Our 28 Favorite Sites To Find And Mine For Amethyst In Virginia In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

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Our 28 Favorite Sites To Find And Mine For Amethyst In Virginia In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD


Searching for amethysts in Virginia can be challenging if you don’t have the right guidance. It’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack, but the needle is a stunning purple gemstone hidden within the Earth.

Virginia is known for its diverse geological formations, and pinpointing where amethysts might be lurking can leave you scratching your head.

We’ve done the legwork for you. We’ve scoured the depths of Virginia’s gem-rich regions, unearthed hidden gems of information, and compiled a treasure trove of great options for any aspiring amethyst hunter. With our guidance, you’ll have the tools, tips, and know-how to embark on a successful amethyst-finding adventure!

What is Virginia Amethyst?

A pretty amethyst crystal placed on a light brown rough surface
Amethyst photo provided by and available for purchase at TheCelticsBrew

Amethysts are incredible. They possess this mesmerizing beauty that can take your breath away. Picture a deep purple hue with hues of lavender and lilac dancing through the crystal. The way they catch the light and reflect it is simply enchanting. Whether you’re a gem collector, jewelry lover, or just someone who appreciates the wonders of nature, amethysts are a sight to behold.

It might be worth a lot of money if you’re fortunate enough to discover a perfect one. Amethysts are so stunning that it’s difficult not to get enthusiastic about them, even if you’re not seeking financial benefit. And today, anyone may successfully search for amethyst thanks to the abundance of top-notch resources available.

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

A gorgeous amethyst crystal cluster with white minerals on its side

The most significant locations in the state to look for amethysts are listed below. Even though there are many unique places to find gems in Virginia, only a few unique sites are the best for discovering amethyst crystals.

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.

Moorman River

A nice and tranquil area at Moorman River where amethyst crystals are found

The Moorman River stands as a promising destination for amethyst hunters. With its pristine waters and rocky terrain, this meandering river holds the potential for uncovering nature’s violet treasures.

The region boasts various rocks, including metamorphic formations and quartz-rich deposits, allowing amethysts to flourish. As water flows through the cracks and crevices of these rocks, it carries minerals and elements essential for the growth of these gorgeous gemstones.

Before bringing your amethyst crystals home, know the most recent Virginia collecting rules and regulations.

Where we found amethyst in Moormans River

Amethysts can be found all along the Moormans River but are most common in the riverbed and surrounding banks. Since amethyst is a purple variant of quartz, it would be better to concentrate on regions with quartz-rich rocks and sediments.

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 

Southeast Treasure Hunter's Gem & Mineral Guide 

Earth Treasures: The Southeastern 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.

Panther Falls

A nice view of the Panther Falls between two huge rocks

Panther Falls attracts not only nature enthusiasts but also those in search of precious stones, including amethysts. Nestled amidst the lush wilderness of the Jefferson National Forest, Panther Falls provides a unique opportunity for amethyst hunters to indulge in their passion.

Panther Falls offers a sense of adventure and tranquility that adds to the allure of amethyst hunting. As you go through the forested trails, rushing water accompanies your journey. The cascading waterfall adds a touch of majesty to the surroundings, creating a serene backdrop for your gemstone quest.

Where we found amethyst at Panther Falls

The riverbed and surroundings near Panther Falls might contain amethyst crystals. Check out the exposed bedrock, gravel bars, and spots where the terrain has been eroded by water flow. These locations may offer the chance to discover amethyst carried downstream. Amethyst crystal price can be found in our article for amethyst lovers.

Peaks of Otter

A picturesque view of mountains, lake, and trees at the top of Peaks of Otter

Peaks of Otter is an alluring destination that beckons nature lovers and avid gemstone enthusiasts searching for amethysts. This picturesque region, encompassing Sharp Top Mountain, Flat Top Mountain, and Harkening Hill, offers a unique blend of stunning landscapes and geological wonders, making it an excellent location for amethyst hunting.

The geological composition of the Peaks of Otter provides favorable conditions for amethyst formation. The region is known for its diverse rock formations, including metamorphic and igneous rocks, essential for developing amethyst crystals.

As you explore the trails winding through the mountains, you’ll be captivated by the breathtaking vistas and the serenity of the surrounding wilderness. The pristine beauty of the Peaks of Otter serves as a backdrop for your quest, enhancing the sense of adventure and discovery.

Where we found amethyst at Peaks of Otter

Exploring the surrounding areas and hiking trails near Peaks of Otter can yield fruitful results. Look for quartz-rich rocks, particularly within exposed bedrock formations and gravelly sections. Amethysts can often be found within these geological features.

Roanoke River

A scenic aerial view of the Ronoake River flowing between two lands filled with trees

The Roanoke River, flowing through the picturesque landscapes of Virginia, presents a promising opportunity for amethyst hunters in search of nature’s purple treasures. With its meandering path and rocky shores, this scenic river holds the potential for uncovering amethysts, making it an enticing location for gemstone enthusiasts.

The geological characteristics of the Roanoke River contribute to its reputation as a good location for finding amethysts. The river cuts through diverse rock formations, including metamorphic rocks and quartz-rich deposits, which provide the ideal conditions for forming amethyst crystals.

Where we found amethyst at Roanoke River

Amethysts can be found along the Roanoke River in Virginia in various locations, particularly within the riverbed and along its surrounding banks. Look for areas where the water flow has exposed gravel beds or rocky sections. The movement of the river can uncover hidden amethyst crystals and wash them downstream.

Willis Mountain

Willis Mountain in Virginia where amethyst crystals are found

Willis Mountain is a promising destination for amethyst hunters searching for nature’s vibrant purple gems. This majestic mountain in Buckingham County offers a combination of geological features, making it an intriguing location for amethyst exploration.

The mountain features trails and paths that allow enthusiasts to explore its rocky slopes and search for amethyst treasures. With patience and persistence, adventurers can delve into the geological history of Willis Mountain and uncover the beauty hidden within.

Where we found amethyst at Willis Mountain

Amethysts can be found at Willis Mountain in Virginia within the geological formations and mineral-rich pockets that characterize the area. One productive approach is to explore Willis Mountain’s slopes and rocky outcrops. Pay attention to areas where quartz veins are visible or mineralized zones are exposed.

Other Great Places To Mine For Amethyst in Virginia

A dazzling tiny amethyst with bubble-like crystals

Our recommendations by county

Our best locations to look for amethyst crystals in Virginia have already been mentioned, but there are still many more that we can suggest. Below, we’ve sorted them by county to make things simpler.

County Location
Albemarle Southwest Mountain
Albemarle Massies Mill
Albemarle Sunny Fields
Amelia Amelia Courthouse
Amelia Munden Prospect
Amelia Rutherford Mine
Amelia Morefield Mine
Amelia Duncan Farm
Amherst Schaar Farm
Amherst Fancy Hill Ridge
Bedford Moneta Forest
Buckingham Bowling Farm
Campbell Clay Farm
Campbell Bennet Farm
Charlotte Charlotte Courthouse
Charlotte Donald Plantation
Nelson Saunders Farm
Nelson Piney River

Additional areas you can find amethyst

Given the size of Virginia, we want to ensure your search is efficient. It’s crucial to look for the key and pay attention to common locations for amethysts.

Mines and mine dumps

Mines and mine dumps hold a special allure, as these locations offer unique opportunities to discover fascinating specimens of this purple gemstone. These sites provide a treasure trove of potential finds due to their geological significance and the abundance of mineral-rich materials they contain.

These underground excavations expose veins and pockets of amethyst crystals that have formed over extended periods of geological activity. The controlled environment of a mine offers a higher likelihood of encountering larger and more pristine amethyst specimens.

Rivers and riverbanks

Rivers and riverbanks uniquely appeal to amethyst collectors, offering an opportunity to discover exquisite specimens of this alluring purple gemstone. These waterways, shaped by the forces of nature, provide an ideal environment for the deposition and transportation of amethyst crystals, making them prime locations for you to explore.

Rivers can uniquely uncover hidden deposits and expose new amethyst specimens. New riverbed sections are revealed during high water flow or flooding periods, allowing you to discover previously unseen amethyst crystals.

Streams and creeks

Streams and creeks act as natural channels, gently eroding rocks and minerals along their path. As they flow, they dislodge amethyst-bearing rocks and carry the crystals downstream, eventually depositing them along their banks. You can carefully search the streambeds, sandbars, and gravel deposits, where amethysts can accumulate over time.

Streams and creeks are dynamic environments that undergo seasonal changes and periodic flooding. These natural events can shift and rearrange the sediments, revealing new areas for exploration. Following periods of high water flow, you can discover newly exposed amethyst specimens, adding an element of excitement and surprise to each visit.

Common Amethyst-Hunting Questions

Mesmerizing amethyst geodes that were cracked open
Photo provided by Superb Minerals – @superbminerals

Responding to the following frequently asked questions about amethysts in Virginia is necessary.

Where can you find amethyst geodes in Virginia?

Although amethyst geodes are uncommon locally, you may still buy a variety of specimens at a few rock shops in Virginia.

Is it illegal to collect amethyst in Virginia?

Amethyst gathering is legal in Virginia, as long as you abid by local laws. If you’re in a public space, abide by any applicable laws. If you’re on private land, make sure you have permission.

The Best Places To Buy Amethyst In Virginia

You can find and purchase amethyst specimens at the Crystalis Treasures rock shop in Virginia

Not everyone likes to spend the whole day searching for amethysts in the woods. Sometimes a showcase or collecting piece is all you need. This is a list of rock shops where you can buy amethyst crystals.

Additional places to find amethyst in nearby states

When you’ve already been to each of the areas we listed above, have a look at the guides we developed for our suggested spots to find amethyst in the surrounding states:

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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