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Rock collectors will find the state of Indiana to be among the best rockhounding places in the United States due to its diversity in minerals, crystals, gemstones, rocks, and even some fossils!
The best places to rockhound are in the central and southern parts of Indiana state, in gravel streams. You can find here gold, diamonds, sapphire, amethyst, rose quartz, jasper, agates, geodes, crystals, and more! Across Indiana, glacial drifts, quarries, and mining dumps are available for gem hunters.
But, all of Indiana is worth the trip, as you can find so many things if you know where to look for them! Let’s see exactly where you can rockhound in Indiana and what you can find.
If you are interested in checking out the best books about rockhounding in Indiana you can find it by clicking here (Amazon link).
Where to Go Rock Hunting in Indiana? Best Sites
The best rockhounding sites in Indiana are Salt Creek, Morgan County, Lawrence County, Parke County, Trevlac, Erie, Huntington, Fort Wayne, Brown County, Indianapolis, Maumee River, Bloomington, Big Pine Creek, Buddha, Bedford, or Heltonville among many others.
Let’s take some of these best locations for rockhounding and see what exactly you can find in them!
Morgan County is a beautiful greeny area of Indiana, where you can find plenty of various minerals, rocks, and crystals.
It is located in the middle of the state, and among the most popular things you can find are high-quality quartz crystals, corundum, topaz, and in some cases, even diamonds. When visiting the county, search for these items in the regional stream gravels.
The Maumee River near Fort Wayne, in Northern Indiana, is among the best places to rockhound for gemstones, minerals, and crystals.
When visiting this river, focus on the gravels that are closer to Fort Wayne. You can find agates, fossilized corals, jasper, and even petrified wood.
Brown County is among the best counties for gem hunters in Central Indiana. The glacial drifts and area gravels have revealed numerous times corundum, quartz, and diamond specimens.
The north road cut of the Brown County State Park entrance is a popular spot for various types of geodes.
For example, goethite geodes, marcasite geodes, aragonite geodes, and even geodes with quartz crystals in them have been unearthed, making this spot among the best for searching geodes in Indiana.
Speaking of geodes, another great spot to find them is in Southern Indiana, in Lawrence County. All the regional streams and gravels have revealed various types of geodes over the years.
Quartz geodes, calcite geodes, sphalerite geodes, limonite geodes, celestite geodes, and fluorite geodes, among many others, were discovered.
Rockhounding in Northern Indiana
Northern Indiana isn’t as rich as Southern or Central Indiana when it comes to rockhounding sites or when speaking about the diversity of the things you can find.
However, it is a strong contender, as you can find geodes, agates, jasper, calcite crystals, pyrite, quartz, dolomite, marcasite, sphalerite, or fossilized corals and petrified wood in some areas.
The best places to rockhound in Northern Indiana include Fort Wayne, and especially the Maumee River near it, the quarries near Longasport, the outcrops and quarries near Huntington, the area stream gravels and outcrops of Erie, or the quarries near Bluffton.
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):
- Smithsonian Handbooks: Rocks & Minerals
- Gemstone & Crystal Properties (Quick Study Home)
- Ultimate Explorer Field Guide: Rocks and Minerals (National Geographic Kids)
What Types of Rocks Are Found in Indiana?
Sedimentary rocks completely dominate the state of Indiana; however, you can still find some cool ones to collect. Among the rocks you can find in Indiana are agates, flint, limestone, Oolitic limestone, travertine, chert, geodes, or alabaster, among others.
In this state, the geodes truly shine in diversity since they are filled with various minerals, such as goethite, limonite, marcasite, aragonite, quartz crystals, and others.
|Agates||Fort Wayne, Maumee River|
|Limestone||Oolitic, Bloomington, Bedford|
|Chert||Lawrence County, The Lost River Chert Bed, Harrison County|
You can find agates in Indiana, primarily in its northern parts. Some of the most significant locations in Indiana to find agates are Fort Wayne, in the area of farms and fields, or you can try your luck near the Maumee River, primarily in the gravels nearest to Fort Wayne.
When it comes to finding flint in Indiana, it can also be found in the northern parts of the state and other regions.
The best place to find flint in Indiana, though, is at the Wyandotte Caves, where calcite, alabaster, and epsomite are also present; however, no collecting is allowed.
Indiana is the limestone capital of the world due to its limestone quarries present throughout the state; however, limestone is most abundant in the south-central parts, between the areas of Bloomington and Bedford.
Known as Salem Limestone, Indiana’s limestone was used to construct the Pentagon and Empire State Building. A different form of limestone, known as oolitic limestone, can be found in the town of Oolitic, near Bedford.
When it comes to finding chert in Indiana, there are eleven predominant types, dating back to the Silurian, Devonian, Mississippian, and even Pennsylvanian ages.
Indiana’s most famous chert types are Attica, known as Indiana Green, the Indiana Hornstone, found in Harrison County, and the Harrodsburg.
Some chert specimens are located in the western parts of the state or even south of Lawrence County, near the Lost River Chert Bed.
TIP: Agates are really beautiful rocks and even more beautiful when you cut and polish them. Find out how to do it in the article below:
How to Cut and Polish Agates? Follow These Simple Steps
What Gemstones Can Be Found in Indiana?
The state of Indiana has a couple of beautiful and rare gemstones that you might be able to find, such as amethyst, rose quartz, topaz, jasper, moonstone, or even brown sapphire, among others. The central and southern parts of Indiana are the best to find gemstones in the northern regions.
|Amethyst||Indianapolis, Williams Creek|
|Rose Quartz||Brown County, Morgan County, Indianapolis|
|Jasper||Fort Wayne, Maumee River|
|Topaz||Brown County, Morgan County|
Amethyst is tough to find in the state of Indiana; however, there is one place worth searching, namely, Williams Creek, north of Indianapolis.
This is the best place to find amethyst in the state, and you can begin your search at the gravel banks and bed of Williams Creek.
Rose quartz, although rare, is found in the central parts of Indiana, such as Brown County, Morgan County, or Indianapolis.
You can try your luck by searching the glacial drifts and area gravels near Brown County or the regional streams of Morgan County to find rose quartz. Another area worth exploring is Williams Creek, near Indianapolis.
Recommendation box: All tools and equipment you need for rockhounding and rock identification* (Amazon links):
1. Estwing Rock Hammer – Light, comfortable, and extremely durable hammer.
2. Estwing Geologist Pick – Classic and the most trusted paleo pick in the world.
3. Finder 12-Inch Chisels – Heavy-duty chisels set with hand protection.
4. Mini Handle Shovel – Great tool for digging deep in the dirt.
5 Ironclad Utility Work Gloves – Breathable but they also protect the areas requiring them most.
6. 3M Safety Glasses – Comfortable and efficient goggles for rockhounding.
7. Convoy 8+ UV Light – 365nm UV LED flashlight with a patented glass filter.
8. Wesley’s Jewelers Loupe – High magnification options (30X and 60X) with carrying case.
9. Mohs Hardness Kit – A specially designed kit for rockhounds
*All recommended products are personally tested and regularly used by experts from this website.
What Minerals Are Found in Indiana?
Though Indiana is filled with sedimentary rocks, plenty of minerals can be found here. Some of the most popular minerals you can find in Indiana are diamonds, gold, pyrite, sphalerite, celestite, fluorite, chalcopyrite, barite, siderite, goethite, hydromagnesite, epsomite, or gypsum.
|Diamonds||Brown County, Morgan County,|
|Gold||Greenhorn Creek, Salt Creek, Monroe County|
|Pyrite||Logansport, Huntington, Bluffton, Parke County, Bicknell|
|Fluorite||Elizabethtown, Bloomington, Norristown, Coryden, Lawrence County|
If you want to find diamonds in the state of Indiana, then you should head towards its central regions.
Morgan County, and Brown County, are among the only places in Indiana where diamonds were found, and this is your best bet.
Head towards Morgand and Brown counties, and search for diamonds in the glacial drifts and all the regional streams. The largest diamond was discovered in Brown County, at 4 carats.
TIP: Do you know how to identify real and fake fluorites? You can find fake fluorites mainly on online e-shops. Find out how to know the difference between real and fake fluorites in the article below:
Real vs. Fake Fluorite: Focus on These 5 Differences
What Crystal Can You Find in Indiana?
Indiana is not only filled with various minerals that you can find, but it has a great diversity in its crystal deposits. You can find in Indiana crystals such as quartz, corundum, calcite crystals, selenite, dolomite pink crystals, apatite, marcasite, aragonite, barite crystals, or strontianite.
|Quartz Crystals||Morgan County, Salt Creek, Brown County, Logansport|
|Calcite Crystals||Logansport, Lawrence County, Harrodsburg|
|Barite Crystals||Georgia, Big Pine Creek, Spencer|
|Corundum||Morgan County, Brown County,|
Some of the most beautiful crystals that you can find in Indiana are barite crystals or calcite crystals. To find barite crystals, head towards Georgia and search for them in the outcrops and around the quarries.
When it comes to calcite crystals, you must explore the area of quarries near Logansport. To find dolomite pink crystals in Indiana, search the area mines near Coryden.
Where to Find Gold in Indiana?
The best places to find gold in Indiana are usually the placer deposits in Indiana’s streams and creeks. Some of the best places to find gold include the creeks in Monroe County, such as Sycamore, Indian, and Gold creeks, or the areas between Brown County and Sweetwater Lake.
Is There Gold in Indiana Rivers?
Both pickers and gold nuggets have been uncovered in the crevices and cracks in the bedrock of creeks, which are connected to the tributaries from Sweetwater Lake. A good example is Salt Creek, in Brown County, or Monroe County, where plenty of creeks are present.
Can You Find Gold in Indiana Creeks?
The best creeks to find gold in Indiana include Salt Creek, in Brown County, Indiana Creek, Gold Creek, and Sycamore Creek, in Monroe County, Greenhorn Creek in Morgan County, Highland Creek in Johnson County, Falls Creek in Warren County, or the Nolands Fork Creek in Wayne County.
TIP: Gold is often found in Indiana Creeks. Do you know what other types of rocks can be found in creeks? Check out the most common rocks you can find in the creeks in the article below:
Seven Most Common Types of Rocks Found in Creeks
What Fossils Can You Find in Indiana?
Various fossils can be found in Indiana, dating back to the Devonian and Upper Mississippian periods. The southern parts of the state contain marine fossils, such as crinoids and bryozoans, plenty of which are found at Clarksville, at the Falls of the Ohio State Park.
Brachiopods, corals, cephalopods, crinoids, bryozoans, conodonts, gastropods, trilobites, sponges, and shark teeth can be found in Jefferson County, at the limestone formations.
Sandstone, shale, and limestone deposits in Crawford County often host various fossils, where horn corals, blastoids, conularids, shark teeth, and pelecypods. The area near Fort Wayne, at the Maumee River, in northern Indiana, is filled with fossilized corals and petrified wood.
Fossilized wood is also present in central Indiana, at the Big Pine Creek, west of Rainsville. The area road cuts and outcrops near Weisburg in Southern Indiana are home to various trilobite fossils.
FAQ About Rockhounding in Indiana
Still did not find the answer to your answers about rockhounding in Tennessee? Find frequently asked questions in the section below:
Can You Take Rocks from Creeks in Indiana?
If you want to take rocks from creeks in Indiana, you need permission first, and you need a written license under IC 14-28-1 and a notice from the department. However, you can ignore these rules if you take less than twenty-five cubic yards of creek rock within one calendar year from the parcel.
What is Indiana’s State Rock?
The official state rock of Indiana is the Salem Limestone, since 1971. It is a sedimentary rock that dominates the terrain of Indiana. Limestone is made out of the shells and remains of tiny animals. Thus it is primarily formed out of the mineral calcium.
What is the State Gemstone of Indiana?
Indiana is among the few states in the U.S. without an officially designated gemstone. This comes as no surprise, as gemstones are quite rare in Indiana. For example, sapphire is found in only one location, Highland Creek, gold is sparse, and diamonds were uncovered in only two areas in the state.
What is Indiana’s State Fossil?
Indiana has an unofficially designated state fossil, namely, the crinoid. Crinoid fossils are found in abundance in the southern parts of the state, in the Mississippian and Ordovician formations. It is also encountered in the limestone formations located in Jefferson and Crawford counties.
Though Indiana might not be a state rich in gemstones, it has its fair share of minerals, crystals, fossils, and even some cool rocks that you can collect.
Before heading out to some of the locations mentioned here, always be sure to check the state’s regulations when it comes to gem hunting.
TIP: Are you looking for tips on what to buy for your loved passionate rock seekers? Find out the best and not-so-common tips on gifts for rockhounds in the article below:
13 Best Gifts for Rockhounds You Should Buy