The Top Sites To Find and Mine For Amethyst In Minnesota In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

| Updated

The Top Sites To Find and Mine For Amethyst In Minnesota In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

Updated

With its breathtaking purple hue, it’s no wonder why Amethyst has captivated people for centuries and remains to be one of the most sought-after gemstones today. It’s a favorite among gem enthusiasts, jewelers, and even royalty. In fact, this gem was once considered as precious as diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires.

But finding the coveted Amethyst can be a challenge, especially if you’re not sure where to look. It’s a relatively rare gemstone, with only a few locations all over the world that has them. And, when you do find it, it’s often mixed in with other rocks and minerals, making it even harder to spot.

That’s where we come in! We’ve created this handy guide to help you locate the excellent sites to find Amethyst, so you can add this stunning gem to your collection.

What is Minnesota Amethyst?

Photo provided by and available for purchase at DeepPurpleProject

Amethyst is a type of quartz that’s prized for its beautiful purple color that can range from light lavender to deep violet. It can be found in different locations around the world, including Brazil, Uruguay, Zambia, and Canada. In the US, Minnesota is one of the most well-known locations that possess this natural wonder.

Amethyst is formed when quartz is exposed to high temperatures and pressure, often in volcanic rock. The mineral impurities in the quartz create the characteristic purple color of the stone. That’s why it’s typically found in geodes or as part of larger mineral deposits.

In addition to its stunning beauty, Amethyst is also believed to have spiritual and healing properties. Some people use it for meditation, as it’s said to promote calmness and relaxation. Whether you’re a collector or simply appreciate the beauty of gemstones, Amethyst is a true treasure that you surely won’t overlook.

How We Know About Great Locations For Amethyst in Minnesota
The best locations to find amethyst in Minnesota 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 Minnesota

Shiny, purple Amethyst crystals
Photo provided by Saphira Minerals

While Minnesota is not one to lack great places where you can mine gems, not all of them have naturally-occurring Amethysts. If you’re after this specific stone, better checkout the following excellent sites:

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 directly with the location. We haven’t personally verified every location and the access requirements and collection rules often change without notice.

Many of the locations we mention will not allow collecting but are still great places for those who love to find beautiful rocks and minerals in the wild without keeping them. We also can’t guarantee you will find anything in these locations since they are constantly changing. 

Always get updated information directly from the source ahead of time to ensure responsible rockhounding. If you want even more current options it’s always a good idea to contact local rock and mineral clubs and groups

St. Louis County

A stunning view of the streams, forest, and fields of St. Louis County

St. Louis County is the ultimate destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers in our state. Located in the northeast corner of Minnesota, this vast county, covering over 6,000 square miles, is home to some of the most beautiful scenery here.

From rugged mountains to sparkling lakes, from rolling hills to rocky outcroppings, St. Louis County has it all. Its terrain varies from dense forests to open prairies, making it the perfect place to explore by foot, bike, or car.

Geologically speaking, this place is a treasure trove of minerals and gems, including Amethyst deposits. What’s better is that collecting them is legal here as long as you comply with Minnesota’s collecting guides.

Where we found amethyst in St. Louis County

Explore in and around St. Louis County to find highly sought-after Amethyst gems.

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 

Northwest Treasure Hunter's Gem & Mineral Guide 

Earth Treasures: The Northwestern 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.

Cross River

A stunning aerial view of Cross River and its surrounding rock formation

Located on the shores of Lake Superior, Cross River is a small town that’s home to some of the most beautiful scenery in our state. With its rugged coastline, dense forests, and sparkling rivers, this place is a nature lover’s paradise!

Cross River is blessed with rocky shoreline and dramatic cliffs. It has a rugged and challenging terrain, with steep hills and rocky outcroppings. But don’t let that deter you because the views from the top are worth the effort!

Aside from its stunning views, Cross River also has some of the most fascinating rock formations in Minnesota. It’s rich in minerals and gems, including the highly sought-after Amethyst. And getting here is pretty easy, too, as it’s conveniently accessible from major highways and airports.

Where we found amethyst at Cross River

When you visit Cross River, we highly recommend exploring its different nooks and crannies for Amethyst. Also, if you’re curious to know how much is Amethyst worth, checkout our full pricing guide.

Whitehall in Wisconsin

A wide view of the spring fields of Whitehall

Whitehall is a charming small town in Wisconsin that’s full of surprises. Located just across the border from Minnesota, it’s an easy drive from the Twin Cities and other major Midwest cities. If you’re looking for a getaway that’s both convenient and exciting, Whitehall is the perfect destination.

Its geography is defined by its rolling hills and picturesque valleys. The town is nestled in the heart of the Trempealeau River Valley, which offers some of the most stunning natural beauty in the region. With everything from dense forests to open prairies, this area is also known for its unique geology, which includes the highly-coveted Amethyst.

Where we found amethyst at Whitehall

To find Amethyst here, explore the road cuts and stream cuts just north of Whitehall area in Trempealeau County.

Mount Pleasant in Pennsylvania

A colorful view of Mount Pleasant's fields and spring trees

Mount Pleasant is a hidden gem in Pennsylvania. Located just a short drive from Pittsburgh, it’s an easy destination to get to for a weekend getaway or day trip. It’s steeped in history, with charming architecture and a vibrant cultural scene.

The town is characterized by its rolling hills and lush forests, and its terrain is perfect for hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities— especially rockhounding!

The region is also rich in natural resources, including Amethyst. In fact, Mount Pleasant is one of the nearest locations in Minnesota where you can find this beautiful gemstone.

Where we found amethyst at Mount Pleasant

When you get here, we suggest exploring 1 mile northwest of the field area of Mount Pleasant, where you can find stunning Amethyst specimens.

Franklin in North Carolina

Greeneries and streams of Franklin

Yes, it’s quite a distance from Minnesota but there aren’t many other options within driving distance. Franklin sits in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. The town is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, with lush forests, rolling hills, and rushing waterfalls. It’s a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with plenty of opportunities for hiking, fishing, and other activities.

Located in the Southern Appalachians, its terrain is rugged and diverse, with elevations ranging from 1,200 to 5,500 feet above sea level.

Franklin is home to unique geological formations and rich deposits of minerals and gems, including Amethyst. That’s why it has several active mines that offer guided tours and opportunities to search for these wonders.

Where we found amethyst at Franklin

Amethysts abound in Franklin, and if you want to find one, you can explore its different area mines, prospects, and diggings.

Common Amethyst-Hunting Questions

A stunning cluster of purple Amethyst crystals
Photo provided by Mineral Masterpiece

When it comes to Minnesota Amethyst mining, explorer often have the same common questions. And in this section, we’ll answer them for you.

Where can you find Amethyst Geodes in Minnesota?

While you can find Amethysts here, it’s unfortunate that Amethyst Geodes don’t naturally occur in Minnesota. That doesn’t mean you can’t take home one from here! We have some pretty great rock and gem shops here with Amethyst Geodes that you can pay a visit to.

Is it illegal to collect amethyst in Minnesota?

Minnesota allows Amethyst mining and collecting for as long as you do it in compliance with our collecting guidelines. Also, be sure to familiarize yourself with any environmental rules and regulation in place in the areas that you will explore.

The Best Places To Buy Amethyst In Minnesota

A look at the front store window and store name of Enchanted Rock Garden

If you’re after an Amethyst of certain intensity of color, size, or look, chances are you won’t easily find them in its natural environment. But you’ll certainly have more options to choose from if you visit our local rock and gem shops here.

Below are some only of our best shops that you can visit:

ZRS Fossils and Gifts – 3018 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408

Jon’s Gem Emporium – 184 US-10, Motley, MN 56466

The Enchanted Rock Garden – 1228 E 66th St, Richfield, MN 55423

AM Rock Shop – 710 E River Rd, Anoka, MN 55303

Owl and Lark – 12821 Main St, Rogers, MN 55374

Rocks and Things – 201 N Rum River Dr, Princeton, MN 55371

Embellir Gallery of Gems – 750 Main St #111, Mendota Heights, MN 55118

Enchanted Boutique – 8 W 66th St, Richfield, MN 55423

Awakenings Gifts & Guidance for the Soul – 4165 Minnehaha Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406

Additional Places To Find Amethyst In Nearby States

Check out the guide we made for a 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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