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How and Where to Find Moonstone? The Ultimate Guide

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Moonstones are found in mountains and hills all over the world, so there are bound to be some not too far from you, no matter which region you live in. To search for them takes a little care and some geological knowledge, but after reading this, you’ll have both.

Plan your search for a place in an older mountain range. Narrowing down your selection, look at mining databases and satellite images to find a pegmatite deposit. Search gently, without a hammer or chisel, looking near the chalky, white, or translucent colored stone, using water to wash unrecognizable minerals.

Have you dreamed of uncovering a moonstone hidden in a sandy beach or a rocky mountainside? Whether it’s the gem-rich mines of Sri Lanka, the beaches of California, or the neighborhood next door, the right search techniques will guide your quest. Understanding how moonstones form gives us clues about where to look.

Ready to start your treasure hunt? Let’s dive into search strategies for different locations. And remember, if you haven’t checked out the first article in this series about moonstone properties, head back there for valuable insights!

How and Where to Find Moonstone
How and Where to Find Moonstone

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Where to Find a Moonstone

Though formed from the common mineral feldspar, moonstones possess a magical shimmer that makes them sought-after treasures. Want to join the hunt? Your search could take you across the globe!

Currently, the richest moonstone sources include Myanmar’s Mandalay region, Sri Lanka, India’s Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu regions, and specific locations in the Austrian Alps. Other promising locations include Brazil, China’s Xinjiang region, Lapland in Finland, Norway, Mexico’s Chihuahua, Nanto City Japan, and Australia.

Below are some of the best locations for finding moonstones.

Country Best Locations
AustraliaHartz Range, Northern TerritoryAlcoota Station, Northern Territory
AustriaMiesling Valley, SpitzHirschegg-Pack, StyriaSchwaz District, TyrolUrfahr, Linz
ChinaKashi Prefecture, Xinjiang
FinlandPuskuoja, Lapland
IndiaHazaribagh District, JharkhandTiruppur District, Tamil Nadu
JapanHitokuidani, Toyama Prefecture
MexicoSaucillo Municipality, Chihuahua
MyanmarMogok ValleyMarble ArkPein-PyitBernardmyoChaung-gyiKyatpyin North
NorwayIveland, AgderUla, Larvik, Vestfold
PolandLomnica, Jelenia Gora CountyGmina Janowice Wielkie
Best locations for finding moonstones in the world

If you’re lucky enough to explore any of the regions listed, always verify that rockhounding is legal in your specific location. Don’t be discouraged by discontinued mines – they often still hold hidden treasures! To maximize your chances, research the area’s geology to narrow your search.

Speaking of legendary moonstone sources, Sri Lanka is renowned for its gems. These prized moonstones have a mesmerizing blue shimmer set within nearly transparent stones.

The world’s first recorded moonstone was found in Switzerland in the Alps, but few places there have proved economically feasible to have a mining operation – Austria the other side of the border has had more luck with that.

TIP: Moonstone is a quite popular gemstone because of its intriguing blue sheen and modest price. Find out how to spot fake moonstones in the article below:
Real vs. Fake Moonstone: Focus on These 8 Differences

Where to Find a Moonstone in the United States

You don’t have to look that far if you’re a rockhound looking for moonstone for your collection. In that way, and almost every way actually, you have an advantage over gem-mining companies! Because economics doesn’t factor in! 

Always start with the mountains. In the Appalachian category, you’ll have the best luck in Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia. The Rocky Mountains exhibit fewer options, but you can try out Colorado and New Mexico. Lastly, in California, there are more mistaken moonstones than real ones, but some have appeared in the Funeral Range in Inyo Co.

Below is a more complete list of which localities are good search candidates in the United States, sorted by state.

StateBest Locations
AlabamaCoosa County
CaliforniaFuneral Range, Inyo County
ColoradoBeckwith Range, Gunnison
Wolf Creek Pass, Mineral
ConnecticutDanbury, Fairfield County
GeorgiaBuford, Forsyth County
La Grange, Troupe County
IndianaMarion County
NebraskaEwing, Holt County
New MexicoRabb Canyon, Grant County
Jemez Mountains, Sandoval County
San Mateo District, Sierra County
North CarolinaBlankenship Prospect, Alexander
Goldsmith Mine, Democrat
Bandana, Michell County
Franklin, Macon County
Bryson City, Swain County
Balsam Mine, Yancey County
PennsylvaniaMineral Hill, Delaware County
Rhode IslandSouth Kingstown, Washington County
TennesseeSevier County
VirginiaAmelia, Amelia County
Winterham, Amelia County
Otter Hill, Bedford County
Hewlett, Hanover County
Rockbridge County
Nelson County
WisconsinWausau Intrusive Complex, Marathon County
Best locations for finding moonstones in the USA

Quick Tip: By clicking on the links in the table you will get opened to a full guide on what cool rocks and minerals are and where you can find them in each state.

The US may not be a major moonstone producer, but hidden treasures await the intrepid rockhound! Certain states like Virginia, North Carolina, and California occasionally yield these gems.

Arrive at your chosen location with a basic plan, but don’t underestimate the power of local knowledge. Chat with rock shop workers and fellow enthusiasts – they’ll be thrilled to share tips and celebrate your success!

Remember, always research local regulations to ensure rockhounding is permitted. And be cautious – other, more common types of feldspar are sometimes called ‘moonstone.’ A good guidebook can help you tell the difference.

TIP: So you already know where to find moonstone. But do you know how valuable they are? Don’t worry, I wrote a complete guide about the worth of moonstones. Check out this article below:
Are Moonstones Valuable Rocks? The Real Worth of Moonstones

Where to Find a Moonstone in Florida

Florida’s state gemstone, the moonstone, holds a unique place in history. You won’t find these gems naturally within the Sunshine State, but their shimmering beauty was chosen for a reason!

In 1970, fresh off the excitement of the Apollo 11 moon landing launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida lawmakers declared the moonstone a symbol of this incredible human achievement.

While ancient myths once linked moonstones to moonlight, they are very much an Earthly treasure. Still, the symbolism remains fitting for a state that played a key role in space exploration.

And hey, if a moonstone hunt inspires a road trip, Georgia’s gem-rich mountains might just be calling your name! Moonstone is Florida’s state gemstone for a reason quite unrelated to whether or not it naturally occurs there. 

Can you Find Moonstone on Moonstone Beach?

Moonstone Beach is located in San Luis Obispo, California, near the town Cambria. The tides at this beach have been fabled to bring moonstones and it is a popular place to go hounding for many minerals, including the coveted moonstone.

While Moonstone Beach “moonstones” have similar properties, they are not moonstones by chemical definition. They are chalcedony, typically confused with moonstone, which contains sodium instead of potassium, making it a type of microcrystalline quartz.  

In the previous article in this series, the difference between chalcedony and moonstone is explained. If you already have a rock from this locality and you want to be sure, put it under a microscope or powerful jeweler’s glass.

If you see fine crystals rather than fine layers as the building block for your stone, you’ll want to pack up and head to the mountains to find yourself a true, adularescent, gleaming moonstone.

TIP: If you are interested in the differences between moonstones and other rocks or you want to know how the moonstones are formed, check out this article below:
What Is Moonstone And How Is It Formed? Here Is the Answer

How to Find a Moonstone

Now that you know where to find those shimmering moonstones, let’s get you ready for the hunt! Don’t worry, that magical adularescence is within reach. Remember, moonstones are beautiful but delicate, so we’ll need a careful approach. Your first step is mastering the art of finding pegmatites, the rocky cradles where gem-quality moonstones often form. Once you’re on-site, it’s time for patient sifting, panning, and searching – always with good lighting to catch that subtle moonstone glow.

Finding pegmatites isn’t always easy, so let’s use some strategy. Begin by studying known moonstone locations – those mines we talked about earlier. Once you’ve pinpointed one on a map, it’s time for some virtual scouting. Switch to satellite view and compare the terrain around the mine with other areas. Look for similar rock formations and textures. Jot down a few promising spots to explore when you arrive.

When you do arrive, don’t underestimate the value of surveying the area. You’re looking for layered rock which is accessible, and of course especially looking for a rock with the translucent, clear, or milky white color of moonstone.

I’ve found that areas with a rock jutting out of the earth are a good indication, as well as small canyons and clefts.

BTW: Do you want to know more about rock and mineral identification? The books listed below are the best ones you can find on the internet (Amazon links):


Once you’ve decided on a pegmatite to search. Be gentle with the stone (don’t forget it’s easy to fracture) and don’t be afraid to grab lots of material, especially if you’re far from home.

It’s always easier to identify a mineral once it’s washed, you’re comfortably seated, and have some finer tools at your disposal. Happy hunting!

TIP: Moonstone is a popular type of stone to use for décor and jewelry pieces. Check out the complete guide on how to tumble moonstone in the article below:
Can You Tumble Moonstone? Try These 4 Simple Steps