Where to Rockhound in Montana & What You Can Find (2022)

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Montana is among the wealthiest states for rockhounding in its variety of precious, semi-precious stones or rare variants of common rocks such as agates. With its eastern parts filled with magnificent world-class fossils of dinosaurs, and its western parts abundant in various rare minerals, it isn’t a place that you want to miss.

Places such as the Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine, Crystal Park, Ruby River, Emma Mines, or Gallatin National Forest contain some of the best rockhounding sites in Montana. You can find gold, sapphires, amethyst, garnets, rubies, turquoise, rare types of agates, jasper, jade, topaz, quartz crystals, rhodonite!

Often referred to as the Treasure State, Montana grew famous for its gold deposits and unexpected findings across the state. Let’s see exactly where you can go gem hunting in Montana and what you can find!

If you are interested in checking out the best rockhounding book about rockhounding in Montana you can find it by clickinghere(Amazon link).

Where to Rockhound in Montana & What You Can Find (1)

Best Rock Hunting Sites in Montana

The western parts of Montana are generally the best for rockhounds to find specimens. Some of the best rock hunting sites include the Crystal Park, Calvert Hill Mine, Gallatin National Forest, Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine, Anaconda, Spokane Bar Sapphire Mine, Montana Blue Jewel Mine, Bald Mountain, Missouri River, Ruby River, and Emma Mines, among many others.

Though there are plenty of great places to rockhound in Montana, we can’t spoil all the fun and present all of them; however, let’s talk about some of the best and most popular!

Crystal Park

Located in southwest Montana, in the Pioneer Mountains, Crystal Park offers visitors the chance to find various quartz crystals that come in different colors, such as gray, purple, white, and others. Here you can also find amethyst, even the smoky version, and other types of crystals.

You have to pay a small fee to enter, but the sights are totally worth it!

Butte District

Butte County is located in the far south of the state, and it is the county seat of Silver Bow County. The northern, southwestern, and western parts of this county are filled with rhodochrosite crystal veins.

Some mines, such as the Emma Mines, are popular locations where you can witness other minerals such as chalcopyrite, barite, calcite, bornite, and others. Most crystals and minerals popular in Montana can be found in the mines located here.

Madison County

Madison County, located in the southwestern part of Montana, is among the best places to rockhound. Here, you can head towards the Ruby River, where you can find almandite garnets that come in red, orange, or even pink colors.

Plenty of sapphire deposits have been discovered in this region of the state, making it a popular choice for gem hunters.

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):

(Video) HOW TO FIND AGATES in River Silt - Rockhounding Montana Agates

Gold Prospecting Clubs in Montana

Montana has a rich history when it comes to gold, being nicknamed the Treasure State due to its abundance and how often gold was struck in random locations. Thus, it is only natural that plenty of gold prospecting clubs in Montana were founded, where members search throughout old and new sites for the mineral.

The western parts of the state are often the richest in gold in old mines and creeks.

Some popular gold prospecting clubs that you can join in Montana include the Montana Blackfoot River Gold Prospecting Club, the Northwest Montana Gold Prospectors, G.P.A.A Headwaters Chapter, Yellowstone Prospectors, or Central Montana Prospectors, among others.

TIP: What kind of hammer do you use for rockhounding? Classic rock hammer or do you prefer brick hammer? Find out the main differences between these two hammers in the article below:

Rock Hammer vs. Brick Hammer: Explained Usage for Rockhounding

What Gemstones Are Found in Montana?

There are many types of gemstones to be found in Montana, such as amethyst, the smoky version of it, rubies, sapphires, or turquoise, but there are far more out there!

In the table below, you can see where to find some of the most popular gemstones in Montana, and further down, we will get even into more details concerning these specimens:

Gemstone Location
RubiesRock Creek, Granite County, Red Rock Mine
SapphiresThe Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine, Montana Blue Jewel Mine, Madison County
AmethystCrystal Park, Jefferson County, Delmoe Lake
TurquoiseButte Mining District, Berkeley Pit, Silver Bow

Rubies are found in the western and southern portions of Montana, and this gemstone is often found alongside Montana sapphires. Some of the best places to find rubies in Montana include the Rock Creek, Granite county, Red Rock Mine, or the Missouri River.

Plenty of washed-off gravels in stream deposits contain sapphires, and Montana is known as the best state in the U.S. for sapphire findings, with over 15 sites where this gemstone can be found.

Where to Rockhound in Montana & What You Can Find (2)

You can find sapphire in Montana in places such as the Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine, Montana Blue Jewel Mine at El Dorado Bar, in Beaverhead County, Deer Lodge County, Granite County, Clark County, Madison County, or the Silver Bow County, among many others.

When it comes to amethyst, the Crystal Park in Elkhorn Hot Springs Area, Pioneer Mountains, Montana, is among the best places to find this gemstone, along with its smoky variants. Some other great places to find amethyst include Bald Mountain, Little Gem Mine, Homestake Pass, Delmoe Lake, or Wissikihon Creek.

Turquoise is a bit harder to find in Montana; however, the best places you can hope to find it are related to Butte District. You can find turquoise in the Berkeley Pit, Butte Mining District, in the Butte-Silver Bow region.

What Kind of Rocks Are in Montana?

There are plenty of precious or semi-precious stones to be found in Montana; however, some common specimens include geodes, agates, jasper, or serpentine, among others.

Various beautiful agate specimens are found in this state, such as the dry head agate or the moss agate. In the table below, you can see where to find these popular rocks in Montana.

(Video) Finding Gemstone Treasures on a Montana River | Montana Rock Hunting | Agate, & Petrified Wood

Rock Location
GeodesButte District, Crystal Park, Pryor Mountains
AgatesBig Horn River, Yellowstone River Basin, between the Big Horn and Pryor Mountains
JasperYellowstone River, Miles City, Missouri River

You can find geodes in the Butte District area, Crystal Park, or the Pryor Mountains in Montana, and some areas where rockhounds are allowed to collect specimens offer children the chance to inspect geodes as well. Interestingly, dryhead agates are often geodes, and you can find them in the Hardin area or the Yellowstone River.

Speaking of agates, in Montana, there are two relatively rare yet beautiful specimens of agates, namely the dryhead agates mentioned earlier and the Montana moss agates.

The dryhead agates are found between the Big Horn and the Pryor Mountains, and the Big Horn River. The Montana moss agates are primarily found in the Yellowstone River Basin region, and they come in translucent colors of gray, white, red, or yellow.

When it comes to finding jasper in Montana, the Yellowstone River is yet again a preferable location. Some other places where you can find jasper in Montana include the regions around Miles City and the Missouri River, among others.

TIP: Montana moss agates are one of the most beautiful agates you can find or buy. But there is a lot of fake agates on the internet. Find out the most common differences between real and fake agates in the article below:

Real vs. Fake Agate: You Should Know These 7 Differences

What Minerals Are Found in Montana?

Montana may be rich in gold, but overall, it is fair to say that it is rich in all kinds of rare or common minerals. Apart from gold, you can find in Montana minerals such as jade, diamonds, garnets, chromite, chalcedony, corundum, rhodonite, and staurolite, among many other precious specimens.

In the table below, we have highlighted where you can find the most prevalent minerals in Montana.

Mineral Location
GoldMissouri River, Clark Fork River, Cooke City area
DiamondsMissouri Breaks, Sweet Grass Hills, Yellow Water Butte area
RhodoniteButte Mining District, Emma Mine, Badger Mine
GarnetsLewis County, Clarke County, Ruby River

Montana is filled with gold, especially in its eastern, western, central, and southern regions. Creeks such as those in the Radersburg area east of the Elkhorn Mountains are filled with gold. The Jardine District located north of Yellowstone National Park presents numerous locations where placer gold can be found.

Panning for gold in Montana is awesome as plenty of rivers are available to choose from. You can pan for gold in rivers such as the Missouri River, Big Hole River, Bitterroot River, Clark Fork River, Boulder River, Yaak River, or Blackfoot River.

Many locations around Cooke City are abundant in gold, making it an excellent spot for rockhounds to visit. Other areas where you can find gold in Montana include the Kendall and North Mocassin Districts located in the state’s central regions.

Diamonds seem to be present in various locations in Montana as well, especially around specimens such as kimberlites and other peridotites. Diamonds in Montana have been found in places such as Missouri Breaks, Grassrange, Yellow Water Butte, and Porcupine Dome areas in the eastern regions.

In the western regions of Montana, diamonds have also been discovered. However, in the northern parts, in the Sweet Grass Hills area, some larger specimens were uncovered.

The beautiful rhodonite mineral is also present in numerous locations across Montana, especially in the Butte Mining District area. The Emma Mine, Parnell Mine, or Badger Mine are just some places where rhodonite can be found in the Butte District.

Almandine garnets of high quality in Montana have been found in the Missouri River, close to Helena, in the county of Lewis and Clarke. In the drainages of the Ruby River, they have also been uncovered. Beautiful garnets of orange, red, and pink colors are present in these regions; however, the Alder Gulch region seems to be to most abundant.

(Video) Unexpected River Gems | Rockhounding Montana

TIP: Did you know that minerals can be radioactive? Radioactive minerals are quite rare but it is always good to know what the most common radioactive minerals are. Check them out in the article below:

What are Radioactive Minerals? 6 Common Radioactive Rocks

Digging for Crystals in Montana

Montana has various specimens of minerals, but it doesn’t shine too far away from the types of crystals that you can find here. Some of the crystals you can find in Montana include topaz, tourmaline, quartz crystals, or rhodochrosite.

In the table below, you can see where you can find some of the most popular crystals in Montana.

Crystal Location
RhodochrositeButte Mining District, Beaverhead County, Walkerville
QuartzCrystal Park, Bald Mountain, Delmoe Lake
TopazButte-Silver Bow, Jefferson County, Lewis, and Clark County
TourmalineBeaverhead County, Jefferson County, Butte-Silver Bow

Rhodochrosite is a beautiful crystal and relatively rare that you may find in Montana. You can find rhodochrosite, especially in the Butte Mining District, the Beaverhead County, or in Walkerville. The north, west, and southwestern parts of Montana are filled with this crystal. The Emma Mine in Butte is particularly rich in it.

Quartz crystals in Montana are very easy to find. The most popular place to find it is Crystal Park in southwest Montana, in the Pioneer Mountains. A variety of quartz crystals are available here for collectors to find for a small fee.

When it comes to topaz, you can find it in Montana in the Butte-Silver Bow at the Berkeley Pit. In Jefferson County, topaz is present in the Boulder Batholith, or the Delmore Lake area, and Strawberry Butte. You can also find topaz in Lewis and Clark counties, East Helena, at the Eldorado Bar, or Spokane Bar.

Tourmaline is also abundant in Montana. You can find this crystal in Beaverhead County, at the Jahnke Mine, Calvert Hill Mining District, Ruby Range, or the Butte-Silver Bow region, at Timber Butte, Granite County at the Golden Eagle Mine, Jefferson County, at Delmoe Lake, or Toll Mountain.

Some other great areas include Elkhorn Mining District, Helena Mining District, Montana City, and Lewis and Clark County.

TIP: Montana is a great place for crystals. But there are many more amazing places for finding crystals in the United States. Find out the best digging places for crystals in the article below:

9 Best Places to Dig and Find Crystals in the USA + Useful Tips

Gold Panning & Prospecting in Montana

Since gold is so abundant in Montana, plenty of gold prospecting clubs have arisen where members can search for the mineral in known popular locations or explore old ones where gold still lingers.

Panning in rivers such as Missouri, or Blackfoot, or Yaack, will guarantee anyone a good catch, and the best part is that it is legal, and you usually don’t require permits. However, always ask first.

You can always go on your own and explore this beautiful state with a metal detector. It is legal as well!

Can You Still Find Gold in Montana?

You might think that gold is easily scavenged, especially when a popular state such as Montana is filled with it, and you might think that you have small chances of finding any gold as well. However, this is far from the truth.

(Video) Montana Rockhounding Tips: Rock Hunting for Agates, Jaspers and Petrified Wood Yellowstone River

You can still find gold in Montana in various places, especially by panning in rivers. Probably the best way of finding gold in Montana is by joining a gold prospecting club and make some friends on your adventures as well!

Is Panning for Gold Legal in Montana?

Panning is legal in Montana, and it usually doesn’t require permits as long as you don’t use suction dredging. There are some regulations that you need to consider if you want to pan for gold in Montana.

Read the USDA’s official guide for gold prospecting here. You will also find out more information on the legality and illegality of rockhounding in Montana, and not just about gold.

Where to Find Dinosaur Fossils in Montana?

Eastern Montana is famous for its dinosaur fossils as some of the most remarkable paleontological discoveries on our planet have been made here, and in Dakota, unveiling dinosaur fossils such as that of the famous Tyrannosaurus Rex, Triceraptors, Hadrosaurs, and others.

The badlands in eastern Montana are the best spots to find dinosaur fossils, no just in Montana but the whole world.

Miles and Glendive cities are mainly focused on dinosaur fossils, hosting various museums, and presenting plenty of locations where fossils can be found.

Concerning other fossils or even petrified wood, you can also explore the Gallatin Petrified Forest in the Gallatin Range.

TIP: I’m sure you know this situation. You are on holiday and find or buy beautiful rocks. But can you take them to the airplane? Check out the article below and find out what to do with your rocks in the plane:

Are You Able To Bring Rocks On An Airplane? You Can But…

FAQ About Rockhounding in Montana

Still did not find the answer to your answers about rockhounding in Montana? Find frequently asked questions in the section below:

Montana doesn’t have an officially designated state rock as of 2021; however, its official state gemstone is the Montana Moss Agate, alongside the beautiful sapphires. Montana also lacks an officially designated state mineral. Moss agates are rare, beautiful, and translucent stones. It is unclear if the state will ever establish an official rock.

Montana has two officially designated state gemstones, namely the Montana Moss Agate and the sapphire. They were set as such since 1969. The Montana Moss agate is found in the Yellowstone River, in the gravel beds, presenting manganese and iron oxides. Sapphires are present throughout the state, especially in the Missouri River, while star sapphires are present in Beaverhead and Madison counties.

The official state fossil of Montana is the Maiasaura Peeblesorum, since 1985. It lived between 70 to 80 million years ago in the coastal plains of the Cretaceous Interior Seaway, and it was a herbivore. Over 10,000 specimens have been uncovered, pointing out that they lived in herds, and nesting places have been discovered for the first time at Egg Mountain.

Conclusion

Though the abundance of gold might take away your attention, it is worth focusing more on the beauty of the other crystals, minerals, fossils, and gemstones that Montana has to offer.

Being one of the richest states where collectors can rejoice in their hobbies and find interesting specimens at almost every step, Montana is undoubtedly among the best locations for rockhounding in the United States.

(Video) Rockhounding at a Fishing Access Site in Montana #thefinders

BTW: Check out this amazing metal sign (Amazon link) which is perfect for everyone who loves rockhounding in Montana!

TIP: And it’s rockhounding time now! But do you know what tools you need for rockhounding? Check out the list of all needed tools and equipment for rockhounding in the article below:

The Complete Guide: All Tools You Need for Rockhounding

FAQs

Where to Rockhound in Montana & What You Can Find? ›

Where To Go Rockhounding In Montana
  • Crystal Park. ...
  • Calvert Hill Mine. ...
  • Gallatin National Forest. ...
  • Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine. ...
  • Anaconda, Montana. ...
  • Spokane Bar Sapphire Mine & Gold Fever Rock Shop.

What kind of gemstones can you find in Montana? ›

These include: jasper, garnet, varieties of quartz, rhodonite, serpentine, staurolite, topaz, tourmaline, and wonderstone. A few diamonds, diamond indicator minerals, and kimberlites have been found in the state.

Where in Montana can you find geodes? ›

The best place to find geodes in Montana is in the gravels of Bear Canyon located in the Pryor Mountains, south of Billings. The geodes are typically lined with drusy quartz and rimmed with black and white fortification agate.

Where are gemstones found in Montana? ›

Places such as the Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine, Crystal Park, Ruby River, Emma Mines, or Gallatin National Forest contain some of the best rockhounding sites in Montana. You can find gold, sapphires, amethyst, garnets, rubies, turquoise, rare types of agates, jasper, jade, topaz, quartz crystals, rhodonite!

Where can I dig for amethyst in Montana? ›

One of Montana's most popular rockhounding locations is also one of its most scenic. Crystal Park, located on the Pioneer Scenic Byway south of Wise River, is an inspiring public dig site where you'll find amethyst as well as smoky and brilliant clear quartz scepters in a variety of forms.

Can you find diamonds in Montana? ›

Though rare, diamonds aren't unheard of in Montana. Prospectors have plucked the gems from stream beds and glacial valleys for years - most notably the 14-carat Lewis and Clark diamond found at the base of a steep slope near Craig in 1990.

Where can I find opals in Montana? ›

Opal from Montana, USA
Madison Co. Lower Hot Springs Mining District (Norris Mining District) ⓘ Red BluffUSGS Bull 574
Missoula Co. ⓘ Patte CanyonUniversity of Adelaide - Tate Museum collection # 22842. Ex. O.W Florke Collection
Ravalli Co. ⓘ Cathedral Rock plutonWC van Laer, 2009
11 more rows

Where can I dig for garnets in Montana? ›

Calvert Hill Mine

About six miles west of Wise River, the Calvert Hill Mine is a good place to find epidote, aquamarine, scheelite and garnets.

Are there emeralds in Montana? ›

In Montana, found in the western Middle Rockies forested region of the state. The preferred habitat of the Mountain Emerald includes ponds, marshes, fens, bogs and swamps, as well as wet meadows associated with small streams.

Where can I find sapphires in Montana? ›

Montana's many colored sapphires are mined in the famous placer gravels in the Sapphire Mountains near Philipsburg about 200 miles northwest of Yellowstone National Park. Most of the sapphires are found in the famed Rock Creek deposit, nicknamed “Gem Mountain.” Gold miners discovered sapphires there in the 1890's.

Can you find jade in Montana? ›

The geology-rich states of Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana are like a pirate's treasure chest; gold, sapphire, opal, amethyst, jade, quartz, garnet, and topaz are just a handful of the many gemstones that can be found around the region.

What do sapphires from Montana look like? ›

Most of the sapphires from Montana are a pale green to blue-green when they are mined, with very limited numbers of deep blues and other fancy colors such as yellow, orange, violet and pink.

Are Montana sapphires rare? ›

Are Montana Sapphires Rare? Montana sapphire is not found in very large rough pieces. Considering that a rough nugget will yield a cut stone only about 1/3 of the original size means that large, fine quality faceted Montana sapphires are very rare.

Where can I find Thundereggs in Montana? ›

A fantastic orange filled Montana Thunder Egg shown after being cut open. Special geologic treasures like this can be cut for you while you wait at locations like Opal Mountain Gems in Philipsburg, MT. You never know what exactly is going to be inside a Montana Thunder Egg until you buy it and have it cut.

Where are blue agates in Montana? ›

Most Montana Agate is found in Eastern Montana. Madison Blue Agate, a much less common agate that can be found in the Bozeman area near the Madison River, varies from cloudy milk-white to translucent deep blue. The deep blue is the most sought after and is quite breathtaking.

Where can I find Montana Moss Agate? ›

The Yellowstone River Basin that flows across the eastern part of Montana is the place to start your hunt. The Yellowstone River is the most popular place to hunt for moss agates. The productive are covers several hundred miles along the river.

Is Montana agate rare? ›

The Montana Agate was spread over in a vast area surrounding millions of square miles. The exquisiteness of this is that they cannot be mined by small number of enterprises. In fact, it will still be available with small amount, particularly for the public and stone collectors for several years to come.

What does a diamond look like when it is first found? ›

In other words, they have not been altered or tampered with after they were discovered. Raw diamonds look like transparent stones with yellowish or brownish tints. There are some that are colorless but these are rare.

Is there gold in Crystal Park Montana? ›

Our rich mineral reserves have been a major part of our economy in the past, and these days, you can still find gold, sapphires, and other stones all over the state. And if it's quartz crystals you're after, all you have to do is head to Crystal Park.

Where can you dig for sapphires? ›

Sapphires are mined throughout the world. And in the U.S., they're mined mainly in Montana. Hobbyists can mine for sapphires near Helena and Philipsburg. Yogo sapphires — prized for their clarity, deep blue color, and high value — are mined commercially near Lewistown.

Where can I find ruby? ›

Where are rubies mined? The finest rubies come from Burma (Myanmar). They are also mined in Afghanistan, Australia, Cambodia, India, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam.

Where is Amethyst Found? ›

The major sources of Amethyst are from Brazil as geodes within volcanic rocks, Uruguay, South Korea, Russia, United States, and South India. Zambia is one of the largest global amethyst producers of 1000 tonnes annually.

Where is sapphire most commonly found? ›

Many of the gems come from Asia, where stones are found in the mines of Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Afghanistan, and other countries. Mines can also be found in Australia and the African nations of Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, and Madagascar.

What are the green rocks in Montana? ›

Under heat and pressure the iron-silicate minerals were converted to chlorite, a mineral which produced the green rocks found in the park today. Stromatolite Fossils found near Grinnell Glacier.

Why is Montana sapphire so expensive? ›

Montana Sapphire

Due to the limited resources for the Montana sapphires, a majority of the natural Montana sapphires will be under 1ct. To be specific, the majority is under 1/2ct and a very limited supply of the sapphires are over 1ct, which makes the stone substantially more expensive per carat.

What is a Mermaid sapphire? ›

A mermaid sapphire is another name for a Montana sapphire, sharing the same meanings, depictions and associations as the peacock sapphire. In 2019, the term “mermaid” is a buzzword, embodying the mystical and fantastical world beneath the ocean's surface.

Is Teal sapphire valuable? ›

Are Teal Sapphires Valuable? Sapphires, like diamonds, come in a range of value and quality—from $25 through to $20,000 a carat. Although, a 1-carat sapphire will always generally cost less than a diamond due to availability in the market.

What is the rarest gem on earth? ›

Painite : Not just the rarest gemstone, but also the rarest mineral on earth, Painite holds the Guinness World Record for it. After its discovery in the year 1951, there existed only 2 specimens of Painite for the next many decades.

What is so special about Montana sapphire? ›

One of the most striking differences is their color. Sapphires from Montana are unique in that they naturally occur in light pastels, unique blue-greens, and smoky grays. So, a Montana sapphire could be a calming leaf green or a sky blue-grey.

How can you tell a Yogo sapphire? ›

While the color of Yogo Sapphires is always a vivid blue, Montana sapphires are found with different colors including green and yellow. While there are productive sapphire mines in other parts of Montana, they rarely produce blue sapphires that have the striking color and clarity of those found in the Yogo Gulch.

Are there emeralds in Montana? ›

In Montana, found in the western Middle Rockies forested region of the state. The preferred habitat of the Mountain Emerald includes ponds, marshes, fens, bogs and swamps, as well as wet meadows associated with small streams.

Where can I find sapphire in Montana? ›

Montana's many colored sapphires are mined in the famous placer gravels in the Sapphire Mountains near Philipsburg about 200 miles northwest of Yellowstone National Park. Most of the sapphires are found in the famed Rock Creek deposit, nicknamed “Gem Mountain.” Gold miners discovered sapphires there in the 1890's.

How can you tell a Montana sapphire? ›

Some Montana sapphires from the Missouri River deposit can show color change. Color change in these sapphires results from the trace element vanadium. Often, they appear blue in daylight and violet to purple in incandescent light. Pale colors shift from sky blue to lavender.

Is Montana agate rare? ›

The Montana Agate was spread over in a vast area surrounding millions of square miles. The exquisiteness of this is that they cannot be mined by small number of enterprises. In fact, it will still be available with small amount, particularly for the public and stone collectors for several years to come.

Can you find jade in Montana? ›

The geology-rich states of Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana are like a pirate's treasure chest; gold, sapphire, opal, amethyst, jade, quartz, garnet, and topaz are just a handful of the many gemstones that can be found around the region.

Where can I dig for garnets in Montana? ›

Calvert Hill Mine

About six miles west of Wise River, the Calvert Hill Mine is a good place to find epidote, aquamarine, scheelite and garnets.

Where can I find Thundereggs in Montana? ›

A fantastic orange filled Montana Thunder Egg shown after being cut open. Special geologic treasures like this can be cut for you while you wait at locations like Opal Mountain Gems in Philipsburg, MT. You never know what exactly is going to be inside a Montana Thunder Egg until you buy it and have it cut.

Are Montana sapphires valuable? ›

Typical Montana sapphire can cost anywhere from $250-$1500 per carat for under 1/2ct to upwards of $7000 per carat for larger than 5 carats. Price is dependent on the quality of the gemstone (ie color, clarity, cut, and carat).

Where do you find emeralds? ›

Though Emerald can be mined all throughout the world, the three main sources are in Colombia, Brazil, and Zambia. Other countries that have abundant Emerald deposits are Afghanistan, Australia, Pakistan, Russia, and the United States. Of the top three sources, the finest Emeralds can be found in Colombia.

Where can I find ruby? ›

Where are rubies mined? The finest rubies come from Burma (Myanmar). They are also mined in Afghanistan, Australia, Cambodia, India, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam.

Where is sapphire most commonly found? ›

Many of the gems come from Asia, where stones are found in the mines of Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Afghanistan, and other countries. Mines can also be found in Australia and the African nations of Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, and Madagascar.

Are Yogo sapphires valuable? ›

Yogo Sapphires are the most precious sapphires found in North America. They are considered to be among the finest sapphires in the world.

What is so special about Montana sapphire? ›

One of the most striking differences is their color. Sapphires from Montana are unique in that they naturally occur in light pastels, unique blue-greens, and smoky grays. So, a Montana sapphire could be a calming leaf green or a sky blue-grey.

Montana is among the wealthiest states for rockhounding in its variety of precious, semi-precious stones or rare variants of common rocks such as agates. With …

Places such as the Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine, Crystal Park, Ruby River, Emma Mines, or Gallatin National Forest contain some of the best rockhounding sites in Montana.. Rockhounding in Montana: Where to Go and What Rocks and Minerals To Find?. Most crystals and minerals popular in Montana can be found in the mines located here.. Some of the best places to find rubies in Montana include the Rock Creek, Granite county, Red Rock Mine, or the Missouri River.. MineralLocation GoldMissouri River, Clark Fork River, Cooke City areaDiamondsMissouri Breaks, Sweet Grass Hills, Yellow Water Butte areaRhodoniteButte Mining District, Emma Mine, Badger MineGarnetsLewis County, Clarke County, Ruby River Minerals you can find in Montana Montana is filled with gold, especially in its eastern, western, central, and southern regions.. Since gold is so abundant in Montana, plenty of gold prospecting clubs have arisen where members can search for the mineral in known popular locations or explore old ones where gold still lingers.. Montana doesn’t have an officially designated state rock as of 2021; however, its official state gemstone is the Montana Moss Agate, alongside the beautiful sapphires.

Sapphires, agates, gold and fossils are just some of the geological treasures you'll find in Montana. Here's a list of some of the best rockhounding sites in Montana.

Lannen Placer, First Choice Mining District (Garnet Mining District), Granite Co., Montana Drummond Quarry (Spring Gulch Mine), First Choice Mining District (Garnet Mining District), Granite Co., Montana,. Parnell Mine, Butte Mining District (Summit Valley Mining District), Butte-Silver Bow, Montana.. Glengarry Mine, Butte Mining District (Summit Valley Mining District), Butte-Silver Bow, Montana.. Mountain Consolidated Mine, Butte Mining District (Summit Valley Mining District), Butte-Silver Bow, Montana.. Kitty Morris Mine, Butte Mining District (Summit Valley Mining District), Butte-Silver Bow, Montana.. Best Hope Mine, Butte Mining District (Summit Valley Mining District), Butte-Silver Bow, Montana.. Diamond Mine, Butte Mining District (Summit Valley Mining District), Butte-Silver Bow, Montana.. The Spokane Bar Sapphire Mine & Gold Fever Rock Shop offers mining for beautiful Montana sapphires.

People have been traveling to try their hand at rockhounding Montana for almost two centuries.

You can find Montana Moss Agate, Dryhead Agate, garnet, jasper , quartz , serpentine, staurolite, topaz, rhodonite , tourmaline , wonderstone , kimberlites, diamonds, and diamond indicator minerals.. Explore Dry Cottonwood Creek to mine for sapphire crystals among the Montana rocks and minerals.. The now-defunct tungsten mine makes it easy to find gems among its mine tailings and ponds.. The family-owned commercial mine, Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine, allows its visitors to prospect for treasure.. You can rent mining equipment at The Spokane Bar Sapphire Mine and shop at its Gold Fever Rock Shop if you do not find any Montana sapphires on your own.. Deerlodge National Forest Custer National Forest Gallatin National Forest Helena National Forest Kootenai National Forest Kaniksu National Forest Beaverhead National Forest Lewis and Clark National Forest Cabinet Mountains National Forest Lolo National Forest.. Out of the entire collection of national forests in the state, you stand the best chance of finding a gemstone or gold or silver in these two areas.. Helena National Forest has nearly 800 active mines and nearly 1,100 active claims.. You do not get to keep what you find in someone else’s mine with an active claim.. If you explore the Cabinet Mountains, you will only find 14 active mines and only 164 active claims.. These vast national parks still have areas not under active claim or mining.

Expert Answers: Rockhounding In Montana: Sapphires, Agates, Gold and Fossils!Crystal Park. ... Calvert Hill Mine. ... Gallatin National Forest. ... Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine.

You can find geodes in the Butte District area , Crystal Park, or the Pryor Mountains in Montana, and some areas where rockhounds are allowed to collect specimens offer children the chance to inspect geodes as well.. A Montana sapphire is, simply, a sapphire from Montana .. Montana Sapphire Mining Guide.. Although sapphires can be found throughout Montana today, the majority of the finds can be attributed to four major locales: Yogo Gulch, Rock Creek, Dry Cottonwood Creek , and the gravel bars along the Missouri River northeast of Helena.. Some of the richest include Beaver Creek, Carpenter Creek, Ontario Creek, Gold Canyon Creek, Telegraph Creek, Snowshoe Creek, Ophir Creek, Threemile Creek, and Little Blackfoot River itself.

Wyoming is among the best rockhounding places in the U.S., and this is partly because around 50% of its lands are public! This is where …

Beryl, columbite-tantalite, copper minerals, feldspar minerals, lithium minerals, magnetite, manganese minerals, and mica minerals may be found in Copper Mountain in Fremont County.. You can find many types of feldspar minerals in Goshen County, including mica minerals, and in the Muskrat Canyon area of the county, you can find the marble.. SedimentaryRocksLocations ChertCommonly found in the Paleozoic rocks, the Permian Phosporia formation, and the Mississippian Madison limestoneGypsum The northwest city of Cody and the Lovell town in Big Horn CountyLimestone-DolomiteThe Spirit Mountain Cavern, located west of Cody, along the Yellowstone HighwayTronaThe Eocene Green River Formation of southwestern Wyoming, or the town of Green River The most common sedimentary rocks you can find in Wyoming Since rockhounds are highly prize geodes, we have made a special section on where to find these sedimentary rocks in Wyoming.. MetamorphicRocksLocations Gneiss and SchistVery common in all of the Precambrian mountain cores of WyomingMarbleOn the west of Jay Em in Muskrat Canyon area of Goshen County, about 15 miles west of Wheatland, in the Marble Canyon area of Platte County, in the Medicine Bow Mountains of Albany and Carbon Counties, the Bighorn Mountains, near Douglas, in Converse County, and from the west flank of the Black Hills in Crook County The most common metamorphic rocks you can find in Wyoming Obsidian isn’t listed here since we know how much rockhounds love this igneous rock, so let us talk about obsidian separately.. The state of Wyoming is noted for its copper minerals, lithium minerals, uranium minerals, feldspar minerals, manganese minerals, mica minerals, and quartz minerals .. Other minerals in Wyoming The minerals listed above are among the most famous in Wyoming; however, Wyoming is full of other minerals.. MineralsLocationsScheelite The Copper Mountain, Freemont County, in the Laramie Range of Albany and Converse counties, the Lewiston area of Fremont County, and the Bighorn Mountains area of Washakie County Tourmaline Almost in all of the Precambrian pegmatites of Wyoming Kyanite Albany County, Carbon County, or 23 miles southwest of Wheatland, Platte County Copper Minerals The Rocky Mountain area, the Encampment district in Carbon County, Hartville district, Platte County, the Copper Mountain district, Lithium Minerals Precambrian pegmatites in Fremont and Natrona Counties, the Black Mountain, and the Copper Mountain Uranium Minerals The Eocene Wind River formation of the Gas Hills area, Fremont and Natrona Counties, the Shirley Basin area of Carbon County, the Fall River, and Lakota sandstones in the Black Hills area of Crook County Feldspar Minerals The Casper Mountain, Natrona County, Haystack Range, Goshen County, Laramie Range, Albany, and Laramie Counties Manganese Minerals In Albany, Fremont, Johnson, Natrona, Washakie, and Weston Counties, north of Sundance in the Warren Peaks area of Crook County Mica Minerals In the Laramie Range, Albany and Platte Counties, the southern part of the Medicine Bow Range, Albany and Carbon Counties, the Copper Mountain area Quartz Minerals The western half of the Bighorn Basin, of Bighorn, Hot Springs, Park, and Washakie Counties, the area between Labarge and Granger, Lincoln, Sweetwater, and Uinta Counties The most common minerals you can find in Wyoming Wyoming isn’t just rich in rocks and minerals; it also has gold, fossils, and petrified wood.

While bodies of water all over the state of Minnesota have a good chance of producing agates, here are 5 great places to look for agates across the state.

Minnesota stands as a great place to find coveted Lake Superior agate among others, the trick is finding the right place to look.. While bodies of water all over the state have a good chance of producing agates, we’re going to look at some of the best places to find agates in Minnesota.. You’ll want to get on the 4 heading northwest from the center of Beaver Bay.. This is a great place to park, and you can get on the trail easily from there.. Easy access and collecting make it a favorite for local collectors.. The banks of the Knife River are another hot spot for agate collecting located along the Eastern shore of Minnesota.. The beaches of Knife River, and the banks of the actual river, are both easy to access for agate hunters.. The beaches bordering Lake Superior proper also have a good chance of hosting agate.. This is a great spot for those who know what they’re doing, especially since you can easily switch between hunting the river and hunting the beaches in the same stop.. Convenience can also mean thinner pickings than some spots.. Carlton County is a great spot and another convenient area for locating agates in Minnesota.. A gravel beach along the Eastern shore of Minnesota, Brighton Beach is another great place to go agate hunting.. It’s also conveniently located, about 6 miles northwest of the center of Duluth.. The agates here are usually the same Lake Superior agates found throughout the North Shore of Minnesota.. This gravel-strewn beach is known to host Lake Superior Agates, and it’s a popular hunting location for the locals of the area.

Videos

1. Finding PRIZED Montana GLOW STONES | Rockhounding for Agates and River Treasures at Sunset
(Agate Angler)
2. This Spot has it ALL! Rockhounding for Moss Agates, Jasper, Agatized Wood, & Fossils in Montana!
(Theo Kellison)
3. Rock Hunting for Montana "Diamonds" at Judith Peak
(KatyDid ROCKS!)
4. My BEST ROCKHOUNDING FINDS of 2020 | One Year Of Hunting Montana Gemstones and Minerals
(Agate Angler)
5. Rockhounding an UNPICKED Gravel Bar on the Yellowstone River
(KatyDid ROCKS!)
6. Rockhounding in Montana with @KatyDid ROCKS! ! #thefinders
(Montana Rock Mom)

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