Venezuela contains some of the most amazing stones in South America.
In this article, you’ll learn more about the geology of Venezuela.
Types of Rocks in Venezuela: A Guide
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.
Venezuela spans several geological regions and has many miles of beaches on the Caribbean Sea.
You can find stunning quartz, garnet, marble and sillimanite in Venezuela.
There are many beautiful locations to visit in Venezuela, but rock lovers should not miss a trip to Mount Roraima in the northern part of the country and Angel Falls.
Mining of precious metals and industrially useful minerals is a big part of the economy of Venezuela and lapidary and jewelry making is alive and well.
Plan to venture off the beach to find some of these incredible rocks.
Quartz is easily identified by its very hard stone with a clear crystal structure and a glass like transparency.
Quartz is a very abundant mineral on Earth and in Venezuela there are some beautiful quartz deposits, many existing with precious metals.
Be sure to carefully examine any quartz crystals for the presence of other gems and minerals.
Valley of the Crystals
Mount Roraima is a tepuis or flat topped mountain and is located on the border of Brazil and Venezuela, but should be accessed on the Venezuela side where it is accessible from the road.
The mountain is very isolated geographically and it has not been extensively mapped and studied. It has been called otherworldly by many visitors.
The valley of Roraima Mountain is full of stunning quartz crystals.
The floor of the valley is made up of large quartz crystals as plentiful as driveway gravel.
The hexagonal crystals are plentiful and beautiful.
The quartz in the valley is largely white to colorless while there are some pink varieties due to the presence of iron.
Do not take any of the crystals from Valley of the Crystals. Removing quartz crystals comes with jail time and a large fine.
Legend tells us that removing a crystal from Valley of the Crystals will result in bad luck and breaking a leg on the way down the mountain.
Gold quartz are crystals of quartz with natural deposits of gold running through the white or clear stone.
Gold quartz can be found in Venezuela and it is often used in lapidary and jewelry making.
The Guyana Shield is a geological region that makes up the northern part of South America in Venezuela.
There are 125 known veins of gold quartz in the Guyana shield.
There are believed to be more veins present that have not been discovered yet.
While you are unlikely to stumble upon a gold quartz stone, you can support the local economy and purchase jewelry or stones from local vendors.
The fine grained hard stone Marble has been prized for centuries for sculpture, decorative and implements.
Dolomite Marble has been found to underlay many of the precious metal deposits.
Marble is mined in Venezuela and exported to Caribbean countries to diversify the country’s economy.
Marble is plentiful and can be identified by its white color with dark gray to black veins.
Garnet is considered a gemstone and can be identified by its deep red color.
The crystals have an visually irregular crystal structure.
The formal name for the crystal structure is dodecahedral crystal structure.
Garnet is found in the geological region known as Imataca Complex and in other areas around the country.
Garnet is traditionally red, but it can be found in a wide range of colors.
Green and lilac garnet can be found in Venezuela along the banks of the Quebrada Grande.
The river beds there can also find yellow-green smectite and philogophite.
Garnet can be found embedded into other rocks and can be identified as a separate crystal embedded into a larger stone.
Sillimanite is an aluminum containing mineral that has a very distinct appearance.
The mineral looks like a bunch of fibers twisted together.
Sillimanite is a sedimentary metamorphic rock that has been found in Venezuela and can be identified by its appearance and its gray color.
Kyanite is a bright blue metamorpheus of sillimanite that has a beautiful elongated crystal structure that makes it easy to identify.
The glassy or greasy luster makes the stone beautiful when polished.
The stone is almost always bright blue, but it can be green, white and occasionally pink, yellow or orange.
Kyanite is an aluminum-containing rock that forms in similar regions as sillimanite. It is often found within quartz.
The incredible Valley of the Crystals contains some examples of kyanite, but you should not collect any gems in that area.
Kyanite has also been found in Brazil in blue and the less common green.
Kaolinite is a bright white colored silicate clay found in abundance in Venezuela.
When kaolinite solidifies into solid stone it is called Kaolin.
Kaolinite is an important industrial material and is used in light bulbs, toothpaste, diaper rash cream and in paints.
Kaolin is also used in the manufacture of fine china and is the main component in porcelain.
Kaolin is often ground to a fine powder to be shipped to manufacturers of these products.
It is generally recognized as safe and widely used.
The stone is easily identified by its white color and soft texture.
The stone is generally white, but is can be pink or brown in the presence of iron.
Rocks in Venezuela
Venezuela has an active mining industry and stonework is a big part of the economy.
Be sure to obey any posted signs and local laws concerning collecting sand, stones or shells. In some areas removing rocks can result in time in a Venezuelian jail.
There are some areas that have not been studied by geologists and there are many areas of very unspoiled beauty.
Be careful to preserve the beauty of these amazing locations by supporting local conservation and preservation efforts.
The economic and political crisis in the country in 2014 left many of the conservation efforts understaffed and underfunded.
The local conservation efforts can benefit from volunteer groups and donations. Consider supporting local work through a trusted local conservation organization.