Rockhounding New Jersey Guide – Verified Locations

rockhounding new jersey guide

New Jersey is one of the best states in the US to look for high-quality gems. In this rockhounding New Jersey guide, we will look at some verified locations to visit and the rocks you can find there.

New Jersey, often overlooked for its mineral-rich terrain, boasts a variety of locations where rockhounds can unearth an array of fascinating specimens. From the serene shores to the rugged mountains, the Garden State harbors geological treasures waiting to be discovered.

The best places to look for gemstones and minerals in New Jersey are the old quarries, ocean beaches, and dumps of historical mines, rivers, and rocky exposures. 

How We Picked the Top Places for Rockhounding in New Jersey

In order to find the best spots in New Jersey for rockhounding, we had to consider a lot of things. It can be tough to find the information we need to shortlist the best places. Here are a few things we took into consideration:

  • Input from local gem hunting associations and groups.
  • The safety of the mining location and the potential hazards.
  • The accessibility of the mining spot.
  • Private and public locations.

Rocks and Minerals Found in New Jersey

New Jersey state rock is Brownstone and the unofficial state mineral of New Jersey is Prehnite. 

The state boasts a variety of minerals and rocks thanks to its unique geology and rockhounding sites. Some of the common minerals found in New Jersey are:

  • Amethyst
  • Agate
  • Opal
  • Quartz
  • Amber
  • Pyrite
  • Jasper
  • Cape May Diamonds
  • Carnelian
  • Fluorite

Also read our guides on places to find geodes in Idaho and the best gem mining spots in Kentucky

Our Favorite Spots for Rockhounding in New Jersey

Here are some of the top rockhounding locations in New Jersey yielding precious gemstones and minerals.

  1. Higbee Beach
  2. Pennington Mountain
  3. Manasquan Beach
  4. Pompton River
  5. The Palisades
  6. Bergen County
  7. Stirling

Higbee Beach

Higbee Beach

Higbee Beach is situated along Delaware Bay and is a heaven for rockhounds looking for Cape May Diamonds. These are actually quartz pebbles, smoothed and polished by the tidal action of the bay.

The beach is an ideal spot to find these gem-like treasures. Cape May Diamonds range in size and color, with some exhibiting a remarkable clarity that rivals true diamonds.

Aside from the Cape May Diamonds, Higbee Beach is also famous for its agate specimen and chalcedony. Agates found here often display vibrant bands of colors, making them prized specimens for collectors.

Make sure to visit the beach during low tide and explore the exposed shoreline to discover a myriad of treasures.

Pennington Mountain

Pennington Mountain

Nestled in the heart of New Jersey, Pennington Mountain offers a unique opportunity for rockhounds. The mountain is renowned for its diverse array of minerals, including epidote, quartz, and actinolite.

The weathering of the rocks on Pennington Mountain has led to the formation of crevices and pockets, where these minerals can be found in abundance.

One of the most sought-after specimens at Pennington Mountain is epidote, a green mineral that often forms as elongated crystals.

Manasquan Beach

Manasquan Beach

Manasquan Beach is located along the Jersey Shore. Beyond its sandy shores, the beach harbors a hidden treasure trove of fossilized shark teeth. Fossil collectors flock to Manasquan Beach in search of these ancient relics, which date back millions of years to a time when sharks ruled the oceans.

Aside from the fossils, you can find Cape May Diamonds and even petrified wood in the beach gravel. The best time for fossil hunting at Manasquan Beach is after a storm when the turbulent waves churn up the ocean floor and expose new specimens.

Pompton River

Pompton River

Pompton River winds its way through Northern Jersey and offers a unique opportunity to explore its riverbanks for crystals and minerals.

The river’s geological composition has given rise to deposits of quartz, feldspar, and mica, creating an ideal environment for mineral hunting.

Quartz crystals, in particular, can be found in various sizes along the Pompton River. These crystals often exhibit well-defined facets and a translucent quality that adds to their allure.

Additionally, the river’s gravel beds may yield other minerals, making it a diverse and rewarding location for rockhounding enthusiasts.

Some of the common minerals found in the area are:

  • Amethyst
  • Calcite
  • Barite
  • Chalcedony
  • Quartz
  • Galena
  • Hematite
  • Opal
  • Silver
  • Dolomite

The Palisades

The Palisades

Stretching along the western Hudson River, The Palisades present a unique geological landscape to explore. Composed of basalt columns, these cliffs provide a glimpse into the ancient volcanic activity that shaped the region.

The hexagonal columns, formed by the cooling and contraction of lava, create a visually stunning backdrop for rockhounding adventures.

The most common mineral associated with The Palisades is Serpentine. It can be found in various forms along the cliff. Rockhounds may discover serpentine in massive blocks or as intricate veins running through the rock formations.

The Palisades are also famous for its banded agates, opal, amethyst, and quartz crystals. 

Bergen County

Bergen County

Bergen County has diverse geological formations hiding plenty of minerals and rare rocks such as amethyst crystals, carnelian, chalcedony, and agate. 

From quarries to riverbanks, the county is a mosaic of potential collecting sites. Fossils, minerals, and crystals can be found throughout the region, making it an ideal destination for rockhounds of all interests.

One notable site in Bergen County is the Inwood Marble Quarry, where collectors can unearth specimens of marble, calcite, and tremolite. The quarry’s exposed rock faces provide a unique opportunity to observe the geological processes that shaped the region.

Additionally, you can find beautiful agates and other colorful minerals across the riverbanks in the county.



Stirling is a small town in Morris County that is known for its high-quality carnelian. This vibrant, reddish-orange variety of chalcedony is prized for its use in jewelry and lapidary work.

Stirling’s carnelian deposits are found in the form of nodules and pebbles, often discovered in stream beds and along road cuts. To find these fiery stones, make sure to dig into the gravel to uncover them.

There is no specific place to look, just explore the brooks and streams across the town. Collectors flock to Stirling in search of well-preserved carnelian specimens, which may display intricate banding or unique patterns.

Other Rockhounding Spots in New Jersey

Apart from the verified locations mentioned above, there are plenty of other spots in New Jersey that you can explore for valuable minerals and rocks.

Please remember that the rock collection in these areas is constantly changing. So, it’s best to stay updated with the latest information. Some of these places are as follows:

  • Franklin Furnace – Fluorite, Magnetite
  • Snake Hill – Banded Agates, Amethyst, Apatite, Calcite, Galena, Opal, Quartz
  • Houdaille Quarry – Agate, Amethyst, Prehnite
  • Hoboken – Agate, Amethyst, Opal
  • Montville – Serpentine
  • Mine Hill – Sunstone, Feldspar
  • Nolands Points – Garnet
  • Turkey Mountain – Serpentine
  • Mount Hope – Pyrite, Apatite
  • Warren Township – Agate, Chalcedony, Jasper, Petrified Wood, Quartz, Amethyst, Citrine
  • Prospect Park Quarry – Agate, Amethyst, Calcite, Chalcedony, Dolomite, Galena, Hematite, Opal, Quartz, Silver
  • Ringwood – Garnet, Calcite, Hornblende, Serpentine, Zircon, Epidote
  • Sulphur Hill Mine – Willemite (fluorescent)
  • Franklin – Galena, Apatite, Azurite, Corundum, fluorescent gems
  • Lambertville – Tourmaline
  • Washington Crossing State Park – Black Jasper
  • Ocean County – Cape May Diamonds
  • Bridgeport – Amber
  • Atlantic County – Cape May Diamonds
  • Salem County – Amber
  • Chestnut Creek – Amber

Best Places to Find Gemstones in New Jersey

gem mining colorado guide

The best places to find gemstones and crystals in New Jersey are:

  • Stirling – The gravels and streams across Sterling are famous for their high-quality carnelian.
  • Franklin – Franklin is famous for its Galena, Apatite, Azurite, Corundum, and a variety of florescent crystals.
  • Pennington Mountain – The area around the mountain is famous for its gem reserves, especially the north side of the mountain.
  • Mullica Hill – The hill is famous for its gem-quality Amber crystals.
  • Bound Brook – Quarries and gravel in Bound Brook are famous for their Calcite, Copper, Tourmaline, Quartz, and other crystals.
  • Rocky Hill Quarry – You can find plenty of gemstones here such as Tourmaline, Albite, Galena, Malachite, and quartz gems.

Tips for a Successful Rockhounding Trip in New Jersey

  • Research and Preparation: Before embarking on a rockhounding adventure, conduct thorough research on the specific minerals and fossils found in each location. Familiarize yourself with the geological history of the area to enhance your understanding of what to look for.
  • Safety First: Always prioritize safety during rockhounding expeditions. Wear appropriate gear, including sturdy shoes, gloves, and safety glasses.
  • Tools: Pack essential rockhounding tools, such as a rock hammer, chisels, a magnifying glass, and containers for collecting specimens. A field guidebook specific to the minerals and rocks in the region can be a valuable resource.
  • Time of your visit: Consider the time of year and weather conditions when planning your rockhounding excursion. Some sites may be inaccessible or less enjoyable during certain seasons, so plan accordingly for the best experience.
  • Respect the environment: Leave no trace and respect the natural environment. Follow ethical collecting practices, and avoid damaging vegetation or disturbing wildlife. Adhere to any regulations or guidelines set by the landowners or authorities.


That brings us to the end of our Rockhounding New Jersey guide. The state of New Jersey is often overshadowed by its neighboring states when it comes to rockhunting. From its picturesque beaches to the rugged mountainous terrain, the Garden State offers a diverse range of geological wonders waiting to be explored.

Whether you’re seeking the glittering allure of Cape May Diamonds, or the vibrant hues of high-quality carnelian, New Jersey has something for every rockhound.

Before embarking on a rockhounding adventure, familiarize yourself with local regulations and obtain any necessary permits. Some sites may have restrictions or guidelines for collecting.

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