FREE Rock and Fossil Museum
Inside the mine’s General Store we have a Rock and Fossil Museum.Stone ID Cards
We have a printable identification cards for the stones that can be and have been found in the buckets at the Pigeon Forge Gem Mine. Not all the stones on the list can be found in every bucket, in fact some of are from buckets of the past. We have included them because we feel some of you still have those stones and would like to have the cards to identify them with. Also some stones are not yet on the cards as we keep adding and changing stones in our buckets. The list is in PDF format and can be downloaded to your computer or printed. ID Card
Sometimes you will hear a stone called by several names. You wonder what the correct name is. Sometimes it will be called one thing by the miner and something else by the Assayer - when this happens blame it on the light - the Assayers have special lights that help them identify the stones. But sometimes a stone will have more than one name.
Smoky Quartz - Smoky Topaz, Smoky Mountain Topaz… at one time Smoky Quartz was though to be a form of Topaz, today we know it isn’t, but we will still see most cut Smoky Quartz called Smoky Topaz and here in the Smoky Mountains we like the name Smoky Mountain Topaz.
Moss Agate - Tree Agate, Dendrite Chalcedony…Dendrite Chalcedony is the correct name and it comes in two types, a white stone with green on it and a beige stone with fern like markings. Usually white and green is called Moss Agate and the other Tree Agate, but both books and people will interchange the two.
Pyrite - Iron Pyrite, Fools Gold…some people and books will use the Iron to tell what type of Pyrite it is and Fools Gold came from the fact that many early miners would mistake it for real Gold.
Chalcopyrite - Peacock Pyrite, Copper Pyrite, Fools Gold, Peacock Ore…This is a Copper ore and a pyrite, and like Pyrite was a Fools Gold, but when it tarnishes it turns color giving it the Peacock Pyrite or Peacock Ore name. (Bomite, another Copper Ore is also known as Peacock Ore)
A geode is a sphere shaped rock which contains a hollow cavity lined with crystals. A geode which is completely filled with small compact crystal formations such as Agate, Jasper, or Chalcedony is called a nodule. The only difference between a geode and nodule is that a geode has a hollow cavity, and a nodule is solid. We carry everything from very small Ocos geodes to large cathedrals of Amethyst and Citrine. And Agate slices and slabs.
A carrot is an orange vegetable and has nothing to do with jewelry - it’s a favorite with rabbits. But if you are talking about carats, then you are talking about the weight of gems. A carat is 1/5 a gram and there are 28.3 grams in an ounce or 141.5 carats in an ounce. When you see CT after a number it’s referring to the weight of the gem. To make thing more confusing we have calibrated sizes, and for the different calibrations have been issued a carat weight based of the weight of a diamond. So a calibrated stone will be a little less than it stated weigh. (A calibrated stone will fit into a setting; where one that’s not, won't.)
And with Carrots we also have Karat, which is the purity of Gold, and is written as kt. A 24kt gold item is pure Gold. A 14kt ring would be 58.3% Pure, which is the most popular in Gold Jewelry in the US. In Europe 18kt is most popular and is 75% pure. And 10kt is 41.6% pure. Because of the high cost of Gold 10kt is becoming much more popular.