Our Fave Sites To Find and Mine For Amethyst In Michigan In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

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Our Fave Sites To Find and Mine For Amethyst In Michigan In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD


Amethyst is a captivating gemstone renowned for its mesmerizing and exquisite purple hues. It has long been coveted, not only for its beauty and allure, but also for its various meaning and healing properties associated with it.

While Amethyst can be found in various parts of the world, it holds a special significance for those in Michigan. Our state’s geological makeup boasts of unique deposits of this precious gemstone, but locating it can prove to be a challenge without the proper guidance.

With its vast forests and hidden pockets of Amethyst, our state presents a puzzle for gem seekers. That’s why we’ve created an exceptional guide to assist you in your quest to uncover the beauty of Michigan’s Amethyst. Are you ready?

What is Michigan Amethyst?

A single hand stretch out while holding 5 clusters of Amethyst crystals in varying sizes
Amethyst photo provided by and available for purchase at GratitudeCrystals

Amethyst, the stunning variety of quartz known for its captivating purple color, gets its hues from traces of iron and other impurities in its crystal structure. Ranging from delicate lavender to deep violet, the colors of this gem are enchanting.

With its rich history of use in jewelry, spiritual practices, and even in the avoidance of intoxication (as the Greeks believed), this gem has been cherished for centuries.

Interestingly, Michigan’s geological composition provides unique conditions for the formation of Amethyst deposits. Our state is known for its hidden pockets of this gem, tucked away in its vast forests and rocky landscapes.

How We Know About Great Locations For Amethyst in Michigan
The best locations to find amethyst in Michigan can be closely guarded secrets. Fortunately, we’ve been around long enough to know where many of the best spots are to find it. We might not know every one out there but we know some pretty good ones. 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 amethyst 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!

The Best Spots To Find Amethyst in Michigan

Stunning deep purple Amethyst crystals
Amethyst photo provided by Saphira Minerals

In this section, let’s discuss in more depth our fave sites to find Amethyst in our state. As a gem enthusiast, you may already be familiar with some of the great gem mine sites in Michigan. However, not all of them have Amethysts, too, so if you’re after them, you may want to checkout our recommendations below:

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.

Copper Falls Mine

Lower rock piles of the Copper Falls Mine

Located in Ontonagon County, this historic Copper Falls Mine offers a unique opportunity to explore the region’s rich geological heritage and potentially discover the breathtaking beauty of Amethyst.

This spot is surrounded by lush forests and cascading waterfalls. Its location, characterized by rolling hills and dense vegetation, adds to its allure. As you venture through the mine’s vicinity after carefully complying with Michigan’s local collecting guidelines, you’ll be greeted by the captivating sights and sounds of pristine wilderness.

Geologically, the Copper Falls Mine is known for its association with the Keweenawan volcanic rocks, which date back over a billion years. These volcanic formations played a crucial role in the formation of Amethyst pockets within the area. Amethyst found here exhibits a remarkable range of colors, enchanting those who found them.

Where we found amethyst in Copper Falls Mine

When you get here, we recommend exploring the northern area of the Copper Falls Mine dumps, where Amethyst is usually found.

Rock pick being used

The tools every amethyst hunter will need

When you're out looking for amethyst 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 amethyst 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 amethyst-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.

Ohio Mine

Piled rocks and gravel at the Ohio Mine

The historic Ohio Mine holds the promise of uncovering the captivating beauty of Amethyst amidst Michigan’s natural wonders. It’s nestled within the scenic landscape of our state’s Upper Peninsula, with a picturesque setting that has rolling hills, dense forests, and pristine lakes.

The terrain surrounding the mine can be rugged, as it is typical of the Upper Peninsula’s rocky landscapes. While the mine itself is no longer in operation, the remnants and geological formations present an exciting opportunity for you to explore and discover Amethyst specimens.

If you want to go here, it’s good news that there are various access points available here, depending on your specific location.

Where we found amethyst in Ohio Mine

You can scour the mine dumps of Ohio Mine to find amazing samples of Amethyst.

Just like the rest of the options that we’ll discuss here, Ohio Mine belongs to the country’s best places to mine for Amethyst based on our experience.

Porcupine Mountains

Stunning aerial view of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness during spring when the trees are in full bloom

Often referred to as the “Porkies,” Porcupine Mountains is a majestic mountain range that spans over 60,000 acres. This wilderness area offers a breathtaking landscape of dense forests, rugged peaks, and cascading waterfalls. Its location along the shore of Lake Superior adds to its allure, providing stunning vistas and a diverse ecosystem.

Surrounding Porcupine Mountains are rolling hills, steep slopes, and deep valleys. Hiking trails crisscross the area, allowing you to explore its natural wonders. The mountains are home to unique geological formations, including ancient volcanic rocks.

Amethyst discoveries in the Porcupine Mountains have delighted gemstone enthusiasts who’ve come from different parts of the state and country just to discover them. Specimens are often found in small pockets within the rocks, showcasing its distinctive purple hues.

Where we found amethyst at Porcupine Mountains

You can find Amethyst hidden within the natural crevices and outcrops of the Porcupine Mountains.

Eagle Harbor

Eagle Harbor and its lighthouse

Eagle Harbor is a charming coastal village on the shores of Lake Superior. This picturesque area is blessed with stunning natural beauty, with its pristine beaches, rocky cliffs, and panoramic views of the lake.

Eagle Harbor’s terrain is a combination of rugged landscapes with gentle slopes, making it an ideal location for outdoor exploration. Its rocky shoreline and cliffs offer a glimpse into the region’s geological history. It’s within this geological tapestry that Amethyst can be found. The presence of this purple beauty here stems from the unique geological formations and volcanic activity that occurred in the area millions of years ago.

Going to Eagle Harbor is relatively convenient, as it’s located along Highway M-26, a major route in the Upper Peninsula. The village is easily reachable by car and offers parking facilities for visitors. The journey to Eagle Harbor will treat you to scenic drives through the beautiful landscapes of northern Michigan.

Where we found amethyst in Eagle Harbor

To find Amethyst here, explore the shoreline, comb the beaches, and venture into the surrounding wilderness of Eagle Harbor.

Seven Mile Point

Stunning view of the rock formations hit by the waves at Seven Mile Point

Another recommended site located along the scenic shores of Lake Superior is the Seven Mile Point, a captivating destination for nature enthusiasts and gemstone seekers. This picturesque location offers breathtaking views of the expansive lake and boasts of a unique blend of geological wonders.

Seven Mile Point is known for its rocky cliffs, rugged shoreline, and pristine sandy beaches. Its terrain is a mix of rocky outcrops and rolling dunes, creating a diverse and visually stunning landscape.

Its proximity to Lake Superior has shaped the area’s geology, with ancient volcanic activity playing a significant role in the formation of gemstone deposits, including Amethyst.

Where we found amethyst in Seven Mile Point

Pockets of Amethyst can be found in Seven Mile Point’s mineral-rich formations within its rocks.

Other Great Places To Mine For Amethyst in Michigan

Amazing grape-like Amethyst crystals
Amethyst photo provided by The Focal Crystal – @focalcrystal

Michigan is lucky to have plenty other Amethyst-bearing sites that you can explore aside from our fave ones that we discussed above. We’ve listed them below by county for your easy and convenient reference.

Our recommendations by county

County Location
Dickinson Gravel Quarry
Dickinson East Vulcan Mine
Gogebic Sunday Lake Group Mines
Iron Crystal Falls Mine
Keweenaw Agate Harbor
Keweenaw Horseshoe Harbor
Keweenaw Porter’s Island
Keweenaw Esrey Park
Keweenaw Isle Royale National Park
Keweenaw Keweenaw Point
Keweenaw Manitou Island
Marquette Eagle Mine
Marquette Tilden Mine
Marquette Empire Mine
Monroe Pointe aux Peaux
Monroe Enrico Fermi Atomic Energy Plant Quarry

Additional areas you can find amethyst

You may find that some of our recommended Amethyst-hunting sites above cover wide areas that may not be easy to navigate through. So, if you’re eyeing to visit one of these sites, we recommend exploring the specific areas where Amethysts usually abound, such as the following:


Quarries have long been regarded as prime locations for collectors in search of Amethyst specimens. These mining sites offer a wealth of opportunities to uncover the captivating beauty of this gemstone within its rocky walls and excavated areas.

The geological processes that occur within quarries make it an ideal site to find Amethyst. Over time, mineral-rich solutions seep into the rock formations, allowing the growth of Amethyst crystals. As quarries expose these layers through excavation, collectors gain access to an abundance of potential deposits.

Mines and Mine Dumps

Mines and mine dumps hold immense potential for your quest for Amethyst. This gemstone can often be found in abundance within the tunnels and excavated areas of mines, as well as in the discarded material found in mine dumps.

These sites are the result of extensive mining operations that have exposed layers of rock and mineral formations. As a byproduct of these processes, Amethyst crystals and clusters can be discovered by anyone exploring it.

Streams and Creeks

Streams and creeks are fruitful locations for discovering exquisite Amethyst specimens. This gemstone can often be found in these natural settings due to geological processes that have transported and deposited the crystals over time.

The natural erosion and weathering that occurs in these watercourses make streams and creeks great sites for Amethyst hunting. As water flows over the surrounding land, it dislodges and transports loose rocks and minerals. The streambeds become treasure troves where Amethyst crystals accumulate.

Common Amethyst-Hunting Questions

An amazing cluster of deep purple amethyst crystals
Amethyst photo provided by @finemineralphotography and Neil Prenn

Before heading out to Michigan on your quest to find Amethysts, we’ll answer some of the most common questions asked by those who embarked on the same journey before you:

Where can you find Amethyst Geodes in Michigan?

Amethyst Geodes do not naturally occur in Michigan, but you can still get your hands on one (or two, it wouldn’t be a problem!) when you visit our local gem shops here. We’ve listed down some of our favorite ones below.

Is it illegal to collect amethyst in Michigan?

You won’t have any legal problems collecting Amethyst in Michigan if you do so in compliance with our local collecting guidelines. Also, make sure you are abiding by any area-specific rules and regulations, and are staying away from restricted areas, if any.

The Best Places To Buy Amethyst In Michigan

A peek at the great selection of gems at the Rockhound Rock Shop

Digging, excavating, and mining for Amethyst is not for everyone. If you’d like to take home this purple wonder without breaking much sweat, you can also visit our local gem shops that have a wide range of selections.

Below are some of our fave ones:

B & T Rock Shop – 1406 State St, Bay City, MI 48706

Four Directions – 211 S Main St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Geoscape Rock Shop – 37111 W Red Arrow Hwy, Paw Paw, MI 49079

MI Rock Stop Gifts & More, LLC – 525 N McEwan St, Clare, MI 48617

Rockhound Rock Shop – 33 W Battle Creek St, Galesburg, MI 49053

World of Rocks – 32 N Huron St, Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Additional Places To Find Amethyst In Nearby States

Check out the guides we made for the nearby states where you can find amethysts as well:

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.

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