Top Gem Mines in Tennessee for Gem Hunting

gem mines in tennessee

The state of Tennessee is known for its rich mining history and abundant gemstones. If you are planning a trip, we will list some of the best public gem mines in Tennessee that you must visit to discover precious gemstones.

Tennessee, known for its stunning landscapes and rich geological diversity, holds a hidden treasure trove beneath its surface – gemstones. From sparkling crystals to vibrant minerals, the state boasts a variety of gem mines that attract treasure hunters and enthusiasts alike.

Even though the state is known for its fresh River Pearls, you can find plenty of other gemstones in Tennessee such as quartz, garnets, epidote, and much more.

What Kind of Gems Can You Find in Tennessee

Tennessee has a wide variety of gems that you can dig at local mines. You can find both rare and common gems and minerals in the area. The state is famous for its pearls, otherwise known as “Tennessee River Pearls”. These are highly sought-after.

Here are some rare gemstones found in Tennessee:

  • River Pearl
  • Quartz
  • Tennessee Agate
  • Calcite
  • Pyrite
  • Unakite
  • Geodes
  • Celestite
  • Garnet
  • Azurite
  • Staurolite
  • Jasper
  • Obsidian

For more details, check out these rockhounding sites in Tennessee. Also, look at our top gem mining spots in Kentucky.

Top Gem Mines in Tennessee

Let’s explore some of the top gem mines in Tennessee where you can embark on your own adventure and uncover nature’s dazzling jewels.

Pigeon Forge Gem Mine

Pigeon Forge Gem Mine

Located in the Smoky Mountains, Pigeon Forge Gem Mine is a heaven for gemstone enthusiasts. This family-friendly mine offers a chance to sift through dirt in search of various gemstones.

While sifting, you may come across a plethora of gemstones, including quartz, amethyst, and citrine. There are various gem mining options available, both indoor and outdoor. The staff helps visitors every step of the way.

So, whether you’re a novice or an experienced gem hunter, Pigeon Forge Gem Mine offers plenty of opportunities.

Old Smoky Gem Mine

Old Smoky Gem Mine is located in the small town of Gatlinburg and it offers a unique gem mining experience with the backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains.

This rustic gem mine allows visitors to sift through the dirt and get their hands dirty as they search for hidden treasures. You are provided with buckets of dirt filled with rough gemstones waiting to be discovered.

As you sift through the dirt, you’ll have the opportunity to uncover a variety of gems, including garnets, rubies, and sapphires. You can also explore the area around the mining flumes for gemstones.

Lucky 7 Mine

For those seeking a more rugged gem hunting experience, Lucky 7 Mine offers an authentic mining adventure in the heart of Tennessee.

Located in the scenic Appalachian Mountains, this remote gem mine provides visitors with the opportunity to explore the wilderness for precious gemstones. From emeralds to aquamarines, the mine is known for its diverse range of gemstones.

Cooper’s Gem Mine in Blountville

Cooper's Gem Mine

Located in Blountville, Cooper’s Gem Mine is a lesser-known mine among gem hunters. This family-owned mine offers a personalized gem mining experience with a focus on education and exploration.

You can sift through buckets of dirt in search of various gemstones, including garnets, topaz, and tourmaline. There are shade outdoor mining flumes that you can explore, along with picnic areas, making it a family-friendly location.

Jae’s Gem Mine

Located in Middle Tennessee, Jae’s Gem Mine offers a one-of-a-kind gem hunting experience for visitors of all ages. This hidden gem is known for its abundance of gemstones and tranquil setting.

You can sift through dirt and gravel in search of precious gemstones. From dazzling crystals to vibrant minerals, the mine offers a diverse array of treasures waiting to be discovered.

Little River Gem Mine

little river gem mine

Situated in the picturesque town of Sevierville, Little River Gem Mine offers a unique gem mining experience along the banks of the Little Pigeon River.

You can visit with your family, and sift through buckets of dirt for gemstones such as quartz, amethyst, citrine, fluorite, and more. The mine offers both indoor and outdoor gem mining places that you can visit.

Important Tools to Have for Gem Mining in Tennessee

Gem mining in Tennessee requires a set of professional tools and equipment. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. Shovels and Trowels: For digging into softer soil, you need a sturdy shovel or a trowel. It also helps clear away the debris on the surface.
  2. Picks and hammers: To split rocks, and extract gems, you need a pick with one pointed end, and the other flat that serves as a hammer.
  3. Buckets: As you uncover gems, you need buckets to place them. Make sure you have durable buckets for the job to make sure your gems remain undamaged.
  4. Magnifying glass: For a closer inspection of your specimen, you need a magnifying glass to reveal details that are not visible to the naked eye.
  5. Zip-lock bags: As you collect gems, you need clear plastic containers or bags to store them. It also allows you to see the gems without having to open the bag.
  6. First aid kit: Mining is a risky venture, so make sure to keep a first aid kit with you at all times so you can address accidents or injuries promptly.


These are the best gem mines in Tennessee open to the public. From the Smoky Mountains to the riverside, these gem mines offer a unique mining experience for gem hunters in Tennessee.

So, grab your shovel and head out on an adventure to explore Tennessee’s top gem mines for an unforgettable gem hunting experience. Happy hunting!

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