8 Best Places In America For Finding Precious Gems

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1. Fremont County, Wyoming

Rockhounding enthusiasts can search for nephrite jade, jasper, and turritella agate. Waterways like Sweetwater and Wind Rivers are known for quartz and agate deposits. Joining a local rockhounding group is recommended as there is no specific mine.

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2. Doc’s Rocks Gem Mine, Blowing Rock, North Carolina

This center offers tours for gold prospecting and gemstone collecting, featuring minerals like topaz, moonstone, ruby, and sapphire. Visitors can turn their finds into jewelry.

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3. Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine, Philipsburg, Montana

Montana’s largest sapphire mine allows all ages to sluice for sapphires, rubies, and moonstones. The downtown Philipsburg site offers an indoor sapphire washing area and a jewelry shop.

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4. Emerald Hollow Mine, Hiddenite, North Carolina

Renowned for its rare hiddenite gem, this mine allows visitors to prospect by purchasing buckets of earth, digging in the pit mine, or exploring the scenic mountain creek.

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5. Spokane Bar Sapphire Mine, Helena, Montana

Located in the Missouri River area, visitors can sluice for sapphires from ancient river deposits or buy bags of concentrated gravel for on-site exploration.

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6. Benitoite Mining Company, Coalinga, California

Known for benitoite, visitors can hunt for these blue crystals alongside other minerals with guidance from experienced miners. The outdoor screening field offers a hands-on mining experience.

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7. Rainbow Ridge Opal Mine, Virgin Valley, Nevada

Open for summer digs, the mine offers 'tailings digging' for beginners and 'virgin ground loads' for experienced rockhounds. It’s a historic site with a long tradition of opal prospecting.

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8. Spectrum Sunstone Mine, Plush, Oregon

Guests can dig for the reddish-orange sunstone in Warner Valley, exploring unprocessed ore or engaging in high-grade pit digging. The site offers cabins and tipis for overnight stays.