Where to Find Crystals in Nature

  1. How To Find Crystals & Tools You Will Need
  2. Places to Find Crystals

You can find gemstones in many different places in nature. You might have seen many beautiful gems in your crystal shops and wondered, where can you find crystals? Going on an adventure and finding crystals can be an exciting experience. 

It is essential to know what to look for when digging for crystals. First, find an area where Quartz veins are present, where you can mine. 

Below we will look at where to find crystals in nature and what you need to extract them. 

How To Find Crystals & Tools You Will Need

You can pick up some crystals and rocks off the ground with no tools required; however other gems might be attached to a piece of rock and require some prying to loosen it. You can use many different tools to collect gemstones, and each serves a unique purpose that will make your gem mining experience much easier and safer. 

Jars, Bags or Containers

set of different sized plastic containers on a white background

On a gemstone expedition, you often find many more crystals than anticipated. Carrying your collected samples in your hand or pocket can become annoying, so ensure you have somewhere to store your gems while collecting them. 


set of gloves on a white background

Rocks can be sharp, and it is easy to injure yourself while chiseling away at your new crystals. Wearing gloves is vital while mining to protect your hands from cuts, injuries, and hazardous chemicals.

Safety Goggles

safety goggles on a white background

Small pieces of stone can shoot around upon impact when chipping at rocks. Therefore, protecting your eyes with safety goggles is essential to avoid injuries. 

Pry Bars

a piece of pry bar on a white background

Pry bars pry out tough pieces of rock. You can also use them like a chisel with a hammer by attaching one end to the base of the crystal and hitting the other end with a hammer to loosen gemstones from rocks. You can use your strength to pry out gems with a pry bar as well. 

Rock Chisels

set of chisels on a white background

When you often spot your beloved gems in the wild, you need to remove some rocks in the way. Chisels are a great tool to chisel away at pieces of rock that make it tricky to get to your crystals. 


rock pick hammer on a white background

Hammers can be used on their own to remove rock masses, or in combination with chisels and pry bars to loosen gemstones from rocks. A hammer is one of the essential tools when mining or searching for crystals. 

Places to Find Crystals

You can find crystals at Pay-to-Dig sites, creek and river beds, mines, quarries, and many different areas on public and private land. If you want to know where the best place to find crystals is, I will tell you of many locations around the US where you can search for, and mine, gems. 

If you want to know where you can find crystals at home, search the Rockhound Resource database to find crystals near you. 

Diamond Hill Mine in South Carolina

a chunk of quarts on top of hands
Source: Diamond Hill Mine Website

Diamond Hill Mine is a pay-to-dig site with many gemstones you can mine. This mine has many Quartz crystals, mainly Clear Quartz, Smoky Quartz, and Amethyst. Beryl and Epidote can also be found here but are less common. 

Once you pay your $20 adult entry fee, you are free to explore and search the entire property for gemstones. There are about 6 acres of mine tailings filled with crystals and many veins if you want to work harder to get your gems. Bring your hammer, chisel, pry bar, and goggles to ensure you have what you need for this adventure! 

Stewart Mine in California

entrance to stewart mine
Source: Andrew Manning | U.S. Geological Survey

California has about 47 000 abandoned mine sites, making it a hotspot for mine tailings. Stewart Mine is a great spot to find Tourmaline. There are many mine tailings and rock outcroppings where Agate gets extracted. 

You can find this mine in the Pala Mining district in San Diego. The primary mine is closed, but you can get permission from the owner to enter. The area has many mine tailings where you can find a variety of gemstones.

Terlingua Mining District in Texas

abandoned mining district

The Terlingua Mining district in west Texas is an area with many abandoned mines where you can freely search for gemstones. In the riverbanks of Terlingua Creek, there is an abundance of Agate, Amber, Jasper, and Chalcedony

You can also visit the mine sites where you can find Calomel, Terlinguate (native to the area), Calcite, Fluorite, and Aragonite. Take your entire mining kit with you; you will find many unique specimens here. 

Quarries in Polk County

open quarry with stagnant water

Florida has an abundance of many crystals and minerals. The Florida Rockhounding Locations map displays many areas where you can find crystals. 

Polk county has many quarries with a variety of mineral specimens that can be found. There is a quarry off the side of Stokes road where you can discover Gypsum, Petrified Wood, and Vivianite.

Goldstream Creek in Alaska

a creek with a stone bridge above it

If you want to know where you can find crystals in the ground, unique Stibnite, Quartz, and Cassiterite specimens can be found in Fairbanks, Alaska. 

The Goldstream creek in the Goldstream public use area has an abundance of gemstones in the gravel and river banks, and you do not need a mining kit to find gems here. You can also search for crystal specimens in the Goldstream creek mine tailings. 

Appalachian Mountains in Virginia

Appalachian Mountains with trees and the skies

If you go for a hike through the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia, there is a high chance that you can find Epidote, Unakite, Amethyst, and Amazonite. In addition, there are many mineral-rich pegmatites on the rocks, so having a chisel, pick and hammer handy is great for collecting different specimens. 

Tunk Creek in Washington

creek in the middle of the woods

Quartz crystals, Corundum (blue and pink), Thulite, and Plagioclase, can be found in the valleys near Tunk Creek. If you stroll alongside the Okanogan river, you can find a variety of small gemstone specimens. This area is very versatile, as you can take a walk, pick up stones, or go mining for gems between the rocks in the valley.  


  • Where is the most popular place to find crystals?

Emerald Hollow Mine in North Carolina is very popular among gem hunters and crystal enthusiasts. This mine hosts over 60 different varieties of crystals, making it one of the best places to dig and mine for crystals. 

  • How do I know where to dig for crystals?

If you want to know how to find crystals at your home location, most countries have a database of the sites where you can find minerals. In nature, areas with water bodies, hydrothermal springs, road cuts, cave systems, and volcanic activity will potentially have crystals to look out for.

  • How do I find Amethyst?

You might be wondering, where can you find beautiful Amethyst crystals? Amethyst most commonly occurs in Arkansas, Georgia, and Arizona but can also be found in other areas where volcanic activity and magma are present. In addition, many places where Quartz crystals can be found contain Amethyst.

  • Where do crystals grow naturally?

How to find crystals in nature? Crystals occur in areas where there is significant pressure, especially underwater pressure. Most crystals are formed through hydrothermal processes beneath the ground and get brought to the surface near springs, caves, lakes, rivers, or creeks. 

  • Can you find crystals at the beach?

You can sometimes find Quartz, Pearls, Coral, Calcite, Agate, Hag Stones, Jasper, and Aragonite on the beach, or in the reefs in certain areas.


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