Emeralds in Connecticut: A Guide To 3 Likely Places To Find Them

In the United States, there are very few emeralds. 

Since the late 1800s, North Carolina has been known as the hotspot for mining them.

But the Connecticut state has always been home to many minerals, including emeralds too. 

Emeralds in Connecticut (Let’s Learn More)

Thanks to Connecticut’s igneous and metamorphic rocks, in this state, you will find ideal conditions and the collection of one of the coveted resources on planet Earth: emeralds. 

Whether you use them to produce jewelry or for decoration, you can do anything with this rare rock.

It will attract you with its dazzling green hue.

Once you have struck it, you will have one of the expensive minerals, even in small quantities.

Connecticut has a long geologic history that dates back to the 1800s.

There are multiple types of sedimentary, igneous, metamorphic, and hydrothermal rocks that you can find here.

However, charting the course of the veins in Connecticut has been challenging for most geologists, especially if you consider that some minerals in this area hide in glacial deposits, which makes exposing rare gemstones like emeralds even more difficult.

What is emerald?

Emeralds are some expensive gemstones, and Connecticut has them.

Most emeralds are greenish, and it’s easy for some people to confuse them with diamonds.

On a scale where 0% color is colorless and 100% opaque white, a fine emerald will have a decent 75%, and a dull emerald will have a grayish-green hue.

This member of the beryl family is among the four stunning gemstones on planet Earth. 

It is a rare mineral that usually occurs in tiny amounts in the Earth’s crust.

While most emeralds commonly form in the schist, it is not unusual to find them in pegmatites as well.

You can find this gem in a diversity of rock types or even in areas of contact metamorphism.

Connecticut has some of the best locations for rock hounding, with some being old mines and quarries. 

Many fine, transparent emeralds have been spotted and transformed into jewelry, decorating ornaments, promoted as “emerald matrix.”

What you should do first

Before setting out gem hunting in Connecticut, there are certain things you need to put into perspective.

First, you need to know if you can afford to mine emeralds.

Then decide if you would be financing the mining yourself, or you will take out a loan.

And if it so happens that you get a loan, you need to ensure that you get ROI.

A fine emerald should have an average brilliance of 40% to 60%. Add 20% and deduct 10% for cutting costs; you will get your profit margin.

Doing thorough research on emeralds and talking to local geologists may help too.

Read about different locations and the environmental characteristics, including rock formations and compositions that are available in Connecticut.

It will give you a good idea of where to start looking for emeralds, and which tools to use.

State geological surveys can also help you to narrow your search, and you will save a lot of time and money along the way. 

During World War II and through the 1950s, emerald was one of the most sought-after minerals.

Most companies invested resources in Connecticut to prospect beryl, a mineral that is part of the emerald family.

They used it to produce metals, jewelry, machines, cars, you name it. 

One of the best mines that focused on mining beryl, the Roebling Mine in New Milford, mined feldspar, mica, and, from the 1880s to 1900. 

Here are emerald hotspots in Connecticut:

Long Hill

A few years ago, light green beryl was found at this location in small granite pegmatite stringers.

There is a great chance that you might still find emeralds in this area.  

For a small fee, you can start prospecting in this area for a chance to spot emeralds, smoky quartz, tourmaline, topaz, and albite.

You have an option to either rent machinery or use old tools left behind by old mines. 

This place has amphibolite and marble,  including layers and boudins of green albite variety and beryl.

And there are analyses of some crystals that are light in color that show traces of Cr and Fe with typically more Fe.

Old Mine Plaza site

This renowned construction site adjacent to the NW side of Old Mine Park Tungsten Mine is one of the perfect places where you can find emeralds. 

Beryl is the common mineral here whose main difference from one is color.

Some recognizable beryl includes aquamarine, morganite, heliodor, and emerald. 

Besides beryl, you can also find muscovite-topaz-fluorite and chlorophane-quartz too.

During the winter of 2009-2010, a developer constructed a Home Depot at state Route 111 in northern Trumbull. It is a stone’s throw to Old Mine Park. 

However, no intensive prospecting for emeralds has ever been done in this part of Connecticut yet. 

Southbury 

Another area you should check out is Southbury.

In the early 1900s, there were gem-producing mines in this part of Connecticut.

They mined beryl crystals measuring more than two feet in diameter, many of them featuring gem-quality areas.

Around the 1920s, quartz was discovered and mined through to 1940, a year when beryl was classified as a “strategic ore”.

By the 1950s mines yielded thousands of aquamarine, which is similar to emeralds.

Today, there are a number of abandoned pegmatite prospects in the area where you can still find beryl that has emeralds.

Last Thoughts 

When 12 geologists descended in Connecticut in the 90s to set out to survey an abandoned cobalt mine in a state forest, they struck one of the richest concentrations of gold in North America.

This could be you as well.

But it will take patience, planning, and investing the right resources in the right area.

Emeralds in Connecticut