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Finding Turquoise: 8 Best Locations Near Me (United States)

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Turquoise is a semi-precious gemstone. Admired for thousands of years by Native Americans, this gemstone is now among the most popular items to collect by rockhounds across the states. But how common is turquoise in the U.S., and where can you find it?

You can generally find turquoise all over North America, and it’s abundant in the southwestern states, such as Arizona or Nevada. Turquoise is generally found in dry climates and forms in sedimentary or volcanic rocks through a chemical reaction. You can easily find it in mines or mine dumps, but there are many other potential locations.

Let’s see exactly how turquoise forms, and what general areas you should consider searching for it!

Where Can I Find Turquoise Near Me
Where Can I Find Turquoise Near Me

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Where Can I Find Turquoise Near Me

Turquoise isn’t found in all U.S. states. However, if you have an area near you with past volcanic activity, there are some chances to find this beautiful blue stone. Areas with sedimentary or volcanic rocks in arid climates have a high chance of presenting turquoise specimens. 

Water rich in certain minerals such as copper or aluminum can leak through rock, creating veins that later turn the stone into a clump of turquoise. Across the U.S., the best places to find turquoise are mines, mine dumps, mountains, gravels, washes and draws, peaks, shores, hills, and other terrain types.

The highest quality of turquoise can be even more expensive than diamonds. Since native Americans cherish this gemstone, it’s possible to find it in areas where they also used to live. Let’s inspect some areas where turquoise is usually found.

Mines and Mine Dump

It comes without question that the best locations where you can find turquoise are within mines and around mine dumps. The turquoise hotspot is Between 3,000 feet / 914 meters and 8,500 feet / 2,590 meters. 

Dry and arid climates are ideal for producing turquoise specimens. If the conditions are right, many sedimentary and volcanic rocks can naturally develop into turquoise over tens of thousands of years. The best way to find a genuine turquoise specimen in the United States is to visit such mines or scavenge the appropriate mining dumps.

Mountains and Peaks

There are several locations in the U.S. where turquoise specimens have been found around mountains or peaks. Generally, if there are mines situated near such places, there are even higher chances of finding them.

Washes and Draws

The world changes ever so slightly in one human life. However, turquoise forms much slower than that. Due to this, some other excellent locations where you can find this precious gemstone are near washes and draws. 


Though turquoise forms in dry and arid climates, the terrain changes over time. Due to this, you may stumble upon turquoise specimens in the most uncanny of places, such as the shores of lakes. Though rare, there are some areas where you are more likely to find this gemstone than others. 

TIP: Gemstones are rare treasures that can be found in natural environments around the world. Find out the best tips on finding gemstones in nature in the article below:
8 Tips On Finding Gemstones In Nature (Rivers & Creeks)

Where to Find Turquoise in the US? The Best Locations

Where to Find Turquoise in the US
Where to Find Turquoise in the US

There are several states in the U.S. where you can find turquoise specimens. You can find gem-quality turquoise in some areas, big or small, and in various colors. For example, the rarest type of turquoise is the Lander Blue Spider Web Turquoise, which is only found in one mine in Nevada.

Generally, North America has several places where turquoise is found, yet the wealthiest states are the southwestern ones, such as Nevada or Arizona. Some other states where you can find turquoise include California, Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico. Nevada is the best state to find turquoise, with the most numerous locations.

NevadaRoyston Turquoise Mine, Walker Lake, Copper King Mine
ArizonaMine Dumps along Coronado Trail, Area of Mineral Park & Cerbat
New MexicoJarilla Mountains, Apache Mine, Mount Chalchihuitl
Where to Find Turquoise in the US

It’s easy to say what states you can find turquoise in the U.S. But, let’s take a deeper look at these states and analyze some specific locations!


Turquoise is also known as the “jewel of the desert”. It was designated as the official semi-precious state gemstone of Nevada in 1987, and rightfully so.

Nevada has the most numerous locations where enthusiasts and rockhounds alike can search for turquoise. It is also the place where the rarest type of turquoise in the world is mined, the Lander Blue Spider Web Turquoise.

One gram of this turquoise can cost between $300 and $1,500 or more, depending on the quality, hardness, and aesthetic beauty. Some of the best locations where you can find turquoise in Nevada are in the northeastern, northwestern, central, and southern parts of the state.

In northeastern Nevada, you can find turquoise at the Copper King Mine near Carlin. Faustite green type of turquoise can be found here. The Fox Mine and many other mines nearby are also abundant in this gemstone.

In northwestern Nevada, you can search for turquoise on the shores of Walker Lake and the surrounding area. There are plenty of fossils here as well. If you plan on visiting Excelsior Mountain, the eastern area contains turquoise. 

In central Nevada, the area draws and washes near Coaldale, which contains turquoise specimens. You can also try your luck in the area around Sugar Loaf Peak. If you are in southern Nevada or near Las Vegas, you can find turquoise at Crescent Peak, on the south side of Prospects.

The White Basin, Black Canyon, Las Vegas Wash, or the Valley of Fire State Park may also yield turquoise specimens. You can also visit the Royston Turquoise Mine to find specimens, but you must pay a small fee.

TIP: Check out this article for a complete rockhounding guide in Nevada.


Arizona isn’t as rich when it comes to turquoise gemstones as Nevada. However, if you are here, you may find it in two notable locations. Clifton Town is a small area with many rewarding rock-hounding locations nearby.

Head to the mine dumps along Coronado Trail to find turquoise specimens. In western Arizona, there is a city named Kingman, which is littered with many old mines and prospects.

You may find turquoise specimens in the Mineral Park & Cerbat area. If luck runs out on you, you can find many other precious gemstones and minerals here.

Cave Creek is another mine worth visiting in Arizona to view turquoise specimens. Near Bisbee, Lavender Pit is a mine where green turquoise was unearthed.

The Morenci Mine in the southeastern part of Arizona is also worth visiting. However, the Sleeping Beauty Mine is even more famous. Light blue turquoise is mined here and is of the highest quality.

TIP: Check out this article for a complete rockhounding guide in Arizona.

TIP: Once you have tumbled your own rocks and have loads of gorgeously polished gemstones, you may start wondering what you can do with them. Check out cool ideas in the article below:
What Can You Do with Tumbled Rocks? 10 Simple & Clever Ideas


Texas is another location with many rockhounding sites, and turquoise specimens are easily found there. If you’re in the western part of the state, go to the northeast side of the Carrizo Mountains and explore the area.

About five miles west of Van Horn, the area prospects are worth investigating for turquoise specimens. This gemstone can also be found in Sierra Blanc, particularly in the area’s mines and prospects.

TIP: Check out this article for a complete rockhounding guide in Texas.


The state of Colorado is another great candidate on your list of states where you can find turquoise. One of the best areas to find this gemstone is Mineral County.

If you are in Mineral County and want a safe bet at finding turquoise, you can head to the Last Chance Mine. However, you will have to pay a small fee before entering.

If you want to try your luck and do it the hard way, head to Willow Creek, the West Fork steam bed. Here, you will find turquoise specimens of various sizes. 

TIP: Check out this article for a complete rockhounding guide in Colorado.

New Mexico

The state of New Mexico is probably the second-best state in the U.S. to find turquoise specimens. New Mexico designated turquoise as its state mineral in 1967, even earlier than Nevada.

There are many locations around Albuquerque where you can find turquoise. Mount Chalchihuitl is an excellent northwestern site in the state; the area slopes and draws. In the southwestern parts of the state, you can find turquoise at Apache Mine, near Hachita. 

The area mines around the Jarilla Mountains are also abundant in turquoise. Some other fantastic locations where you can find turquoise in New Mexico include the Los Cerrillos Mining District and the Burro Mountains Mining District.

Many active and abandoned mines in these districts contain turquoise. Do your research beforehand for your safety before visiting these mines.

TIP: Check out this article for a complete rockhounding guide in New Mexico.


If you want to find or view turquoise specimens in California, you can head to the Llanada Copper Mine near San Benito County.

Some other excellent locations to find turquoise in California include the Baker Gove and Apache Canyon Mines near San Bernardino County.

TIP: Check out this article for a complete rockhounding guide in California.


The state of Arkansas isn’t so well known for its turquoise gemstones. However, there are several places where this beautiful gem was discovered.

You can try your luck at the Mauldin Mountain Quarries or the North Mountain Mine. The Mona Lisa Mine is also worth a shot, as does the Coon Creek Mine. Turquoise was also discovered at the Big Bear Mine.

TIP: Check out this article for a complete rockhounding guide in Arkansas.


If you are in the state of Alabama, you are lucky! There are several locations where you may view or find turquoise specimens. The Hobbs Mine is a great location to start, and so is Idaho Mine.

The First Woods Prospect is also another place worth searching for turquoise. However, your best bet would be to go to Coosa County, as there are several locations where you can search for turquoise.

TIP: Check out this article for a complete rockhounding guide in Alabama.

TIP: Turquoise is an extremely valuable gemstone. It is one of the oldest gemstones known to humanity. Find out how valuable turquoise can be in the article below:
3 Key Factors of Turquoise Value: Is It Worth Any Money?

FAQs About Finding Turquoise

Still haven’t found an answer to your questions about finding turquoise? Find frequently asked questions in the section below.

Is Turquoise Hard to Find?

Turquoise is one of the world’s most rare gemstones, making it difficult to find. For example, turquoise is mined at depths ranging from 3,000 to 8,500 feet (914 to 2,590 meters). However, it is easier to find in dry and arid climates, where previous specimens have been discovered.

What Kind of Rock Is Turquoise Found In?

Turquoise is formed when water containing aluminum, copper, and other elements penetrates sedimentary or volcanic rocks.

For example, basalt-covered sandstone could be turquoise. You’ve most likely discovered turquoise if you can’t scratch the rock with your fingernail. If visible marks appear, they are most likely howlite.

Can You Find Turquoise on the Surface?

Turquoise is often a by-product of copper and gold mining. In many instances, you can find it on surface rocks.

It was most likely separated from its host due to natural phenomena or man-made tools. Turquoise deposits run deep underground or on mountainsides. It may even drift and be carried away by water in certain natural events.

Is Turquoise Only Found in North America?

Turquoise is commonly found in North America and some southwestern U.S. states such as Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. Turquoise is also abundant in Egypt, Northwest China, Mexico, Iran, and other places worldwide.

Where in the US Are Some of the Largest Turquoise Mines Located?

Some of the biggest Turquoise Mines in the U.S. are in Nevada and Arizona. For example, the Kingman Mine in northwestern Arizona is the biggest turquoise mine in the U.S.

Some other noteworthy mines are Royston Turquoise Mine in Nevada, Bisbee, Blue Diamond, Blue Gem, Pilot Mountain, and High Lonesome in New Mexico.

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):


Turquoise is among the most beautiful and rarest gemstones in the world. Gem-like quality turquoise can be even more expensive than diamonds. If you are hunting for this blue gemstone, remember howlite is often confused with turquoise. 

To distinguish between the two, one easy test would be to see if you can scratch the stone with your fingernails. If you are lucky and are born in or near the southwestern states of the U.S., you have a high chance of finding turquoise specimens. If not, a trip is more than worth finding this beautiful blue stone.

TIP: Mineral identification is an integral part of work for mineral collectors and scientists. Check out the ultimate step-by-step guide on identifying minerals in the article below:
Easy Step-by-Step Mineral Identification (Expert Explains)