 12 PM
People usually take around 1 Hr to see Pigeon Forge Gem Mine
92.31% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting Pigeon Forge Gem Mine
Pigeon Forge Gem Mine Reviews & Ratings
Been going to pigeon forge for years and this is my favorite place. I've had so many gems cut and the experience is amazing. The workers are so nice and helpful. The $500 bucket is definitely worth it. Also, if you can afford it, get at least one of your gems cut. No complaints!
I highly recommend this place! Super fun for people of all ages. Must have for rock collectors! Friendly inviting staff! Would go again
A good value! We purchased the 50 dollar deal and enjoyed sifting through everything. Nice setup and friendly staff.
An awesome. Me and my little brother did it. It's great for adults and children. I recommend this to anyone.
Amazing so many gems to find and to be able to get different buckets with different gems is amazing. The staff there is so friendly and helpful to identify your gems. Would definitely go again.