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10 Common Rocks & Minerals You Can Find in New York

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Would you be surprised to discover that there are plenty of rocks and minerals in New York? While there might not be a lot in New York City, there are many fascinating rocks and minerals that exist in other areas of the Empire State, as you’ll find out in this guide.

The common rocks and minerals of New York include:

  • limestone,
  • brownstone,
  • granite,
  • serpentine,
  • harkimer diamond,
  • garnet,
  • celestine,
  • labradorite,
  • sphalerite,
  • and tourmaline.

From Herkimer Diamonds to dravite, rockhounds can pick up all sorts of unique rocks and minerals from the Empire State, as long as you know where to look. In this guide, we will cover what rocks and minerals you can expect to find and where to look for them in New York.

Common Rocks and Minerals in New York
Common Rocks and Minerals in New York

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 New York

While New York’s minerals usually steal the show, this state does possess plenty of rocks, such as:


LocationGPS Coordinates
Hudson Valley43.248164, -73.713931
Coeymans42.472280, -73.789414
Albany County42.647351, -73.812402
Philipstown41.476521, -73.944114
Broome42.534980, -74.263750
Kingston41.920785, -73.897134
Where to Find Limestone in New York

Wherever you go in New York, you’re highly likely to stumble across limestone. Limestone, typically found with dolostone, has been mined in New York for decades.

Usually, the limestone from this state is used for industrial purposes rather than architectural projects. As a matter of fact, New York limestone was the rock that workers used to make natural cement back in the 1850s.

Albany County is one of the best places in New York to find limestone. Another great area for limestone in the Empire State is the Hudson Valley, which follows the Hudson River from Winchester County to Albany County.


Brownstone (Brown Sandstone)
Brownstone (Brown Sandstone)
LocationGPS Coordinates
Ulster County42.038323, -74.491048
Delaware County42.109882, -74.936864
Broome County42.201188, -75.879534
Catskill Mountains42.008843, -74.382112
Slide Mountain41.997811, -74.383130
Olive41.964197, -74.279583
Where to Find Brownstone in New York

Brownstone is a type of sandstone that’s a popular choice for construction projects, and despite its name, this stone appears in many colors in New York. In addition to brown, New York brownstone can appear orange, red, or even blue in color. 

Ulster County, Delaware County, and Broome County have plenty of brownstone and even bluestone for rockhounds to collect.

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.


LocationGPS Coordinates
Westchester County41.204474, -73.882752
Yonkers40.918932, -73.904467
Washington County43.514542, -73.590400
Silver Lake42.696879, -78.020895
Putnam County41.334508, -73.934160
Scarsdale40.998377, -73.782288
Where to Find Granite in New York

Since the 1700s, granite quarries have thrived in New York. As a matter of fact, the granite industry often outperformed other stone industries in the state, such as marble or limestone. Additionally, granite is widespread in the Empire State, so you’ll have little to no problems finding it.

Westchester County, Washington County, and Putnam County all have a long history in the New York granite industry, so they are excellent places to search for this rock. 


LocationGPS Coordinates
Androvette Clay Pits40.534291, -74.241335
Buttermilk Falls42.416834, -76.521505
Oswagatchie River44.462279, -75.378836
High Rock Park40.582425, -74.122980
Clinton County44.687522, -73.555364
Keeseville44.506995, -73.477191
Where to Find Serpentine in New York

Serpentine, also called serpentinite, is a metamorphic rock that’s known for its gorgeous green coloring. Fortunately, rockhounds can pick up high-quality serpentine from New York, as long as you know where to look. 

Some of the best places to find serpentine in New York are the Androvette Clay Pits, Buttermilk Falls, and High Rock Park. The banks of the Oswagatchie River are also worth exploring for quality serpentine and other rocks.

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):

What Minerals Are Found in New York

There’s a long list of gems and minerals that rockhounds uncover in the Empire State, and the most common ones are:

Herkimer Diamond

Herkimer Diamond
Herkimer Diamond
LocationGPS Coordinates
Herkimer Diamond Mine43.128972, -74.977322
Diamond Acres Mine42.961969, -74.475252
Ace of Diamonds Mine43.131541, -74.975237
Little Nose Hill42.894155, -74.483841
Crystal Grove Diamond Mine43.049501, -74.636982
Herkimer43.020301, -74.971188
Where to Find Herkimer Diamond in New York

Without a doubt, the most popular find in New York is their state mineral, the Herkimer Diamond. Despite their name, these stones are not diamonds but are actually quartz crystals that have been doubly-terminated.

Because of their unique shapes, these stones are able to refract light in a manner similar to diamonds. Herkimer Diamonds are very rare, and New York is one of the few places in the U.S. where you can collect this prized mineral.

There are many places in Herkimer where you can collect Herkimer Diamonds, but the areas outside the mines are the best sites. Visit Herkimer Diamond Mine, Diamond Acres Mine, and Ace of Diamonds Mine.


LocationGPS Coordinates
Gore Mountain43.674775, -74.046500
Ruby Mountain43.746605, -74.104413
Garnet Hill43.711458, -74.106397
Oven Mountain43.650432, -73.977055
Humphrey Mountain43.634476, -74.237256
Adirondack Park44.541183, -74.649709
Where to Find Garnet in New York

Did you know that New York has the largest and hardest garnets in the world? Garnet became New York’s state gem in 1969 due to its abundance and impressive specimens discovered in the state.

In addition, New York contains the largest garnet mine in the world, Barton Mines located in the Adirondack Mountains. Although the majority of New York’s garnets are almandine and used for industrial purposes, some nice gem-quality stones do appear occasionally.

The mountains of New York are filled with garnets, especially near the Adirondack area. Explore Gore Mountain, Ruby Mountain, and Oven Mountain for some New York garnets.

TIP: Before cutting and polishing a garnet, you need to remove any remaining rock matrix and dirt. Check out the complete guide on cutting and polishing garnet in the article below:
How To Cut & Polish Garnets: Follow The 6 Simple Steps


LocationGPS Coordinates
Chittenango Falls42.978363, -75.841922
St. Lawrence County44.515568, -75.563994
Monroe County (Penfield Quarry)43.135151, -77.474649
Essex County44.165459, -73.647919
Balmat 44.248179, -75.394031
Champlain44.985665, -73.452938
Where to Find Celestine in New York

Celestine exists in both crystal and geode form in the Empire State, and stones from this state are typically high quality. Additionally, this light blue mineral occurs in multiple counties, so rockhounds have a high probability of finding some in this state.

Swing by Chittenango Falls, Balmat, or Champlain for celestine crystals or geodes from the Empire State. St. Lawrence County, Clinton County, and Essex County are also excellent locations for this mineral.


LocationGPS Coordinates
Jay44.374678, -73.727766
Adirondack Park44.541183, -74.649709
Cascade Lake43.789346, -74.804608
Honeoye Lake42.782389, -77.506029
Opalescent River44.061964, -74.024929
Canadice Lake42.718782, -77.572390
Where to Find Labradorite in New York

New York has an interesting variety of labradorite known as rainbow moonstone. Rainbow moonstone isn’t moonstone at all, and it’s actually clear labradorite that displays a strong inner fire.

Rockhounds also collect blue/gold labradorite from this state, and there are a few regions in New York that consistently produce spectacular specimens.

Adirondack Park and the surrounding areas are some of the best places in New York to collect both clear and colored labradorite. This mineral also washes up on the shores of New York’s lakes, including Cascade Lake, Honeoye Lake, and Candice Lake.

TIP: Labradorite is incredibly valuable for its iridescence phenomenon, usually compared to peacock tale or Aurora light. Find out more in the article below:
Labradorite Value: Main Factors & Prices for Different Units


LocationGPS Coordinates
Wayne County43.265742, -77.199214
St. Lawrence County44.488143, -75.580473
Ulster County41.789310, -74.292192
Summitville41.621257, -74.450627
Ancram42.048076, -73.636652
Edwards44.327090, -75.253330
Where to Find Sphalerite in New York

In the Empire State, sphalerite appears in red, orange, grey, black, brown, green, and yellow colors due to the iron impurities that exist within the mineral.

From this state, rockhounds often find high-quality yellow sphalerite with excellent clarity. You can collect this mineral from multiple areas of New York, especially places with high amounts of zinc. 

Wayne County, St. Lawrence County, and Ulster County are all known for their stunning sphalerites.


LocationGPS Coordinates
Hudson River42.325202, -73.795781
Lake Harris43.977806, -74.134418
Brant Lake43.676299, -73.749656
Richville44.414035, -75.388316
Oswegatchie River44.461248, -75.383029
Parishville44.621363, -74.803717
Where to Find Tourmaline in New York

Tourmaline is known for its many colors, and in New York, rockhounds bring home a few different varieties.

Dravite is one common variety of tourmaline in the Empire State, and it’s typically brown with different hues, including brownish blue, brownish green, or brownish yellow. Another common type of tourmaline in New York is Uvite, which is dark green and possesses a trigonal hexagonal shape.

Stop by New York’s rivers and lakes for gem-quality tourmaline. The Hudson River, Lake Harris, and Brant Lake are some popular rockhounding areas for this mineral.

TIP: Let’s see the best states in the United States where you can find tourmaline in the article below:
Where to Find Tourmaline: Best Environments & Locations (USA)

FAQ About Common Rocks & Minerals in New York

New York has a lot more to offer rockhounds than you might expect, as you’ll see in these FAQs:

What Rare Rocks Can You Find in New York

While it’s true that New York has a long list of rare minerals, it also possesses some rare and collectible rocks, including agates, jaspers, geodes, and serpentine.

Geodes from the Empire State contain all sorts of minerals, including celestite, hematite, barite, and pyrite. Green serpentine is a popular find in New York, and many pieces from this state are of excellent quality.

Ulster County, the Oswagatchie River, and the Genesee River are some of the top places for agates, geodes, serpentines, and jaspers in New York. Take a look at the locations listed throughout this guide for specific coordinates. 

What Rare Minerals Can You Find in New York

The Empire State boasts a wide range of rare minerals and gems, including Herkimer Diamonds, garnets, celestines, labradorites, tourmalines, sphalerites, sunstones, sapphires, fluorites, bloodstones, and hematites.

The one mineral that stands out from the rest in New York is the Herkimer Diamond. These stones are technically quartz crystals and not diamonds, but they are valuable nonetheless due to their unique shape and incredible shine.

Another mineral that New York is famous for is garnet, and the largest garnet mine in the world is located in New York. Additionally, the largest and hardest garnets in the world were discovered in the Empire State, and the world’s largest garnet was retrieved from the NYC subway.

There are plenty of great rockhounding spots in New York, such as St. Lawrence County, the Oswegatchie River, Adirondack Park, and Ulster County. To find a specific mineral or gem in this state, use the locations listed above.

What is the Most Famous Rock or Mineral Found in New York

It was a close race between the garnet and the Herkimer Diamond, but the Herkimer Diamond won the title of the most famous mineral found in New York. Due to its rarity, the Herkimer Diamond is an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime find that any rockhound would be fortunate to find.

New York is one of the few places in the world where you can find these crystals, and although these quartz stones are not diamonds, they are very valuable because of their unique shapes and bright shine. 

When you have the chance, visit the Herkimer Diamond mines in New York. There are plenty to choose from, including the Herkimer Diamond Mine, the Diamond Acres Mine, and the Ace of Diamonds Mine.

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


Any rockhound who wants to collect the famous Herkimer Diamonds, high-quality serpentine, or insanely large garnets should book a trip to the Empire State.

There are some fascinating and unique minerals in this state that you can’t find anywhere else in the U.S., so New York is a great place to be if you enjoy gathering rare stones.

After you explore the sights of the Big Apple, don’t forget to search for some of these amazing rocks and minerals in the surrounding areas!

TIP: New York is astonishing when it comes to rockhounding, being well known for its Herkimer Diamonds. Check out the complete guide in the article below:
Best Rockhounding Locations in New York & What You Can Find