Top 10 Gemstone Hunting Spots In America


Gemstones are costly, and rightly so. Besides their sparkling beauty, they are rare and can be used for various purposes. America is home to different precious stone mines, with each location having unique geological formations and minerals and promising an adventurous outing for collectors. Here are 10 sites in America where you can go gemstone hunting and, if lucky, get rich.

Crater of Diamonds State Park, Arkansas

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This 37.5-acre plowed field is part of an ancient volcanic crater where diamonds have been found in the soil. The park also has a Diamond Discovery Center that gives tips on searching for diamonds and features exhibits on geology and the site’s history. In addition to diamonds, other gemstones and minerals like amethyst, garnet, jasper, agate, and quartz can also be discovered.

Emerald Hollow Mine, North Carolina

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Located in Hiddenite, Emerald Hollow is the only emerald mine in the US open to the public for prospecting. You can search for gemstones by sluicing, which involves washing dirt and rocks in a flume, or by creaking, which is sifting through creek beds. It offers guided digging, where staff can assist you in locating digging sites. The common finds here include emeralds, sapphires, and garnets.

Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine, Montana

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The site allows visitors to screen material from gravel sourced directly from local sapphire deposits. Its proximity to the historic mining town of Philipsburg, with its charming shops and sapphire jewelry stores, adds to the experience. As a family-owned mine, Gem Mountain staff introduces visitors to sapphire hunting and helps identify gemstones. Besides the traditional blue sapphires, you might also obtain pink, yellow, and green sapphires.

Oceanview Mine, California

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California is home to the Oceanview Mine in the Pala Chief Mountain region. This region has a rich history of producing gemstones since the late 1800s. Visitors can participate in tailings operations, where they screen through mine dumps to find tourmaline, kunzite, morganite, and other minerals. At unique events like the “Sunday tailgate,” you can picnic and enjoy the beautiful California landscape while searching for gems.

Royal Peacock Opal Mine, Nevada

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Situated in the remote Virgin Valley, the Royal Peacock Opal Mine allows two types of digging: bank mining and tailings digging. Bank mining involves working a vein of opal in situ, while tailings digging will enable you to filter through previously excavated material. These opals are famous for their play of color, ranging from vibrant reds and oranges to blues and greens. The miners can enjoy camping facilities for extended periods.

Hogg Mine, Georgia

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Hogg Mine is known for its large, high-quality aquamarine crystals. Visitors are offered public and private digs by appointment, where they can search for aquamarine, rose quartz, tourmaline, and other gems. Although diggers often bring their tools, the mine also supplies some equipment. Different corners of this site have rich deposits of gemstones, and the staff guides tourists to likely places to find valuable specimens.

Spectrum Sunstone Mine, Oregon

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Found in the high desert of southeastern Oregon, this mine is famous for its uniquely colored sunstones, ranging from pale yellow to deep red and even green. It presents different digging options, including high-grade ore piles, virgin ground digs, and on-site camping and gem-cutting services. The sunstones found here are known for their aventurescence, a glittery effect caused by inclusions of copper.

Jade Cove, California


Jade Cove is a natural jade deposit where tourists can search for nephrite jade along the beaches and cliffs of Big Sur. This location is stunning, featuring a rugged coastline and clear waters. It is also a perfect destination for combining a love of gemstones with a scenic coastal hike. Even though visitors aren’t allowed to dig here, they can often find jade washed up on the shore, especially after storms.

Woodward Ranch, Texas

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Gemstone hunters love this site because it is renowned for its beautiful red plume agate, intricate patterns, and vibrant colors. Woodward Ranch also has jasper, chalcedony, and other agate deposits. The rugged landscape provides an authentic West Texas experience, including wide-open spaces and diverse wildlife. Visitors can gather surface material or dig for larger specimens.

Heritage Gold Mine Park, South Carolina

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The Heritage Gold Mine Park sits on an old gold mine established in the 1800s. The park offers gold panning and gemstone hunting. You can also pan for gold in the stream or search for gemstones like amethyst, garnet, and quartz in the dirt piles. The park also features a small museum with mining artifacts and historical exhibits, as well as guided tours looking into the area’s mining history.

Written by Johann H