If you’re someone who love jewelry and are looking for that specialty piece to mark your time in the Smokies, then the Pigeon Forge Gem Mine is definitely a stop you should make while in town. They’ve been an integral part of the Parkway in Pigeon Forge for over three decades.
The store’s mine is recreation of the old Ruby and Sapphire mines that were found in the Cowee Valley in North Carolina during the mid 1800’s. Ruby and Sapphire mining primarily went by the wayside after the 1930s when most discovered that you couldn’t get rich doing this kind of mining. Still, places like Franklin, NC, located in the Cowee Valley, refer to themselves as the Gem Capital of the World.
Now you’ll still find real gemstones in the area, especially at the Pigeon Forge Gem Mine. The mine has buckets overflowing with gemstones from all over the world, including Franklin, NC, and its in sand instead of clay or dirt. One bucket will bring you more gemstones than most old miners could find in a week during the old days.
As mentioned, the Pigeon Forge Gem Mine is located on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge, only a stone’s throw from Dollywood, and minutes from the Smoky Mountain towns of Gatlinburg and Sevierville. All the gems that you find can be cut, polished, and mounted on site into jewelry. Their Rock and Fossil Museum is FREE to the public and the General Store includes such great spots as the Rock Shop, Fossil Shop, Jewelry Counter, Book Center, and other gifts made from rocks and fossils.
Because the Pigeon Forge Gem Mine is a part of the Three Bears General Store, stop by and feed the live bears. It’s a great way to spent an afternoon in Pigeon Forge and a great break from the hustle and bustle of the Parkway.
Pigeon Forge Gem Mine
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863