Rockhounding New England: 8 Gorgeous Locations To Find Unique Treasures

Whether you’re a professional or recreational rock hunting fanatic, you will find that there are some amazing gems to be discovered when rockhounding New England with the help of a few basic tools, food, and water.

Knowing where to find geodes in New England, though, is important for you to reap real success. 

We’ve compiled a list of areas for gemstones found in New England, for you to choose from.  

Where To Go Rockhounding In New England

Disclaimer

The information provided in this article by YesDirt.com is for informational purposes and is subject to change. Laws are updated. Accessibility guidelines and restrictions change. Be sure to confirm the land status and collection rules before you travel to an unfamiliar location or collect any material.

Quartz Diamond Hill, Rhode Island – Amethyst

Rhode Island is the littlest state in the nation. Because of the state’s scale, there is little diversity in where you will look for fossils, precious gems, and minerals. 

Although it is renowned among sunbathers due to its beautiful ocean coastline, it is not known among rock collectors.

Notwithstanding its scale, however, there are some fascinating rocks to be discovered around. If you’re already in the region and a collector, you may want to spend some time looking for some of them.

You’ll be fortunate if you are into amethyst since Quartz Diamond Hill, located in Ashway, is a well-known region for rick hunters seeking that gem. 

Despite its widespread popularity, beautiful and massive specimens can still be found on a regular basis. 

Most of what you find could have some flaws, but you don’t know if you’ll strike it rich and discover a flawless sample.

Amethyst is a stone that everybody knows. It’s the lovely purple gemstone that you’ll always see in jewelry. Though the purple shade can range from light to dark, it is a beautiful sight to behold in any variation.

Berkshire Hills, Massachusetts-Garnets, Pyrite & More

One hundred acres of woodlands, hiking trails, and streams await you as you search for gems in the hills of Western Massachusetts.

This beautiful location in the Berkshires is ideal for rockhounding New England if you like spessartine and almandine garnets.

Earthdance is mainly a studio and refuge run by artists, and they often include rock collecting. Dynamite explosions had been used to remove mineral deposits from the Anson G. Betts Mine around three-quarters of a century ago.

The mine’s quarry sites are now lovely woodland.

You may go to the site and collect the remaining gems and stones for yourself. There’s a lot to see and do on these beautiful grounds, such as the state gemstone of Massachusetts, rhodonite.

Additionally, you’ll find Pyrite, commonly called “fool’s gold”, tephroite, and rhodochrosite.

For a charge, which is called a contribution to Earthdance, you can search for common rocks in New England.

After you’ve finished gathering gems and minerals, scope out a few of Earthdance’s fantastic events, like art nights, dance workshops, and barefoot discotheques.

In Plainfield, Massachusetts’ is where you’ll find Earthdance. The address is 252 Prospect Street, and you can bring the whole family along for rock hunting.

You will, however, need to contact the Earthdance Mineral Coordinator to schedule a visit for rock and mineral collection. Reach out via minerals@earthdance.net

Loudville Lead Mine, Massachusetts-Quartz, Malachite & Many More

For gemstones found in New England, this lead mine is a haven. Quartz, Anglesite, barite, cerussite, calcite, pyromorphite, galena, wulfenite, malachite, sphalerite, and several other minerals can be found at Loudville. 

The far more attractive and exquisite minerals are accessible as micro amounts, although this diligent worker might well be rewarded with the rare worthy thumbnail or even greater sample.

In recent times, wulfenite approximately quarter of an inch, was discovered.

On a field trip organized by a local mineral club, I was recently collecting at the mine.

The entire site is practically covered in quartz crystal matrix specimens, castings from melted barite crystals, and several cool cerussite samples.

To get there, use exit three on the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90). Travel along Route 10 north until you reach Glendale Street on the left, just under a mile to the south of Easthampton. Continue 3.2 miles on Glendale to a gravel road on the left that leads to the mine dump.

Bring important tools along with you, such as the very important bucket, a brush, a hard hammer, and of course, drinking water. If you are new to rock collecting, you can chill off somewhere in the watercourses of a safe stream during the summer sun. 

Collectors should hold a spray bottle or a bucket of water to rinse specimens, as several quartz specimens have hidden pyromorphites that become apparent when washed in liquid.

White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire-Smoky Quartz & Amethyst

The state jewel of New Hampshire is smoked quartz. If you enter a mineral society or go it alone, New Hampshire has a variety of collecting locations with varying standards and procedures, so make sure you know what you’re getting into before you go.

The White Mountain National Forest’s Moat Mountain Smoky Quartz site in North Conway is a great place for beginners. In Conway granite, search for smoky quartz, amethyst, and green feldspar.

Grafton’s Ruggles Mine, a former mica quarry on Isinglass Mountain with all its pit and caves, is a renowned rockhounding destination. Many first-time visitors to “The Mine in the Sky” are attracted by tourist facilities such as a gift shop with a kids section.

Forestry Technician Elaine Swett states that such gemstones took millions of years to shape, so collect wisely so that future generations will enjoy rock collecting as well.

Rockhounds, like climbers, should carry a backpack bundled in layers and carry only the necessary clothing for insulation and rain cover, as well as food supplies.

It’s also a wise option to mark whatever you’ve discovered by time and place it in small containers (egg cartons work well for tiny finds).

Don’t forget that certain White Mountain rivers offer gold panning.

West Redding, Connecticut-Hessonite Garnet

According to several previous visitors, there is a Hessonite Garnet outcrop here. They’ve reaped huge benefits. Since this is a hard-rock field, safety glasses are required.

Just half a mile up the road from the train station, an outcropping of Hessonite Garnet can be located on the southeast shoulder of the road. How to reach the site: Heading from the West Redding train station, head southwest on the road that runs alongside railroad tracks.

Look for a rock outcropping on your left about half a mile from the station. At the base of the outcrop, there is a small parking area for one vehicle.

Bring these things with you: small equipment, pry bars, a sledgehammer to break open the rocks for gems, protective eyewear, and gloves.

For those doing rock collecting for the first time, keep in mind that the location is a hard rock mine. This website is for those who are inclined to break the rules.

When a stone is struck with a hammer, the value of wearing protective glasses cannot be overstated. An eye can easily be shattered by shards.

First and foremost, ensure your safety so that you can continue to enjoy rock hounding New England for many years to come.

Woodstock, Maine-Tourmaline

The state of Maine is indeed a national treasure. It’s even been dubbed a “gem of a state” by others. Dedicate just a few hours throughout this beautiful state, engulfed by nature, and you’ll understand why.

Since its discovery in the mountains of western Maine in 1820, tourmaline has become a gemstone associated with the state.

To find out more, visit this fun park in which you can search for all sorts of gems and jewels. This is ideal for children and adults alike who enjoy engaging activities outdoors.

The address for Maine Mineral Adventures is 1148 S. Main St., Woodstock, Maine. They’re accessible between May and October, nature allowing, but their hours change, so inquire ahead to make sure they’re open. They can be reached at 207-674-3440. You may also go to their website or join their Facebook page.

Maine Mineral Adventures, which Zoltan and Jody Matolcsy own, is a recreational mining guide service in western Maine.

Since their inception in 2007, their sustainability has been largely dependent on their partnerships with local mining companies, who have granted them exclusive exposure to gem-rich places that are mostly off-limits to the public.

Zoltan Matolcsy says it is a lot of fun, and it’s also really informative. Because Maine is so abundant in geology, it really makes good sense to step out your backdoor and start to look. You never know what you might find.

When people come to Maine Mineral Adventures for the first time, they generally start by combing through a $15 container of debris that the Matolcsys buy from the gem miners of Mount Mica in Paris, Maine, which is home to Northern America’s oldest tourmaline quarry.

Dumpsites, where mines “drop” waste product that has been blown apart with dynamite, are probably the better places for casual miners to look for gems. For those determined to sift through loads of eroded rock, there are generally small, semi-precious gems.

The Matolcsys take the family to a nearby mine after showing them what to look for, such as the tip of a quartz crystal, pyrite (fool’s gold), or striations in tourmaline.

Most rock collectors want to go to Mount Mica because there’s a chance they’ll discover a gem, according to Zoltan, who is allowed to carry guests to the mountain every Sunday throughout the mining period. 

He notes that a rock hunter discovered an electric blue tourmaline with a possible value of around 25 thousand dollars, possibly 25 carats, and flawless.

The pair also take explorers to Buckfield’s Orchard Quarry, Albany’s Albany Rose Quarry, and a number of other places where they’ve been granted permission to look for minerals.

According to Zoltan Matolcsy, the mine operator has guidelines for amateur mining classes, and he himself has a few regulations for customers to obey. The greatest rule they have is not to start fires with the dynamite magazine…lol.

New Hampshire’s Streams-Gold

Getting approval from property owners is much more than a matter of practicality; you’re mining minerals that belong to them. Those who are gold panning are not permitted to break into the streambed with a shovel.

It’s fine to use the gold container to scoop up rocks. Kindly follow the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) site and read on regulations in the region if you want to search for minerals in the White Mountains. Mineral collecting is prohibited on public lands in New Hampshire, including state parks, geologic and historic sites, and so on.

Dredging, including the use of sluice containers, disrupts the stream sediments to a greater extent than panning. When stream gravels are processed for placer gold, fine sediments are released back into the stream. 

Sediment-filled streams can be hazardous to the ecosystem. As a result, in New Hampshire, some laws related to this operation. 

Because of the potential for environmental harm, dredging and similar activities are supervised by the state. A permit is required for gold prospectors who plan to do dredging or comparable work in New Hampshire. 

The NHDES Wetlands Bureau has an online form for authorization to run a minimal risk small boat dredge for leisure gold and other mineral extractions. In order to dredge for gold in New Hampshire, you must first obtain a permit and obey these rules.

Recreational panners should also review the laws, and anyone who wishes to use stream sites for panning or digging must first obtain permission from landowners. 

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Wetlands Bureau, PO Box 95, Concord, NH 03302-0095; (603) 271-2147, will provide more extensive data on permits.

Red Embers Mine, Massachusetts – Garnet

Firstly, this is seriously rough terrain, and you need a sledgehammer. Prepare to get filthy, but you’ll find it fun and rewarding.

Erving, Massachusetts, is home to the Red Embers Garnet Mine. This mine is famous for creating almandine garnets in a graphite matrix that are bright red and translucent.

The mining of such species started more than twenty years ago and continues to this day.

The channel from which most specimens are collected is mainly made up of graphite, with widths ranging from 1 foot to 6 feet in some places. Garnets and dark dravite tourmaline crystals become dispersed within that graphite matrix.

When illuminated, the garnets out of this mine have a bright red coloration. As a result, garnet specimens remaining inside the graphite matrix are frequently treated on both sides, mainly with air abrasives, to enable light to shine through the garnet. Many garnets are extracted from the matrix and trimmed, and finished for use in jewelry.

Finally!

It’s effortless to access most gemstones when you check where to find geodes in New England. Some areas already have the dirt dug up for you.

However, if you plan to do it from scratch, bring your small tools like a bucket, glasses for safety, gloves to protect your hands, and a mixture of non-mechanical tools like a sledgehammer, that are easy to handle.

Lastly, if you’re not a professional, please, no blasting!! Enjoy your rock hunting for common rocks in New England.

You might also enjoy learning about the common rocks and fossils you can find while rockhounding Long Island.

Wrap Up

We’ve created an ultimate guide to gifts for rockhounds with helpful links directly to Amazon to make product evaluation and review easy!

Planning a trip to rockhound?

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