Top Spots to Find Michigan Crystals & Gems

michigan crystals

Michigan is a lush green state with an abundance of natural resources. So, if you are planning to hunt for Michigan crystals and gems, you are in luck as the state offers plenty of gem mining opportunities.

Michigan, a state known for its picturesque landscapes and Great Lakes, is also a hidden gem for rockhounds and crystal enthusiasts. Beneath its soil lies a treasure trove of crystals and gems waiting to be discovered.

From the scenic shores of Lake Superior to the remote islands in the northern reaches, Michigan offers a diverse range of crystal rocks, each with its unique charm.

What Crystal Rocks Are Found in Michigan?

Greenstone, Leland Blue, Lake Superior Agate, Puddingstone, Hematite, Carnelian, and Fluorite are some common crystals found in Michigan.

Some popular crystals and rocks found in the area are:


Michigan’s state gem, greenstone, also known as chlorastrolite, is a captivating crystal that captures the essence of the state’s natural beauty. Found primarily in the Upper Peninsula, Greenstone is primarily found in Isle Royale National Park and Keweenaw Peninsula. 

Its distinct green hue, reminiscent of the lush forests that cover Michigan’s landscape, makes it a sought-after collectible for both locals and visitors.


While not commonly thought of as a crystal, native silver can be found in Michigan. The state has a rich mining history, and silver deposits are scattered throughout various regions.

The silver may occur in its metallic form or as part of other minerals. The best places to look for silver in Michigan are along the Iron River and various mines in the Upper Peninsula.


Known for its striking metallic luster and deep red streaks, hematite is another notable crystal found in Michigan. The state’s iron-rich deposits have given rise to significant hematite occurrences, particularly in the Upper Peninsula, areas around Jackson and Beacon Mines. 


Carnelian, a variety of chalcedony, is a translucent gemstone admired for its warm, reddish-orange hues. Michigan hosts deposits of carnelian, adding a splash of vibrant color to the state’s geological tapestry.

The Lake Superior region, in particular, is known for yielding beautiful specimens of carnelian, attracting lapidary enthusiasts from far and wide.

Lake Superior Agates

Lake Superior Agates are arguably Michigan’s most famous and coveted gemstones. These stunning agates, known for their intricate banding and vibrant colors, can be found along the shores of Lake Superior.

The agates are formed from volcanic activity and subsequent erosion, resulting in the smooth, rounded stones that captivate collectors and jewelry makers alike.


Fluorite, with its wide range of colors and distinctive fluorescence under ultraviolet light, is another crystal found in Michigan.

While not as abundant as some other minerals, fluorite can be discovered in certain locations, adding a touch of diversity to the state’s crystal offerings.

Leland Blue

Leland Blue is a unique variety of slag glass with a rich history tied to Michigan’s industrial past. Originating from the waste material of iron smelting processes, Leland Blue has transformed into a sought-after collectible.

It is also called the Blue Slag stone and is mostly found in Leland. It is also found in Tennessee and Sweden.

Other Crystals Found in Michigan

Some other types of gems and crystals found in Michigan are:

  • Garnet
  • Gypsum
  • Sapphire
  • Amethyst
  • Chalcedony
  • Onyx
  • Quartz
  • Malachite
  • Celestite
  • Calcite
  • Azurite
  • Pyrite
  • Jasper
  • Epidote

Check out the best gem mining spots in Michigan, gem mining spots in Kentucky, and gem mining spots in New Hampshire

Best Spots to Find Crystals in Michigan

Isle Royale National Park

Isle Royale National Park 

Isle Royale National Park, located in the northwest corner of Lake Superior, is a haven for nature lovers and rock enthusiasts alike. The island boasts a diverse geological landscape, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a variety of crystals and gems.

Greenstone, Lake Superior Agates, and other minerals can be found here, tucked away in the island’s rugged terrain.

The National Park Service encourages responsible rockhounding practices, reminding visitors to respect the park’s natural resources. Make sure to follow the guidelines.

Manitou Island

Manitou Island

Situated in Lake Michigan in Keweenaw Peninsula, Manitou Island is another gem in Michigan’s crystal-hunting crown. Accessible by ferry, the island is a haven for rockhounds seeking Lake Superior Agates, greenstone, and other minerals.

Manitou Island has breathtaking views with rugged cliffs, dense forests, and pristine beaches. The island’s shoreline and exposed rocks make it an ideal spot for finding crystals and gems.

Champion Mine

Champion Mine 

For those fascinated by hematite and the rich mining history of Michigan, Champion Mine in the Marquette Range is a must-visit destination. It is located in Painesdale, near the town of Houghton.

The mine, which operated from the late 1800s to the mid-20th century, produced significant quantities of hematite. Today, rockhounds can explore the mine’s tailings and surrounding areas to discover remnants of this captivating crystal.

You can find various samples of Hematite, and Sapphire crystals in the mine dumps of the area around Champion Mine.

Presque Isle County

Presque Isle County

Presque Isle County, located in the northeastern part of the Lower Peninsula, is a hidden gem for collectors seeking a variety of crystals. Lake Huron’s shoreline in this region yields Lake Superior Agates and other unique specimens like Calcite crystals, and limestone.

The county’s diverse geological features, including limestone formations and fossil-rich areas, add to the appeal for rockhounding enthusiasts. It offers a mix of landscapes, from sandy beaches to rocky outcrops, providing ample opportunities for crystal hunting.

Shores of Lake Superior

Lake Superior

The shores of Lake Superior, stretching along Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, are renowned for their abundance of Lake Superior Agates. These unique agates, formed through a combination of volcanic activity and erosion, can be found in gravel pits, along beaches, and in the shallows of the lake itself.

You can find different kinds of agates in shades of red, brown, and orange, with delicate bands. Head to Whitefish Point, or Muskallonge State Park, to find these beautiful stones.

You can also attend the annual Rock on Lake Superior Agate Festival that takes place in Muskallonge State Park.

Other Places to Find Crystals in Michigan

Apart from these locations, some of the places in Michigan that we recommend checking out for crystal mining are:

  • Ropes Mine – Copper
  • McLain State Park – Agate, Jasper, Chalcedony
  • Leland – Leland Blue
  • Lake Huron – Limestone
  • Livingston
  • Monrow
  • Dickinson
  • Alpena
  • Ottawa
  • Schoolcraft

Important Tools to Have for Mining Crystals in Michigan

Mining crystals in Michigan requires a set of professional tools and equipment. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. Shovels and Trowels: For digging into softer soil, you need a sturdy shovel or a trowel. It also helps clear away the debris on the surface.
  2. Buckets: As you uncover gems, you need buckets to place them. Make sure you have durable buckets for the job to make sure your gems remain undamaged.
  3. Picks and hammers: To split rocks, and extract gems, you need a pick with one pointed end, and the other flat that serves as a hammer.
  4. Magnifying glass: For a closer inspection of your specimen, you need a magnifying glass to reveal details that are not visible to the naked eye.
  5. Zip-lock bags: As you collect gems, you need clear plastic containers or bags to store them. It also allows you to see the gems without having to open the bag.
  6. First aid kit: Mining is a risky venture, so make sure to keep a first aid kit with you at all times so you can address accidents or injuries promptly.


Michigan’s diverse geological landscape and rich mining history make it a haven for crystal enthusiasts and rockhounds. From Lake Superior Agates to Pretty Hematite, there are plenty of Michigan crystals found in the state.

Before starting on your rockhounding adventure, it’s crucial to practice responsible collecting, respecting the natural environment, and adhering to any regulations or guidelines set by land managers.

So, pack your gear, put on your hiking boots, and embark on a journey to uncover the hidden treasures of Michigan’s crystal-rich landscapes.

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