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14 Common Rocks & Minerals You Can Find in Georgia

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When visiting Georgia, rockhounds are able to bring home more than just delicious peaches and peanuts; the Peach State possesses a diverse collection of rocks and minerals, making it a great stop for rockhounding enthusiasts. Write down some of these common rocks and minerals to look for, as well as their locations, as you explore this southern state.

During your adventures in the Empire State of the South, some common rocks and minerals to search for include:

  • sandstone,
  • marble,
  • limestone,
  • tektite,
  • agate,
  • chert,
  • slate,
  • staurolite,
  • quartz,
  • garnet,
  • tourmaline,
  • gold,
  • calcite,
  • and aquamarine.

Although Georgia isn’t the largest U.S. state, trying to find a specific rock or mineral in such a large area is like trying to find a needle in a haystack, unless you know where to look. Keep this guide of common rocks, minerals, and locations nearby so that you can have a successful rockhounding trip in the Peach State.

Common Rocks and Minerals in Georgia
Common Rocks and Minerals in Georgia

If you are interested in checking out the best rockhounding tools you can find them by clicking here (Amazon link).

What Rocks Are Found in Georgia

In the valleys and forests of Georgia, some common rocks you might find are:

Sandstone

Sandstone
Sandstone
LocationGPS Coordinates
Lookout Mountain34.970299, -85.363259
Sand Mountain34.950308, -85.547425
Lafayette34.729023, -85.280925
Taylor Ridge34.446660, -85.316048
Providence Canyon State Park (surrounding areas)32.068701, -84.914186
Chattahoochee Forest (surrounding areas)34.823272, -84.163291
Where to Find Sandstone in Georgia

Sedimentary rocks are the most common types of rocks that exist in Georgia, so it makes sense that this state contains a fair amount of sandstone.

Most of the sandstones in this southern state are from the Precambrian and Paleozoic ages, which means they are millions of years old.

Certain types of Georgia sandstone, such as the sandstones from Lookout Mountain and Sand Mountain, are selected for architectural purposes since they are of high quality. 

While sandstone is plentiful in southern Georgia, some specific places you can find this stone are Lookout Mountain, Sand Mountain, and Taylor Ridge.

You can also find sandstone in the areas near the Valley and Ridge section of the state, which is near the Alabama and Tennessee border.

Marble

Marble
Marble
LocationGPS Coordinates
Tate34.418035, -84.383045
Pickens County34.471842, -84.476219
Jasper34.468148, -84.440660
Dahlonega34.519914, -83.989252
Newton County33.553895, -83.888978
Cherokee County34.255888, -84.433707
Where to Find Marble in Georgia

Did you know that marble is almost as famous as peaches in Georgia? Not only does the Peach State contain almost every type of marble that exists in the U.S., but the marble itself is of the highest quality.

As a matter of fact, some of the most famous U.S. landmarks were built with Georgia marble, including the Lincoln Memorial and the twenty-four columns on the east front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

If you want to pick up some of Georgia’s famous marble, Tate is the place to be. Some other areas to look at include Cherokee County and Pickens County.

TIP: There are about 23 states in the U.S. where marble can be found. Check out the best ones in the article below:
Where to Find Marble: Best Environments & Locations (USA)

Limestone

Limestone
Limestone
LocationGPS Coordinates
Houston County32.478001, -83.625723
Wilkes County33.770798, -82.709382
Rockmart33.990152, -85.050087
Polk County33.981612, -85.143471
Clinchfield32.412688, -83.638279
Gore34.465479, -85.268846
Where to Find Limestone in Georgia

Any rockhound who’s interested in fossil-rich limestone should stop by Georgia, a state known for its many types of fossil-rich limestones. Some common types of limestone you can find include Ocala, Tivola, and Conasauga limestones, all of which are millions of years old and contain small fossils.

Houston County is well-known for its limestone, but rockhounds can also visit Polk County or Wilkes County for this rock.

Tektite

Tektite
Tektite
LocationGPS Coordinates
Empire32.340225, -83.296056
Jay Bird Springs32.132775, -83.003922
Dodge County32.177164, -83.147633
Bleckley County32.500655, -83.309627
Bulloch County32.375223, -81.729592
Toombs County32.131544, -82.329788
Osierfield31.665854, -83.115898
Where to Find Tektite in Georgia

One of the most interesting rocks that Georgia has isn’t native to Earth; it’s actually from space! Tektite forms when a meteorite falls onto the earth, and the resulting heat and force melt the rocks, which creates tektite after it cools.

Tektite has a glassy appearance that’s similar to obsidian, and it comes in all shapes and sizes. A tektite from Georgia is called a Georgiainite, and it displays a green, brown, or black hue when exposed to light.

To find tektites in Georgia, explore near Empire and Dodge County, two areas that are known for their tektites.

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.

Agate

Agate
Agate
LocationGPS Coordinates
Chattahoochee River32.372520, -84.973926
Kingston34.230437, -84.941321
Etowah River34.191242, -84.954335
Summerville34.474764, -85.333042
Clarksville34.604955, -83.540245
Savannah River32.192772, -81.157323
Where to Find Agate in Georgia

Almost every rockhound who visits the Peach State returns home with handfuls of agate. Agates of all colors are plentiful in Georgia, especially near the Chattahoochee River. Banded agates, lace agates, and even thundereggs exist in this state, so you never quite know what you’ll find.

Looking for agates in the Peach State? Check out the Chattahoochee River, the Etowah River, and the Savannah River for this colorful rock.

TIP: Jasper and agate are natural chemical compounds that are debated in science. Find out the main differences and similarities in the article below:
Jasper vs. Agate: Crucial Differences (Are They Same?)

Chert

Chert
Chert
LocationGPS Coordinates
Flint Ridge32.649205, -85.211693
Etowah River34.191242, -84.954335
Chattahoochee River32.372520, -84.973926
Withlacoochee River30.845363, -83.343383
Flint River33.552822, -84.383329
Savannah32.071704, -81.078573
Where to Find Chert in Georgia

Although there are a couple of different types of chert in Georgia, the most common one is flint. High-quality flint that’s grey or black in color exists in Northern Georgia, and it’s a popular choice for rockhounds who craft arrowheads, ax heads, and other sharp tools.

Since the 1800s, Georgia residents have mined flint from Flint Ridge because of its excellent quality, and even though Flint Ridge is the most popular place to go, there are a few other sites around the state that are worth searching.

Another type of Georgia chert that deserves a mention is Coastal Plains Chert, which is known for its butterscotch color. This type of chert is often found near the Flint River, so if you are a fan of the famous butterscotch chert, then that’s the place to go.

As mentioned, the first place most rockhounds visit for flint in Georgia is Flint Ridge, but the Etowah River and the Chattahoochee River are also great providers of flint and other types of chert, including Coastal Plains Chert.

Slate

Slate
Slate
LocationGPS Coordinates
Rockmart34.005664, -85.051882
Cartersville34.153894, -84.795242
Gadsden County34.000512, -85.999534
Madison County33.598954, -83.480787
Savannah River32.192772, -81.157323
Chatham County32.179886, -81.165111
Where to Find Slate in Georgia

Surprisingly, slate is almost as famous as marble in Georgia, especially Rockmart slate. Rockmart slate has been used for landscaping and building all around the world, and it forms in folds near Rockmart, Georgia.

Currently, there’s only one active slate quarry in Georgia, and they have been mining Rockmart slate since the 1850s.

As you would expect, you can find Rockmart slate in Rockmart, Georgia, but there are other places to find slate in this state, including Cartersville and Gadsden County.

TIP: You can cut rocks with wet tile saws or lapidary saws fitted with diamond blades. Check out the best saws for cutting rocks in the article below:
What Is The Best Saw For Cutting Rocks? Try These 3 Saws

What Minerals Are Found in Georgia

After rockhounding in Georgia, you are sure to return with handfuls of shiny minerals, such as:

Staurolite

Staurolite
Staurolite
LocationGPS Coordinates
Sharp Mountain34.437524, -84.501531
Gilmer County34.639616, -84.525553
Turkey Hill34.489679, -83.987890
Bluff Creek34.347222, -84.455111
Fannin County34.875471, -84.285000
Cherokee County34.242834, -84.450873
Windy Ridge34.925944, -84.289667
Where to Find Staurolite in Georgia

In 1976, staurolite was nominated as the state mineral of Georgia, so it makes sense that it’s one of the most common minerals found in the state.

Known for its unique cross-like shape, staurolite is usually embedded in the sedimentary rocks of Georgia, and it can be difficult to remove without damaging its shape.

One aspect of Georgia’s staurolite that makes it special is that the shape of staurolite in this state can form an “X” or a “T” shape instead of the usual cross.

Luckily, finding staurolite in Georgia is easy if you know where to look, and some of the top locations include Sharp Mountain, Turkey Hill, and Windy Ridge.

Quartz

Quartz
Quartz
LocationGPS Coordinates
Monroe33.822826, -83.719696
Graves Mountain33.741122, -82.524426
Hogg Mine32.938321, -85.019487
Coldwater Creek34.178224, -82.732998
Lake Sinclair33.178432, -83.248914
Hurricane Creek34.515820, -84.070134
Where to Find Quartz in Georgia

Who doesn’t love to add another shiny piece of quartz to their collection? Some common types of quartz that occur in Georgia are clear crystal, amethyst, and rutile. If you are on the hunt for these types of crystals, look no further than Georgia, a state that nominated quartz as its state gem.

If you want to find clear quartz crystals, Monroe is your best bet. However, for amethyst and rutile, Graves Mountain should be your go-to location.

TIP: There are numerous fake quartz crystals you can come across in the market, even if quartz is the most widespread mineral. Find out more in the article below:
Real vs. Fake Quartz: Focus on These 12 Key Differences

Garnet

Garnet
Garnet
LocationGPS Coordinates
Hogg Mine32.938321, -85.019487
Fayetteville33.448228, -84.511079
Garnet Hill33.883411, -84.798070
Chatuge Lake34.973656, -83.815066
Turkey Hill34.489679, -83.987890
Alec Mountain34.668828, -83.596340
Cherokee County34.242834, -84.450873
Where to Find Garnet in Georgia

In the Peach State, there are two types of garnets that are popular among rockhounds. The first is the famous almandine garnet, which is prized for its deep red color. The second is the pyrope garnet, which is a brighter shade of red than the almandine garnet.

Garnets can come in all shapes and sizes; an impressive 5-pound garnet was found near Fayetteville in Georgia, but this garnet was an exception. Usually, the stones will be much smaller in size, and many of them are gem quality.

Hogg Mine, Garnet Hill, and Turkey Hill are some great rockhounding sites if you want to add quality garnets to your collection. 

Tourmaline

Tourmaline
Tourmaline
LocationGPS Coordinates
Hogg Mine32.938321, -85.019487
Walton County33.779254, -83.688459
Centerville32.638525, -83.695903
Lamar County33.075108, -84.137687
Turkey Hill34.489679, -83.987890
Spalding County33.280232, -84.313127
Where to Find Tourmaline in Georgia

While there is plenty of tourmaline in Georgia, it is rare to find gem-grade pieces. The majority of tourmaline in this state is black schorl, and even though it’s an interesting mineral, it’s not on the same level as its gem-grade relatives.

Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible to find gem-grade tourmalines in this state, such as green and blue tourmalines, but they are only located in specific areas.

Hogg Mine and Turkey Hill are excellent sources of tourmaline, and you can also check the areas in Walton County, Lamar County, and Spalding County for this colorful mineral.

TIP: There is a good chance that you have collected a specimen with radioactivity while out rockhounding without even knowing it. Check out the common radioactive rocks in the article below:
What are Radioactive Minerals? 6 Common Radioactive Rocks

Gold

Gold
Gold
LocationGPS Coordinates
Etowah River34.191242, -84.954335
Chattahoochee River32.372520, -84.973926
Dahlonega (creeks and washes)34.519047, -83.989771
Little River34.109067, -84.415300
Cleveland (creeks and washes)34.586680, -83.757818
Chestatee River34.497754, -83.983450
Little Tallapoosa River33.726454, -84.985305
Where to Find Gold in Georgia

It’s every rockhound’s dream to find a gold nugget, and in Georgia, you can make that dream a reality.

Gold flakes and nuggets are abundant in the streams and rivers of Georgia, and fortunately, there are no special permits, fees, or permissions necessary to pan in this state (unless you are on privately owned land). 

In the Peach State, gold is regularly retrieved from the Etowah River, Chattahoochee River, Little River, and the Little Tallapoosa River.

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

Calcite

Calcite
Calcite
LocationGPS Coordinates
Graysville34.976252, -85.141212
Lithonia33.713094, -84.103154
Pickens County34.423995, -84.355369
Black Marble Quarry34.506777, -84.723763
Ledbetter Quarry34.290887, -85.205609
Gordon County34.501127, -84.848180
Where to Find Calcite in Georgia

Where there is marble in Georgia, calcite is usually somewhere nearby. Calcite specimens from this state are typically clear or white in color, but some pieces have hints of other colors, such as pink.

If you are searching for industrial calcite, it exists all over the state, but if you are on the hunt for collection-grade calcite, you will need to look in specific counties and locations, which are mentioned below.

For collection-grade calcite, visit Graysville, Lithonia, and Pickens County. You can also check out the surrounding areas near marble quarries, such as Black Marble Quarry and Ledbetter Quarry.

TIP: Calcite comes in various crystal habits and colors, resulting in a wide range of varieties with different values. Find out more about the value of calcite in the article below:
Calcite Value: Main Factors & Prices for Different Units

Aquamarine

Aquamarine
Aquamarine
LocationGPS Coordinates
Graves Mountain33.741122, -82.524426
Hogg Mine32.938321, -85.019487
Banks County34.316722, -83.531831
LaGrange33.007584, -85.068535
Pickens County34.423995, -84.355369
Broad River34.029211, -82.947105
White County34.619396, -83.776765
Where to Find Aquamarine in Georgia

Georgia aquamarine comes in all shades of blue, and sometimes it appears almost clear. The most common color for Georgia aquamarines is the popular light blue, and it’s found all over the state.

Fortunately, most of the aquamarines found in Georgia are gem-grade and can be used for jewelry and collections.

Graves Mountain and Hogg Mine are two of the best rockhounding locations for aquamarine, but people also visit Banks County, Pickens County, and White County for this colorful mineral.

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):

FAQ About Common Rocks & Minerals in Georgia

With gold, diamonds, sapphires, serpentine, and more, Georgia has almost everything a rockhound could want, as you’ll discover in these FAQs.

What Rare Rocks Can You Find in Georgia

In the Peach State, some rare rocks you can find include agate, jasper, serpentine, oolite, and tektite. Interestingly, tektite is not native to this earth, and it forms from meteorites.

When meteorites fall from the sky and crash into land, the resulting heat and pressure create a type of glassy rock that resembles obsidian.

A specific type of tektite called a Georgiaite, is one of the rarest tektite glasses found on earth, and it exists right here in Georgia. While the most common color for a Georgiaite is black, it can display green or brown colors.

Fortunately, agate, jasper, and serpentine are found all over the state, but if you want to collect tektites, it’s best to search near the Coastal Plain area since that’s where the majority of specimens are found.

What Rare Minerals Can You Find in Georgia

Any rockhound who enjoys collecting rare minerals and precious gems will be happy to know that Georgia is full of them, and some of the most popular ones include ruby, sapphire, gold, emerald, garnet, moonstone, topaz, peridot, aquamarine, and tourmaline.

These gemstones might not be as common as the rocks and minerals listed above, but you can increase your odds of finding them by visiting areas that are known for their gem production, such as Hogg Mine, Turkey Hill, and Graves Mountain.

What is the Most Famous Rock or Mineral Found in Georgia

Staurolite, also known as “fairy crosses,” “fairy stones,” or “baptismal stones,” is the most famous mineral found in Georgia.

Due to its unique cross shape, staurolite has always been a popular mineral among collectors, but Georgia staurolites are especially rare because they can take on original shapes. Occasionally, rockhounds will find Georgia staurolite with a “T” or “X” shape instead of the usual cross.

To find staurolite in the Peach State, look near Sharp Mountain, Cherokee County, and Windy Ridge. Take a look at the section on staurolite listed above for more locations and their coordinates.

BTW: If you are looking for the best UV light for rockhounding, find out my picks below (Amazon links):

Conclusion

When you visit Georgia, you’ll be able to bring home much more than just peaches, peanuts, and pecan pie.

Rare rocks and minerals abound in this southern state, so you are sure to have a fun and successful rockhounding journey. Tektite, aquamarine, staurolite, marble, gold, tourmaline, and more await you in Georgia, so don’t hesitate to plan a rockhounding trip to the Peach State!

TIP: Georgia is an excellent state to rockhound since America’s major gold rush. Check out the complete guide on the best rockhounding spots in Georgia in the article below:
Best Rockhounding Sites in Georgia & What You Can Find