Rocks, Minerals, and Gems-Collecting in USA

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

Cracking open a rock to reveal an unknown treasure is exciting. Start by picking up rocks in your yard or garden. The reveal may be dust, a unique color different from the exterior, or something interesting but not identifiable.

Searching local surroundings will require research. Each state in America has different distinct types of rocks. Before starting to collect rocks contact the local Bureau of Land Management, the Department of Forestry, or the Department of Wildlife. These organizations will list your state’s rocks, minerals, and gems available in your area. These organizations provide maps of rock locations, educational materials, and a variety of articles by rock hounds. A variety of information is available at

Other Sources of Information:

  • Join organizations and clubs
  • Visit online
  • Community and college libraries
  • Trade magazines
  • Books and articles
  • Educational visual aids
  • Geologists
  • Mining companies
  • Public rock hounding locations; free and admission fees.

An individual’s enthusiasm will propel searches onto other lands. Review laws. regulations, and ethics governing rock hounding. It is polite to get permission from owners to search their private property. Public lands are open to searching except for national monuments.

Why the concern for permission? You may be thinking, “It’s just ugly rocks that no one wants”.

It’s a matter of what is inside the rock. Is that rock concealing a mineral, crystal, or gem? One large legal issue is known as mineral rights. There are other legal and insurance concerns by private and public property owners.

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

1. Never collect rocks alone.

2. Search with a partner, or a group of experienced rock hounds for safety. Rock collectors climb mountains, walk through mines, and visit barren tracts of land.

3.Travel with others to share knowledge and experiences.

4. A rock identification book is handy.

Rocks, Crystals, and Gems

  • Rocks are available everywhere.
  • Crystals are located in deserts, or volcanic ash beds.
  • We gather gems in America on government property. The government has its rules, requirements, and regulations for gem prospecting.

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

Are you having an in-ground pool installed in your backyard or another type of construction work? Sand and dirt being hauled in for these projects may be hiding buried treasures.

Michael Ortiz

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