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9 Common Rocks & Minerals You Can Find in West Virginia

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Even though West Virginia isn’t as popular as its sister state Virginia, it still possesses some interesting rocks and minerals. Let’s study all the collectible rocks and minerals of West Virginia in this guide.

The common rocks and minerals of West Virginia are:

  • geode,
  • silicified coral,
  • chert,
  • petrified wood,
  • opal,
  • gold,
  • quartz,
  • celestite,
  • and calcite.

Even the most skilled rockhounds need information before diving into a new state. Before you visit the Mountain State, take a look at this guide that contains everything you need to know about rockhounding in West Virginia.

Common Rocks and Minerals in West Virginia
Common Rocks and Minerals in West Virginia

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 West Virginia

Some of the most sought-after rocks in West Virginia are:


LocationGPS Coordinates
Smoke Hole38.856843, -79.276301
Keyser City39.442065, -78.992826
Pendleton County38.652063, -79.422299
Cabin Mountain39.004430, -79.419281
Where to Find Geode in West Virginia

Geodes are not as plentiful in this state as they tend to be in other states, but they do exist in West Virginia! Geodes come from the limestone outcroppings in this state, and you’ll need to search at very specific locations to find them. 

The areas that you can search for geodes in West Virginia are Smoke Hole, Keyser City, Cabin Mountain, and Pendleton County.

Silicified Coral

Silicified Coral
Silicified Coral
LocationGPS Coordinates
Hillsboro38.133887, -80.216195
Mill Point38.157600, -80.181074
Williamsburg37.969882, -80.492860
Where to Find Silicified Coral in West Virginia

One fascinating fossil that West Virginia has is called silicified coral. As you might have guessed, this fossil is what remains of ancient coral, and these stones tend to be blue or red in color.

Lithostrotionella is the name of the specific type of Mississippian coral that inhabited West Virginia, and it was designated as West Virginia’s state gem.

To collect red silicified coral, look near Williamsburg and Mill Point. If you want to collect blue silicified coral, Hillsboro will be your next stop!

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
Huntersville38.188428, -80.015958
Possum Hollow38.178605, -79.991278
Moss Mountain37.627975, -80.282711
Franklin38.643821, -79.325179
Where to Find Chert in West Virginia

White, yellow, and red chert are common in West Virginia, especially near the Huntersville Chert formation. Fortunately, West Virginia produces gem-quality chert, which is perfect for cutting and polishing. 

In addition to Huntersville, you can collect gem-quality chert from Possum Hollow, Moss Mountain, and Franklin.

Petrified Wood

Petrified Wood
Petrified Wood
LocationGPS Coordinates
Charleston38.340997, -81.634622
Berry Hills Country Club38.319134, -81.691112
Monongalia County39.629889, -80.157621
Baker City39.040774, -78.745899
Where to Find Petrified Wood in West Virginia

Petrified wood and silicified wood are two popular treasures that rockhounds come across in West Virginia. Petrified wood is a bit more common and spread throughout the state while silicified wood typically only appears in a certain area. 

Silicified wood is gathered from Charleston, and the areas in Monongalia County are the best places to collect West Virginia petrified wood.

TIP: Many petrified kinds of wood are unsuitable for rock tumbling or lapidary work because it has too many faults and fractures. Find out how to cut and polish petrified wood in the article below:
How To Cut & Polish Petrified Wood: Follow These 3 Steps

What Minerals Are Found in West Virginia

Dive into the minerals of West Virginia with the following sections:


LocationGPS Coordinates
Monongalia County39.629889, -80.157621
Monroe County37.538505, -80.571382
Jefferson County39.310137, -77.885520
Coopers Rock39.636304, -79.815526
Where to Find Opal in West Virginia

As you might expect, most of the opals from West Virginia are common opals. However, there have been instances where rockhounds have found precious and even fire opals in this state!

Monongalia County should be your first stop for opals in West Virginia, but Monroe County and Jefferson County are two other popular areas to search for opals.


LocationGPS Coordinates
Jefferson County39.310137, -77.885520
Tucker County39.084402, -79.617307
Smoke Hole Canyon38.875438, -79.267796
Potomac River38.891591, -79.241185
Big Bend Campground38.889612, -79.238578
Where to Find Gold in West Virginia

Even though there aren’t any precious metal mines in West Virginia, many rockhounds pan for gold in the rivers and creeks. Additionally, the greenstone belts of this state contain gold on the inside, so they are perfect if you don’t want to pan in the river.

Jefferson County and Tucker County have plenty of places for gold panning, and the south branch of the Potomac River is also a great area for this shiny mineral.


LocationGPS Coordinates
Franklin38.644056, -79.328526
Moss Mountain37.627839, -80.282625
Alderson37.725222, -80.646386
Knobly Mountain39.346512, -79.011154
Berkeley County39.446579, -78.022230
Harman38.920066, -79.524929
Where to Find quartz in West Virginia

The two types of quartz that rockhounds often come across in West Virginia are crystal clear quartz and smoky quartz. Unfortunately, amethyst is rare in West Virginia, but it has been found in certain areas, such as Hancock County and Mineral County.

Franklin, Moss Mountain, Alderson, and Knobly Mountain have plenty of gorgeous clear, smoky, and even double-terminated quartz crystals for rockhounds to collect.


LocationGPS Coordinates
Knobly Mountain39.346512, -79.010854
Mineral County39.385281, -78.941107
Pendleton County38.631683, -79.398953
North Fork Gap38.985064, -79.241434
Fort Spring37.744679, -80.538900
Where to Find Celestite in West Virginia

If you want to collect stunning, high-quality celestite, West Virginia won’t disappoint! Celestite, or celestine, from this state ranges from smoky blue to pure, ice blue.

Occasionally, you might come across West Virginia celestite that is yellow or orange from impurities. In many of the areas with celestite, you’re highly likely to find quartz as well.

Check out Knobly Mountain, Mineral County, and Pendleton County for high-quality celestite from West Virginia.


LocationGPS Coordinates
Greer39.571875, -79.842041
Knobly Mountain39.346512, -79.010854
Berkeley County39.457183, -78.041456
Harman38.918831, -79.525359
Judy Gap38.706805, -79.460306
Where to Find Calcite in West Virginia

One mineral that’s extremely common in West Virginia is calcite. White, orange, pink, and blue crystals are the most common colors, and they are spread all throughout the entire state. Calcite is often discovered alongside other minerals in this state, including fluorite, celestite, and quartz.

Greer, Knobly Mountain, and Berkeley County have produced some beautiful, colorful calcite crystals that any rockhound would be proud to own.

TIP: Calcite occurs in numerous colored and crystal habit varieties, ranging from $3 to $25,000.00 for a specimen. Find out more in the article below:
Calcite Value: Main Factors & Prices for Different Units

FAQ About Common Rocks & Minerals in West Virginia

As you explore West Virginia, keep a lookout for these rare rocks and minerals:

What Rare Rocks Can You Find in West Virginia

In the Mountain State, some rare rocks you might see are geodes, silicified coral, jasper, petrified wood, and silicified wood.

Silicified coral is a very popular find, especially since it’s the state gem of West Virginia. This coral appears red or blue, and there have been some amazing specimens from this state, which is why they are such an attraction for rockhounds.

To find each of these rare rocks, look at the locations listed in the sections above. For many of these rocks, there are multiple areas you can visit in order to collect them.

What Rare Minerals Can You Find in West Virginia

West Virginia has an interesting assortment of rare minerals to offer, which includes gold, celestite, opal, carnelian, fluorite, epidote, and diamond. From this list, fluorite, epidote, and diamond are the rarest and are not often discovered in this state.

However, if you want to collect gold, celestite, opal, or carnelian, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to do so in the Mountain State.

Knobly Mountain, Berkeley County, and Monongalia County are some great areas if you want to collect more than one rare mineral. To find a specific mineral or gem, use the locations listed in the previous sections.

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 is the Most Famous Rock or Mineral Found in West Virginia

One West Virginia rock that many rockhounds want to collect is silicified coral. This coral is a fossil from the Mississippian period, and it can appear red or blue in color. Despite the fact that this coral, called Lithostrotionella, is a fossil, it was nominated as the state gem of West Virginia.

Silicified coral shows up in Hillsboro, Mill Point, and Williamsburg. To learn more about silicified coral, take a look at the designated section above. 


West Virginia might not be the most plentiful rockhounding state, but it still has some interesting and precious rocks, minerals, gems, and fossils.

During your trip to the Mountain State, you’ll have the opportunity to pan for gold, excavate for silicified coral, dig for calcite crystals, and more. No matter what you find in West Virginia, you are sure to have a rockhounding adventure that creates plenty of memories!

TIP: West Virginia boasts its own natural beauty and geological wonders waiting to be explored and appreciated. Check out the complete rockhounding guide in the article below:
Best Rockhounding Locations in West Virginia & What to Find