10 Gemstones in Michigan: Where to Find Them and How to Use Them

  1. Basics of Rockhounding in Michigan
  2. Best Michigan Rockhounding Locations
  3. Top 10 Gemstones in Michigan
  4. How to Do Rockhounding in Michigan
  5. Find Michigan Crystals and Start Using Them!

Michigan is a region that has an absolutely stunning variety of crystals. It also has a fascinating geological history that led to the formation and location of the beautiful, powerful, and unique stones that cover this state’s multi-colored shores.

In this article, we delve into the details of how to find Gemstones in Michigan, what stones are found in Michigan, and where crystals in Michigan can be found.

Walking along the shoreline of the Great Lakes that surround Michigan, one can pick up an array of stones. Greenstone, Petoskey Stone, Leland Blue, Lake Superior Agate, Unakite, Datolite, Yooperlite, Puddingstone, and so much more can be procured from Michigan mines and shores.

Michigan has an abundance of minerals that will delight and captivate any crystal enthusiast, making it a popular rockhounding destination. There are, however, legal restrictions surrounding what, where, and how much you can take, so read on to find out these essential details.

Basics of Rockhounding in Michigan

State Symbols
State Stone/ RockPetoskey Stone (a fossil) 
State GemstoneChlorastrolite, aka Isle Royale or Greenstone
State FossilThe Mastodon (an elephantine mammal fossil)

Michigan is located in the Great Lakes region of the Midwestern United States. It is bordered by 4 of the 5 Great Lakes: Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and the largest freshwater lake on Earth, Lake Superior.

These Great Lakes are said to have formed over 10,000 years ago at the end of the last glacial period. The ice melted and filled the deep basins in the land, which were created by the pressure of heavy glaciers. 

Glaciers also moved many minerals and rocks to Michigan and greatly impacted existing rock formations. The glacial activity of melting ice revealed these rocks and existing crystals, fossils, and metals from prehistoric times.

Michigan has a rich history. The first settlers and first people to interact with the minerals in this area were the indigenous Native American people of the Great Lakes region, and many artifacts made of Native Copper, as well as Chert and Obsidian tools, have been uncovered. 

The most common place to find crystals in Michigan is in the beach gravel along the shoreline of the lakes and on the lake bed. Gems can also be found in rivers, creeks, and mine dumps or public gem mines in Michigan.

Spring is the best time for rockhounding in Michigan. Summers can be warm, but as winter approaches, it gets icy-cold and windy, so if you choose to brave this season, mentally and physically prepare for it. Hopefully, the abundance and excitement of finding beautiful stones will distract you from the weather.

Best Michigan Rockhounding Locations

As Michigan was covered by water in ancient times and ice during the last glacial period, rocks and fossils are widespread. There are so many places within Michigan that you can visit to search for crystals. 

The following is a summary of well-known locations with concentrations of rocks and what you will likely find there.

Be sure to continue researching before visiting each location for more information on exactly which beaches to visit. There are often natural changes to the land and rocking-hounding laws that occur over time. 

LocationWhat Can Be Found 
Keweenaw PeninsulaLake Superior Agate, Datolite, Yooperlite, Thomsonite, Amethyst, Prehnite, and Chlorastrolite.
Isle RoyaleChlorastrolite, Basalt, Prehnite, Epidote, and Clear Quartz.
Manitou IslandsLake Superior Agates, Amethyst, Datolite, Quartz, and Chalcedony.
Marquette CountyCalcite, Datolite, Hematite, Garnet, Pyrite, Quartz, Agate, Amethyst, Chalcedony, Jasper, and Topaz.
Lake Michigan ShorelineLeland Blue, Petoskey Stone, Puddingstone, Chlorastrolite, Agates, Jasper, Chalcedony, and Basalt.
Lake Huron ShorelinePetoskey Stone, Charlevoix Stone, Quartz, Magnetite, Puddingstone, and Agates.
Thunder Bay MineAmethyst, Moonstone, Emerald, Fluorite, Calcite, Citrine, Peridot, Quartz, Obsidian, Pyrite, and Aventurine.
Champion Mine DumpsMagnetite, Calcite, Pyrite, Garnet, Hematite, and Quartz.

Top 10 Gemstones in Michigan

There is a vast variety of stones that can be found in this state, but these are some of the top picks that are significant, interesting, or rare gems found in Michigan.


Chlorastrolite crystal on a white background.
Image Source: Flickr.com | Jeff Kopsi

This is the state gemstone of Michigan, as gem-quality pieces of Chlorastrolite can be found here. Chlorastrolite is often referred to as Isle Royal Green or simply as Greenstone. It displays mosaic or radiating patterns in light or dark green and is a stone that can achieve a high polish.

The energetic benefits of the unique and attractive Isle Royale Stone include opening the Heart Chakra and igniting passion while at the same time assisting you energetically to maintain a state of emotional and mental clarity.

In Michigan, you can pick up Greenstone as loose nodules within weathered Basalt or extract it with a hammer and chisel set, carefully chipping away at the igneous trap rock matrix surrounding it. It is found in small quantities within air bubbles in hard and fine-grained Basalt. 

Petoskey Stone

Petoskey Stone on a white background
Image Source: Flickr.com x jchants

A prehistoric fossilized Rugose Coral (Hexagonaria Percarinata) is the state stone of Michigan. Petoskey Stones are commonly gray to neutral brownish colors and sometimes have a pinkish hue. 

These fossils display hexagonal or 6-sided corallites that are tightly packed together. What is seen is the fossilized skeleton of the coral. Each hexagonal cell has thin lines within it radiating from a dark center. 

It is suggested to look for these rocks after a storm as new rocks will likely be thrown onto the lake shores. Take a bucket and scoop, dress for the weather accordingly, and look along the waterline of the lake shores.

The metaphysical qualities of Petoskey Stone include increased patience and the attunement or refinement of leadership qualities. It is a stone of wisdom and deep healing. Its energy can help one focus from a higher perspective and help with making decisions. 

Leland Blue

Leland Blue stone on a white background
Image Source: Flickr.com | Cortney Brenner

Although this is not technically a gemstone or a rock, it is worth mentioning when discussing Michigan gems, as it is exclusive to the mitten state. Leland Blue is of historical significance, and it is popular for jewelry use.

Leland Blue is a man-made tumbled slag glass, typically colored in blues or greens with a pockmarked texture. These stones ended up in Michigan as a result of the iron smelting industry waste material that was tipped into the lake.

Simply search through loose gravels and the lake shore along Leland with your hands or a long-handle gem scoop.

Even though Leland Blue is not of a natural origin, its color energy imbues it with an activating effect on the Throat Chakra. This helps to improve communication and expression. It also holds the metaphysical quality of glass, which includes clarity and a balance of strength and vulnerability.


yooperlite on white background
Image Source: wikimedia.org | TR15336300101

This is a glowing stone. It comprises Syenite and Sodalite that fluoresces with an orange or yellow glow under UV light. It was first discovered in Michigan, and the shorelines of the Great Lakes are still the primary location for finding this remarkable stone.

You will need to hunt for Yooperlites at night, so take along your UV torch, headlamp, a long-poled rock scoop, bucket, your warm gear, and a rock-hounding buddy to search the lake shore gravels at night. 

Yooperlite is a stone that encourages truth and authenticity. Its fiery energy burns away negative emotions and thoughts, bringing transformation and greater balance to your experience.

Lake Superior Agates

lake superior agate crystal on a white background

These iron-rich Agates display incredible reds, oranges, and browns in combination with gray, white, or colorless sections. They can be found along the shoreline of Lake Superior and in other locations along the Great Lakes.

Lake Superior Agates can feature typical Agate characteristics, such as translucency, banding, moss-like inclusions, and fortification. They can even be found as an Agate Geode or in combination with Amethyst crystals.

The energy of this unique Agate activates the lower chakras, especially the Root and Solar Plexus. It is beneficial for grounding and increasing creativity and courage.


A Raw Conglomerate Stone Aka PuddingStone on a white background

Puddingstone is another stone that is most commonly found in Michigan. It is a conglomerate of minerals, including Quartzite, Jasper, Hematite, and Black Chert.

It has a likeness to a plum or Christmas pudding, as it most commonly has pieces of reds, pinks, purples, browns, whites, and black fragments suspended in a finer sandy-looking matrix.

You can find Puddingstone along the northeastern shorelines of Michigan. Carry a long handle scoop and bucket and patiently comb through the beautiful beach crystals to find some Puddingstone.

Puddingstone is a stone of unity. It brings together diverse elements or ideas to a state of oneness, appreciation, and celebration. It is a crystal that helps you let go and embrace the new. It is a valuable stone to work with for karmic and emotional healing.


Unakite on a white background

A stone featuring a combination of green Epidote and salmon pink Feldspar in an earthy and mossy or patchy mix. It is a stone you will easily find in abundance along the Michigan shorelines, especially in Lake Superior.

Unakite will bring your focus to your heart and help you live in alignment with an open heart. It is a crystal that deepens your awareness in the present moment. It naturally harmonizes your relationships as it attunes you energetically to the frequency of unconditional love.

Take along a bucket and long handle scoop and pick up your favorite Unakite pieces along the beaches of the eastern upper peninsula of Michigan.


pyrite on a white background

Distinctly cubic, pale brass-yellow to silver metallic Pyrite crystals can be found with other minerals, including Quartz, Dolomite, and Hematite. Different types of Pyrite are found around Michigan State, including in Marquette, Keweenaw, Huron, and Iron Counties.

Pyrite crystals should be carefully mined from the host rock using a hammer and chisel (don’t forget to wear proper gloves and eye protection).

The metaphysical properties of Pyrite include boosting prosperity, creativity, inspiration, and manifestation. Pyrite is also a powerful stone for energetic protection.


Datolite on a white background

Datolite is white, gray, yellowish, reddish, pinkish, or pale green vitreous or resinous nodular crystals that are found together with Native Copper deposits in Michigan. It is located in Copper deposit host rocks, such as Basalt, and together with minerals such as Prehnite, Calcite, and Quartz.

The energy of Datolite activates all seven chakras, and it is a stone that will align you with an expanded consciousness. Datolites are high vibrational crystals that will energize and guide you into alignment with your higher self.

Datolites are primarily found in Keweenaw County. Nodules of this crystal can be procured from the Lake Superior shoreline, Lake Superior bed, Native Copper mines, or loose in Copper mine rock dumps.

If you search for this crystal along the lake, you will need a scoop and bucket or diving gear if you plan on searching deeper in the water. In mine dumps or public gem mines in Michigan, you will need your screen, hammer, chisels, and, of course, safety gear.


thomsonite on white background

A colorless, white, light yellow, light green, pink, or brown Zeolite mineral found in igneous rock and in Michigan, it can be found along the shorelines in Keweenaw County.

If you need to extract Thomsonite from a host rock, you will require a hammer, chisels, and safety equipment. You can also pick up Thomsonite on Lake Superior beaches.

The energetic benefits of Thomsonite include inspiration, fertility, growth, and manifestation. This is a crystal that will help you to open up to and perceive divine guidance.

How to Do Rockhounding in Michigan

Equipment for finding crystals in Michigan can be elementary if you only plan to walk the lake shorelines and look in the beach gravel. If you also plan on visiting any mines or mine dumps, you may want to consider all the items on this.

In preparation for your rockhounding adventure, you will probably want to consider getting or packing the following gear. 

Tools and Gear You Need to Dig and Find Crystals in Michigan

  • Long Handle Treasure Scoop: This is not essential but useful for scooping up rocks from deeper water. You can make one with a long PVC pipe and bent metal spoon, or purchase one.
  • Shovel: Always a handy tool for unearthing deeper layers. 
  • Bucket: A sturdy bucket to place your rocks in as you walk along the shoreline.
  • Hand Lens or Jewellers Loupe: This is helpful to observe the structure of a crystal to identify it correctly.
  • Boots: Long, waterproof boots are a must in the colder months, and they also offer protection from scrapes.
  • Warm Clothing: Warm clothing or a thick wetsuit if you plan on getting into the water at all is a must during winter,
  • Snorkeling or Diving Gear: In warmer seasons, you can choose to get deeper into the lake to observe more crystals.
  • Screen: Useful for separating sand and sifting through gravels to properly observe the stones.
  • Safety Gloves: Mostly necessary when visiting mines or mine dumps and using tools. 
  • Rock Hammers and Chisels: Carry a variety of good quality rock hammers if you plan on visiting mines.
  • Safety Goggles: An absolute must when using any mining tools. 
  • Brushes: Wire and softer brushes help clean rock specimens.
  • UV light and Headlamp: These are important if you plan to go out at night to search for UV-reactive glowing Yooperlites.

How to Pack and Transport Crystals You Find 

  • Packing: Tissue paper or bubble wrap for more delicate specimens. Brown paper or pieces of fabric are great for wrapping up harder stones.
  • Cataloging: It can be useful to develop a labeling system using small, premade info cards or stickers that you can attach to the packing material of individual stones. 
  • Transport: Place wrapped crystals into sealable plastic containers, sturdy bags, or boxes.

Safety Regulations and Mining Laws for Rockhounding in Michigan

  • Laws: The rules state that collecting pieces from within national parks, national lake shores, or designated protected areas is not allowed. Collection of meteorites, artifacts, and antiquities from state-owned or public trust land is illegal.
  • Limits: Michigan laws limit collection from state-owned or public trust land to 25 lbs (11.3 kg) per person annually. You may not collect only one type of rock, and this quantity includes fossils collected.
  • Permits: You may require a permit to rockhound in some locations, so check with the ranger or contact the DEGLE (Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy) for the most up-to-date information.
  • Private Land: Explicit permission must be granted by the land owned, and there are legally no quantity limits for collecting on private land. 
  • Safety: Keep up to date with information for the sites that you want to visit as well as the weather forecasts, and prepare with the relevant safety gear and resources before you head out.

Tips for Rockhounding Like a Pro in Michigan

  • Connect with Locals: Reach out to local Michigan rockhounds before your trip or in person when you arrive to get some essential tips or plan a mission together.
  • Field Guides: Source reference books on Michigan crystals to help locate and identify them.
  • Timing: Spring or late fall are preferable for rockhounding in Michigan, but you can try in other seasons. Just go prepared for the weather.
  • Research: Conduct further research online, look for the most current information, and plan your trip according to your experience level.
  • Patience: You will pick up some of the more common Michigan stones, but rare gems take patience and perseverance. Remember, enjoy being in nature, the adventure, and the process.

Find Michigan Crystals and Start Using Them!

Michigan rockhounding territories have something to offer for both beginner and veteran rockhounds. The crystals in this region are colorful and fascinating, and as we have learned, many of them are reasonably simple to procure.

You are now ready to continue planning your adventure to Michigan and find some of these wonderful stones and more!

Below is a summary of the Michigan crystals that we discussed in the article, including the locations where you are most likely to see these stones, the tools you may need, and the amazing metaphysical properties that they resonate with.

GemstoneLocationTools You NeedHealing Properties
ChlorastroliteIsle Royale and Lake Superior shores.Hand lends or jewels loupe, hammer, and chisel set.Heart Chakra activation, passion, and emotional and mental clarity.
Petoskey StoneLake Michigan Shores, Petoskey, and Charlevoix.Long handle gem scoop and a bucket.Healing, patience, leadership, and clear decision-making.
Leland BlueLake Michigan shores and Leland.Long handle gem scoop and a bucket.Communication clarity, strength, and vulnerability.
YooperliteLake Superior shorelineUV light, headlamp, gem scoop, and a bucket.Truth, authenticity, transformation, and balance.
Lake Superior AgateLake Superior shorelineLong handle gem scoop and a bucket.Lower chakra activation, grounding, creativity, and courage.
PuddingstoneLake Huron shoreline, Lake Superior shoreline, Lake Michigan shoreline, and Marquette.Long handle gem scoop and a bucket.Unity, acceptance, appreciation, karmic healing, and oneness.
UnakiteLake Superior and Lake Michigan.Long handle gem scoop and a bucket.Living from your heart, presence, and harmonious relationship.
PyriteMarquette, Keweenaw, Huron, and Iron Counties.Hammer, chisels, and safety gear.Prosperity, inspiration, creativity, manifestation, and protection.
DatoliteKeweenaw CountyScreen, hammer, chisels, safety gear or long-handle gem scoop, and a bucket.Activates all chakras, expanded consciousness, high vibrational, and higher self.
ThomsoniteKeweenaw CountyScreen, hammer, chisels, safety gear or long-handle gem scoop, and a bucket.Divine guidance, inspiration, manifestation, and fertility.

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