Top 10 Gem Hunting Destinations in the USA

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Hunting for precious and semi-precious gems is a full time adventure for some people. For others, simply traveling around the country can offer opportunity for gem hunting that’s not found at home, and makes for an exciting event during a vacation. Gem hunting involves getting outdoors, being active, and enjoying scenery that’s new and beautiful. Gem hunting is also a great opportunity to learn something new, and happens to excite many children when museums and art galleries simply fall short. Plan on some gem hunting in these locales, and you’ll have memories (and treasures) that will last for the rest of your lives! Here’s our top 10 gem hunting destinations in the USA.


10) Tourmaline- Mesa Grande, California

tourmaline photo

Photo by jaja_1985

You can dig for your own world-class tourmaline crystals at the Himalaya mine in California. Tourmaline can be faceted into beautiful pink or green (and other colors) gemstones, often times having more than one color in the same stone.


9) Red Beryl- Wah Wah Mountains, Utah

red beryl photo

Photo by géry60

There aren’t any specific places you can patron that will sell you buckets of gravel to sort through, but a visit to Utah’s Wah Wah’s might lead you to a place where you can find the very valuable and highly prized red beryl mineral.

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8) Lake Superior Agate- Moose Lake, Minnesota:

While agate may not necessarily be a gem, the stone itself is very rare and highly prized. Agate is a rare mineral globally, but Lake Superior agate is not only rare but unparalleled agate in beauty and uniqueness. Well worth visiting, Moose Lake has a festival every summer celebrating this local point of pride. During the parade, they dump a load of agate-filled gravel and stone into the street and people enjoy finding agates that way. Or, you can visit one of the three public gravel pits and dig for your own!


7) Sapphires- Phillipsburg, Montana

sapphires Philipsburg photo

Photo by sprague

Not open year round (weather of course) but worth the trip during times of dry, good weather. Gem Mountain is one of the best mines for visiting on a gem hunt, because you’re fairly likely to find a gem-quality stone or two when you visit. Natural sapphires are rare, but Gem Mountain has a lot of them.


6) Ruby- Franklin, North Carolina

ruby carolina photo

Photo by cliff1066™

This mine produces world class rubies (and sapphires) and allows the public to come in and try their luck prospecting themselves. In fact, in the summer of 2014, this mine opened its first public self-dig area!


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