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If there is a rival to the blue lapis lazuli rock in terms of beauty and color, then that would be the beautiful green olivine minerals and gemstones. An olivine is a group of rock-forming minerals usually found in mafic and ultramafic igneous rocks. The gemstone variety of olivine is known as peridot.
In the U.S., you can find olivine and peridot specimens in states such as Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Alabama, and North Carolina, among others. Olivine is relatively rare since it is found primarily in Earth’s subsurface, as on the surface, it weathers very quickly. Beaches, quarries, and outcrops are typical environments where you can find them.
If you want to find olivine mineral specimens, especially the peridot gemstone variant in the U.S., you need to understand how it forms. Let’s see exactly what some of the most common olivine environments are and what the best states are to find them!
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Where to Find Olivine Near Me (Most Common Environments)
Olivine usually occurs in igneous rocks such as basalt, dunite, gabbro, diabase, or peridotite, and it is often green in color. At surface levels, olivine is commonly found in dark-colored igneous rocks. Olivine crystalizes near pyroxene and plagioclase, resulting in gabbro or basalt.
Because of this, some of the best environments where you can find olivine specimens are igneous rock deposits that contain basalt, dunite, gabbro, diabase, or peridotite. You can find olivine in quarries, beaches, rocky outcrops, exposures, boulders, or general areas that erupt onto the surface.
When it comes to the gemstone variant of olivine, peridot, it forms in the Earth’s mantle instead of the crust, and it can also be found in the environments mentioned earlier. Let’s examine some of these olivine environments!
Igneous Rock Deposits
Olivine is commonly found in igneous rock deposits as a rock-forming mineral. When olivine comes into contact with pyroxene and plagioclase, it crystalizes and results in gabbro or basalt.
If you wish to find olivine in nature, search for gabbro, basalt, dunite, diabase, or peridotite deposits. You may still be able to find some beautiful specimens before they break down.
Olivine notoriously weathers down quickly when it is exposed to surface levels. But, if you add it to your collection and thus offer protection, it won’t happen so soon.
Beaches & Quarries
Bodies of water, such as beaches, lakes, or rivers, can also contain olivine minerals. Various geologic phenomena can move olivine minerals from one place to another, so you should do beachcombing, especially if you are in Hawaii! Specific quarries are rich in olivine minerals as well.
Outcrops and Exposures
Since olivine and peridot specimens form in the subsurface levels of the Earth, they will eventually be brought up by certain geologic phenomena.
Outcrops and exposures are some of the best environments to find olivine and peridot specimens. Never skip a chance to search for it in these environments.
Although meteorites themselves are hard to find, if there are locations where they dropped in your state, you should explore them because meteorites often have olivine minerals.
TIP: Do Rocks Have DNA, or are rocks alive? These questions have interested people all over the world for a long time. Find out the answer in the article:
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Where Can I Find Olivine in the United States? The Best Locations
In the U.S., there are many locations where you can find olivine minerals and peridot gemstones. You need to know precisely where to look for them, as they aren’t easy to find, and not all states have them.
The best states to find olivine and peridot specimens include Hawaii, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Kentucky, Utah, Georgia, California, New Mexico, New York, Arkansas, and Alabama. Some of these states are richer in olivine, while others are more abundant in the gemstone variant, namely peridot.
|Hawaii||Most Beaches, Papakolea Green Sand Beach|
|North Carolina||Corundum Hill, Democrat,|
Currently, there are no U.S. states that have designated olivine as their official state mineral or peridot as their official state gemstone.
Let’s see precisely in what states you can find olivine and what states are more suited to find peridot. Depending on what you are looking to find, here are the best locations:
Hawaii is a small state, but it has its fair share of minerals, rocks, crystals, and gemstones. There are several beaches here where you can find olivine and peridot specimens, and this is because of the island’s volcanic activity.
However, the olivine peridot specimens found here have a distinct light green appearance worthy of any collection. If you find yourself in Hawaii, visit the beaches near Papakolea Green Sand Beach to find olivine peridot specimens.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in Hawaii, check out this article.
Pennsylvania is another beautiful state where you can find olivine minerals, among many other things. If you visit Pennsylvania, make sure to head to the southeastern regions of the state. Here, you can find olivine minerals at the many area quarries around Gettysburg.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in Pennsylvania, check out this article.
If you are near or live in North Carolina, it will be easy to find olivine specimens. In Western North Carolina, you can find some fantastic olivine crystals at Democrat, at a mine just five miles west.
Olivine crystals, along with blue, green, and pink sapphires and rubies, are also present at Corundum Hill in the dunite exposures.
If you want to find beautiful peridot gemstones, emeralds, opals, topaz, and citrine crystals, then you should visit the Elijah Mountain Gem Mine.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in North Carolina, check out this article.
You should visit the state of Kentucky for its rich diversity in minerals and crystals. You can find olivine minerals here as well. Head to Eastern Kentucky, and visit Ison Creek.
Here, you can find beautiful olivine minerals in the rocky outcrops in the surrounding area. You can also find peridotite here, along with serpentine and garnets.
Peridotite is also present in Western Kentucky at the many old area mines surrounding Crittenden County. You can also find dolomite crystals here, along with pyrite specimens.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in Kentucky, check out this article.
If you live in Utah or plan to visit it for rockhounding adventures, you are lucky! You can find several exciting rocks, minerals, and crystals here.
Olivine is also present in certain areas. For example, if you go to Utah County, you can find olivine in the basalt deposits on Lake Mountain, specifically on the south side.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in Utah, check out this article.
Visiting Georgia comes with many potential rockhounding locations to explore. If you wish to find olivine in Georgia, you should see the northwestern area of the state. Here, go to Carrollton, and search the exposures off route 166. Various olivine crystals are present here.
However, remember that your best bet to find olivine, peridot, or peridotite specimens anywhere in the U.S., even in the states that aren’t mentioned on this list, is to join a rockhounds club.
Here you can make some friends and gain access to some of the best locations to find even the rarest of items.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in Georgia, check out this article.
California is another exciting place where olivine minerals are present. Northern California, in particular, has many areas where you can find these fantastic minerals. If you visit Northern California, be sure to head to Siskiyou County.
Here, you can find high-quality olivine crystals on the diabase boulders in Jones Beach at Fort Jones. Be sure also to explore the beach here as you never know where olivine minerals might be hiding.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in California, check out this article.
There’s no state like sweet home Alabama for rockhounds. Here, there are many areas worth exploring in the hopes of finding olivine minerals or peridot gemstones. If you plan to visit this state, go to Erin, a small town that once stopped along a railroad.
Here, on the eastern side of Gold Mines Creek, you can find olivine in the boulders, placer gold deposits, and pyrope.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in Alabama, check out this article.
New Mexico is a prosperous state regarding rocks, minerals, and crystals. Here, you can find beautiful olivine peridot specimens. Head to Southwestern New Mexico, and go to Kilbourne Hole. In and around the giant crater, you can discover gem-quality peridot crystals.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in New Mexico, check out this article.
If you are in New York or plan to visit, you can find some beautiful specimens here as well. Although instances of olivine and peridot are rare, you can still find peridotite specimens.
In Central New York, go to Syracuse and explore the area outcrops. There, you will find high-quality peridotite specimens.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in New York, check out this article.
Arkansas is another amazing state where rockhounds enjoy various sites where they can collect many types of rocks, minerals, crystals, gemstones, and fossils.
You can also find olivine and peridot, but they are pretty rare. However, peridotite, on the other hand, is more readily available. To see it, you have to head to Murfreesboro.
This is where the famous Crater of Diamonds State Park is located. However, to find peridotite, you must go to Prairie Creek. Here, explore the area southeast of Murfreesboro. Apart from epidote, you will also find quartz crystals and pyrite.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in Arkansas, check out this article.
TIP: What characteristics make precious stones so different from others? Check out the differences between precious and semi-precious stones in the article below:
Precious & Semi-Precious Gemstones: Explanation & Difference
FAQ About Finding Olivine Mineral
Still did not find the answer to your questions about finding olivine minerals? Find frequently asked questions in the section below:
Is Olivine Rare or Common?
Olivine is among the Earth’s most common minerals by volume. Its variants constitute about 50% of our planet’s upper mantle.
However, this doesn’t mean olivine is necessarily typical. High-quality olivine specimens are hard to find, especially since they don’t last long on surface levels.
Is Olivine Hard to Find?
Olivine is hard to find if you don’t know where to look for them. Some specimens aren’t so greenish as you would expect, and you might miss them.
Therefore, you should study olivine’s colors and typical environments and seek them in the states mentioned above. Additionally, it would help if you also considered joining a rockhounding club to ease your search.
Where is Olivine Most Commonly Found?
Olivine is commonly found in igneous rocks, beaches, quarries, rocky outcrops, or exposures. Interestingly, it is a standard class of minerals found in meteorites. Olivine and its mineral variants represent about 50% of our planet’s upper mantle.
What Rocks You Can Find Olivine In?
Olivine is commonly found in igneous rocks such as basalt, dunite, gabbro, diabase, or peridotite. Whenever you find deposits of such gems, outcrops, or exposures, you are almost guaranteed to find olivine specimens.
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Olivine minerals, crystals, and its gemstone variant, peridot, are some of the most beautiful greenish items you can find in nature, apart from jade. If you wish to find olivine, consider the environments where it is commonly found.
Additionally, visit the states mentioned above and see the highlighted areas. If you want to search for olivine in your state, but it wasn’t mentioned here, then your best bet would be to join a rockhounding club.
Here, you can make friends and gain access to some of the best olivine rockhounding locations in your area.
TIP: Jade is among the most beautiful gemstones in the world, and you can find it in several states of the USA. Find out the best locations in the article below:
Where to Find Jade: 4 Best Locations Near Me (United States)