There are a few reliable places to find agate in Hawaii. Agates are beautiful rocks that form in many types of volcanic areas, which Hawaii has plenty of.
Think of the island’s beaches, where the waves roll back and reveal a mix of sand and stones, or the old lava flows where rocks have been left to cool for a long time. Agates are usually hiding among other stones, so it takes a keen eye to spot them.
For those who have caught the rock-hunting bug and want to learn more about where to mine gems in Hawaii, there’s a wealth of information to explore. Our guide is full of tips and tricks to help find the best spots.
The types of agate you can find
Agate is a kind of rock that looks pretty plain on the outside but is full of surprises inside. When sliced open, it shows layers of colors and patterns that are a feast for the eyes.
These layers form as liquid minerals inside other rocks fill in gaps over time and harden. Agate can come in many colors like red, yellow, and green, making each piece unique.
This rock is usually found in places where volcanic activity has happened. It’s often discovered in the pockets of hardened lava or around places where water has flowed through volcanic rocks.
There are certain considerations to take into account when it comes to what agate is worth. Some types of agate are really valuable and people will pay well for them, especially if they’re beautiful or rare.
What makes moss agate special are the patterns inside that look like tiny, green plants or moss. But it’s not actual moss – the green patterns are made from minerals.
This rock is usually kind of clear or translucent with green spots or lines that give it a natural, earthy vibe.
Even though Hawaii has lots of awesome rocks, moss agate isn’t one of them In the United States, moss agate is often found out West. Places like Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota have the right conditions for moss agate to form.
Fire agate is a sparkly kind of rock that really catches your eye. It’s like regular agate but has a special twist: it shimmers with fiery colors when you turn it in the light.
This happens because of tiny layers of iron oxide inside the stone, which reflect light to look like flames in a way. The colors can be a mix of reds, oranges, and greens, all swirled together.
Unfortunately, you won’t find fire agate in Hawaii. But not to worry, because there are other places to go on a fire agate hunt. This dazzling rock is mostly found in the Southwestern United States.
States like Arizona, California, and New Mexico are known for having fire agate. These areas have the right kind of conditions in the desert where fire agate can form.
Blue lace agates
Blue lace agate is a stunning rock with soft blue stripes, like ribbons of sky captured in stone. It’s a type of banded chalcedony, which is part of the quartz family.
The bands are in shades of blue, from light to dark, and they look like delicate lace patterns.
If you’re looking for blue lace agate, you won’t find it in Hawaii. It’s actually found in other parts of the world, with a lot of it coming from far away in places like Namibia and South Africa.
Banded agate is really neat to look at because it has layers or “bands” of different colors. These bands run parallel to one another, giving the rock a striped look.
The good news is that you can find banded agate in Hawaii. The island’s rich volcanic history has made it a good place for banded agate to form. With the right tips and tricks, you can find these agates in certain areas.
Check out our guide for crystal mining in Hawaii to learn about the other kinds of rocks, minerals, and crystals that might be hiding on these islands.
The tools every agate hunter will need
When you're out looking for agates having the right tools for the job is really going to make or break your success. You don't need a lot for most trips but there are a handful that are critical and will make your life a lot easier.
We get asked a lot about the equipment we use. Over the years we've found a handful of tools that we recommend to both new and experienced agate hunters which we outline in great detail in our complete rockhounding tools and kit guide. These are quality options that also happen to be relatively inexpensive.
Below are the basic tools that make your life so much easier and save you a ton of time. Check out the full guide to see everything we recommend bringing. One quick note, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases but we try very hard to only recommend gear we would use ourselves and often recommend brands you can't find on Amazon.
At a minimum you should have:
1 - Sturdy rock hammer: The Estwing Rock Pick is our standard
2 - Rugged chisels: Try Kendo' 3-piece Chisel Set
3 - Compact shovel: The Koleiya 28-inch shovel works well
4 - Rock screen pan: The Wazakura Soil Sieve Set fits the bill
5 - Eye protection: DeWalt Safety Glasses are cheap and comfortable
6 - Head protection: Malta's Safety Helmet has been our go-to
7 - Jewelers lens with at least 20x magnification: Jarlink's Jewelers Loop is perfect
The agate-finding books that we use most
There are also a few books that have been extremely helpful in the search for gems. These books have great recommendations and tips:
We provide links to find these tools on Amazon but some can also be found at your local hardware stores. For more recommendations check out the link to our full tool guide above.
The Best Spots To Find Agates
Finding agate in Hawaii is an adventure that requires patience and a bit of know-how. The rugged terrain and lush landscapes of the islands can make the search challenging, but with determination, it’s definitely possible.
Having the right guidance is key because knowing where to look is half the battle. Tips from experienced rock enthusiasts can turn a tough task into a successful rock-hunting trip.
Olomana is a striking landmark that stands out with its three sharp peaks. The entire structure is part of an eroded dike complex, which means it’s made from harder rock that didn’t wear away when the softer rock around it did.
The first peak, also the tallest, is the most popular among hikers and rock enthusiasts for its stunning views and challenging climb.
The terrain here is rugged; steep trails and sharp drops make it a climb for those who are sure-footed and have a good head for heights.
Geologically, this area is fascinating because it shows how the forces of erosion shape the land. The rock formations here include both intrusive and extrusive igneous rocks.
This combination creates a diverse landscape that’s not only beautiful but also a great spot for studying how different types of rocks are formed.
For anyone interested in exploring this area and perhaps collecting some rocks, it’s essential to do it responsibly. Check with the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources for guidelines and rules about collecting rocks.
Where we found agates on Olomana
You can find banded agate in the gullies of Olomana. These gullies, formed by erosion and running water, can collect agates that have been freed from the surrounding rock.
The natural crevices and washouts are also good places to search. Knowing where to mine for agate in Hawaii, especially in areas like this with natural water paths, can lead to rewarding discoveries.
Pupukea is a unique area known for its diverse geography, with a landscape that includes both rugged terrain and serene beachfronts. The area’s terrain is a mix of rocky outcrops, steep hills, and flat plains leading to the ocean.
Geologically, Pupukea is fascinating due to its volcanic rock foundations, which tell a story of the area’s fiery past. These volcanic rocks have been shaped over time by natural elements, creating a variety of structures and formations.
The land here is also known for its mienral-rich, a result of the breakdown of volcanic material over time. This mineral-rich soil supports a lush environment, allowing for a vibrant ecosystem to thrive.
Where we found agates in Pupukea
Agates in Pupukea can be discovered along the shores where the ocean meets the land, especially at Ke Iki Beach. At Kaunala Gulch Beach, the running water from the gulch helps to unearth and deposit Hawaii agate along its banks.
Diamond Head Beach Park is a place with a mix of features like high cliffs, rolling waves, and a wide stretch of shoreline. The geography here is defined by a large volcanic crater that’s a landmark of the area.
The terrain includes rocky outcrops and sandy beaches, providing a variety of landscapes to enjoy.
Geologically, the park is a showcase of past volcanic activity, with hardened lava flows and ash deposits that have turned into the rock that makes up the cliffs and headland.
The park’s shoreline is scattered with different rocks and minerals, churned up by the ocean’s activity. For those curious about how to find agate in this area, it’s a matter of searching the beach where the sea has smoothed and sorted the stones.
In the geological layers of the cliffs, the story of the earth’s movements is visible, offering clues to the types of minerals that can be found. This natural area is a living classroom for anyone interested in the earth’s formations.
Where we found agates in Diamond Head Beach Park
At Diamond Head Beach Park, agates can be spotted along the shoreline where they’ve been polished by the ocean’s waves. These stones are often nestled between other rocks and pebbles, making them a bit of a challenge to find.
The base of the cliffs is another area where agates may hide, having tumbled down from the rocky heights above. For those trying to learn how to find agate in Hawaii, this park is a place where careful observation around the beach can be fruitful.
Other Great Places To Find Agates
Hunting for agates is a fun adventure, and there are several spots where these cool rocks like to hang out. With a keen eye and a bit of patience, anyone can discover these hidden gems in the great outdoors.
Additional areas you can find agates
In Hawaii, the quest for agate often leads to the diverse terrains of the islands, from the sunny, sandy beaches to the shadowy bases of towering cliffs. Here are the areas you can explore if you want a good chance of finding agates.
Road cuts are places where hills or mountains have been sliced into to make way for roads. These cuts expose layers of rock that were once buried deep beneath the surface.
They can be great spots for finding agates because the cutting action reveals rocks and minerals that aren’t usually seen. When rain washes down these cuttings, it can clean and uncover agates, making them easier for enthusiasts to spot and collect.
Fresh rock exposures
Fresh rock exposures are like newly opened doors to the world beneath our feet. These exposures happen because of construction, quarrying, or natural events like landslides that scrape off the top layers of soil and rock.
Streams and creeks
Streams and creeks are natural pathways that often carry hidden gems along their course. Over time, flowing water can tumble and polish rocks, including agates, making these waterways ideal for rock hunters.
In the shallows and along the banks, one might find agate beds, where these stones rest among the gravel and sand.
These spots can be especially rewarding after heavy rains, as the water uncovers and washes new rocks into the creek beds, refreshing the hunt for these glossy stones.
Rivers and riverbanks
Rivers and riverbanks are active spots where the water’s flow can reveal hidden rocks. These areas are constantly changing, which means they can expose new rocks regularly.
The process of water rushing over rocks can smooth and sort them, making it easier to spot and find agate.
For those who enjoy searching, riverbanks provide a dynamic environment where each visit might uncover a different selection of stones brought in by the current.
Is it illegal to collect agate in Hawaii?
Collecting agate in Hawaii is not illegal, but there are important rules to follow. The land in Hawaii is divided into public and private areas.
On public lands, such as state parks and beaches, taking any natural materials, including rocks like agate, is usually not allowed.
This helps keep the environment natural and enjoyable for everyone. If someone wants to collect agates on these lands, they need to check the specific rules for that area or get a permit if required.
On private land, the rules are different. To collect agates there, one must have permission from the landowner. Without permission, taking agates or any other natural items is considered theft and can result in fines or other legal trouble.
For anyone interested in how to find agate in Hawaii, it’s a good idea to start by visiting local rock shops or talking to local rockhounding groups. They can offer advice on where to go and how to collect responsibly.
They’ll also know about any recent changes in the laws or rules about collecting rocks. It’s always best to collect responsibly to ensure that the hobby can be enjoyed by future enthusiasts.
The Best Places To Buy Agates
Hawaii has a variety of shops where rock enthusiasts can add to their collection with beautiful agates. These are our favorite places to buy rocks:
- Kailua Crystals – 1450 Ala Moana Blvd APT 1106, Honolulu, HI 96814
- Lemuria Crystal Shop – 66-165 Kamehameha Hwy unit 4-4B, Haleiwa, HI 96712 / 315 Uluniu St suite 101, Kailua, HI 96734
- Where Crystals Rock – 98-025 Hekaha St #110, Aiea, HI 96701
- Aloha Crystals & Gems – 75-5799 Ali‘i Dr B-6, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
- Crystals & Gems Gallery – 4489 Aku Rd, Hanalei, HI 96714
If you have any recommendations for our list please leave a comment below!