vaca spots of rock hunting

Name of Destination: Crater of Diamonds State Park
What you can hunt for: diamonds (natch)
Phone: (870) 285-3113 /                                                             Nearest city or town: Murfreesboro, Ark.
Chances of finding anything?:
Low, but it's fun. 

 Name of Destination: Rocky Candy Mine
What you can hunt for: Crystals of Fluorite, Barite, and quartz geodes
Phone/website: (250) 442 2833 /
Nearest city or town: Grand Forks, BC Canada
Chances of finding anything?: 100% of visitors find pretty fluorite pieces, they are all over,
 you just hammer them out with the hammers provided. Most people find the small quartz geodes, you have to
 be lucky to find barite
Name of Destination: Crystal Mine
What you can hunt for: Quartz & pyrite crystals, copper minerals.
Nearest city or town: Seattle, WA
Chances of finding anything: You'll find dozens of pretty
crystals in a 4 hour trip. Name of Destination: Mason's Ruby and Sapphire Mine
What you can hunt for: Mostly sapphires in the lavender to pink color range, but rubies
and other stones may also be found.
Name of Destination: Richardson's Rock Ranch
What you can hunt for: Thunder Eggs, Jasper
Nearest city or town: Madras, OR
Chances of finding anything?: 100%  Name of Destination: U-Dig Fossils
What you can hunt for: Trilobites
Nearest city or town: Delta, Utah
Chances of finding anything?: 100% I love this place!
Name of Destination: StoneRose Fossil Center
What you can hunt for: Eocene plant, insect, & fish fossils
Nearest city or town: Republic, WA
Chances of finding anything?: Very good, fossils, particularly plants,
 are abundant. The center allows visitors to keep 3 fossils per day, if you discover more,
 they are donated to the centers non-profit programs. A low-cost family destination. Name of Destination:
 Saddle Mountain
What you can hunt for: Petrified Wood
Phone/website: N/A
Nearest city or town: Mattawa, Wa
Chances of finding anything?:100% Good digging and surface hunting in tailings

Name of Destination: Opal Hill Mine
What you can hunt for: Fire agate
Nearest city or town: Blythe, CA
Chances of finding anything?: 100%, this site is a winter site ONLY. We are already
 over 110 degrees
For lots more vacation ideas check out this blog.

 Name of Destination: The Middle Camp Mining district
What you can hunt for: GOLD
Nearest city or town: Blythe, CA
Chances of finding anything?: 100 % 

Name of Destination: Jalama Beach
What you can hunt for: Rootbeer agate, fossils

Nearest city or town: Lompoc
Chances of finding anything?:100% Name of Destination: Cherokee Ruby Mine
What you can hunt for: Rubies, sapphires, garnet, rutile, moonstone, and more.

Nearest city or town: Franklin, N.C.
Chances of finding anything?: Very good. The staff is just wonderful
 and will provide plenty of help in your search. Because this mine is completely
native and unlike most other Franklin mines, NEVER salted, you won't find as much
as with the salted places, but what you find may be of very high quality


Agate Diving/Copper Harbor
GPS: Latitude: 47° 27' 30.4884"   Longitude: -88° 9' 43.8948"
Where: Agate diving near Eagle Harbor, MI
Phone: (315) 891-7355
Website: Superior Divers Center
 Cost: Agateering Class Fee = $40
         Additional dives available,
         cost varies        
Private Farm Fields
Where: Five to six hours south of Duluth, MN   Toolkit
Scuba Gear
Container for "finds" 
How-To Guide
Agate hunters are advised to take a basic non-certification course on agateering. A two-hour class, offered in Copper Harbor, MI, covers the identification and location of these precious gemstones. This is a one-tank dive (air furnished). Recommended reading for treasure hunters includes "Lake Superior Agate: One Man's Journey" by Scott Wolter.
Learn More!
More on Agates
Know other places to hunt for Agates? Suggest your own hunt on our message boards!
   Appraisal Information
Enjoy the Moose Lake Agate Festival and have your collection of agates appraised. 


Location #1: Moore Creek Alaska
This historic gold mine still produces some big nuggets for those who visit. Its a private property, but they allow visitors for a free. Visitors keep all the gold they find. For More info, see:
Moore Creek Pay To Mine
General description: How to get there:You have to fly from Anchorage to Mc Grath, then via bush pilot by plane to the Moore Creek Mine. This beautiful remote part of Alaska, with no roads, is quite an adventure.
Grade this location: (A to F): A+ GPS coordinates:
 Handy to bring along:
1.Metal Detector
2. Yourown camping gear
3. The mine provides all food and other mining equipment. Helpful notes to newcomers:

See my story of my visitot the mine and the gold I found at:
Alaskan Gold Prospecting Adventure

 Location #2: Nome
Many folks prospect the historic beach area and find gold there.
General description: How to get there: By plane or barge - there are no roads
Grade this location: (A to F): GPS coordinates:
 Helpful notes to newcomers:
History and information about Nome:
Digging Gold at Nome, Alaska


Australia's Golden Triangle
GPS: Latitude: -36.593021, Longitude: 143.924637; S36°35.58126, E143°55.47822
Where: Victoria, Australia
Address: 19 Hayes Street, Bendigo
Victoria 3550, Australia
Phone: (61) 04 2902 4834
website: Golden Triangle Tours
 Metal detector
Gold pan
Plastic scoop
 Golden Triangle Packages
Golden Triangle Tours offer a number of different service. They have four main packages. The Three-Hour Tuition package is suited to someone who may have just purchased a metal detector and wants to learn the ins and out and best methods when using it. The Half-Day Tour are as the name suggest are half day tour. They combine all the intense tuition of the three hour package as well providing morning tea, lunch, and more time for detecting. The Full-Day Tour are tours that provide a full day of prospecting as well as meals. The package is limited to only two customers per tour per day so you really do experience totally intense tuition. The final service offered is the Overnight Tour. These can also include multiple days to suit your needs. This tour is truly the deluxe of all tours offered anywhere in the Australian Goldfields.
Learn More!
More on Aussie Gold
 Know other places to hunt for gold Suggest your own hunt on our message boards!
find out what happened behind the scenes in the Host and Crew Blogs.
   Appraisal Information
Get your gold appraised at
The Mining Exchange Gold Shop. The address is 8a Lydiard Street North, Ballarat, 3350
Victoria, Australia
Phone: +61 3 5333 4242 


Location Information

Rio Doce Information
GPS: Latitude: -18.847099, Longitude: -41.951000; S18°50.82594, W041°57.06
Where: Southeastern Brazil
Phone: (828) 765-2099
Website: Rio Doce Gem Mine
Chang Express
This travel agent and tour guide company will offer tours and recreational tailing pile digs for Rio Doce and Jaco Mines. Visit their website for more information.   Toolkit
Rock Hammer
More Mine information
Need more info? Check out the Rio Doce Gem Mine website. This is the site for Jerry Call's sister mine in North Carolina. Information will be available about the Brazilian mine. It does not have its own website, but Jerry owns both and can provide info on each.
Learn More!
More on Brazilian Bling
Know other places to hunt for Brazilian Bling? Suggest your own hunt on our message boards!
Find out what happened behind the scenes in the Host and Crew Blogs.
   Appraisal Information
For more information on appraising your finds, visit H. Stern Jewelers, located on Rua Garcia D'Avila 113 in Ipanema, Rio. Call Christian Hallot at 55-11-2106-0001 or 55-11-3865-5583 or 55-11-8188-5900. His email address is or visit the website. 



Jaco Mine Info
GPS: Latitude: 18.847099, Longitude: -41.951000; S18°50.82594, W041°57.06
Where: State of Minas Gerais in Brazil
Phone: Jerry Call (828) 765-2099
Website: Rio Doce Gem Mine
Email:   Toolkit Shovel
 More Rio Doce Gem Mine information
Treasure hunters can call Jerry Call from Easter through the end of October. During all other times, people can write to him at his email address listed above.Wondering how you'll haul all the dirt to find those gems? There is a $100 fee per wheelbarrow. Each additional wheelbarrow may be discounted, but it's safe to say that the price starts at $100 and goes up. So be prepared.Learn More!
More on Aquamarine Know other places to hunt for Aquamarine? Suggest your own hunt on our message boards!
Find out what happened behind the scenes in the Host and Crew Blogs.
   Appraisal InformationFor more information on appraising your finds, contact Tergemas Ind. Exp Ltd at
You can also head to the Amsterdam Sauer Museum located on Rua Garcia D'Avila, 105, Ipanema, Rio 22421-010. The phone number is 55-21-2512-1132 or 55-21-2239-8045. You can also visit their website. 


Rock Candy Mine
GPS: Latitude: 49.032370, Longitude: -118.443264; N49°1.9422, W118°26.59584
Where: Grand Forks, British Columbia
Phone: (250) 442-2833
Website: Rock Candy Mine
Advanced Booking Recommended   Toolkit
Rock Hammer
Safety Goggles
For Rock Candy Hunters:
Collect all you can carry in one load. Rock Candy Mine provides hammers and safety goggles. If you would like to use a chisel, you can bring one. Chisel use is not recommended for kids under 10; hammers can't distinguish between chisels and fingers.
The mine also offers the Rock Candy Safari, an introduction to Rock Candy's colorful minerals and mining history. Visitors will have the opportunity to collect green fluorite, banded purple fluorite, sparkling quartz and barite crystals.
Learn More!
More on Rock Candy
Know other places to hunt for rock candy? Suggest your own hunt on our message boards!
Find out what happened behind the scenes in the Host and Crew Blogs.
   Appraisal Information

Glen Saurdiff at Jerry's Rock and Gem in Kent, WA, gives Kirsten and the crew an appraisal of their finds and helps transform their rock candy into jewelry. For more information, visit Jerry's Rock and Gem website.
british Columbia
Add what you know about this area to create a handy guide for other treasure hunters. Click EasyEdit to add to this page!
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Sign in or sign up.)  
What this area is known for:
1. Jade, agates, fluorite/barite/quartz crystals, gold panning, fossils.
2. Sapphires, iolite, smoky quartz, aquamarine in the Slocan valley.
4. Biggest finds in this area:
1. Canada's finest barite crystals are found at Rock Candy Mountain
2. Good jade and agate hunting in the lower Frasier valley
3. Fun fossil sites near Harrison Lake 
Local appraisers:
1. Name, contact info/website
4. Local geocaching/treasure hunting clubs:
1. Club name, contact info.
Best time of year to go: year round on the Frasier, better in the wet months. Summer for the higher places Other helpful resources:
(newspapers, websites, etc)
Have a question about treasure hunting or geocaching in this region?
Post a comment for fellow treasure hunters below!THE BEST PLACES TO HUNT
Regions can have multiple good spots to go — add details to build a complete guide. 

Location #1:
Rock Candy Mountain, Grand Forks (Boundary area)
General description: Historic fluorite mine converted to family-friendly collecting site. How to get there: Join a guided Safari trip, run by the Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce. Trips run several days/week in spring/summer. Serious mineral collectors prefer more expensive Vugs trips, where a fresh vug will await each collector. 
Handy to bring along:
1. Closed toe shoes (rocks are sharp!)
2. Collecting bag (plastic grocery bags will not work (rocks are sharp!)
3. Sunscreen and lots of drinking water.
 Helpful notes to newcomers: Fluorite occurs here in green and purple. To assess gem quality, dip pieces in water and hold toward the sky ... choose fracture-free pieces. 

 Location #2: Frasier River beaches and gravel bars
(Local beach, park, etc)
General description: Jade and agates are found, particularly in spring. How to get there: Anywhere along the lower river valley, good access exists near Harrison, Hope, and Yale.
Grade this location: (A to F): GPS coordinates: 
Handy to bring along:
1. Boots

Location #3:
McAbee Fossil site
General description: Plant, insect, and fish fossils, open to the public spring/summer/fall How to get there: 8 k west of Cache Creek
info at 
Handy to bring along:
1. magnifier
2. sharp, flat chisel
3. Sunscreen & hat
 Helpful notes to newcomers: splitting pieces of shale in the huge piles below the road is often as fruitful as working in the bank. 

Nova Scotia
What this area is known for:
1.Zeolites and calcite
2.Agates and jasper
3.Amethyst and quartz
4.copper and many other minerals
5.Fossils Biggest finds in this area:
1.Pockets of Zeolite minerals (Natrolite, Stilbite) in the coastal ledges of various spots in Nova Scotia.

2.Amethyst, quartz, and chalcedony geodes

3.Dinosaur bones in Wasson's Bluff
Local appraisers:
1. Name, contact info/website
4. Local geocaching/treasure hunting clubs:

Location #1:Wasson's Bluff
General description:Wasson's Bluff is located in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia. Recently, Dinosaur bones were discovered in the sandstone ledges, preventing mineral collecting. Beautiful orange chabazite crystals can be seen at the lower portion of the ledge. 

Location #2: Bramber Shore

 How to get there:
Take Exit 5 (Newport) off 101, through Newport Station and left onto 215 (Glooscap Trail along Minas Basin). Drive to shore along left access roads from Cheverie to Bramber. Hike along shore for unusual rock formations and fossil hunting. 
Grade this location: (A to F): GPS coordinates:

Handy to bring along:
1.Rock Bag
2.Rock Hammer
3.Hand Tools (my favorite is a hand awl) Helpful notes to newcomers:
Please watch tides!

Location #3: Cape D Or Lightgeneral description: Cape d'Or was once the site of a copper mining operation and you can still find traces of copper in the rocks along the shoreline. How to get there:
Follow Hwy 102 from Halifax to Truro, exiting left (exit #15) onto Hwy 104 towards New Brunswick. Exit right onto Glenholme Loop, then turn right onto old highway. Follow a short distance and exit left on Hwy 2 towards Parrsboro. Turn right in Parrsboro and follow road out of town, then exit left onto 209. Follow route 209 towards Advocate Harbour, and exit left onto dirt road at signs for Cape d'OrExplore trails overlooking lighthouse; then walk down road to lighthouse area. 
Handy to bring along:
1. Rock Hammer
2. Rock Bag
3. Hand pick Helpful notes to newcomers:


Location #4: Joggins Fossil Cliffs

general description: Follow road through town of Joggins, turning right on unpaved road towards shore. Park in lot at left and walk to shore. Follow shoreline and look for petrified trees in cliffs, or search for fossils along the beach. Look for coal mine shafts in the cliffs (long since collapsed), identified by red groundwater (rust) and old rails poking out of ground. A visit to Joggins is not complete without a stop at the Fossil Interpretation Centre to view the extensive fossil display gathered over many years by a local collector. How to get there:
There are two suggested routes to reach Joggins:From Parrsboro, follow Highway 2 north; keep left through "Boar's Back" area of Chignecto Game Sanctuary towards River Hebert and follow signage to Joggins.
Follow Highway 102 to Truro, and exit left on Highway 104 towards Amherst. Turn off at Exit #4 and follow road south through Upper Nappan, keeping right. Turn right onto Highway 302 south through Nappan and exit right onto Highway 242 towards River Hebert and Joggins. 
Handy to bring along:
1. Rock Hammer
2. Rock Bag
3. Hand Tools Helpful notes to newcomers:
Be sure to visit the Joggins Fossil Center:


Location #5: Truro to Parrsboro
General description: Amethysts, quartz and other semi- precious stones can be found along its shores. Headlands and fields reveal fossils of animals that inhabited the area thousands of years ago. Fossilized tree trunks stand high on cliff faces for all to see. Blueberries reign supreme. The brigantine Mary Celeste was built on its shore.  How to get there:
You'll be driving Highway #2 which follows the shore of the Cobequid Bay and the Minas Channel. A popular diversion is Highway #209 that meets with Highway #2 at Parrsboro. #209 swings past Port Greville, Spencer's Island, Cape d'Or and Advocate Harbour. When leaving Truro, it's important to remember to drive across the bridge and to always keep Cobequid Bay on your left-hand side!  
Handy to bring along:
1. Rock Hammer
2. Bucket
3. Hand Tools
 Helpful notes to newcomers: Parrsboro, a small town with a big heart, is a regional centre with a population of approximately 1,500. As there's lots to see and do in the area, the community is a good place to stay for several days. Gillespie House B & B was built c1890 for merchant & lumberman David Huntley, in the Queen Anne style with Italianate features. The accommodation with its lovely interior wood trim is close to downtown and area attractions. Rooms are nicely decorated and a hearty breakfast is served. 


California State Gem Mine
GPS: Latitude: 36.137020, Longitude: -120.362889; N36°8.2212, W120°21.77334
Where: Southeast corner of San Benito, CA, between Los Angeles and San Francisco
Phone: (559) 935-5909 or (559) 284-4126
Website: Cal State Gem Mine   Toolkit Rock Hammer
Sack More Cal State Gem Mine information
You must make reservations. The mine opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 4 p.m. The cost is $100 per day. Each person is allowed to take home a 5-gallon bucket of material. Screens are available, although most screeners bring their own.Learn More!
More on BenitoiteKnow other places to hunt for Benitoite? Suggest your own hunt on our message boards! Find out what happened behind the scenes in the Host and Crew Blogs.
   Appraisal InformationThe crew heads to W. Scott Forrest's shop to get their gems appraised. Check out the W. Scott Forrest Gemstones website for more information.   Then the crew stopped at Lehrer Design, an award-winning custom-design jewelry and gemstone operation in Larkspur, CA.
 California State Gem Mine
GPS: Latitude: 36.137020, Longitude: -120.362889; N36°8.2212, W120°21.77334
Where: Southeast corner of San Benito, CA, between Los Angeles and San Francisco
Phone: (559) 935-5909 or (559) 284-4126
Website: Cal State Gem Mine   Toolkit Rock Hammer

More Cal State Gem Mine information
You must make reservations. The mine opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 4 p.m. The cost is $100 per day. Each person is allowed to take home a 5-gallon bucket of material. Screens are available, although most screeners bring their own.Learn More!
More on Benitoite Know other places to hunt for Benitoite? Suggest your own hunt on our message boards! Find out what happened behind the scenes in the Host and Crew Blogs.
   Appraisal Information The crew heads to W. Scott Forrest's shop to get their gems appraised. Check out the W. Scott Forrest Gemstones website for more information.  Then the crew stopped at Lehrer Design, an award-winning custom-design jewelry and gemstone operation in Larkspur, CA.


Location #1: Pinon Mesa                                                                                                                                   General description: Agate , jasper and petrified wood are found in the flats and the gullies.
 How to get there: From Grand Junction take HWY 340 west to CR D5 and turn left. At Glade Park turn left to the Mesa. Altitude 8600 feet  
Handy to bring along:
1.Rock bag
3.Small pick-maul
4. Water Helpful notes to newcomers: The Colorado National Monument is a well worth a stop on the way to the site.

Location #2: Copper Creek
General description: The real find is the amethyst but you can find pink feldspar and some agate. How to get there:Take HWY 50 south from Grand Junction. At Whitewater turn south on HWY 141 foe about 11 miles. There is a small bridge and a parking area on the right.   
Handy to bring along:
1.Hand Tolls
2.Rock bag
3.Rock hammer Helpful notes to newcomers: There are No trespassing signs in the area but there is plenty of material outside of the posted areas.



Location #3: Opal Hill                                                                                                                                            General description: Common opal and opalized wood are found at the site plus colorful jasper. How to get there: Take HWY 340 south from Fruita . Travel 1.5 miles to Kingview Road and turn right. It is about .6 miles to Horse thief Canyon Road turn left and look for a dirt road on the right about .1 mile. Turn right get as close to the hill as you can. 
Handy to bring along:
1. Small pick
2. Shovel
3. Rock hammer
4. Rock bag Helpful notes to newcomers: This is a well known site. The farther from the road you venture the more material you will find.  


Emerald Hollow Mine
GPS: Latitude: 35° 53' 34.584"   Longitude: -81° 5' 52.1514"
Where: Just off Old Mountain Road in Hiddenite, NC
Phone: (828) 632-3394
           (866) 600-4367
Web: Emerald Hollow Mine
Hours: Open every day, 8:30 a.m. to sunset (except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas)
Costs: Fees vary based on what you want to do (e.g. camping, sluicing, creeking, digging, and bucket/tool rental). Get more info on Emerald Hollow Mine's website above.   Toolkit Shovel

How-To Guide
Creeking: Prospecting or looking for gems, minerals or other treasures in a creek by using a screen.
Sluicing: Flowing water is used to wash away sediment to find gems, minerals or other treasures.
Screening: Loose dirt is shoveled onto a screen; the screen is then shaken to remove small particles, leaving larger chunks of earth, which can be examined for gems.
Picking: A pick ax can be used on the walls of a mine to reveal treasure hidden among loose rocks or within broken rocks.Learn More!
More on EmeraldsKnow other places to hunt for Emeralds? Suggest your own hunt on our message boards!
   Appraisal Information"Cash and Treasures" went to R. Gregory Jewelers for an appraisal.  They are located in Statesville, NC, and can be reached at (704) 872-8941.

a mine

Nine miles down Opal Hill Road, Follow signs
GPS: Latitude: 33.433071; Longitude: -114.731789, N33 25.98426, W114 43.90734
Where: Palo Verde, CA  92266
Phone: (760) 854-3000 or (760) 550-2420
Website: Opal Hill Mine Info

Rock Hammer

How-To Guide
If you visit the mine, plan to stay a full day or longer. It takes some time to find a good spot to dig and, once you find a spot, you will need time to extract the agate. If you only want to spend a few hours, Howard said that there is quite a bit of agate to be found in the tailing piles and dumps left behind by others. You can find some beautiful treasures without the hard work of digging out a vein.
Learn More!
More on Fire Agates

Know other places to hunt for Fire Agates? Suggest your own hunt on our message boards!
   Appraisal Information

Bryan Shoemate gives us an appraisal of our fire agates. For more info: Fire Agate Gems
The crew heads to Ken's Jewelry, at 325 Forest Avenue in Laguna Beach, CA, to have an exquisite piece of jewelry made from our find. You can reach Ken at



Peace River                                                                                                                                                            General description: The Peace River gravel you can Fossils from the Miocene and from the Pleistocene can be found in the gravel bars and in the river bed. February through May the water is lower than normal, and is the best time for collecting fossils.  How to get there:
Take HWY17 south to Zolfo Springs (Hardee county). Pioneer Park is located at the the intersection of HWY 64 & 66. The following link gives additional information:  
Handy to bring along:
1. Shovel
2. Screen
3. Bucket
4,  Helpful notes to newcomers: There is camping available at the site.
A family resort is at 2998 NW Highway 70 Arcadia, FL 34266 for more fossil collecting:



: Shell Creek
General description: As the name implies there is a great variety of fossils in the creek and along the bank including huge Megalodon teeth.  How to get there:
Take Hwy 17 east from Punda Gorda. The bridge across Shell Creek has a boat ramp and parking.  
Handy to bring along:
1.Wading shoes
4. Bucket Helpful notes to newcomers: Collecting Vertebrate fossils requires a permit. Florida is famous for Miocene and Pleistocene mammals and reptile fossils. Information on the permit can be found at:


General description: A canoe trip down the Wacissa River will net a haul of fossils. The water is clear, the scenery beautiful and the float is worth the trip. How to get there:
The spring is accessed one mile S. of the town of Wacissa, off Hwy. 59.                                                                More information can be found at the following link: 
Handy to bring along:
1. Helpful notes to newcomers: Watch for springs and creeks along the way. The fossils are more plentiful at these location. 



 Ruck's Pit, Fort Drum, Okeechobee Co., Florida
General description: Ruck's Pit is well known for fossilized bivalves containing golden calcite crystals of excellent quality. This is a fee mine, so people have to pay a fee to gain access to the mine.
-Geoff909 How to get there: For directions, etc.'s_crystal_mine.htm  
Handy to bring along:
1. Sledge hammer and hand pick
2. Chisels, collecting bag
3. safety gear
 Helpful notes to newcomers:



 Peace River

 Arcadia Area includes Brownville Park (off US 17), DeSoto Park (off SR 70), and on canoe trips from Brownville to Canoe Outpost (CR 661 & SR 70). These locations are in DeSoto County, Florida.
(Local beach, park, etc)

General description: How to get there: DeSoto Park and public boat ramp: 2 miles west of Arcadia. For Brownville Park and public boat ramp: 5 miles north of Arcadia on US 17 and turn west on Brownville Street. Canoe Outpost is 2 miles west of Arcadia behind the Peace River Campground and offers canoe rentals for those wanting to get to more remote spots other than the boat ramps. go to and click on Peace River for canoe rentals. 
Grade this location: (A to F): A GPS coordinates: N27-13.919, W081-53.452 for Canoe Outpost

Handy to bring along:
1. see checklist at
3. Helpful notes to newcomers: Canoe Outpost has fossil hunting pages geared to beginners at Also have fossil book & fossil i.d. sheet for sale. Have sifters for borrowing for those renting canoes.


Hogg Mine
GPS: Latitude: 33.041415, Longitude: -85.031084; N33°2.4849, W085°1.86504
Where: Meeting location in LaGrange, GA.
Website: Hogg Mine website
Join the North Georgia Gem and Mineral Club.
More Information
No one is allowed on the property without prior approval, signing a release and paying the fee. Open Fridays and Saturdays by appointment only! Star rose quartz, tourmaline crystals, Aquamarine Beryl crystals. The Star Rose Quartz at Hogg Mine has a beautiful quality; you cut and polish it, and it makes a star, much like star sapphire. The site features a virgin area to dig with a pegmatite of mica, feldspar, a rose quartz core and, if your lucky, Beryl!
Learn More!
More on Star Rose Quartz
Know other places to hunt for Star Rose Quartz? Suggest your own hunt on our message boards! 
Find out what happened behind the scenes in the Host and Crew Blogs.
   Appraisal Information
The crew heads to gem cutter Clyde Gilbert's Greenwood Studio. Treasure hunters can also go to Prospectors Pouch for an appraisal. 
Visit Jim Olson's website. Jim is a Georgia rockhound and author of "Take a Hike: Gem and Mineral Collecting in Georgia." 
Need to transform your star rose quartz? Get more information about jewelry designer Susan Zimmerman. Visit her website. 


Thunderbird Park | Thunderegg Mine
GPS: Latitude: -27.947929, Longitude: 153.191360; S27°56.87574, E153°11.481
Where: corner of Tamborine Mountain Rd and Cedar Creek Falls Rd
Address: Tamborine Mountain, Queensland, Australia, 4247
Phone: +617 5545 1468
Fax:  +617 5545 2707
website: Thunderbird Park website
Surfing Lessons
($75 per 90-minute lesson):
Small spade or pick 
More Thunderbird Park Info:
Thunderbird Park sits on the largest deposit of thundereggs in the world. The mineral rich seam that runs through Mount Tamborine was discovered at Thunderbird Park in 1967. Today, the ground at 300m by 50m open-cut mine has an endless supply of thundereggs.
Admission to the mine includes a detailed explanation of how and where to find your thundereggs, a mine safety induction, list of all the tools needed to find your treasures, and a souvenir miner's permit to take home. ENCLOSED FOOTWEAR MUST BE WORN to the mine as this requirement is a condition under Thunderegg Mine's mining license with the Department of Mines. Children should be accompanied by a paying adult.
Learn More!
More on Australian Geodes
Know other places to hunt for geodes? Suggest your own hunt on our message boards!
Find out what happened behind the scenes in the Host and Crew Blogs.
   Appraisal Information
Collecting thunder eggs and want your finds appraised? Visit Middleton's website. The Australian jeweler is located on Sea World Drive, Marina Mirage, Main Beach, Gold Coast 4217, Queensland, Australia.
Phone: +61 (0)7 5531 0500  


erkimer Diamond Mines
GPS: Latitude: 43° 0' 10.8"; Longitude: -74° 59' 16.7994"
Where: Herkimer, NY
Phone: (315) 891-7355
Website: Herkimer Diamond Mine
Hours: April 15-Oct. 31,
          9 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Cost: 4 and under  = Free        5 to 12 = $8        13 and up = $10   Ace of Diamonds Mine  Where: Middleville, NY
Phone: (315) 891-3855  Website: Ace of Diamonds Mine  hours: April 15-Oct. 31,    9 a.m.-5:00 p.m.  Cost: 3 and under = $3           4 and over = $7.50   Toolkit    Hammer  Chisel  Gardening Tools  Crowbar  Air Compressor      how-To Guide
At Herkimer Diamond Mine, you can purchase an all-day prospecting ticket, just remember to keep your wristband on! Be sure to view the seven-minute instructional video before you exit the store for the mines. Staff will hold your driver's license or another form of identification to use their hammers (1 per person). Your identification will be returned when you return the hammer.
Learn More!
More on Herkimer DiamondsKnow other places to hunt for Herkimer Diamonds? Suggest your own hunt on our message boards!
   Appraisal InformationPaul Geffner gives us an appraisal of our Herkimer diamond finds. He can be reached at (415) 331-2102 


Location #1: Bruneau jasper
General description: The most well known jasper from Idaho is the primarily red and brown cryto-crystaline quartz from Bruneau Canyon. The Bruneau jasper flow is the most silica-rich rhyolite flow in the area and is the source of silica that fills gas cavities in the upper zones of the rhyolite. The most prized Bruneau has egg shaped swirls in the jasper. How to get there:
50 road miles south of Bruneau in Owyhee County.
Take HWY 50 south from Bruneau for 39 miles then turn east on Rowland Rd. Travel 11.6 miles and take the left road 11 miles to Indian Hot Springs. There are two exposures of the jasper rhyolite flow in the area. 
42°20'15"N , 115°39'0"W
Handy to bring along:
1.Sledge hammer
3.Safety glasses
4. Bucket
5. Pry bar Helpful notes to newcomers:
Find out the status of the land before taking jasper. 

Location #2: Spencer Opal Deposit
General description:Opal is a variety of non crystalline Si02 that contains up to 20% water. The lower water levels, 10%, are more stable. It is the water in the silica gel that gives opal is flashing colors. Spencer, population 38, holds one of the largest opal deposits in the United States and is home to rare star opals. Though white is the most common color worldwide, Spencer miners find rarer blue, pink or red gems  How to get there:
The Spencer opal deposit is located about 5 miles east-northeast of the town of Spencer. The best access to the deposit is by driving east from Spencer on the Spencer-Kilgore county road for approximately 5 miles, then turning left (north) on a dirt road and continuing 2 miles to the mine site. The Deer Hunt Mine is open to rock hounds interested in digging the opal for a set price per pound.
For additional information : 
Handy to bring along:
2.Hand tools
3.Rock hammer Helpful notes to newcomers:
There are shops where the tourist can buy finished pieces and opal rough. 


Location #3: Fire Opals
General Description: Opals of salmon pink or cherry color, showing much brilliance and play of light are found in Gem County . Fortification and water agates of light blue color are found close to the opal deposits.  How to get there:
Take 52 north from Emmett and turn est on Butte Road. At the intersection of lookout Road turn north to Squaw Butte.
Grade this location: (A to F): GPS coordinates:
44°1'58"N , 116°24'40"W 
Handy to bring along:
1.Hand pick
2, Collecting bag
3. Rock hammer
4. Safety glasses. Helpful notes to newcomers:  

Location #4: Emerald Creek
General description: India and Idaho are the only two locations in the world ehere star garnets are found.
The Forest Service has constructed an area where the public can purchase a permit, remove material from
 garnet-bearing gravels and take them to one of two sluice boxes to wash the material in search of the
 garnets.  How to get there:
From St. Maries, Idaho, follow Highway 3 south 24 miles to Road 447. Proceed southwest 8 miles on Road
 447 to the parking area. Permits,
information, and the sluice area are a 1/2 mile hike up 281 Gulch.
For additional information see:
Grade this location: (A to F): GPS coordinates:
Handy to bring along:
1. Tools, and screens are provided
 Helpful notes to newcomers: First hand report from
kabnfvr:Yes, I'd do it again in a heart beat. You know, it's all about "the hunt" so even though
it was a lot of work, there is always the chance you'll find something great! Regarding the the rangers
, there are there to help you. They frequently came around asking to help out. If I was going to do the
math on this trip, I'd have to admit that the return may not make it worth it. That said ... I'm a slow
 learner I guess. It took us most of the day to figure out where in the pile to dig and what to keep. On
e of the rangers told us to tumble our garnets with Soft Scrub to determine which were good. There were
 people taking 5 lbs each and their garnets were much bigger than the majority of ours. I'm going back
tomorrow with my grandkids so will share my results then as well... Everyone found garnets - I'd just
 say don't spend too much time pouring over each screen.

One of the rangers told me that the #2 garnets make good tumbling grit so I'll likely use them that way. If you plan to facet, then I likely found many more because you can but out the fractures. I want to make a cabochon with mine so only the very dark, glassy stones will work. Of those, we only found a couple. If either of those polish up to make a 4 or 6 ray star garnet, then I absolutely got enough to pay for my day. I'd say I went through a dozen buckets of "sifted" material. (there are 2 stages, you take the dirt/rock out of a big pile and sift the loose dirt and big rocks out - THEN you take that material to the sluice box). Overall, we likely sifted out 25 buckets of raw materia


Location #1: 35 mile radius of Keokuk Iowa                                                                                                         General description: The geode was designated as the state rock by the Legislature in 1967. The area around Keokuk is famous for the variety of mineralization found in the nodules. Over twenty different minerals line the cavities. The geodes weather out of the Warsaw formation of a Mississippian age limestone and shaley dolomite. How to get there:Search the steams, road cuts, and fields around Keokuk.   
Handy to bring along:
2.Buckets or rock bag
3. Gloves
4. rock hammer Helpful notes to newcomers:
Resist the urge to break open the geodes. Instead compare the weight of various stones and save the lighter ones.The very heavy nodules are probably solid.



Location #2: General description: Agates (notable the lake Superior agates), jaspers, petrified wood can be found in the gravel bars on the Mississippi River and its tributaries.Clayton county is a good place to start collecting. (see photo) How to get there:Clayton County is bordered on the east by the Mississippi River, It is northwest of Dubuque on HWY 52.  
Handy to bring along:
2. Walking shoes
3. Helpful notes to newcomers: Also check the gravel operations in the area. Stop at the office and ask permission to collect. 




Location #3: Rockford
General description: One of the best collecting sites for Devonian age marine fossils. The Floyd County Fossil and Prairie Park was once a brick clay pit. The Rockford Brick and Tile Company's pit has been transformed into a top fossil site and a recreation center.  How to get there:
The Park is west of Rockford on HWY B27
Grade this location: (A to F): A GPS coordinates:
43.052833, -92.949203 
Handy to bring along:
1.Hand tools
2.Bucket or rock bag
3.Long handle screw driver Helpful notes to newcomers:
The following link provides information on the park:


Location #1: Ben Clements Museum and Mine Digs
General description: One of the nation's finest collections of fluorite and related minerals from the Kentucky-Illinois mining district, and a large collection of other minerals from across the world. There are planned digs scheduled from the spring through the fall. How to get there: The museum is located in Marion Kentucky in the northwest corner of the state. town of Marion has a good Bed & Breakfast (Myers see link below) and a great little restaurant "The Front Porch". Real southern home cooking with a casual atmosphere. Be sure to stop in on your treasure hunt.
Grade this location: (A to F): A - I have enjoyed rockhounding trips to Marion. Every time I've gone and I have some fine specimens that I dug.   
Handy to bring along:
1. Digging tools
2. Collecting buckets
3. Rock Hammer
4. Safety Glasses
5. Gloves Helpful notes to newcomers: The mining district extends into Illinois. Cave in Rock and Rosiclair are also great spots on your trip. 


Location #2: Kentucky Agate                                                                                                                            General description: Kentucky Agate is the State Rock by act of the State Legislature on July 14, 2000, It is a sedimentary agate found in the Borden Formation of Early Mississippian Age. The agate is beautifully colored and contains bands, fortifications,and sometime plumes or moss formations. It can be found in the creeks and river drainage where it has been weathered out of the host rock. How to get there:
Estill, Jackson, Powell, Madison, and Rockcastle Counties in Kentucky.For more information and pictures of the agates see:  
Handy to bring along:
1. Wading shoes
2. Small mattock
3. Rock bag
4. Rock hammer Helpful notes to newcomers:
Do not strike the nodules of agate with a rock hammer. There is the temptation to see what is inside but many valuable specimens have been destroyed by an overly eager rockhound.


Location #3: Geodes
General description: Geodes have cavities lined with crystals of quartz or calcite. Occasionally celestite, millerite or other minerals can be found in the geodes.  How to get there:
Along the roadside highway 60, east of Garrett.
Road cuts on highway 31 west.
Almost any creek bed. 
Handy to bring along:
1. Water
2. Brick hammer
3. Helpful notes to newcomers:Some will look like potatoes lying along the ditches. If they feel lighter than they should for their size, they are probably hollow.



 location #4: Fossils
General description:
Types of fossils: brachiopods, bryozoans, cephalopods, conodonts, corals, gastropods, monoplacophorans, pelecypods, scolecodont teeth, stromatoporoids, trace fossils, trilobites. Mineralized brachiopods, aulocerid stromatoporoids and colonial corals with calcite, dolomite, celestine and other minerals.
This link contains a number of collecting sites : site for fossil information. How to get there:State Road 155 between Fisherville (Jefferson Co.), KY and Taylorsville (Spencer Co.), KY Type of exposure: Road cut Rock type: interbedded shale and limestone  
Handy to bring along:
1. Hand tools
2. Rock bag
3. Rock hammer Helpful notes to newcomers:
Kentucky has designated the generic "brachiopod" as its state fossil.


Location #1: Petrified Palm Wood

General description: The state fossil is petrified palm wood. It can be found with other wood of Oligoce
ne age Catahoula Formation especially around Toledo Bend Lake. The wood is found on the lake shore and
 below the dam. I have collected near the lake in clear cut areas where logging is occurring. The log
 trucks and the heavy equipment uncovers the wood. How to get there: Toledo Bend Lake is on the border
 of Louisiana and Texas. Palm wood can be found on Texas side also. The dam site is on LA HWY191 in
western Louisiana. Toledo Bend is a well known resort area famous for its fishing.
Grade this location: (A to F): A I have a great deal of wood from this area.
Handy to bring along:
1.Digging tools
2.Bug spray
4. Strong back  Helpful notes to newcomers:
There are plenty of places to stay in the area. Plan on doing some site seeing. Palm wood makes very attractive jewelry. Most of the wood is cream color, however, the black wood demands a premium price.
Be sure to visit Natchitoches: my favorite city in Louisiana.


Location #2: Alluvial Deposits - Gravels                                                                                                                  General description: The state gemstone of Louisiana is the agate. The Paleocene gravels of
the state are a source of gemstones transported from a wide range of the United States.
 It is not uncommon to find jaspers, chalcedony, carnelian, agate, colorful chert even metamorphic
 and igneous stones in the vast amounts of material the Mississippi River and its tributaries have
 deposited in Louisiana.  How to get there: Much of Louisiana has gravel bars along it many streams
 and bayous. As you travel across keep a watchful eye for gravel operations and exposed road cuts that
 look promising. One good site is northern Catahoula County in the gravel hills of the region
Handy to bring along:
2.Sunscreen and a hat. Helpful notes to newcomers:
Searching a gravel pit requires that you train your eyes to look for the stone that appears different. I have seen rockhounds overlook great gemstones because it all runs together if you don't look closely.



Location #1:
Brownie Beach in Chesapeake, MDGeneral description: Miocene fossils that include. sharks, rays, turtles, shells, fish and other marine fossils.    fossils from Beach can be seen at: How to get there: From Routes 2 or 4 in northern Calvert County, take Route 260 to Chesapeake Beach, where you turn right (south) on Route 261. Immediately after crossing a stream at the bottom of the first hill south of Chesapeake Beach, you will see a locked gate and a parking area on the left (east) side of the road. From the parking area, follow a path for roughly 1/4 mile to the cliffs.  
Grade this location: (A to F): A+ best in the country from what I have heard handy to bring along
1. beach shoes
2. plastic bags to hold findings
3. shifting screen Helpful notes to newcomers:
Two other collecting sites are listed on the Maryland Geological Survey .



Location #2: Rock Run General description: Gold was discovered in southern Montgomery County during the Civil War and the first of many mines and prospects began operating in 1867. There were 5 gold mines along Rock Run, including a placer mining operation using water under high pressure to wash the stream and flood plain sediments through long California-style sluice boxes. How to get there:
Rock Run is a small stream in southern Montgomery County, Maryland, that originates just north of Potomac Village and flows about 9.1 kilometers (about 5.5 miles) in a generally southeasterly direction to the Potomac River at the Naval Surface Warfare Center   
Handy to bring along:
1. Shovel
2. Screen
3. Gold pan
4, Hand Pick Helpful notes to newcomers:
1. Most of the richest gold mines were in a few gold-bearing quartz veins that had a higher concentration of gold than most of the others in the area.
2. All of the gold-bearing veins run roughly parallel with the general direction of the Appalachian Mountains, which trend a little east of north in this area. Some veins vary in their strike (direction) by as much as 25 to 30 degrees to the east or to the west of north.
3. Nearly all streams and smaller tributaries have been explored in the past by miners who were quite thorough in their recovery methods, so most stream sediments have been pretty well cleaned of gold.
4. Therefore, I have learned to use a compass to determine the approximate strike of a stream's bedrock, which, in this area, is generally a nearly vertical quartz/mica schist. Then I search for exposures of the bedrock or dig deep enough in the stream's alluvium to reach the upper levels of the bedrock. Most of the upper levels of the bedrock encountered in this fashion are either chemically altered to a soft consistency (saprolite - disintegrated rock that lies in its original place), or nearly so and can be removed and broken up in the gold pan. By exploiting the altered areas of the bedrock, I increase the chances of finding gold. Most of what I find in this fashion is lode gold (freshly broken out of the rock it formed in) rather than placer gold (naturally eroded out of its host rock and then stream worn). Needless to say, finding the gold in the pan is exciting since the finder is the first person to see it since it was first formed here about 200 million years ago through the actions of tremendous tectonic forces

From Mineral News, Vol. 16, No. 3, March, 2000. Reprinted with permission of the author and the publisher. This article may be reprinted or copied as desired for other mineral publications

Location #3: Calvert Cliffs General description: The Calvert cliffs contain an amazing Miocene fauna. More than 600 species of plants and animals have been found here (Glaser, 1979, p.56). On the beaches you can find a wide spetrum of marine fossils including sharks & rays.  How to get there:
"The Calvert Cliffs run for roughly 24 miles from near Chesapeake Beach to Drum Point on the western shore of Maryland in Calvert County"
Fossil GuySee the following link for additional information:
Handy to bring along:
1. Shovel
2. Bucket or rock bag
3. Camera Helpful notes to newcomers:
The scenery is spectacular. Even without the fossils this is a great place to visit.

Location #4:
Flag Ponds Nature Park.
Besides being able to find sharks teeth, the beach is long and clean, and perfect for small children. There is a lovely walk through the woods to get to the park.general description: How to get there:
Take Route 4 South from the Capital Beltway.
Pass Prince Frederick.
The small sign for Flag Ponds is on the left. Cross the highway and follow the signs.  
Handy to bring along:
1.sun tan oil
3.picnic lunch Helpful notes to 


Location #1: Mount Apatite I Would suggest this place to anyone comming to the area. It is a town park that was once a feldspar mine. It is loaded with treasures if your willing to do a little work  general description:Lots of minerals, Tourmaline, Beryl Quartz crystals ect... How to get there:It is in Auburn Maine, Near the Auburn Suburban little league fields off of Garfield road.  
Handy to bring along:
3.Small Hammer and Chisels Helpful notes to newcomers:This location has a lot of minerals to be sifted out of the dirt. As you go up the hill, the first pit was the Greenlaw Quarry. this spot still has a lot of Tourmaline and Beryl. I would suggest picking a spot that doesn't look like it's been worked in a while and stick with it.


Location #2:Trenton, Havey, and Square Pit quarries                                                                                          general description:The main pit of the Trenton quarry has been flooded, but well formed smokey quartz crystals, green tourmalines and beryls have been found here. At the Square pit quarries, well formed almandine garnets have been found here. I have recently found very good heliodor beryl crystals at this location.  
Handy to bring along:
1.Digging equipment
2.hammers, hand pick, chisels gear& bug spray
 Helpful notes to newcomers: Digging equipment 


location #3: Lord Hill General description:In the past, the Lord Hill quarries have produced massive pockets containing blue apatites, gemmy quartz crystals, autunite coating feldspar, beryl, topaz, and other minerals. Massive topaz crystals, some weighing over 50 pounds have been found here. Serious digging in the mine dumps could yield the mineral collector fine specimens. How to get there: Rock in mineral clubs in the New England Region will sometimes host trips to these mines.  
Handy to bring along:
1.Hammer and hand pick
2.Sifter and shovel
3.Safety gear and chisels


Location #1: Loudville Lead Mine                                                                                                                       General description: " Over 30 minerals are found at Loudville, including anglesite, cerussite, pyromorphite, wulfenite (the "queen" of Loudville minerals, in a vast array of xl habits), and many more (quartz, barite, calcite, galena, malachite, sphalerite, and others). The most desirable and beautiful minerals are available as micromounts, though the occasional worthwhile thumbnail or even larger specimen may reward the hard worker. Wulfenites up to 1/4" have been found in recent years."Eric Greene  How to get there:Take Mass Turnpike (I-90) to Exit 3. Take Route 10 north and follow until you reach Glendale Street on left (.8 miles south of city of Easthampton). Turn left and continue on Glendale 3.2 miles to dirt road on left leading to the mine dump Aditional information can be found: Handy to bring along:1.Bucket
3.Rock hammer Helpful notes to newcomers:
In the summer heat you can cool off in the nearby waters of a clean stream.


Location #2: Lime Quarry Reservation
General description: City owned quarry with an assortments of minerals including: actinolite , calcite.
blue apatite, titanite, scapolite & fluorite.  How to get there: Chelmsford is located at the intersection of I 496 and US HWY 3. Handy to bring along:1.Hand pick 2.Shovel 3.Rock hammer Helpful notes to newcomers:Fill in holes and leave the quarry better than you found it.


 location #3: Betts Manganese Mine                                                                                                                   General description: Rhodonite is the Massachusetts state gemstone. It is a pink or red stone that makes attractive jewelry. the Betts Manganese Mine is a famous location for this mineral and pyrite, chalcopyrite, and fasioulite.  How to get there:The Betts Mine is in Plainview From Springfield take I 91 north. The Plainfield exit is RD 118 west. Continue through Ashfield to Plainfield. 
3. Helpful notes to newcomers:
I have not personally collected at this site so permission to collect must be obtained from the Mine owners. Several AFMS clubs have collected at this site and I would recommend contacting one of the clubs for information. AFMS @


Location #4: Chipman Silver Mine
General description:Old silver mine in Newbury. A lot of galena, pyrite, and siderite can be found here. Minor amounts of malachite and chalcopyrite have been found here. How to get there:Complicated directions 
Handy to bring along: 1.shovel 2.hammer and hand pick 3.chisel & safety gear Helpful notes to newcomers:If you ever go to this location, the mine is currently behind houses on a place called Scotland Heights. To find galena and pyrite, one will have to dig in the mine dumps. Bug spray can be quite handy at this location.


Location #5: Blueberry Mountain Quarry,Woburn ,Middlesex Co., Massachusetts
General description: An abandoned "Trap Rock", quarry. Some of the finest babingtonite crystals have been found here. Other minerals found here include prehnite, calcite, laumonite, stilbite, heulandite, pyrite, chalcopyrite, magnetite, orthoclase var: adularia, quartz, epidote, chlorite, garnet, sphene, analcime, hematite, and less common minerals such as radioactive minerals. 


Location #1: Along the lake shores
Any Lake MI beach from Manistee north to the Mackinaw Bridge (Petoskey's)Gravel pits and/or in creeks/rivers General description: How to get there:Peterson Park in Leland, MI grandma's Beach in Torch Lake Village Platt Lake and River Handy to bring along:1. Bucket2. Water3. Wear shoes that can get wet Helpful notes to newcomers:If you're new to hunting petoskey's, hunt along the edge of the beach where the stones are wet. It will be easier to see their "eyes". Use a bucket of water to wet the dry limestone above the swash zone. Lots of Petoskey's and many folks don't hunt in the dry zone.


Location #2: Great Sand Bay on the Keweenaw Peninsula. Misery Bay (NE of Ontanogan, MI)Almost any beach  all of the Southern Lake Superior shoreline Small agates on Lake Michigan Shores General description: How to get there: Take US 41 North of Houghton/Hancock MI to Phoenix. Turn left on M 26 which will take you to and along Lake Superior shoreline. There are numerous places to pull over and park. It is a steep, stone bluff to the lake; but worth it. (Sand Bay)US 41 North. Turn left at Tivolia village onto Misery Bay Road; follow to lake. Nice campground here also. Handy to bring along: 1.Bucket 2.Water shoes 3. Helpful notes to newcomers: The rock shops at Ahmeek and Christmas, MI are very helpful. They will give you maps - buy something from them. Seaman's Mineral Museum


Location #3: Ontonagon Copper Mine General description: The mine was featured on the Cash & Treasures Show. The variety of minerals found sounds like a museum. Native copper,silver, datolite, quartz, feldspar, calcite, and epidote can be found working the huge ore piles.  How to get there:The mine is easy to reach, a 20 minute drive from Ontonagon, Michigan Red Metal Minerals 202 Ontonagon Street Ontonagon, MI 49953 Phone: 906-884-6618 Fax: 906-884-6753 Link:  Handy to bring along:
1. Gloves 2. Safety glasses 3. Rock hammer 4. Metal detector 5. Buckets 6, Chisel 7. Digging tools Helpful notes to newcomers:The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is the heart of one of the best rock collecting ares in the Mid West. The attractions are numerous. The beauty is breath taking. //


Location #4: Jasper Knob                                                                                                                                          General description: Imagine the world's largest gemstone: a hill of beautifully banded jasper and specular hematite How to get there: Ishpeming, Michigan is in the Upper Peninsula. From downtown, take Division/BR 28 east to Jasper St., turn south. The Knob is in one block.Handy to bring along: 1. Safety Gear 2. Rock Hammer 3. Chisel 4. Rock bag


Location #5: Leelanau Peninsula Beaches
General description: Fossil coral (Petoskey stones) can be found along the beach . Red jasper and local stone Leland Bluestone is actually slag from the 1800's iron foundry operations can be collected. How to get there: Take HWY 22 north of Traverse. The road follows the Lake shore.
Lake Michigan beaches North from Frankfort to the Mackinaw Bridge.handy to bring along: 1. Bucket 2. Water
There are many different fossils to be found. Read an article on Petoskey Stone:


Location #6: Ropes Gold Mine
There is an abundance of dark green serpentine as well as : quartz, calcite, rutile, pyrite and at least 24 other minerals. During the most productive period (1883-1897) $645,792 worth of gold was shipped from the mine. How to get there:Go west from Ishpeming on US-41 to Cooper Lake Road, turn right and go 2.5 miles, left on CR-572 for less than 1 mile, walk 0.3 mile to Ropes Gold Mine Grade this location: (A to F): GPS coordinates:46°32'9"N , 87°43'59"W Handy to bring along:1. Rock hammer 2. Safety glasses & gloves 3. Hand tools 4, Rock bag Helpful notes to newcomers
For additional collecting sites visit:


location #7: SENECA MINE Mohawk, Keweenaw Co., MI
General description: Abandoned mine dumps yield specimens of epidote, quartz, adularia, and copper How to get there:Mohawk, Keweenaw Co., MI Turn west off US 41 onto First Street in Mohawk. Go 0.3 miles to a red gate on the left. This leads right into the mine dump Handy to bring along: 1. Safety glasses, gloves 2. Rock hammer 3. Digging tools 4. Hand pick  An excellent resource for field trips in the area and elsewhere in Michigan is:


Location #8: Petoskey State Park                                                                                                                     General description: Petoskey State Park, located on the north end of Little Traverse Bay, is situated on 304 scenic acres and offers a beautiful sandy beach on the bay. The park has two separate modern campgrounds. Tannery Creek offers 98 campsites, and Dunes offers 70 campsites.  How to get there: Take HWY 31 from toskey, Michigan. Turn left on to C119 into the park. Handy to bring along: 1. Collecting bucket 2. Sun Great information to the attractions of the park can be found at:


Location #9: Lake Superior Greenstone
In 1972, chlorastrolite a variety of pumpellyite became the official State Gem for Michigan. Chlorastrolite is a beautiful green mineral with a chatlyant "turtle-back" pattern. How to get there: The Central Mine, located just off US 41 north of Calumet, has been the source of some of the largest greenstones.Handy to bring along:        1. Rock bag 2. Hand tools 3. Rock hammer Helpful notes to newcomers Look for the dark green, small round or almond shape nodules in country rock. Sometimes they will have weathered out of the rock and can be found lying on the ground.  

Location #10: Delaware Mine
The mine is one of the better locations to find dalotite nodules. Datolite is It is associated with copper at this location and is found in porcelain-like masses and nodules. The nodules are various colors and can be cut and polished.The chemical composition is CaBSiO4(OH), Calcium Boron Silicate Hydroxide. How to get there:
u.S. 41 just Twelve Miles South of Copper
For further information, Contact us: Delaware Copper Mine (906) 289-4688Handy to bring along:1. Hand tools2. Handy pick and maul3. Rock bag Helpful notes to newcomers: Tours are available of this historic under ground mine dating back to 1847-87. Eight million pounds of Copper were removed from the five shafts that reached a depth of 1400 feet with ten various levels. 


Location #1: Hill Annex Mine State Park
General description: Chose one of three tours. A tour of a massive open pit iron ore mine. A tour of the lake formed by the mining operations. A fossils hunt to recover marine fossils. All three tours take about 1 1/2 hours each.  How to get there:Entrance to the park is on the north edge of Calumet along State Highway 169, halfway between Grand Rapids and Hibbing.More information can be found at: Handy to bring along: 1. Collecting bag 3. Helpful notes to newcomers:
City of Calumet maintains a nice picnic area just outside the park gate.


Location #2: Moose Lake State Park
General description: Minnesota's gemstone is Lake Superior Agate. At Moose Lake visit the Agate and Geological Interpretive Center. It is a 4500 square foot center that features agates, rocks, minerals and geology of Minnesota. Lakers as the locals call the agates can be found wherever gravels are exposed along shores, gravel pits, road cuts and stream gravel bars. Collecting is not allowed in the state park but here are near by gravel pits were collecting is allowed with permission.State Park                                           site: How to get there:Located 1/4 miles east of I-35 at the Moose Lake exit #214. The park entrance is off County Road 137. Take the Moose Lake exit off I-35. Then go east on County Road 137 until you see the  park signs about 1/2 mile down the road.handy to bring along: 1. Bucket 2. Wading shoes 3. Small hand tool Helpful notes to newcomers: The state park has camping, fishing, swimming, and other attractions.

Location #3: Grand Marais                                                                                                                                                            General description:Thomsonite is a zeolite mineral with pink, red, and white patterns. It is a very attractive semi-precious gemstone suitable for cutting and polishing.  How to get there:Nodules of Thomsonite can be found in the basaltic lava flows about 5 miles southwest of Grand Marais, Minnesota or small pebbles collected along the beach.See Worrld Wide Museum of Natural histoty@ visit the folloeing link for Thomsonite rough and jewelry: Handy to bring along: 1. Hammer and chisel 2. Pry bar  3. Bucket 4. Or you can look for pebbles along the Lake Superior Shore I vote for picking up pieces, it is easier than breaking it out of basalt lava. Helpful notes to newcomers: This is a resort area with many places to stay or vacation.


Location #4: Minnesota Staurolite                                                                                                                                                     General description: Commonly called fairy crosses, staurolite can be found on the banks of the muddy Mississippi below the dam at yalton. How to get there: The following web site gives complete directions:  handy to bring along: 1. Boots for sinking in the mud. 2.Got to have a screen box 3. Shovel 4. There is plenty of water for screening - the Whole River Helpful notes to newcomers: Don't forget bug spray, sunscreen and the screen box. 


aquamarine (left)

aquamarine in CO

town/region: Mt. Antero, just to the west of Nathrop, CO
State, country: Colorado
Tips for finding it: Try to use an ATV to Location #1: Along the lake shores
(Local beach, park, etc)
Any Lake MI beach from Manistee north to the Mackinaw Bridge (Petoskey's)

Gravel pits and/or in creeks/rivers

General description: How to get there:
Peterson Park in Leland, MI
Grandma's Beach in Torch Lake Village
Platt Lake and River
Grade this location: (A to F): B+ GPS coordinates:

Handy to bring along:
1. Bucket
2. Water
3. Wear shoes that can get wet Helpful notes to newcomers:If you're new to hunting petoskey's, hunt along the edge of the beach where the stones are wet. It will be easier to see their "eyes". Use a bucket of water to wet the dry limestone above the swash zone. Lots of Petoskey's and many folks don't hunt in the dry zone. 


auqa marine in GA

town/region: Hogg Mine, LaGrange
State, country: Georgia, US
Tips for finding it: Gem quality aquamarine is found in the old dump piles.
Most of it has been found surface collecting. If the soil is dry, screening may work.
 Check page for days that the mine is open. This is a fee site.
Featured on Cash and Treasures for star rose quartz. Large aquamarine specimens and black
 tourmaline are also found here.



California State Gem Mine
GPS: Latitude: 36.137020, Longitude: -120.362889; N36°8.2212, W120°21.77334
Where: Southeast corner of San Benito, CA, between Los Angeles and San Francisco
Phone: (559) 935-5909 or (559) 284-4126
Website: Cal State Gem Mine   Toolkit
Rock Hammer
More Cal State Gem Mine information
You must make reservations. The mine opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 4 p.m.
 The cost is $100 per day. Each person is allowed to take home a 5-gallon bucket of material.
 Screens are available, although most screeners bring their own.

gold (below)


Town/region: Sutters Mill
State, country: California
Tips for finding it: This is where the
Gold Rush first started, and there is still
Gold in them thar hills. You can sit on the
 river's edge
 and pan for gold. It is a great way to
 spend a nice afternoon in the california heat.

St. Louis has a rich history that few
people stop to consider. How many
flat-boats sank while crossing the
Mississippi River during the settling
of St. Louis and the westward
expansion before bridges were built?
How many homes were washed away
by the great flood of 1993?
I would be checking the sandbars and
river banks when the water is at low
flood stage. That old muddy river
may hold a few surprises yet.
As of yet, I have only found old lead
fishing weights with my trusty $60.00
metal detector. But that is actually
good news because gold and lead are
very close to one another on the Element
Chart. If I am finding lead fishing weights,
it means that it is only a matter of time
before I find something of greater interest.
This also tells me that it would be a good
idea to walk old creek beds with my metal
detector, since no one else has thought
of doing so. The perfect excuse to get out
for a walk in the woods on the weekend
and go camping with a backpack.
Just stay clear of private land unless
you have permission from it's owner.

a mine and store

Royston Mine/Otteson's Jewelry
GPS: Latitude: 38° 4' 5.415"  Longitude: -117° 13' 52.107"
Where: Tonopah, NV
Phone:  (775) 482-9352  
            (775) 482-9889
Website: Royston Mine 
        Otteson's Jewelry
Hours: Monday through Saturday,         10 a.m.-4 p.m.
          Call for appt. in the winter
Cost: $50 per day   Toolkit

Rock Hammer
Pick Ax

How-To Guide
Richness of color is the chief determiner of value in turquoise; generally speaking, the most desirable is a strong sky to robin's egg blue. Value decreases with the increase of green hue, lightening of color and mottling. Whatever the color, turquoise should not be excessively soft or chalky; otherwise, it is liable to fade over time, and will not hold up to normal use in jewelry. The mother rock, or matrix, in which turquoise is found, often has splotches or a network of brown or black veins running through the stone; this veining may add value to the stone if the result is complementary, but such a result is uncommon.

turquise (below)


Town/region: Various Locations In Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico
State, country:
Tips for finding it: Use a topo Map, but its easy to find.
Be careful and respect private claims as most good turquoise deposits
are under private mining claim.


GPS Coordinates, if known: W 119.87244 N 42.72584
Town/region: Rabbit Hills Basin, near Plush, Harney Co.
State, country: Harney Co. Oregon
Tips for finding it: Use a topo Map, but its easy to find.


Town/region: San Diego County, California
State, country: California
Tips for finding it:Look for exposed pegmatite dykes that contain lepidolite.

 GPS Coordinates, if known:
Town/region: La Grange, Hogg Mine
State, country:Georgia, US
Tips for finding it:Black Schorl. Loose on the road in small quantities, but mostly weathered. In quartz matrix in the same area that is dug and then broken to expose the crystals (eye protection is a MUST). Nice specimens including an inch in diameter and inches long with classic termination. Also found in the main pit in small quantities (less than the amount of aquamarine found.)


Town/region: Philipsburg, Rock Creek
State, country:Montana
Tips for finding it:Gem Mountain GPS Coordinates, if known:


Town/region: Helena, Lake Hauser
State, country:Montana
Tips for finding it:Eldorado Bar Mine

Town/region:Helena/ Hauser Lake
State, country:Montana, USA
Tips for finding it: Spokane Bar Sapphire Mine(they own the Eldorado Mine) On the internet