About this Business
- HoursSun-Thu10:00 AM - 5:30 PMFri-Sat10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
From Our Editors
At Pigeon Forge Gem Mine, kids get a chance to see what mining for gems was like in the 1800s, when North Carolina miners would divert a stream to search for gems. Visitors sift through a bucket of sand and pull out stones to be examined by the assayer, who determines whether the stone is a ruby, sapphire, or just an unpopped popcorn kernel. At the lapidary, the gem is cut and polished so a jeweler can mount it on a ring or pendant.
The rocks come from all over the world—although staff might playfully claim that they're harvested from the Little Pigeon River by seven tiny, whistling miners. While waiting for their jewelry, visitors can browse the general store or check out the specimens in the free rock and fossil museum.