5) Herkimer Diamonds- Herkimer, New York:
Herkimer diamonds are extraordinarily clear and beautiful pieces of common quartz. When faceted by an expert, they look like diamonds in sparkle and color- and many surpass visual quality of diamonds! Fun to find too.
4) Emeralds- Hiddenite, North Carolina
Like Crater of Diamonds State Park, Hiddenite Gems, Inc. owns the only emerald mine that allows the public to prospect there. You can also find beautiful American tourmaline, sapphires, and garnet.
3) Diamonds- Murfreesboro, Arkansas
The only US spot where the public can hunt for diamonds- and nice diamonds of gem quality are regularly found there. If you don’t find diamonds, there are lots of other types of semi-precious and beautiful minerals to be found there too.
2) Opals- Denio, Nevada
Beautiful opals can be found in the tailings of an opal mine here at Bonanza Opal Mines. Tailings are simply sifted piles of rock where some material has been removed, but is usually still full of good things to be found. No reservation required.
1) Gold Prospecting- Jamestown, California
There’s still gold in them hills! You may not find a giant nugget, but you’ll have a great time learning how to pan for gold in a sluice box, where you will probably find some flakes of beautiful yellow gold.
On your next trip, take a day or two to try your luck at finding a gem yourself!