The 10 Verified Spots To Find Agates In Indiana In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

| Updated

The 10 Verified Spots To Find Agates In Indiana In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

Updated

Indiana may not be the first state that comes to mind when you think of geological diversity but it’s actually a great place to search! One of the most exciting finds here are the beautiful Indiana agates.

To be frank, they aren’t going to be easy to find everywhere, which can make your hunt a bit of a challenge without the right guidance. But don’t be discouraged, because it’s not impossible to find them!

We’ll guide you through the verified spots where other rockhounds have found agates in Indiana, such as in Fort Wayne, Maumee River, and the May Stone and Sand Quarry.

We’ll also go through the different types of agates and whether you can find them here, so you can prepare in advance for your agate hunting. Let’s get started!

What is Indiana Agate?

A beautiful blue agate druzy with bands of violet
Agate photo provided by and available for purchase at BadgerCabs

Agate is a type of mineral, specifically a form of quartz, known for its remarkable beauty and captivating patterns. What sets it apart are its mesmerizing bands and swirls of colors and textures. These patterns are formed as mineral-rich waters slowly fill cavities in rocks over time, layer by layer.

The value and price of agates can vary widely depending on many factors, and you can check out our article on that. Some agates are cherished for their rarity and exquisite beauty, commanding high prices from collectors and jewelry enthusiasts.

When it comes to where you can uncover these precious gems, agates can be found in various places around the globe. They’re commonly discovered in volcanic rocks like basalt and also in sedimentary rocks.

Now, before we share with you the verified spots where you can find Indiana agates, let’s first discuss the different types of agates and whether you can find them here:

Moss Agates

What makes moss agate truly special is the delicate green or brownish inclusions within it, resembling moss or ferns. These inclusions create a unique and captivating landscape-like pattern, giving this agate its distinctive and natural beauty.

If you’re wondering whether you can find moss agate in Indiana, the answer is yes, but it will not be easy to spot as they are quite rare. These discoveries are more sporadic, so you may need to put in some extra effort to uncover this gem here.

Fire Agates

Fire agate is known for its vibrant and fiery play of colors, which can include flashes of red, orange, gold, and green. This captivating display is caused by thin layers of iron oxide and limonite deposited on its surface.

Fire agates are truly a marvel to behold, and their unique appearance makes them highly sought after by collectors and jewelry enthusiasts. Unfortunately, it’s not typically found in Indiana. They’re more commonly associated with arid regions in the southwestern United States, such as Arizona and New Mexico.

Blue Lace Agates

Blue lace agate is a stunning variety known for its delicate, pale blue and white banding patterns. It has a serene and calming appearance, which resembles soft, billowing clouds or intricate lacework. Its blue coloration is caused by the presence of tiny amounts of impurities like copper.

Because of its elegant aesthetics, this type of agate is often used in jewelry and as a decorative stone. However, if you want one for yourself, it’s important to note that it’s not a commonly reported find in Indiana.

If you’re curious about the other crystal wonders of our state, check out our article on the great crystal mine sites in Indiana.

How We Know About Great Locations For Agate in Indiana
With agates being so beautiful you can image that the best spots are not always advertised widely. In fact, it isn’t unusual for good places to find agates to be secrets known by just a few locals. Fortunately, you do know someone who has been around the block!

The key factors in our recommendations are:

  • The deep experience and understanding of our team about the area
  • Recommendations from local groups and clubs
  • How easy it is to get the a particular location
  • Safety and potential hazards when collecting
  • Weighing private and public locations
  • The ability for both experienced and novice agate enthusiasts to find great samples

With these factors in mind we’ve been able to put together a fantastic list that just about anyone can use!

Rock pick being used

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:

National Audubon Society Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals: North America 

Northeast Treasure Hunter's Gem & Mineral Guide 

Earth Treasures: The Northeastern Quadrant 

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 in Indiana

Indiana has many great gem mine sites, but if you need guidance that’s focused on finding agates, below are the verified spots that you can explore:

Always Confirm Access and Collection Rules!

Before heading out to any of the locations on our list you need to confirm access requirements and collection rules for both public and private locations.

These requirements are subject to change without notice and may differ from what we state below.

Always get updated information directly from the source ahead of time to ensure responsible rockhounding.

Maumee River

A look at the calm waters of Maumee River and its surroundings

Maumee River, which stretches for over 100 miles through the northwestern part of our state, offers a unique opportunity to discover beautiful agates.

This region is characterized by gently rolling hills, fertile farmland, and lush forests. The river itself winds its way through this picturesque landscape, and its terrain varies from rocky outcrops to sandy shores.

From a geological perspective, the Maumee River area features a mix of sedimentary and glacial deposits. These geological conditions can occasionally yield agates, particularly along the riverbanks and in gravel bars.

Getting here is relatively easy, thanks to its accessibility via highways and local roads. You’ll find various access points along its course, including parks, public lands, and bridges. Just remember to check Indiana’s local collecting guidelines for rockhounding activities.

Where we found agates in the Maumee River

You can find agates in the gravels and downstream along the Maumee River to the Ohio state line.

May Stone and Sand Quarry

Aerial view of the May Stone and Sand Quarry

Situated in the north-central part of Indiana, May Stone and Sand Quarry offers a fascinating glimpse into the geological history of our region and the potential to find agates.

Geographically, it’s located in an area characterized by rolling hills and fertile farmland. The terrain within the quarry itself is a mix of exposed rock faces, gravel pits, and sandy areas. This diversity in terrain makes it an intriguing location for rockhounding adventures.

From a geological perspective, the May Stone and Sand Quarry sits atop sedimentary rock formations. It’s in these sedimentary layers that agates are occasionally found.

The quarry is accessible via well-maintained roads, and it’s not far from major highways, making it convenient for you to visit.

Where we found agates in the May Stone and Sand Quarry

Explore the area dumps and exposures of May Stone and Sand Quarry to find stunning agate samples.

Fort Wayne

A scenic area in Fort Wayne featuring a river surrounded by trees

Fort Wayne is a city with a rich geological history and is a promising place for rockhounds to explore. It offers a diverse geological landscape that can yield some exciting discoveries, including agates.

Geographically, Fort Wayne is situated in the Maumee Valley, a region with gently rolling hills and fertile plains. The city itself is located near the convergence of the St. Joseph and St. Marys Rivers, which join to form the Maumee River.

The surrounding area of Fort Wayne features a mix of urban development and natural landscapes, making it an intriguing place for geological exploration. Among its variety of features are riverbanks, creek beds, and exposed rock outcrops.

Thanks to its location along major highways and well-maintained roadways, getting to Fort Wayne is convenient. It’s easily accessible by car and is served by an airport for those coming from farther away.

Where we found agates in Fort Wayne

If you want to find agates, search in the area farms and fields of Fort Wayne.

Other Great Places To Find Agates in Indiana

A beautiful angus coast agate with interesting patterns of orange and white
Agate photo provided by Jan Lakowski

Additional areas you can find agates

In case you’re having a hard time locating agates, make sure to pay close attention to the following areas where they usually hide:

Rivers and Riverbanks

Rivers and riverbanks are fantastic hunting grounds for agates, and Indiana is no exception. They constantly wear down and expose rocks. As they meander through landscapes, they churn up and transport agate-containing rocks downstream, ultimately depositing them along their banks.

Indiana’s rivers offer excellent opportunities for agate hunting. The geological diversity and the constant water flow create ideal conditions for agate deposition.

Streams and Creeks

Streams and creeks are also fantastic spots for agate hunting in Indiana. These waterways naturally erode rocks and carry them downstream, exposing agate-containing rocks in their beds.

When you explore the banks and gravel bars of streams and creeks, you’re likely to stumble upon agates, especially after periods of high water flow when new treasures are exposed.

Quarries

Quarries are excellent places for agate hunting as they often expose rocks deep below the Earth’s surface, where agates have the chance to form undisturbed over millions of years.

Indiana’s quarries, especially those in limestone-rich regions, are known for producing a variety of agates. As quarrying operations dig deeper, they can unearth agate-filled pockets and geodes. Exploring these quarries can lead to exciting agate discoveries.

Common Agate-Hunting Questions

Crazy lace agate with stunning patterns of yellow and orange
Crazy lace agate photo provided by Weekly Crystal Live Sales!

Before you start packing your bags for your agate-hunting journey here, allow us to answer the most common question when it comes to finding Indiana agates:

Is it illegal to collect agate in Indiana?

Collecting agates in Indiana is generally not illegal, provided you follow certain guidelines and respect local regulations.

However, it’s crucial to be aware that collecting on public lands, such as state parks, riverbanks, and other publicly accessible areas, is typically allowed as long as you adhere to any park or site-specific rules. Meanwhile, collecting on private property without permission is both illegal and considered trespassing.

Some natural areas, particularly those with unique ecological or geological features, have restrictions on collecting to preserve the environment. For more information, check with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The Best Places To Buy Agates In Indiana

Front store window of The Crystal Lady

Another great way to observe and potentially take home an agate from Indiana is by visiting our trusted local rock and mineral shops. Below are some of them:

If you have any recommendations for our list please leave a comment below!

About Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

Keith Jackson is an avid rockhound who is constantly exploring new sites to expand his collection. He has worked as a professional Geologist for over 20 years and holds a PhD in Geology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a Masters Degree in Geology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a Bachelors Degree in Geology from the University of Connecticut.

Leave a Comment