Pennsylvania Rocks and Minerals and Where to Find Them

pennsylvania rocks and minerals

What kind of rocks and minerals are found in Pennsylvania? Can you find gems in the state? In this Pennsylvania Rocks and Minerals guide, we will cover these questions and much more for rockhounds.

Rockhounding in Pennsylvania offers several options for collectors. The state is often referred to as the Keystone State boasts a diverse geological landscape that harbors a variety of rocks and minerals.

From the sparkling allure of quartz crystals to the deep hues of amethyst, the state offers a treasure trove for rock and mineral enthusiasts. Pennsylvania is rich in various crystals and gems such as Amethyst, Celestine, Quartz, Serpentine, Azurite, Fluorite, Tourmaline, Garnet, and much more.

In this guide, we will take a look at gems and minerals found in Pennsylvania, and where you can find them.

Rocks and Minerals Found in Pennsylvania and Where to Find Them

Location Rocks and Minerals
Chester County Amethyst, Serpentine, Fluorite, Garnet, Quartz, Tourmaline
Adams County Azurite, Malachite
North Vandergrift Calcite, Galena, Geodes, Shpalerite, Barite
Bucks County Petrified Wood, Zircon
Northumberland CountyCelestine
Delaware County Amethyst, Zircon, Fluorite, Garnet, Tourmaline, Serpentine
Lebanon County Azurite, Garnet
GettysburgGarnet, Malachite, Quartz, Magnetite, Epidote
BirdsboroZeolite crystals
EurekaSmoky quartz crystals
Feasterville Agate, Sunstone, Feldspar, Chert, Silicified Wood, Chalcedony
Coastville Amethyst, Garnet, Quartz, Beryl
Nottingham ParkGarnet, Serpentine, Tourmaline, Feldspar
Carlisle Agate, Jasper, Amethyst, Quartz
Schuylkill County Pyrite, Quartz

Also, look at our gem mining spots in Kentucky and the best spots to find geodes in MissouriAlso, take a look at the best spots for Alaska Agates.

1. Amethyst

amethyst indiana

Amethyst is a coveted mineral known for its stunning purple hues. It can be found in several locations across Pennsylvania. The Chester County amethyst mines are renowned for producing high-quality specimens.

These crystalline treasures are often found in vugs within metamorphic rocks, creating a captivating contrast with their vibrant purple coloring.

Some of the best locations to visit in Pennsylvania to find amethyst are Morrison Cove, Mt. Pleasant, the gravels of Carlisle, and Chester Creek in Chelsea.

2. Celestine


Celestine, a mineral prized for its delicate blue crystals, can be discovered in various regions of Pennsylvania. Notably, the Pugh Quarry in Centre Hall is a popular destination for collectors.

High-quality Celestine can also be found in Northumberland County and Blair County. One of the places we recommend visiting for gem-quality celestine is Meckley’s Quarry near Mandata. However, to visit the place, you need to get an appointment.

The mineral occurs in sedimentary rocks, often associated with limestone deposits. Celestine crystals, resembling delicate clusters of sky-blue needles, add a touch of celestial beauty to the state’s geological diversity.

3. Serpentine


Serpentine is a greenish mineral found in Pennsylvania, particularly in the southeastern part of the state. High-quality serpentine can be found in pits and quarries along the Maryland state line.

The serpentine barrens of southeast Pennsylvania are recognized for their unique flora and fauna, as well as the presence of serpentine rocks. You can find serpentine in Nottingham Park, and mines and quarries of Wrightsdale. 

These rocks often contain a variety of minerals, contributing to the distinctive green coloration. Serpentine’s occurrence in the state showcases the geological significance of Pennsylvania’s landscape.

4. Quartz Crystals


Quartz crystals are among the most abundant and widely distributed minerals in Pennsylvania. They can be found in various forms, from clear crystals to smoky quartz and milky quartz.

One notable location is the French Creek Mine in St. Peters, where quartz crystals are embedded in metamorphic rocks. The varied forms of quartz in Pennsylvania provide collectors with a visually appealing array of specimens.

Some of the other places where you can find gem-quality quartz in Pennsylvania are:

  • White Rock near Boiling Springs 
  • Little Rocky Ridge
  • East Branch Naamanm Creek 
  • Marple 
  • Blue Hill
  • Morrison Cover (Herkimer diamonds)

5. Garnet


Garnet, a mineral known for its deep red color, can be found in the metamorphic rocks of Pennsylvania. The Barton Mines in North River and Gore Mountain in the Adirondacks are famous for producing garnets.

Some of the other areas around the state where you can find gem-quality garnets are:

  • Fox Hill 
  • Coastville 
  • Nottingham Park 
  • Gravels and Quarries of Crum Creek 
  • Harrisburg (andradite)

In Pennsylvania, garnets are often discovered in schist and gneiss formations. These striking red gems add a touch of intensity to the state’s geological tapestry.

6. Azurite


Azurite, with its captivating deep blue hue, can be unearthed in specific regions of Pennsylvania. The Keystone State is home to deposits of azurite within copper mines, such as the French Creek Mine.

Some of the areas in Pennsylvania famous for its Azurite reserves are:

  • New Albany, Carpenter Mine 
  • Kunkeltown 
  • Adams County 
  • Brookdale Mine 
  • Knauertown 

The oxidation of copper minerals gives rise to azurite, creating a visually stunning contrast with the surrounding rocks. The exploration of copper mines becomes a journey into the vibrant world of azurite-rich formations.

7. Kyanite


Kyanite is known for its unique bladed crystals. It is found in metamorphic rocks throughout Pennsylvania. Notable occurrences include the Reading Prong region.

You can also find Kyanite blades in Prospect Park in Morton Homestead, Southern Pennsylvania. Make sure to check out the streams feeding Darby Creek, and sift through the soil carried by the streams.

The blue to colorless crystals of kyanite are often embedded in schist, creating a striking contrast. Collectors and geology enthusiasts are drawn to the beauty and geological significance of kyanite-rich areas in the state.

8. Fluorite

blue fluorite

Fluorite, exhibiting a wide range of colors, including purple, green, and blue, is present in Pennsylvania’s geological formations. You can these beautiful crystals throughout the state.

The Weardale Lead Mining District in Durham, Lancaster County, is known for its fluorite deposits. In Pennsylvania, fluorite is commonly associated with lead and zinc deposits, creating a visually captivating display of colors within the rocks.

Some areas we recommend visiting are Union Furnace in Orbisonia, Monroe County, and White Rocks in Boiling Springs. 

9. Petrified Wood

New Mexico Petrified Wood Locations

Petrified wood, a fascinating testament to the geological history of an area, can be found in Pennsylvania. The state’s rivers and streams often reveal specimens of petrified wood, with notable occurrences along the Allegheny River.

The transformation of wood into stone over millions of years provides a glimpse into the ancient ecosystems that once thrived in the region.

You can also find petrified wood near Bainbridge, Churchtown, Maple Glen, and the stream gravels of Philadelphia. 

10. Tourmaline


Tourmaline, a mineral with a diverse range of colors, including black, green, and pink, is present in certain parts of Pennsylvania. The state is known for its gem-quality tourmaline, particularly in the pegmatite mines of the Keystone and Hiddenite deposits.

If you wish to find gem-quality tourmaline, we recommend checking out these spots in Pennsylvania:

  • Sherman Valley near Evertt 
  • Nottingham Park 
  • Philadelphia

The variety of colors and the potential for gem-quality specimens make tourmaline a sought-after mineral for collectors.

Important Tools to Have for Mining Rocks and Minerals in Pennsylvania

Gem mining in Pennsylvania 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. 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.
  3. 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.
  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.


That brings us to the end of our Pennsylvania rocks and minerals guide. Pennsylvania’s geological diversity offers a rich tapestry of rocks and minerals, each with its unique characteristics and origins.

From the vibrant purple hues of amethyst to centuries-old petrified wood, the state provides a geological treasure hunt for enthusiasts and collectors.

Whether you’re a seasoned collector or a curious adventurer, Pennsylvania’s rocks and minerals invite you to embark on a journey through its geological wonders.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *