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Quartz crystals and minerals are among the most popular items collected by rockhounds worldwide. They range in shape and color from blue, rose, black, white, grey, brown, and every shade of the rainbow.
Quartz minerals and crystals are found in the majority of U.S. states. Some are more abundant in minerals, others in crystals. Among the most popular quartz states include North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arkansas, New Hampshire, and South Dakota. They usually form in igneous rocks or geothermal waters.
Quartz is so popular in the U.S. that five states designated it as their official mineral or gemstone. South Dakota designated rose quartz as its official mineral in 1966. Arkansas designated quartz as its official mineral only one year later, in 1967. Georgia designated quartz as its official gemstone in 1976, while New Hampshire designated smoky quartz as its official gemstone in 1985. Alabama also designated its star blue quartz as its official gemstone in 1990.
Here is everything you need to know about quartz and quartz crystals!
If you are interested in checking out the best books about rock and minerals identification you can find them by clicking here (Amazon link).
Where to Find Quartz Near Me (Most Common Environments)
If you want to find quartz near you, you need to understand how this mineral forms. Quartz occurs in igneous rocks or environments with geothermal waters in the earth’s crust. It is among the most common minerals in the world. If you have ever heard of silicon dioxide, well, quartz is its crystalline form.
In igneous rocks, quartz occurs when magma cools down. The slower the cooling process, the larger the crystals will grow. Quartz also forms in silica-rich water, as the silicon dioxide dissolves under high temperatures and pressures. Quartz is often found in creeks, exposures, gravels, streams, outcrops, mines, pegmatites, pits, road cuts, or quarries.
There are plenty of environments where quartz is commonly found. Let’s talk about a couple of them:
Mines, Mine Dumps, Pits, and Quarries
Quartz minerals and crystals are often uncovered in mines, mine dumps, pits and quarries. The more a mine goes underground, the higher the chances it will stumble upon quartz specimens.
Quarries, although covering many shallow depths, will also often reveal quartz specimens. Mines and quarries near mountains are also excellent in unearthing quartz.
Road Cuts, Outcrops, and Pegmatites
Quartz is also commonly found in mediums such as road cuts, outcrops, or pegmatites. The more volcanic history an area has, the higher the chances you will find quartz specimens, especially crystals.
Gravels, Streams, Creeks, and Rivers
Gravels, streams, creeks, and rivers, are all common environments where you may find quartz. Suppose the necessary elements and conditions for their formation aren’t present.
In that case, there may still be quartz in the area moved/displaced by other geologic phenomena. Since quartz is so common, you may find it in several regions.
TIP: Quartz is the second most abundant mineral found in Earth’s crust. Find out how the quartz is formed and its varieties in the article below:
Forming of Quartz Crystals & Its Varieties Explained by PRO
Where Are Quartz Crystals Found in the U.S.? The Best Locations
Although quartz is common, it doesn’t mean it’s worthless. Gem-quality quartz specimens are beautiful, and certain types of quartz are more valuable than others. If you want to start searching for quartz specimens in the U.S., you are lucky! There are several states where this mineral is usually found.
The best states to find quartz in the U.S. include Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, New Jersey, Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Iowa, Arkansas, New Hampshire, Tennessee, New York, Georgia, and South Dakota. Some of these states have unique quartz specimens, while others are simply abundant.
|Nevada||Aurora Ghost Town, Tuscarora, Montezuma Peak|
|Arkansas||Wegner Quartz Crystal Mines, Crater of Diamonds State Park, Prairie Creek|
|Montana||Crystal Park, South Boulder River, Pole Creek|
|Utah||Dugway Range, Ophir, Colorado River|
|Oregon||Mt. Pisgah, Althouse Creek, Powder River|
Let’s examine some of these states and see exactly what type of quartz you can find and where!
Pennsylvania is among the most abundant quartz states in the U.S. It has many rockhounding locations, including several mines, accessible to the public’s delight. Let’s start with Western Pennsylvania.
You can find beautiful quartz crystals at Sherman Valley, near Everett. The famous quartz crystals dubbed as “Herkimer Diamonds” can be found at Morison Cove, the wide general area, and they are a sight to behold!
The area gravels and quarries near Claysburg are also filled with quartz crystals, but you should also try your luck at Aughwick Creek, and explore the pits near Fort Littleton. The area quarries and exposures near Mapleton are also a good shot!
If you want to find rock crystal quartz specimens, go to Derry, and explore the area washes, gravels, and exposures, or the queries near Ligonier.
In Northeastern Pennsylvania, you can find quartz specimens at Lemont, the general area in gravels and loose soil. Still, the specimens at McAdoo are of very high quality. Explore both the fields and gravels.
The area stream gravels around Kunkeltown or the exposures near the state line in Stroudsburg are also worth a shot. Quartz crystals are present in the area quarries of Easton or the Echo coal mines near McAdoo and Tresckow.
In Southeastern Pennsylvania, you can find high-quality smoky quartz crystals at quarries near Eureka. Be sure to visit the Crystal Cave if you are in this region, but remember that you can’t enter without paying a small fee.
Beautiful clear or smoky quartz crystals are also present in Avondale, the eastern area gravels, or you can try your luck at Coatsvile, the west-south area of the highway in pegmatite. Rock crystals quartz specimens are also in East Brandford, in the gravels near Brandywine Creek and Plum Run.
You can also search the general area around Hauto, and the mining dumps near French Creek or Red Clay Creek, the Boiling Springs, and the area field and gravels of Carlisle. Clear or rutilated quartz crystals were unearthed in the general area of Marple.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in Pennsylvania, check out this article.
Virginia is also a quartz-abundant state, with large crystals and other forms of quartz, such as amethyst, present in many parts of the state. In Western Virginia, you can find quartz crystals at Walker Mountain, the northern slopes.
If you want to find some large quartz crystals, go to Laurel Fork, and ask permission to search in the area farms and gravels, or go to Chestnut Creek Wetlands and search in the soils of the general area.
Rutilated quartz crystals can be found in Floyd, the area outcrops and gravels about two miles north-west. In Spruce Run, the gravels west of Giles are filled with quartz crystals, and so are the gravels and stream in Hanks Knob.
Central Virginia has among the best quartz sites. You can find quartz crystals at the area mines near Faber, or those around Amelia Court House. Search for quartz in the soils and gravels around Fancy Hill, or explore the area gravels near Spottswood.
If you are near the Tye River Gap, you can find quartz crystals in the area outcrops to the west, or you can pay a small fee and go to Chestnut Ridge to explore the farms. Some beautiful quartz specimens are present at the Peaks of Otter, in the area of mines and pegmatites.
If you want to find high-quality quartz and amethyst specimens, go to Charlotte Courthouse and explore the general area in the gravels and diggings 2.5 miles west. Blue gem-quality quartz crystals are present in Henry County, specifically in the area of streams and river gravels, or fields.
In the stream and river gravel area, you can also find blue quartz crystals in Roseland. In Eastern Virginia, quartz crystals are present at numerous queries around Loudon County. You can go to Trevilians, about four miles southwest, and explore the gravels and pits.
The Rose River also has quartz specimens in the gravels near Syria, but you can also try your luck at Minnieville, the western general area.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in Virginia, check out this article.
North Carolina is probably the most abundant quartz crystal state in the U.S. In its western regions, you can find clear, smoky, and amber quartz crystal specimens at Hiddenite, in the area of gravels and soils.
Rutilated or smoky quartz crystals are present near Yakin River, and in the gravels near Hiddenite. You can find rutilated quartz crystals in the general area of Stony Point, or the area mines around White Plains.
Quartz crystals are also present in the area of pegmatites surrounding the South Mountains. If you are near Vengeance Creek, search the headwaters area for quartz. Smoky quartz crystals, among other precious gemstones and minerals, can be located in the area of gravels and pits near Unaka or at the Elijah Mountain Gem Mine.
The general area around Elf is also worth visiting, but if you want to find rutilated crystals, go to Casar, about two miles west. Milky and massive quartz crystals, along with black tourmaline specimens, are present in several mines around Lattimore.
Visit the Broad River and its tributaries in the gravels near Shelby to find high-quality quartz crystals, or go to Stice Shoal Lake Dam, the northeastern area, to find smoky quartz crystals. Dendritic quartz crystals are present in the many area mines and prospects around Franklin.
You can find quartz crystals, rubies, or opals at Higdon Mountain, the area to the south near U.S. 64. The gravels near Highlands are also filled with quartz crystals.
If you want to find phantom quartz crystals, go to Woodlawn, and search the northern area. Dendritic quartz crystals are also present at Wiseman’s View, the general area.
Blue quartz crystals, along with platinum and diamonds, are often uncovered at Hollands Creek, in the gravels near Rutherfordton.
In Central North Carolina, you can find quartz crystals and red, gem-quality quartzite in the area streams and fields around Burlington. Rose quartz is present at Catawba, at the quartz seams four miles east near the railroad.
Green, with asbestos inclusions, quartz crystals are unearthed in the general area of Gibsonville. Clear, smoky, or rutilated quartz crystals can be found at the many old queries around Montgomery.
You can also find sagenitic quartz crystals in the area of gravels and streams around Hillsborough. If you want to find smoky, milky quartz crystals, go to Big Creek, the north bank near Dan River.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in North Carolina, check out this article.
Georgia designated quartz as its official state gemstone in 1976. You can find many sites filled with quartz in northwestern Georgia, in areas such as Stone Mountain or about 1.5 miles west of Bremen.
In Northeastern Georgia, you can find clear, smoky quartz crystals or citrine at Tallula Falls, in the area of creeks. At Hunter Knob, on the northeastern side, you can find beautiful quartz crystals. If you are near Chatuge Lake, explore the beach gravels for quartz crystals, you may even find rutile.
Amethyst and high-quality quartz crystals are also available in the area between Jack Branch and Shoal Branch. In Western Georgia, you can find blue, rose, smoky, or clear quartz crystals in the area road cuts around Hillsboro.
Gem-quality quartz crystals are also present in Monticello, the plowed fields along Routte 83. In Eastern Georgia, you can find quartz at Girard, the area on the G.A. side of the state border.
Quartz crystals, along with aquamarine gemstones, and amethyst, are present at Dewy Rose in the area of creeks and exposures.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in Georgia, check out this article.
New Hampshire is also a worthy state to search for quartz crystals, especially smoky variants. You can find smoky quartz crystals at Conway, the gravels 2.5 miles to the northeast, or the general area around Hurricane Mountain or Moat Mountain Mineral Site. The state’s official gemstone is, in fact, the smoky quartz crystal, since 1985.
Clear, smoky quartz crystals are also present in the area quarries near Redstone, but you can also find rose quartz at Derry Hill, the west side. Rose, smoky, and white quartz crystals are also present at the Ruggles Mine, near Grafton.
You can also find rose quartz crystals at Mount Kearsage, near the peak, the old area mining dumps and gravels near Raymond or the general area and old mining dumps near Beryl Mountain.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in New Hampshire, check out this article.
Alabama is also worth exploring for quartz crystals. The state designated the star blue quartz as its official gemstone in 1990. You can find quartz crystals in Ashland County at Pleasant Grove Road.
In Alexander City, you can find quartz crystals at the outcrops on the west shores of Lake Martin or the access areas on the easter shores of Lake Martin. In Tuscaloosa County, you can find quartz specimens at the strip mines just four miles west of Brookwood.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in Alabama, check out this article.
South Dakota designated rose quartz as its official state mineral in 1966, and it does have some beautiful rockhounding sites worth exploring. You can find quartz crystals in the area of gravel around Tin Mountain.
The area mines near Keystone are also worth exploring, and so is Elk Creek. Search the area of gravels north of Wasta.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in South Dakota, check out this article.
TIP: No gemstone’s value is as elusive and variable as quartz. Check out the main factors that determine the value of quartz crystals and the value of different varieties in the article below:
How Much is Quartz Worth? Value for Common Quartz Varieties
FAQ About Finding Quartz Crystals
Still did not find the answer to your questions about finding quartz crystals? Find frequently asked questions in the section below:
Can Quartz be Found Everywhere?
Quartz is among the most common minerals in the world, commonly present in Earth’s crust. You can find it in mines, quarries, road cuts, outcrops, rivers, streams, gravels, creeks, pits, pegmatites, and many other environments, but it isn’t present everywhere.
Is Quartz Rare to Find?
Quartz isn’t rare to find as it is the second most abundant mineral in Earth’s crust. You can find it with ease if you understand how it forms. Even gemstones such as amethyst, citrine, or agate are just other forms of quartz.
Can You Find Quartz in Your Backyard?
Since quartz is so common, you may just as easily find it in your own backyard, depending on where you live. As the second most abundant mineral in Earth’s crust, you can try your luck in the environments mentioned above. Fields and farms are often great places to find quartz.
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)
Quartz minerals and crystals, although appearing common, are among the most beautiful specimens you can find in the wild. There are so many types of quartz, ranging in colors, shapes, and sizes, and all of them are within your reach if you search for them in the environments and states mentioned above.
TIP: Rock cutting is a specialized task, and you cannot use any old saw for the job. Find out the best saws for cutting rocks in the article below:
What Is The Best Saw For Cutting Rocks? Try These 3 Saws