Have you ever seen or held a piece of Amethyst in your hand? If not yet, then let us describe this wonderful gem to you. With its enchanting purple hues and captivating sparkle, Amethyst is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and sought-after gemstones in the world.
Its captivating beauty has made it immensely desirable among collectors, jewelers, and gemstone enthusiasts. Its rich history and mythical associations have only heightened its allure throughout the ages.
While Amethyst can be found in various parts of the world, locating it in Utah can be quite challenging without the right guidance. Our vast landscapes hold numerous hidden treasures, so there’s a need for precise geological knowledge to find this gem here.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the excellent sites that you can explore for precious Utah Amethyst. Let’s begin!
What is Utah Amethyst?
Belonging to the quartz family, Amethyst gets its distinct color from trace amounts of iron impurities present during its formation. Its color can vary from pale lilac to deep violet, with shades often influenced by different factors like the presence of natural light.
For centuries, Amethyst has been prized for its beauty and spiritual significance. Its name is derived from the Greek word “Amethystos,” which means “not drunken.” Ancient Greeks and Romans believed that wearing or drinking from vessels made of this gem could protect them from intoxication and promote sobriety.
Aside from its rich history, Amethyst is also associated with clarity of thought, spiritual enlightenment, and emotional balance. Because of this, it’s commonly used in jewelry, including rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.
The Best Spot To Find Amethyst in Utah
It’s no secret that Utah has plenty of gem mining sites, but not all of them contain Amethysts. So we went around our state to find sites for your next Amethyst-hunting adventure here. We’ve found the following excellent spots:
Spanning over 2,000 square miles, San Rafael Swell is endowed with rugged canyons, towering mesas, and striking rock formations. As part of the Colorado Plateau, it’s situated between the Wasatch Mountains to the north and the San Rafael Desert to the south.
When you visit here, you’ll see for yourself why San Rafael Swell is a spectacle to behold. It boasts of deep canyons carved by the San Rafael River and its tributaries. It has everything from towering cliffs and sandstone domes to hidden alcoves and sprawling desert landscapes.
San Rafael Swell’s geology is diverse and reveals a rich tapestry of rock layers spanning millions of years. It’s renowned for its exposed formations, including the iconic Buckhorn Wash, Mexican Mountain, and The Wedge. Within this diverse environment is where you can find Amethyst, too.
If you wish to explore here, make sure to check Utah’s updated collecting guidelines first.
Where we found amethyst in San Rafael Swell
You can explore the east side of the San Rafael Swell to find stunning specimens of Amethyst.
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:
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.
Tooele County spans over 7,000 square miles, encompassing a variety of terrain, from rugged mountain ranges to vast desert expanses.
Tooele County has a mix of striking features. The Stansbury Mountains dominate its western part, while the eastern region transitions into the vast salt flats and dry basins of the Great Salt Lake. In between, the county has rolling hills, fertile valleys, and intermittent streams.
This county is renowned for its varied rock formations, including sedimentary, volcanic, and metamorphic rocks. Its mountainous areas contain mineral-rich deposits, providing an ideal environment for gemstone formation. Amethyst can be found in these geological formations.
Where we found amethyst in Tooele County
When you visit this county, you can find Amethyst in the following sites:
- Drum Mountains
- Dugway Range in Dugway Pass
- Dugway Mountains Mining District
If you’re curious about Amethyst’s price, you can refer to our article on that, too.
Bradshaw Mountains are renowned for their scenic beauty and geological significance. Stretching across a vast expanse, these mountains form a prominent part of the larger Basin and Range Province.
These mountains are characterized by rugged peaks, deep canyons, and expansive valleys. It has steep slopes covered in dense forests, open meadows, and rocky outcrops. It offers breathtaking vistas, with panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes and nearby reservoirs.
The varied geology of Bradshaw Mountains provides fertile ground for the formation of Amethyst. To go here, you can travel via major highways and well-maintained roads. State Route 65 and State Route 38 offer convenient access to different sections of the mountain range.
Where we found amethyst in Bradshaw Mountains
We recommend exploring the different area mines in Bradshaw Mountains where you can uncover Amethyst specimens.
With an area of over 3,300 square miles, Iron County is blessed with a mix of mountains, valleys, and desert terrain. Its situated in the Great Basin and is bordered by the imposing Markagunt Plateau to the west and the vast Escalante Desert to the east.
This county is home to the breathtaking formations of the Cedar Breaks National Monument and covers parts of the Dixie National Forest. Iron County also features the picturesque valleys of Parowan and Cedar, which offer fertile agricultural land and charming rural communities.
The diverse geology of Iron County presents opportunities for Amethyst discoveries. It has a variety of rock formations, including sedimentary, volcanic, and metamorphic rocks. Iron County is easily accessible via major highways, such as Interstate 15 and State Route 130.
Where we found amethyst in Iron County
Amethysts are bountiful in Iron County and you can find them in Granite Mountain, specifically in the following spots:
- Armstong Mine
- Clive-Constitution Orebody
- Desert Mound Orebody
- East Pioche Mine
- Eclipse Orebody
- Georgia Orebody
- Iron Springs Arch Orebody
- King Orebody
- Lindsay Hill Mine
- South Orebody
- Little Allie Orebody
- Little Jim Orebody
- Little Mormon Orebody
- Milner Pit Orebody
- Section 2 Orebody
- Section 3 Orebody
- Section 4 Orebody
- Section 9 Orebody
- Short Line Orebody
- Thompson Orebody
- Twitchell Orebody
- Vermillion Mine
- Walker Orebody
You can also explore the Iron Mountain, specifically these sites:
- A and B Orebody
- Black Hawk Orebody
- Black Magnetite Orebody
- Blowout Pit (Columbia Steel Mine)
- Burke no. 2 Orebody
- Burke no. 3 Orebody
- Calumet Orebody
- Chesapeake Orebody
- Comstock Orebody
- Crystal Orebody
- Cyclone Orebody
- Deer Orebody
- Duluth Orebody
- Duncan Orebody
- Excelsior Orebody
- Homestake Mine
- Last Chance Orebody
- Lime Cap Orebody
- McCahill Orebody
- Milner Hill Orebody
- Mountain Lion Orebody
- Pinto Orebody
- Pot Metals Orebody
- Queen of the West Orebody
- Rex Orebody
- Sparta Orebody
- Tiptop Orebody
- Wall Street Orebody
- Yellow Jacket Orebody
Marysvale is a charming town surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. Situated in Piute County, it’s known for its scenic landscapes, outdoor recreation opportunities, and the potential for exciting gemstone discoveries.
The town is located in a valley surrounded by towering mountain ranges, offering a picturesque setting for you to explore. Its surrounding landscapes encompass lush forests, pristine lakes and rivers, and stunning mountain vistas. This scenic backdrop provides an ideal setting for outdoor activities, including gem hunting.
Marysvale is renowned for its region’s volcanic history, which has shaped the landscape and created mineral-rich formations. This has contributed to the formation of Amethyst-bearing rocks and veins in the area. To visit, you can travel via major highways like the U.S. Route 89 or State Route 153.
Where we found amethyst in Marysvale
Search through the surrounding mines in Marysvale to find fascinating specimens of Amethyst.
Other Great Places To Mine For Amethyst in Utah
Our recommendations by county
If you’ve already visited our top-recommended places for Amethyst hunting, don’t fret because there are plenty other options for you to explore. We’ve arranged them by county in the table below.
|Lincoln Gulch area mines
|Pine Grove Mining District
|Rita Lynn claim
|Eagles Nest Claim
|The Cove in Topaz Mountain
|Lucky Boy Mine
|La Sal Mountains
Additional areas you can find amethyst
To make the most of your time when visiting our recommended places here that cover relatively large areas, we recommend exploring the spots where Amethyst is usually found. Try checking out these specific spots:
Mines and Mine Dumps
Mines and mine dumps (piles of discarded rocks and minerals from mining operations) are fantastic spots for Amethyst hunting. They can yield impressive specimens due to their mineral-rich environment and history of mining activities.
Mountain ranges are ideal locations to find exquisite Amethyst specimens. They offer diverse geological formations and mineral-rich environments that support Amethyst formation. You can find this gem within the rocks and crevices of these mountainous regions.
Streams and Creeks
Streams and creeks are flowing bodies of water that can serve as natural pathways for Amethyst crystals to be transported from their original sources. You can find these purple treasures along the banks, within gravel beds, or lodged between rocks in these aquatic environments, making them fruitful grounds for your adventure.
Common Amethyst-Hunting Questions
We’ll go through some of the most commonly-asked questions when it comes to finding Amethyst in Utah:
Where can you find Amethyst Geodes in Utah?
Despite having a handful of excellent Amethyst-bearing sites, Utah doesn’t have locations where Amethyst Geodes naturally occur. But if you want to see and take home one, you can visit our local gem shops. We’ve listed some of the best ones that we have at the end of this article.
Is it illegal to collect Amethyst in Utah?
It’s legal to collect Amethyst in Utah, but it’s crucial to do so in accordance with our local collecting guides. As a general rule, make sure that you are respectful of our environment and any wildlife that you might encounter during your exploration. Also, secure any necessary permits or permissions before heading out.
The Best Places To Buy Amethyst In Utah
While the thrill and excitement of finding Amethyst in its natural environment is truly unparalleled, it’s just not for everyone. This is especially true if you’re looking for a certain characteristic for the perfect Amethyst to take home for your collection.
If you’re like this, we highly recommend visiting our local rock and gem shops that have a wide selection of Amethyst and other gemstones. Here are some of the great ones you can visit:
Bryson’s Rock Shop – 326 S Washington Blvd, Ogden, UT 84404
Cedar Rock & Bead Shop – 718 W 400 N #1, Cedar City, UT 84721
Healing Mountain Crystals – 363 S 500 E #210, Salt Lake City, UT 84102
Jim’s Gems and Jewelry – 362 E 1090 N, Orem, UT 84057
Rock & Gem Marvels – 640 E 700 S #201, St. George, UT 84770
Wandering Stones – 439 S Pleasant Grove Blvd, Pleasant Grove, UT 84062
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!