Tours Travel

Collecting Rocks, Minerals and Gems in the USA

Collecting rocks is educational and fun for many people. Some people treat it as a hobby and others as a career. As amateurs, it is fun to open rocks to see a hidden mystery. Will the unknown revelation be a mineral, a crystal or a gem?

Opening a rock to reveal an unknown treasure is exciting. Start by collecting rocks in your yard or garden. The reveal can be dust, a unique color other than the exterior, or something interesting but unidentifiable.

Searching for local surroundings will require investigation. Each state in America has different types of rocks. Before you begin collecting rocks, contact your local Land Management Office, Department of Forestry, or Department of Wildlife. These organizations will list the rocks, minerals, and gems of your state available in your area. These organizations provide maps of the location of the rocks, educational materials, and a variety of rock dog items. There is a variety of information available on

Other sources of information:

  • Join organizations and clubs

  • Visit online

  • Community and university libraries

  • Trade magazines

  • Books and Articles

  • Educational visual aids

  • Geologists

  • Mining companies

  • Rock chase public locations; entrance fees and free.

An individual’s enthusiasm will drive searches in other lands. Check the laws. regulations and ethics governing rock chasing. It is good manners to obtain permission from landlords to register your private property. Public lands are open to search, except for national monuments.

Why the concern about permission? You may be thinking, “These are just ugly rocks that no one wants.”

It is a question of what is inside the rock. Does that rock hide a mineral, crystal or gem? A big legal problem is known as mining rights. There are other insurance and legal concerns on the part of public and private homeowners.

Rock collectors climb mountains, walk through mines, and visit barren stretches of land.

1. Never pick up rocks alone.

2. Seek safety with a buddy or group of experienced rock hounds. Rock collectors climb mountains, walk through mines, and visit barren stretches of land.

3. Travel with others to share knowledge and experiences.

4. A rock identification book is helpful.

Rocks, crystals and gems

  • Rocks are available everywhere.

  • The crystals are found in deserts or volcanic ash beds.

  • We collect gems in the United States on government property. The government has its rules, requirements and regulations for prospecting for gems.

One question that is often asked is can you find gems in your backyard? The answer is yes.

Have an inground pool installed in your backyard or other type of construction job? The sand and dirt that are swept up for these projects may be hiding buried treasure.

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