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Best Rockhounding Sites in Georgia & What You Can Find

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Georgia is an excellent state to rockhound since America’s major gold rush. The state is well known for it’s granite deposits, many fossils and minerals, and great museums that exhibit amazing things. But where is Rockhound in Georgia, and what can you find? 

The Northern part of Georgia is among the best places for rockhounding. You can find staurolite, the state’s mineral, in Cherokee, Gilmer, Pickens, and Fannin counties. Clear quartz, Georgia’s gemstone, is abundant in some counties such as Monroe, Hancock, Burke, and DeKalb. The beautiful amethyst can be found in abundance in Wilkes County.

The coastal part of Georgia is rich in fossils and fragments of dinosaurs, as well as kaolin deposits. The state fossil is the shark tooth, and you can find Megalodon teeth around Tybee Island. Let’s find exactly where to rockhound in Georgia and what you can find!

Rockhounding in State of Georgia
Rockhounding in the State of Georgia

If you want to check out the best rockhounding tools, you can find them here (Amazon link).

Best Places for Rockhounding in the State of Georgia

Famous for its rich deposits of gemstones, minerals, and fossils, Georgia is an excellent rock-hounding enthusiast location. Let’s see some of the best places where you can find rocks.

Troup County

Located in the western part of Georgia, Troup County is home to the famous Hogg Mine, nestled in its seat, LaGrange. Whether you’re a seasoned rockhound or a beginner, Hogg Mine offers an ideal destination for exploring the world of gemstones and crystals.

Unearthing at Hogg Mine presents a genuine opportunity to uncover treasures beneath the earth’s surface. With each dig, the thrill of discovery awaits, as you never quite know what gem or crystal you might unearth. The possibilities are endless, from dazzling aquamarine crystals to majestic amethysts, making every visit to Hogg Mine an exciting adventure.

Among the treasures waiting to be found at Hogg Mine are rose quartz, black tourmaline, and beryl, adding to the excitement of the hunt. You’ll feel the excitement of discovering rare and valuable specimens with each find.

Troup County, situated within the Piedmont geological region of Georgia, boasts a landscape rich in igneous and metamorphic rocks. Schist, amphibolite, gneiss, and migmatite are typical minerals found in this area, providing ample opportunities for exploration and discovery.

Whether you’re drawn to the allure of gemstones or simply eager to go into the natural beauty of Georgia’s geological wonders, Troup County and the Hogg Mine offer an unforgettable experience for rockhounding enthusiasts of all levels.

Fannin County

Fannin County is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia, one of the few places where staurolite is naturally occurring. The state’s mineral, also known as Fairy Cross, attracts amateur geologists searching for the perfect specimen.

If you search for staurolite in this region, you must look for any visible metamorphic rocks such as marble, quartzite, slate, or gneiss. The staurolite crystals are usually embedded in larger rocks on cliffsides and mountain bases. 

Rockhounds can find other exciting treasures in Fannin County besides the much-coveted staurolite. Among these natural wonders is the almandine garnet. These fantastic stones can be found in alluvial deposits in Epworth, Fannin County.

Lumpkin County

Lumpkin County is where the most considerable quantities of gold were found, where the gold rush began in 1828. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Lumpkin County is part of the Georgia Gold Belt. 

The gold mined in this county was close to 24 karat purity, and it was found in saprolite (eroded rock) and mixed with quartz. Apart from gold, Lumpkin County is an attraction for rockhounds due to its quartz, granite, and diorite deposits. 

Now that we have discussed the best places for rockhounding in Georgia let’s see where you might find individual specimens such as gemstones, rocks, and minerals. First, we will speak about gemstones.

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 – This is a 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 Gemstones are found in Georgia?

What Gemstones, Rocks and Minerals are found in Georgia?
What Gemstones, Rocks, and Minerals are found in Georgia?

In Georgia, you can find a wide variety of gemstones such as amethyst, the state’s official gemstone, aventurine, black tourmaline, beryl, emeralds, citrine, moonstone, garnet, rose quartz, quartz, peridot, ruby, sapphires, and topaz.

Check out the table below to see what gemstones are found in Georgia and where.

AmethystJackson Crossroads mine, Cedar Ridge Farms mine
Black TourmalineHogg mine
QuartzJackson Crossroads mine, Hogg mine, graves Mountains
Almandine garnetBlue Ridge, Garnet Hill
Gemstones you can find in the State of Georgia

Now, let’s see what sedimentary rocks can be found in Georgia.

TIP: It’s challenging to differentiate between fake and real garnets without gemological equipment. Check out the main differences between real and fake garnets in the article below:
Real vs. Fake Garnet: Focus on These 6 Differences

What Sedimentary Rocks You Can Find in Georgia?

In Georgia, you can find various sedimentary rocks such as limestone, sandstone, and shale. 

The different layers of sediment often contain fossils and fragments of dinosaurs. Check out the table below to see what sedimentary rocks are found in Georgia and where.

Sedimentary RocksLocations
LimestoneBlue Ridge and Valley, Pulaski County
ShaleNorthwest Georgia
SandstoneGeorgia’s Coastal plain
Sedimentary rocks can be found in the State of Georgia

Now that we have discussed what sedimentary rocks are found in Georgia let’s see what metamorphic rocks are here.

What Metamorphic Rocks are found in Georgia?

Georgia is the place where Earth’s evolution is written in rocks. Some unique formations witnessed the Precambrian and now tell a geologic story of metamorphosis. 

Georgia’s most essential metamorphic rocks are marble, gneiss, schist, quartzite, phyllite, metal conglomerate, and slate. Let’s see where you can find some of these metamorphic rocks.

Metamorphic RocksLocations
GneissPiedmont region
MarblePickens County
SchistPiedmont region
Metamorphic rocks in the State of Georgia

TIP: Some of these rocks mentioned above can be really valuable. But do you know how to recognize valuable rocks and minerals? If not, check out this article with tips and explanations:
6 Signs That a Rock Is Valuable + Examples & Location Tips

What Igneous Rocks are found in Georgia?

Georgia’s most common igneous rocks are granite, diabase, and migmatite. Witnesses of this fantastic state’s troubled past, the igneous rocks constantly attract the rockhounds. Let’s see where these rocks can be found.

Igneous RocksLocations
GraniteNorth Georgia Mountains
DiabasePiedmont region
MigmatitePiedmont region
Igneous rocks can be found in the State of Georgia

Where Can I Find Fossils in Georgia?

Georgia is the perfect place for rockhounding, containing many rocks and fossils

Surprisingly enough, the state’s fossil is the shark teeth, which are common in many areas and can easily be found. You may also find marine fossils such as trilobites besides the ancient sharks’ teeth.

To find fossils, you must walk across creek beds or beaches from the southern part of the Peach State. Look after sedimentary rocks that come apart easily, and you will be able to find remains of ancient invertebrates.

As I mentioned in Georgia’s fossil, you should know that you can even find Megalodon shark teeth. All you need to do is to book a visit to Tybee Island or Sharks Tooth Beach.

TIP: The Peach State possesses a diverse collection of rocks and minerals, making it a great stop for rockhounding enthusiasts. Find out the complete guide in the article below:
14 Common Rocks & Minerals You Can Find in Georgia

Where to Find Gold in Georgia?

Dahlonega, nestled in Lumpkin County, Georgia, holds a significant place in American history as the epicenter of the gold rush in the United States. At one time, Georgia reigned as the largest gold-producing state in the nation.

Its exceptional purity sets Georgia’s gold apart, with assays often exceeding 23 karats, making it among the purest gold found on Earth. For those wondering where to find gold in Georgia, the answer lies in its rivers and creeks.

Gold is mined from seven major rivers in Georgia, including the Etowah, Little River, Chattahoochee, Tallapoosa, Chestatee, Tesnatee, and Nacoochee. Numerous creeks draining into these rivers, such as James Creek, Baggs, McClusky, and Calhoun, yield gold deposits.

Before setting out to pan for gold, clarifying the legalities is essential. Recreational gold panning is legal in certain streambeds and commercial gold mines in Georgia. However, strict regulations govern the activity to protect the environment. Panners are limited to using only a small shovel and a pan, ensuring minimal disturbance to nature’s delicate balance.

For those not inclined toward gold prospecting, Georgia offers another gem worth exploring: staurolite minerals. These distinctive crystals, often called “fairy crosses” due to their cruciform shape, can be found in various locations across the state.

Exploring Georgia’s natural treasures, whether seeking gold or staurolite minerals, promises an enriching and memorable experience for adventurers of all ages.

TIP: If you want to know more about gold prospecting in Georgia, check out the complete guide in the article below:
Gold Prospecting in Georgia: 7 Best Locations & Laws

Where to Find Staurolite in Georgia?

Staurolite has been Georgia’s official mineral since 1976 and is also an essential rock for rockhounds. 

Staurolite can be found in north-central Georgia. Cherokee, Fannin, Pickens, and Gilmer counties are the perfect destinations to collect little Fairy Crosses. 

But maybe you already own a piece of staurolite, and you are now interested in quartz, Georgia’s official gemstone. Let’s find out where you can find it.

Where to Find Quartz in Georgia?

Quartz was designated as the official gemstone of Georgia in 1976. The Peach State has many varieties of quartz, including amethyst, clear quartz, or rutile. 

Clear quartz can be found in several counties, such as DeKalb, Hancock, Burke, and Monroe, while amethyst is abundant in Wilkes County. 

If you are not impressed by these gemstones’ beauty, you can always rockhound for minerals that are also plentiful in Georgia. Let’s check where these can be found.

TIP: Quartz is often confused with feldspar. But if you know the main differences between these two rocks, you will never be confused again. Check out the article below and learn the difference:
Feldspar vs. Quartz: What’s the Difference? 5 Crucial Signs

What Minerals Can You Find in Georgia?

Georgia is also famous for mineral production, being a significant barite supplier of kaolin, dimension stone, and feldspar. This state is also a leader in producing iron oxide pigments and fuller earth. 

Other minerals widely used in construction are cement, crushed stone, common clay, sand and gravel, and mica. Check out the table below to see what minerals are found in Georgia.

Minerals Locations
KaolinThe northeast to the southeast band of deposits extends from Augusta to Columbus.
BariteCartersville Mining District
Fuller’s earthThomas County
Minerals you can find in the State of Georgia


The State of Georgia has plenty of amazing sites for rockhounding. You can find a lot of beautiful and unique rocks and minerals. Not only them but also interesting fossils and even gold today.

So, I hope you found this article helpful. Good luck with rock hunting in the State of Georgia. If you want to check out the best rockhounding tools, you can find them here (Amazon link).

TIP: It is a rockhounding time now! Do you have all the important equipment and tools? If not, check out my picks for all tools and equipment you need for rockhounding in the section below:
Recommended Rockhounding Tools and Equipment