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12 Common Rocks & Minerals You Can Find in Wisconsin

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Wisconsin is known for many things, including breathtaking landscapes and fun festivals, but did you know that it’s one of the best states for rockhounding? If you want to collect precious minerals, rocks, and gems from the Badger State, explore the information provided in this article.

During your Wisconsin travels, some common rocks and minerals you might collect are:

  • agate,
  • jasper,
  • yooperlite,
  • geode,
  • fossils,
  • malachite,
  • staurolite,
  • sphalerite,
  • calcite,
  • kyanite,
  • galena,
  • and quartz. 

Whether you want to collect diamonds or sapphires from Wisconsin, you’ll need as much rockhounding information and knowledge as you can find to ensure a successful trip. To help during your adventures in the Badger State, we’ve created this guide filled with information about rockhounding in Wisconsin.

Common Rocks and Minerals in Wisconsin
Common Rocks and Minerals in Wisconsin

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 Wisconsin

Starting off with the rocks, let’s see what kind of stones you can collect in Wisconsin:


Lake Superior Agate
Lake Superior Agate
LocationGPS Coordinates
Saxon Harbor Beach46.562084, -90.437304
Sawyer County45.869512, -91.249032
Durand44.625171, -91.972144
Ounce River46.201544, -91.607252
Chippewa County45.072642, -91.299890
La Crosse County43.932985, -91.175926
Where to Find Agate in Wisconsin

You can’t write about Wisconsin’s rockhounding opportunities without mentioning Lake Superior Agates. Lake Superior Agates, known for their bright colors and eye-catching patterns, are typically found near Lake Superior and the surrounding states, including Wisconsin.

You can also collect banded agates from this state, which might not be as popular as Lake Superior agates, but they are still wonderful finds.

Saxon Harbor Beach, La Crosse County, and Chippewa County are a few places to go if you’re looking for Lake Superior Agates. There are plenty of other places where you can find this type of agate as well, especially if you look near Lake Superior.

TIP: The most famous rock that many collectors wish to find on Lake Superior is the Lake Superior Agates. Check out the complete guide on rockhounding on lake Superior below:
Guide: The Best Rock Hunting Beaches on Lake Superior


LocationGPS Coordinates
Ashland County46.524314, -90.668878
Black River46.561334, -92.147907
Bayfield County46.806991, -91.063964
Owen44.945250, -90.566405
Iron County46.194288, -90.191010
Sawyer County45.881941, -91.308083
Where to Find Jasper in Wisconsin

In addition to colorful agates, Wisconsin is also home to colorful jaspers. Wisconsin jaspers are usually red or orange with white chalcedony, which makes lovely patterns. These rocks are often picked up alongside agates in this state, so be sure to look out for them!

You can look for jaspers in Ashland County, Bayfield County, and Iron County. Be sure to look for jaspers when you’re searching near the agate locations listed above as well.


LocationGPS Coordinates
Lake Superior46.848383, -91.031427
Lake Michigan 44.438447, -87.557536
Ashland County46.580978, -90.690851
Oconto County44.965479, -88.008832
Douglas County46.679067, -91.572139
Racine County42.808295, -88.184012
Where to Find Yooperlite in Wisconsin

Without a doubt, yooperlites are some of the most amazing rocks that you are able to find in Wisconsin because they glow!

When exposed to UV light, these gray rocks emit a beautiful glow, making them a popular treasure among rockhounds. The majority of these rocks are found near Lake Superior, and there are a few areas in Wisconsin where you can collect them.

Most of the yooperlites exist on or near the shores of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, but some rockhounds find these stones inland, scattered in gravel beds or creeks.

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
Estabrook Park43.098323, -87.905868
Pepin County44.475849, -92.205746
Fairweather Quarry44.501321, -92.263424
Milwaukee County43.013864, -87.902085
Big Hill Road44.478938, -92.095227
Where to Find Geode in Wisconsin

If you want to add a few geodes to your collection, you’ll be able to do so in Wisconsin. This state isn’t famous for its geodes, but it does have collectible ones, and they are typically filled with chalcedony, drusy quartz, or millerite. 

Check out Estabrook Park, Pepin County, and Milwaukee County for Wisconsin geodes.


LocationGPS Coordinates
Mississippi River43.771945, -91.236941
Brown County44.581038, -87.885893
Racine42.711806, -87.785572
Dodgeville42.957144, -90.122367
Oshkosh43.997550, -88.539879
Where to Find Fossils in Wisconsin

In the Badger State, marine fossils are the most common type of fossils that you’ll see. The state fossil of Wisconsin is the Calymene Celebra, a type of trilobite that lived hundreds of millions of years ago. 

Visit Oshkosh, Brown County, and the bluffs along the Mississippi River for trilobites, shark teeth, and other marine fossils in Wisconsin. 

TIP: Some folks like fossils just as they are, but others prefer a polished look. Check out the complete guide on making your fossils shiny in the article below:
Make Your Fossils Shiny (Simple Clearing & Polishing Tips)

What Minerals Are Found in Wisconsin

It’s true that Wisconsin has some interesting rocks, but it also has plenty of collectible minerals, such as:


LocationGPS Coordinates
Ounce Creek46.201306, -91.611715
Forest County45.746447, -88.898863
Grant County42.915794, -90.753146
Rusk County45.511103, -91.046543
Polk County45.458839, -92.377806
The Bend Deposit45.111650, -90.586035
Where to Find Malachite in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is abundant in copper, so as you might expect, there is plenty of malachite for rockhounds to collect. Wisconsin malachite is often discovered alongside azurite and pyrite, and you might see azurite and malachite blended together. 

Ounce Creek, the Bend Deposit, and the counties listed above are known for their malachite. The areas near the copper mines are your best bet for high-quality malachite.


LocationGPS Coordinates
Merill45.174043, -89.712413
Sandy Beach46.103588, -89.972066
Highway 18246.083444, -89.991548
Jackson County44.294157, -90.772382
Wisconsin River45.234769, -89.800763
Where to Find Staurolite in Wisconsin

Staurolite, also known as fairy cross, often appears in the schists of Wisconsin. While it’s not as abundant as malachite, it does show up in multiple areas of the state.

Merill, Sandy Beach, and the Wisconsin River are some of the best places to go in Wisconsin for staurolite. 

TIP: Lake Michigan is one of the world’s top lakes for rockhounding. Check out the best rockhounding spots on lake Michigan in the article below:
Guide: Best Rock Hunting Beaches on Lake Michigan


LocationGPS Coordinates
Dodgeville42.957018, -90.124255
Hazel Green42.536522, -90.428492
Werley43.018865, -90.765147
Mifflin Mine42.883971, -90.386427
Oshkosh44.014836, -88.525116
Where to Find Sphalerite in Wisconsin

Sphalerite is scattered all throughout Wisconsin, but the majority of it comes from the southwest regions. Alongside sphalerite, you might find pyrite, galena, and barite, all of which are associated with copper deposits.

Swing by Dodgeville, Hazel Green, and Werley for sphalerite from the Badger State. Oshkosh is also a popular destination for this mineral.


LocationGPS Coordinates
Saxon Falls46.535644, -90.379624
Oshkosh44.014836, -88.525116
Dodgeville42.955259, -90.120135
Werley43.019116, -90.765190
Hazel Green42.536965, -90.431067
Racine42.715590, -87.782825
Where to Find Calcite in Wisconsin

Wisconsin calcite is usually white, but it can appear in other colors, including pink or yellow. Dogtooth calcite also exists in this state, and it’s known for its unique, teeth-like crystal formations.

These crystals are almost always surrounded by all kinds of other minerals, such as barite, galena, sphalerite, and marcasite.

Look for calcite crystals in Saxon Falls, Oshkosh, and Racine. Be sure to keep an eye out for other minerals as well since calcite is often surrounded by more than one collectible mineral!

TIP: Calcite occurs in numerous colored and crystal habit varieties, ranging from $3 to $25,000 for a specimen. Find out more about calcite value in the article below:
Calcite Value: Main Factors & Prices for Different Units


LocationGPS Coordinates
Iron County46.304448, -90.287141
Sandy Beach46.103826, -89.972538
Blaisdell Lake45.940736, -90.889929
Spider Lake46.096572, -91.121380
Highway 18246.083444, -89.991548
Mercer46.156684, -90.067306
Where to Find Kyanite in Wisconsin

While you might not be able to find kyanite in some areas of Wisconsin, rockhounds are successful in finding this mineral when they search in the northwestern areas of the state. Gem-quality kyanite is on the rarer side, but it does exist in the Badger State.

In Wisconsin, you can find kyanite in Iron County, Mercer, Spider Lake, and Sandy Beach. Highway 182 gravels also contain kyanite and other minerals.


LocationGPS Coordinates
Galena42.421999, -90.419045
Oshkosh44.013354, -88.520653
Werley43.018959, -90.765233
Dodgeville42.969329, -90.135413
Monroe42.597408, -89.658688
Hazel Green42.536459, -90.439306
Where to Find Galena in Wisconsin

It’s no surprise that a state with copper has galena, and in Wisconsin, you’ll be able to collect galena with ease. As a matter of fact, galena was so abundant in one area of the state that they named a town Galena in its honor.

In addition to the town of Galena, rockhounds pick up galena from Oshkosh, Werley, Dodgeville, and Monroe. 


Smoky Quartz
Smoky Quartz
LocationGPS Coordinates
Chippewa County45.090096, -91.277917
Ounce Creek46.200118, -91.606565
Farr Lake45.157688, -88.362377
Rib Mountain44.912939, -89.676350
Tigerton44.740544, -89.038579
Pine River Reservoir45.832522, -88.263996
Where to Find Quartz in Wisconsin

Clear quartz, rose quartz, and smoky quartz are common finds in Wisconsin, and you can collect some crystals of excellent quality in this state. Quartz can be found on its own or alongside many of the other common minerals that were mentioned in this article. 

Chippewa County, Ounce Creek, and Farr Lake have some incredible quartz crystals that would look stunning in any rockhound’s collection.

TIP: From its diverse geological terrains dotted with active and abandoned mines, Wisconsin offers unique opportunities for gold prospecting. Find out more below:
Gold Prospecting in Wisconsin: 6 Best Locations & Laws

FAQ About Common Rocks & Minerals in Wisconsin

If you’re looking to collect diamonds, sapphires, and other rare gems, you’re in luck because Wisconsin has plenty of rare rocks and minerals:

What Rare Rocks Can You Find in Wisconsin

The most popular rare rocks that you can find in Wisconsin are Lake Superior:

  • agates,
  • jaspers,
  • yooperlites,
  • obsidians,
  • geodes,
  • fossils,
  • sea glass,
  • and petosky stones.

Lake Superior agates tend to receive the spotlight in this state, but yooperlites and petosky stones are also popular finds that are worth the effort to find.

The one rock on this list that might be more difficult to locate than the others is obsidian, due to the fact that the obsidian in this state is not native and comes in the form of tools, such as arrowheads and other items from Native Americans. 

Because most of the rare rocks are strewn all over the state, there isn’t a single area where you can find each of these stones.

However, if you want to collect a large portion of the rocks on this list, then Lake Superior is your next destination.

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 Rare Minerals Can You Find in Wisconsin

One of the main reasons why rockhounds visit Wisconsin is to collect rare minerals, including pearls, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and opals.

These precious gems are at the top of every Wisconsin rockhound’s list, and while they are not extremely abundant, they do turn up often in this state. If you plan on searching for one of these precious gems during your rockhounding expeditions, look for diamonds.

Diamonds are the most common precious stone in this state, so you have a higher chance of success if you search for this shiny gem.

To collect precious gems from Wisconsin, it’s best to stick to the southern areas. While the other areas of Wisconsin do have collectible rocks and minerals, the precious gems are only found in the southern regions.

What is the Most Famous Rock or Mineral Found in Wisconsin

While there are many amazing rocks and minerals in Wisconsin, the Lake Superior agate claims the title of the most famous and popular.

These colorful agates are stunning, known for their bright bands of red, orange, white, and gray, and they are often spotted along the shores of Lake Superior.

In addition, these agates are on the rarer side, making them even more desirable for rockhounds and collectors.

As you may have guessed, the best place to find Lake Superior Agates in Wisconsin is along the shores of Lake Superior. However, some of the agates do wash inland, so it’s best to keep an eye out during your entire trip in this state.


With Lake Superior agates, diamonds, sapphires, kyanites, yooperlites, and more, it’s no wonder that Wisconsin is a popular place for rockhounds.

Fortunately, collectible rocks and minerals exist all over the state, so no matter where you go, you’ll be able to pick up some rare and unique treasures.

During your next adventure in the Badger State, be sure to collect some of these fascinating rocks and minerals discussed in this guide!

TIP: There are many rockhounding spots in Wisconsin where you can find different kinds of rocks for free or a small fee. Check out the complete guide below:
Guide: Best Rock Hunting Sites & Beaches in Wisconsin