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Selenite is a different form of gypsum, still beautiful, but it mostly occurs as either transparent crystals or thin plates. If you want to search for this beautiful mineral in the open field, you are lucky, as selenite occurs in many places!
Selenite is found in the majority of U.S. states, with Arizona, Oklahoma, and California being some of the most abundant states in this mineral. Since it is a crystallized form of gypsum, you can primarily find it in mines or near bodies of water. Selenite forms when calcium-rich saltwater and sulfate evaporate.
The most common color of selenite is white, however, you may also find gold-colored specimens, or even peach, or rose ones. Let’s see exactly where selenite is mostly found, and what are the best states to search for it!
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 Selenite Near Me (Most Common Environments)
Living in the U.S. is a blessing for rockhounds, as they have access to various specimens. Selenite is one of them. If you want to know what are the best locations near you to find selenite, you should consider how it forms.
Selenite forms out of evaporated saltwater, being a byproduct of salt. Sulfate or calcium-rich saltwater are the best mediums for selenite formation. Because of this, some of the best environments to find selenite includes mines and mine dumps, quarries, bluffs, road cuts, stream gravels, exposures, pits, caves, and outcrops.
What’s amazing about selenite is its ability to grow if the conditions are right. Some of the biggest crystal structures ever discovered on earth are selenite.
Some selenite crystals discovered by accident were 13 meters long, and 2 meters wide beneath the Chihuahuan Desert, namely the Cristal Cave. Let’s see exactly why selenite crystals are easier to find in such environments!
Mines, Quarries & Mine Dumps
Selenite crystals form at depths of even 300 meters, or more. Because of this, it’s easy to find them in mines or quarries. The deeper a mine goes, the higher the chances selenite specimens will be exposed. Mines dumps are also excellent environments to find selenite specimens.
Road Cuts, Outcrops, or Streams
Road cuts and outcrops often expose selenite specimens, among other crystals and rocks. They are among the best environments in general for any rockhounding enthusiast to find various specimens.
Streams, due to their moving nature, are also a potent medium where selenite can be found. Stream gravels are particularly worth searching.
Caves or Pits
As mentioned above, selenite specimens are easily found underground, and caves or pits are excellent mediums for them. The Cristal Cave under the Chihuahuan Desert is an excellent example of this, where huge crystals about 13 meters long, and 2 meters wide were unearthed.
TIP: Rockhounding in the desert might not seem rewarding at first. However, there are many rocks, minerals, and gemstones that you can find if you know where to look for them.
Rockhounding in Desert: How to Find + 5 Best Places in the USA
Where Is Selenite Found in the US? The Best Locations
If you want to start searching for selenite specimens, and other forms of gypsum in the U.S., then your best bet is to go explore the environments mentioned above. Selenite is found in most U.S. states.
The western, eastern, and southern states are the most abundant in selenite. The central U.S. is also worth exploring for these crystals. Some of the best states to find selenite in the U.S. include Oklahoma, Arizona, California, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Texas, and Utah.
|Oklahoma||Great Salt Plains, Beckham County, Greer County|
|Virginia||Galax, Whitetop, Carroll County|
|Indiana||Parke County, Owen County, Lawrence County|
Let’s explore some of the best U.S states to find selenite, and see exactly where you should go to find them!
Oklahoma Selenite Locations
Oklahoma might not have as many selenite locations as other U.S. states, however, it is the most famous selenite state due to its abundance of hourglass selenite crystals. These crystals are unique and prized, and they are mostly found at the Great Salt Plains State Park, in Alfalfa County.
In fact, it’s most likely that due to their unique shape and beauty, Oklahoma designated selenite as its official state mineral in 2005. Though you can find selenite crystals and rose rocks in Western Oklahoma at the Great Salt Plains, you will need to pay a small fee to do so.
If you are near Beckham County, OK, you can find selenite specimens at the local quarries. Some other rich selenite counties in Oklahoma include Blaine, Greer, Harper, Jackson, and Major County.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in Oklahoma, check out this article.
Finding Selenite in Utah
Utah is among the most abundant U.S. states in selenite, with various locations across its borders worth exploring. In Emery County, you can find selenite specimens near the San Rafael River, south of the highway.
Sevier County has many more areas to explore. You can find selenite at Glenwood, in the northeastern areas, or at Sigurd. Rock Candy Mountain is another beautiful place worth exploring to find selenite.
The Cactus Mine in Beaver County hosts many fascinating crystals and minerals, including selenite specimens. If you are near Iron County, you should visit Cedar Canyon to find selenite. Piute County has numerous locations where you can find selenite in Utah.
For example, you can visit Marysvale and search for selenite in the many surrounding area mines. The area mines around Bullion Canyon are also filled with selenite.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in Utah, check out this article.
North & South Dakota Selenite Areas
North Dakota and South Dakota are some amazing states for those that wish to find selenite crystals. For example, in North Dakota, you can find selenite crystals in Hettinger County, the area north along Thirty Mile Creek.
You can also try your luck at Richardton, the broader southern area. The best counties to find selenite in North Dakota include Burke, Cass, Hettinger, and Stark County.
In South Dakota, you can find some beautiful selenite crystals at Piedmont, the area just to the east. Selenite roses are present in Wagner, east to Scotland, in the road cuts, or stream gravels. Cluster County, as a whole, has among the most selenite locations in the state.
Overall, the best counties to find selenite in South Dakota are Bon Homme County, Custer County, Douglas County, Harding County, Lawrence County, Oglala Lakota County, or Yankton County.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in North and South Dakota, check out this article and this article.
Looking for Selenite in Arizona
Arizona is another selenite abundant state, with exceptionally numerous locations across its borders. In Apache County, you can find selenite at Cane Valley Mining District. The mines around the Perilla Mountains are also worth exploring, and so is Ramsey Canyon.
Gila County has the Globe-Miami Mining District, where many interesting specimens are found regularly. You can find selenite here at Sleeping Beauty Peak, Lost Gulch Mine, or the Coronado fault area.
In La Paz County, you can find selenite in the Santa Maria mining district, especially the Buckskin Mountains, or Swansea. The Blue Bell Mine is also worth visiting here.
In Pima County, selenite crystals were unearthed at Cross Hill or the vicinity of Marsh Station. The Quijotoa Mountains or Ben Nevis Mountain in this county are also bearing selenite specimens.
The area mines around Sierrita Mountains, especially Mission Mine and Mission Pit, are filled with selenite specimens. In Santa Cruz County, you can find selenite in the Hardshell Gulch area.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in Arizona, check out this article.
California Selenite Locations
If you are located in California and want to find selenite, you are extremely lucky since this state is also among the most abundant in it.
You can find selenite in Cavaleras, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Mono, Riverside, San Bernadino, Santa Barbara, or Ventura County. All of these counties have numerous locations where you can find selenite specimens, including crystals, or selenite roses.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in California, check out this article.
TIP: As with any other natural material, selenite has several fakes with a similar appearance. Check out the main differences between real and fake selenite in the article below:
Real vs. Fake Selenite: Focus on These 5 Differences
FAQ About Finding Selenite
Still did not find the answer to your questions about finding selenite? Find frequently asked questions in the section below:
Is Selenite Naturally Occurring?
Selenite is a naturally occurring crystalline mineral. It is known and often referred to as gypsum or calcium sulfate, however, selenite is just a variety of gypsum. These minerals form when evaporated saltwater leaves behind an accumulation of salt.
Where Is Most Selenite Found?
Selenite is mostly found underground, even at depths of 300 meters. In the U.S., California, Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Utah are some of the most abundant selenite states.
Worldwide, selenite is commonly found in other countries such as Japan, Russia, Poland, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, and Mexico.
What States Have Selenite?
Most U.S. states have selenite specimens. You can find selenite in the following states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North & South Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
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)
Selenite is perhaps among the most beautiful forms of gypsum, especially in its crystal stage. The hourglass selenite in Oklahoma is a great example of this, and it’s no wonder you might want to find it.
Selenite roses are also beautiful and are a worthy addition to any collection. If you want to find selenite near you, take into account the tips mentioned above. Search for the beautiful mineral in the aforementioned environments and states. Good luck hunting!
TIP: Selenite is a valuable variety of gypsum. It is plentiful in good quality and readily available on all online shopping platforms and mineral shows. Find out more in the article below:
Selenite Value: Main Factors & Prices for Different Units