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Amethyst is among the most beautiful types of quartz you can find out there. Its royal purple color is rare, and finding an amethyst there is far more rewarding than purchasing one.
If you want to find amethyst in the U.S., some of the most abundant states are Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia, and North and South Carolina. Amethyst can be found in environments such as in gravels, creeks, mine and mine dumps, quarries, lake shores, pegmatites, gulches, outcrops, and road cuts.
If you want to find out exactly where to go and find amethyst in the U.S., keep reading!
If you want to check out the best rock and mineral identification books, you can find them here (Amazon link).
Where to Find Amethyst Near Me? (Most Common Environments)
To find amethyst in nature, you need to understand how it forms. Amethyst is the purple variant of quartz, so the formation process is similar. Yet, amethyst has iron impurities, transition metals, and other trace elements that result in its complex appearance.
Amethyst forms in hot spring deposits and hydrothermal veins and occurs in sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rock, such as granite.
Volcanic rocks, known as basalt, are also among the most common environments where this crystal forms. You can find amethyst in gravels, creeks, mines, quarries, or outcrops.
Let’s explore some of these environments and see why amethyst is commonly found in them.
Mine, Quarries, and Mine Dumps
Quarries, mines, and mine dumps are a rockhound’s paradise for finding various gemstones and crystals, including amethyst.
Since amethyst forms in hot environments, such as lava, as it cools down, you don’t need to dig too deep to find it in areas with a rich volcanic history.
For example, mining operations usually find amethyst between one and three meters / 3 to 9 feet below the surface. That’s why quarries and mines are excellent for finding this specimen, but you shouldn’t ignore mine dumps.
Gravels, Pegmatites, Creeks, and Lake Shores
Gravels often hide some of the best specimens you can find in the wild, including amethyst. Through years of erosive processes, the medium becomes easier to search, and various specimens can be found.
Pegmatite formations are igneous rocks where amethyst usually forms, so they are also a great environment to explore if you encounter them.
Creeks and lake shores always wash away beautiful stones, minerals, and crystals from their place of origin. If you search attentively, you will find amethyst specimens as well.
Outcrops and Road Cuts
Amethyst doesn’t form as deep within the earth as other crystals, and because of this, you always have a high chance of finding amethyst whenever you encounter rock outcrops or road cuts. Consider the volcanic history of the area you are searching for; you will find amethyst specimens easily.
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):
- Smithsonian Handbooks: Rocks & Minerals
- Gemstone & Crystal Properties (Quick Study Home)
- Ultimate Explorer Field Guide: Rocks and Minerals (National Geographic Kids)
Where Can I Find Amethyst in the USA? The Best Locations
Amethyst is present in many states across the U.S. However, some states seem to have plenty more amethyst locations than others. Though this isn’t to say there isn’t any amethyst in your state, we will focus on the most abundant ones.
The best states to find amethyst in the U.S. include New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Virginia, Montana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Indiana, Massachusetts, Utah, Connecticut, Georgia, Washington, and Maine.
If you didn’t find your state in this list, don’t worry. Consider the tips mentioned above, and you will find amethyst.
|Tooele County, Emery County, Beaver County
|Canton, Meriden, Cinque Quarry, New Haven Traprock Quarry
|Charlie’s Creek, Hillsboro, Hogg Mine, Dewy Rose
|Newport, Claycity, Washougal,
Let’s analyze some of these states and see exactly where you can find amethyst!
Pennsylvania is among the best states to find amethyst in nature; even though amethyst is not the state gemstone, some attempts were made to make it so, which says a lot about the state’s abundance.
If you go to western Pennsylvania, you can find amethyst and even Herkimer diamond quartz crystals in the wide general area of Morrison Cove.
At Mount Pleasant, you can find amethyst in the northwestern areas. In southeastern Pennsylvania, search for amethyst at Coatsville, the area west-south of the highway in pegmatites.
Carlisle is another excellent location here. Search the area fields and gravels; you may find jasper and agate. At Brandywine Creek, you can find amethyst in the gravels near Chadd’s Ford.
The area around Marple is also great for finding gem-quality amethyst specimens, but you should also explore Crum Creek. Here, search the gravels and quarries near Swarthmore or go to Upland and search the area around Waterville road to find amethyst geodes.
Harrisburg is another excellent area in southeastern Pennsylvania to find amethyst. Try your luck in the general area to the south.
You may also find beautiful opal specimens as well. Generally, Pennsylvania has various igneous and metamorphic exposures where amethyst can be found.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in Pennsylvania, check out this article.
New Hampshire is another famous state when it comes to finding amethyst. If you can visit Hurricane Mountain, you can find amethyst in the general area. There are plenty of quarries near Redstone where amethyst is present, among other exciting specimens, such as topaz.
The Deer Hill Mineral Collecting Area is among the best rockhounding places in the state, but you will need a permit to collect. The broad area in the soils of regional mountain ridges near Coos County is a fantastic place to find amethyst and quartz crystals.
Greens Ledge is another excellent place to find crystals and minerals, especially amethyst. Just make sure to search the pegmatites near Milan. You can also search the pegmatites at Victor Head, near Stark, for amethyst and other valuable specimens.
Hutchins Mountain is another beautiful area with amethyst, smoky quartz, and more! Search the west slopes. At Stratford, along the road near Sugarloaf, you will find amethyst easily, or you can try going to Mount Nancy near Lincoln and searching the upper slopes.
Amethyst crystals are also present in Ore Hill, in the soils of the southern flank near Sugar Hill. If you love mines, head to Pillsbury Ridge. There, the old mines have amethyst, aquamarine, and smoky quartz.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in New Hampshire, check out this article.
Virginia isn’t only among the best states to find amethyst in the U.S.; it is also among the best rockhounding states overall due to everything you can find and the available locations.
In Central Virginia, you can find amethyst specimens at Charlottesville, in the southern gravels and road cuts, or you can head to Cove Creek to do the same.
In Stockton Creek, the gravels south of Crozet are filled with amethyst, but if you want gem-quality amethyst specimens, go to Amherst. The farms in the east have some fantastic specimens there, but you will need permission to collect them and possibly pay a fee.
The area mines near Amelia Court House also have amethyst and other valuable gemstones such as blue topaz, aquamarine, or tourmaline. The Peaks of Otter hosts many mines and pegmatites where you can search for amethyst.
At the Red House, there is an area just three miles west where amethyst crystals are present. Gem-quality amethyst can also be found at Charlotte Courthouse, in the general area of gravels and diggings just 2.5 miles west, or at Brookneal, northeast.
Some of the highest quality amethyst in Central Virginia are present at Saunders Farm, in the area of gravels and pegmatites. You can also try your luck at Sayler’s Creek, in the outcrops and gravels.
There are also many great places to find this beautiful purple quartz in eastern Virginia. Amethyst can be unearthed in outcrops, gravels, and road cuts near Centreville.
In Trevilians, there is an area just four miles southwest where you can find amethyst in the gravel and pits. Minnieville is where you can find quartz crystals. Just search the general site to the west.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in Virginia, check out this article.
North Carolina has its fair share of gemstones and crystals, including amethyst. If you are located in or plan to visit North Carolina, you can start your amethyst hunt in the western parts of the state.
Here, you can find amethyst at the Emerald Hollow Mine, or you can visit the Elijah Mountain Gem Mine. These areas are famous for their contents and will make your trip worth it.
Near Franklin, there are plenty of mines and prospects where you can find amethyst, but you can also try your luck at Otto. Here, the area gravels and many mines all have amethyst specimens.
In central North Carolina, you can find amethyst in the southern region of Tyro or the general area around Butner. In Mooresville, the western part of Lake Norman is where you may discover amethyst. Still, you can also try going to Statesville and searching the large area south of Mooresville.
In Denver, amethyst is present about one-mile northeast, or you can go to Iron Station and search the northeast of Denver. Amethyst and quartz crystals are present at Cabin Creek and Dry Creek near Robbins.
Gold Hill has many quarries and mines where you can find beautiful specimens, but Salisbury is where you want to be. Here, in the area fields, gravels, and exposures, you won’t find amethyst but pink or green tourmaline specimens.
The area stream gravels around Danbury are excellent for searching for amethyst or hyalite opals. You can find amethyst in gravels and fields near Louisburg in eastern North Carolina. Large amethyst specimens are commonly unearthed at Neuse River, near Wilder’s Grove, Raleigh.
If you visit Raleigh, you can also find amethyst west near US 64. Finally, another great place to find amethyst in eastern North Carolina is Inez, the area to the south near the county border.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in North Carolina, check out this article.
We can’t talk about finding amethyst in the U.S. without speaking about South Carolina, which is the best state overall to find amethyst anywhere in the United States. South Carolina even designated amethyst as its official state gemstone in 1969.
The northwestern regions of South Carolina are usually the best for finding amethyst, so let’s start here. Diamond Hill Mine is a famous place where amethyst is present among other valuable specimens.
At Donald’s, there is an area about four miles away to the southeast where you can find amethyst. At Iva, amethyst is present in the area exposures from Anderson to Due West, but there are also plenty of privately owned farms in Iva where you can find amethyst.
Just make sure you ask for permission first. The Bowens River and its tributaries are excellent areas to find amethyst, emerald, sapphires, and corundum. Search the gravel and slate exposures.
At Shoals Junction, you can find amethyst and other quartz crystals to the south. If you visit Saluca, you can find amethyst on the west shores of Lake Greenwood.
In Central South Carolina, you can find amethyst at Clearwater and Horse Valley, in the gravels, and float. You can also try your luck in Columbia near Lake Murray.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in South Carolina, check out this article.
FAQ About Finding Amethyst
Still did not find the answer to your questions about finding amethyst? Find frequently asked questions in the section below:
Where Can I Find Amethyst in Nature?
Amethyst is present primarily near igneous or volcanic rocks such as basalt. Yet, you can find it in gravels, mines, or mine dumps, quarries, pegmatites, creeks, lake shores, outcrops, and road cuts.
Where Are the Best Amethyst Specimens Found?
The best amethyst specimens are found in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia; in the U.S. Worldwide, the best amethyst specimens come from Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil. Some other countries that produce high-quality amethyst include Siberia, Uruguay, and Sri Lanka.
What Rock Is Amethyst Found In?
Amethyst is mainly found in igneous, volcanic, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks, such as gravel or basalt. In many instances, you can find amethyst crystals in geodes as well.
What Is the Easiest Way to Find Amethyst?
The easiest way to find amethyst is to visit local farms or rockhounding designated areas where amethyst is confirmed to be present.
Sometimes, you might have to pay a small fee to collect, ask for permission, or have a permit. The best places to find amethyst in nature include road cuts, mines, quarries, and gravel.
BTW: If you are looking for the best UV light for rockhounding, find out my picks below (Amazon links):
- BEST OPTION: Convoy 8+ 365nm UV LED Flashlight with Patented Glass Filter
- BUDGET OPTION: Karrong Rechargeable 1200 Lumen 395nm UV Flashlight
- OPTION FOR INDOOR USAGE: Prime Upgraded Big Chip 396nm UV
Amethyst is the most beautiful purple gemstone you can find in nature. Sometimes, they might not be as purple as you see in stores because those gemstones are treated.
Nonetheless, amethyst is beautiful even untreated, and the joy of finding one in nature by yourself is unmatched by anything. Gather your tools and visit some of the states and locations mentioned above. You are off to a great adventure, searching for the purple quartz!
TIP: Amethyst’s value depends on various factors like its color, the saturation of the color, and the crystal form. Check out how valuable amethyst can be in the article below:
Amethyst Value: Main Factors & Prices for Different Units