Best Places to Pan for Gold and Gemstones

The United States is rich in gemstones and gold. In fact, much of the country’s history is tied to the gold rushes that affected patterns of migration and development. The most significant of these was the California Gold Rush, which happened from 1848 to 1855. 

While no one is moving out West to make it in the gold mines anymore, there are still plenty of places where you can pan for gold or mine for gemstones. Besides being a fun activity, you also get to keep whatever you find, whether that’s a common stone or a precious white diamond. 

Ready to try? These are the best places in the U.S. to prospect for gold or gemstones.

30. Blue Crystal Mines, Utah

Blue Crystal Mines/Facebook

Nearest city: La Sal

What to look for: Azurite

Equipment: Pick, bucket, shovel


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The Experience: Blue Crystal Mines

Blue Crystal Mines/Facebook

Azurites are the main gemstone mined at Blue Crystal Mines. The commercial site allows individuals to do independent digs for this beautiful crystal. However, the fee is quite steep, at $100 per person per hour. 

Discounts are available for people who join a tour group with one of the companies listed on the mine’s website. Even so, expect to pay a bit more for digging than you would on most places that made our list. On the plus side, you do have the opportunity to walk away with a gorgeous blue crystal.

29. Mount Mica Mine, Maine


Nearest city: Paris

What to look for: Tourmaline, rose quartz

Equipment: Pick, bucket, shovel

The Experience: Mount Mica Mine


First opened in 1821, Mount Mica has been a place to find gems like rose quartz for more than a century.

The site is for independent rock hounders who are enthusiastic about bringing their own tools and looking for precious stones on their own. We recommend it to people who have some experience with prospecting and can easily identify the gems from the regular rocks. 

Alternatively, you can join a tour with a guide who will take you gem digging and help you through the process.

28. Ron Coleman Mining, Arkansas

Ron Coleman Mining/Facebook

Nearest city: Jessieville

What to look for: Quartz crystals

Equipment: Pick, bucket, shovel

The Experience: Ron Coleman Mining

Ron Coleman Mining/Facebook

Located near Hot Springs National Park, Ron Coleman Mining allows visitors to spend an unlimited amount of time digging for crystals and quartz on premises. The staff will even teach you digging methods and help you identify the crystals, and you can buy equipment on site if you don’t have your own.

If you don’t want to spend the whole day digging, the establishment also offers other fun activities like ziplining and a tour of the mine. They even allow dogs to accompany you on your dig.

26. Sunstone Public Collection Area, Oregon


Nearest city: Plush

What to look for: Sunstones

Equipment: Shovel, pick, bucket

The Experience: Sunstone Public Collection Area


Sunstones are the official gemstone of Oregon. While they are not as valuable as other precious stones, they are undeniably pretty and make for nice customized jewelry or special keepsakes. 

Oregon makes it easy to mine for sunstones at the Sunstone Public Collection Area. There are no tours available, but rather, you’ll have to come independently and bring your own tools. Anything you find, you’re allowed to keep. That said, remember you are not allowed any electric equipment or tools, and there are also private mines near the public area where you can’t trespass.

25. Diamond Hill Mine, South Carolina

Diamond Hill Mine/Facebook

Nearest city: Abbeville

What to look for: Amethyst, quartz

Equipment: Bucket, screwdriver, shovel, rake, rock hammer, sledge hammer, pick

The Experience: Diamond Hill Mine

Diamond Hill Mine/Facebook

Despite its deceiving name, there are no diamonds at Diamond Hill Mine. Instead, what you’ll find in this operational mine are quartz and amethysts. 

The mine allows visitors to dig through 3 acres looking for gemstones that might have been missed on its own mining operations. For a $20 entrance fee, you’re allowed to keep anything you find. Bring your own equipment, and have fun finding precious stones in the Appalachian Mountains.

Well, that’s 5 of 30 places to pan for gold and gems. Just click thr the link below to vies all 25 more. And good panning!

Article by Mariana Zapata, for Far and Wide©

Source: 30 Best Places to Pan for Gold and Gemstones in the U.S. | Far & Wide (

Author: Dennis Hickey

There are no limits to success to those who never stop learning. Learning will nourish your personal growth. I hope you enjoy this website and visit often so you too keep learning and growing.

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