Travel With Purpose: Rockhounding Locations In The United States

Most people travel for leisure.  Sometimes we travel for family or special occasions, but there are more adventures to be had past visiting mom and dad.  Focus your next journey on digging for precious gemstones.

Rockhoundig is a popular American pastime, and it’s time to discover what the Earth has to offer.  Check out a few of the most popular places to grab up some fancy rocks, and visit these fascinating destinations on your next outing.  

Find opal in Nevada

Opal is a gorgeous gem, full of color and value.  Take a trip to Nevada, and visit the Rainbow Ridge Opal Mine.  As the birthstone of the world’s October babies, the opal is one of the most beautiful stones on Earth, and the mine is well-known among enthusiasts for producing some extremely valuable stones.  

Pack your buckets and tools for digging, because you’ll have to put forth some effort to get to these precious stones.  The mine is opened to the public beginning in May, and they cut off visitors in September.

Rubies lie in the grounds of North Carolina

If you enjoy the vibrancy of a fire red ruby, the Cherokee Ruby Mine of North Carolina should be the next stop on your travel list.  The public is free to mine for rubies, sapphires, garnets, and rutile.

The mine is opened to the public from April to October, and it’s something you don’t want to miss.  With the Blue Ridge Mountains as the backdrop, the Cherokee Ruby Mine is one of the seasoned rockhound’s most cherished destinations.

Mine for Amazonite in Virginia

Just outside of Richmond, lies Morefield Mine.  During the second world war, Morefield Mine was used to produce valuable materials for use in tanks and other artillery.  Today, the mine is a more upbeat place, opened to the public for seeking out amazonite and 80 other gems.

Get ready to go underground, because the mine is located 300 feet below the surface.  The mine’s floorplan is always shifting and changing to allow room for further exploration.  Visitors that aim to gather gems are equipped with a 5-gallon bucket, and you are allowed to leave with whatever you can fit in your bucket.  

Check out the colors of turgite in Georgia

Formed millions of years ago through the natural progression of the Earth, the Graves Mountain mining area has been opened to the public for many years.  At one time, the mine was home to hunting for Tiffany & Co. diamonds.  

Large pieces of different precious materials can still easily be found today, and the site is opened several times each year to prospectors.  You can use simple hand tools to search for quartz, hematite, lazulite, and turgite, among others.

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Mark Miller on a Scottish bridge
Mark Miller

Extreme travel is the name of my game and I love to get that adrenaline pumping. Blogging and blagging my way across the world one country at a time... come join me!

North America, Traveling