The Legend of Fairy Crosses
See a collection of fairy crosses at Pezrok in downtown Blue Ridge.
Fairy Cross is another name for staurolite crystals, minerals found in old rocks of the Eastern U.S., and they are especially abundant in Fannin County. What makes these natural crosses so appealing? The mystical qualities and the curious makeup of fairy crosses have appealed to the superstitious nature nature of people for centuries. Many famous people, including Woodrow Wilson, Thomas Edison and Theodore Roosevelt, have kept them as good luck charms. Legend has it that the Cherokee Indians shed tears of sorrow as they traveled the Trail of Tears. Their teardrops fell to the ground and formed tiny crosses of stone.
You can take a look at a collection of fairy crosses at Pezrok located at 524 East Main Street in downtown Blue Ridge. Owner Jim Korzep has a great display. Old time rockhounds say Georgia is the perfect place to begin and end your hunt for fairy crosses; they are even designated as the Georgia State Mineral. But some specimens of the mineral can be of unusually high quality, like those found in Fannin County. According to the Lapidary Journal just above the Georgia line, in Copperhill Tennessee, staurolites are found with garnets.
Staurolite gets its name from two Greek words, stauros meaning cross, and lithos, meaning stone. The name was coined because of the stone's curious tendency to form twins that cross at various angles.