Types of Rocks Found In New York: A Guide To the 5 Most Common You’ll Spot

New York is one of the greatest places in the world to go rock hunting, as it has both a tremendous number of locations and rocks to hunt.

There is an abundance of mountainous and glacial energy in the state to find some of the finest rocks and minerals in the world.

Among those are gold, garnet, celestine, and the Herkimer Diamond, just to start.

Areas along the Hudson River, the Adirondack Mountains, and in locations near St. Lawrence Seaway are among the best locations to find the types of rocks found in New York that make this state a rock hunter’s haven.

Types of Rocks Found In New York (A Guide)


It was 1969 when the garnet became the official gem of New York State, as its gorgeous red sheen made it a stone of sincere value.

The value commercially for garnet is not quite that of diamonds but is high enough for the garnet to be coveted across the world for jewelry applications.

Garnets are a metamorphic rock and are found within other metamorphic rocks, with New York state being among the highest producers of stone.

They are found in great abundance in Barton Garnet Mine near the Gore Mountains of Warren County.

This is considered to be the largest garnet mine on the planet.

There are also some construction sites in Manhattan that stumble upon garnet quite frequently.

Some mines in New York will allow visitors to locate their own garnet specimens for a fee.

New York state does have some laws when it comes to removing stones from a location, so check with the location before you take a specimen home for your rock collection.


Celestine is a stunning white rock that rates low on the hardness scale but is hard to the touch.

It is a darker blue-colored rock with natural white streaks to it that makes it beautiful for home décor, and useful in some industrial applications.

It is also a popular stone to add to a New Age collection for metaphysical purposes.

Celestine is made of strontium sulfate but can be found in other colors.

It is common to find celestine in geodes in New York, but it can also be found in the veins of quartz as well.

It has a wide variety of uses, both commercially and industrially.

It is common to see it in metal alloys, and also in the production of fireworks.

New Age proponents will also use it for meditation and prayer.

You can find celestine in New York in Chittenango Falls, Penfield Quarry, and St. Lawrence County. 

Herkimer Diamond

Every state has a state mineral, rock, and gem.

For New York, the state mineral is the fabulous Herkimer Diamond.

This mineral is in the quartz family, and as hard as quartz, and is used in multiple industrial applications as well as in the New Age market.

The stone looks like a diamond and is as pretty as one as well.

Its name comes from Herkimer County in New York, where it is found in great abundance.

Another common location to find the Herkimer Diamond is in the Crystal Grove Diamond Mine in Montgomery County.

It is a stone with a double-terminated crystal that results in shorter edges and a harder structure to the quartz.

The stone is also primarily colorless but can contain some inclusions that appear as rainbow colors.

You will know this is a Herkimer Diamond if it has 18 faces in total on it.


Gold is a common stone that everybody is familiar with.

It is a soft stone that is low on the Moh’s hardness scale and is a shiny golden yellow color.

It is also on the Periodic Table of Elements as Au and is traded on foreign exchanges.

This is a valuable stone that is found in New York.

The value of gold is due to its many uses.

Because it is used in so many religions, industries, and for so many purposes, it has a very high value.

The good news is that you can hunt it in New York.

The bad news is, you can’t take it home with you if you find it according to New York state law.  

Gold occurs where glaciers once did.

As a glacier melted in New York tens of thousands of years ago, gold bearings were randomly deposited throughout the gravel of the glacier melting.

This is what people are panning for when they are panning for gold.

You can begin hunting for gold in the Enchanted Mountains of New York, and also in Allegany State Park.


Pyrite is a 12-sided stone that is green and black and is very high on the Moh’s hardness scale with a 6.5 out of 10 in hardness.

The black in pyrite is from the iron content of the stone.

It also sometimes has a yellow color, which has earned it the name of Fool’s Gold.

Its actual name though, pyrite, comes from the Greek term called pyrites lithos, which translates into the phrase “stone that strikes fire.”

Pyrite is a stone that does that. When iron hits it, sparks actually fly.

The structure of pyrite is a cuboid, but it also has a dodecahedral pattern with 12 sides.

That is one way that you can tell it is different from real gold.

It is also much harder than real gold, brittle even, whereas real gold is softer and more malleable.

The color of pyrite includes a streak of green and brown when left on a dish or plate.

Gold will leave a yellow streak.

Pyrite is used for a number of different purposes.

Commercially, it is used in nutritional supplements but is also found in water treatments, moss killers, lawn treatments, and many other commercial uses.

It is also used in the New Age market for spiritual healing and removing negative energy.

The most common place to find pyrite is in the hamlet of Pyrite in New York, a small village in St. Lawrence County.

It can also be located in Ellenville.

When hunting pyrite, look in small pockets of quartz where fissures and cracks occur, and go for the gold streaks.

If you aren’t panning it, this could be the real thing.

Pyrite is always a beautiful find and one that you can take home with you.

Plan Your New York Rock Hunt Today

When you are looking for rocks in New York, there are many locations and geological hot spots where you can hunt something wonderful.

The types of rocks found in New York that you can expect include the Herkimer Diamond, gold, celestine, pyrite, and garnet, as a sparkling starting point.

When you are rock hunting in New York, remember to keep the gold where you found it, while enjoying the process of the hunt.

Start planning your New York rock hunt today.

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Types of Rocks Found In New York