#10 of 22 Boone Things To Do

Foggy Mountain Gem Mine

Foggy Mountain Gem Mine – Find and Transform Pretty Treasures in the Heart of Boone
Staff Score:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Are you a diehard rockhound with a love for pretty treasures? Well then, you need to put Foggy Mountain Gem Mine on your radar. Set in the heart of Boone, this mine allows you to dig for rocks and gems, shop all their found treasures, and have your selections made into custom jewelry to wear forevermore.

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

Do you love hunting for treasures and using them to create wonderful keepsakes? If so, you definitely need to take a trip to the Foggy Mountain Gem Mine. A fan favorite in Boone, this mine allows you to look for rocks and gems in the dirt, shop even more treasures, and have custom jewelry made on demand. Rockhounds of all ages delight in the opportunity to visit this mine whenever they’re in the area.

To see what’s possible to find onsite, you’ll want to start your journey by taking a spin around their shop. All their rocks and gems sit on full display and remain ready for your admiration. They have uncut rocks, cut gems, and everything in between.

Their geodes usually get the most attention, and for good reason. They’re filled to the brim with pristine crystal formations, ensuring they’d look great wherever you have a spot in your home. Nearly all the items in the store are for sale for the right price, but you might just want to go mine a bit on your own before settling on what to purchase.

To ensure you can enjoy gem mining year-round, they have both indoor and outdoor flumes available for your use. Either way, you’ll need to buy at least one bucket of dirt to sift through in the flumes. You can then take your bucket and dig around to your heart’s content in hopes of finding magnificent treasures. Their ore is known to have some of the most beautiful colored gems in the world, giving you a good chance at finding something truly spectacular.

Once you grab all the rocks and gems from your bucket of dirt, you can do it all over again – or take your finds inside the shop and speak with the GIA Certified Graduate Gemologist. They’re happy to help you identify all the items you found in the dirt. Plus, they offer a full appraisal service for an extra charge.

Fun products in their online store include:

Gem Mine Dirt Kit
Whenever you’re hankering for another dip in the dirt, get the Gem Mine Dirt Kit. You’ll receive a custom wood screen box plus a bag of enriched ore to sift through. Once you’re done, you can use the enclosed card to identify the stones. Or you can come by for a sorting and identification session at the mine.

Popcorn Rock
Want to grow your very own crystals? All you’ll need is a Popcorn Rock of your own. You just have to place the rock in a dish of white distilled vinegar to kickstart the crystal growing process. As the vinegar evaporates, popcorn-esque aragonite crystals will appear before your very eyes, treating you to the magic of geology.

Rock Candy
When you want to have your crystals and eat them, too, buy Rock Candy to go with your rocks and gems. This candy features ultra-large sugar crystals hit with fun flavors, like Cotton Candy, Grape, Green Apple, Blue Raspberry, and Watermelon Orange. You’ll get all 12 flavors in one pack, so you can decide which ones you fancy most.

Want to take your gems and rocks to the next level? Ask about their cutting, polishing, and setting services. With their help, you can turn your finds into marvelous jewelry creations to hold onto for life or give away to your loved ones. Since the polishing, cutting, and setting process takes several weeks, you’ll need to have the items shipped to your door once they’re done. You can see how it works by watching them process other customers’ stones while you’re there.

Insider Tips:
-Expect delays when coming down Highway 105. The long-term bridge construction project will have you waiting more often than not, but it’s well worth the time it takes to get to the mine.
-They only close two days a year: Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
-They guarantee that you’ll find at least one precious gem in each bucket. So, let them know if you don’t and they’ll get you a new bucket to sift.
-Their parking lot sits right on the highway, so be careful when turning out at the end of your visit.