Maine is known for its vast array of crystal hunting opportunities. With so many options available, it can be a challenge to identify the best spots to visit. But don’t worry because we’ve done the hard work for you.
Pulling recommendations from our own experiences as well as from other experienced collectors and enthusiasts, we’ve found the following to be the top locations to find crystals in Maine: Mount Apatite Quarries, Deer Hill Mineral Collecting Area, Lubec Lead Mine, Edgecomb Quarry, and Lord Hill Mineral Collecting Area. Come along with us as we discover the magic of crystal hunting here!
The Types of Maine Crystals You Can Find
What makes our state’s crystals particularly special is their exceptional clarity, color, and size. Due to the unique geological processes that formed them, Maine crystals often exhibit a level of quality and perfection that is unrivaled in other parts of the world. For anyone interested in the wonders of the natural world, exploring the many crystal hunting opportunities in Maine is an experience not to be missed.
Rare crystals found in Maine
More common crystals found here
- Quartz (Clear, Rose, Smoky)
The Best Locations For Crystal Mining in Maine
Here are the top 5 locations where you can find crystals in Maine. We highly recommend putting these places on your to-visit list here.
Mount Apatite Quarries is Our Favorite Crystal Mine in Maine
Androscoggin County, ME
Located in Auburn, Mount Apatite Quarries is a historic site that has been used for mining since the early 1800s. Back then, it was primarily known for its granite and mica deposits, but over the years, it has also become a popular destination for crystal hunters. It’s even considered one of the best locations to find high-quality Maine gems.
This site boasts of a wide range of minerals, and although the crystals here tend to be small to medium-sized, they are often of exceptional clarity and quality. In fact, some of the best smoky quartz crystals in Maine have been found at Mount Apatite.
But what really sets this location apart is its unique geography and geology. It’s situated on a hill, with numerous old mining pits and tunnels dotting the landscape. This means that there are plenty of nooks and crannies for crystals to hide in, and the varied terrain offers a fun and challenging hunting experience. Plus, the area is surrounded by beautiful forest and offers stunning views of the Androscoggin River.
Where we found crystals at Mount Apatite Quarries
You can explore the different parts of Mount Apatite Quarries near Auburn to get your hands on some of the best crystal samples our state has to offer, such as Garnet, Aquamarine, Tourmaline (green Elbaite), Lepidolite, Pyrite, Quartz, and Rhodochrosite crystals.
The tools every crystal hunter will need
When you're out looking for crystals having the right tools for the job is very important. 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 crystal miners which we outline in great detail in our complete rockhounding supplies 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 crystal-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.
Oxford County, ME
Deer Hill Mineral Collecting Area is a popular destination for crystal enthusiasts of all skill levels. This site has a long and fascinating history, dating back to the early 1800s when it was first discovered by local miners. Since then, it has been a prized location for mining amethysts and other crystals.
This top location boasts of an abundance of Amethysts in various hues, ranging from pale lavender to deep purple. They are often found in clusters and can be quite large, making them an impressive addition to any collection.
One of the things that make Deer Hill so popular among rockhounds is its accessibility. The site is open to the public and easy to navigate, with clearly marked trails and ample parking. It’s also an additional perk that the area is surrounded by beautiful forest and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Where we found crystals at Deer Hill Mineral Collecting Area
You can find Amethyst, Garnet, Pyrite, and Muscovite crystals, among many others, if you search the different areas of Deer Hill Mineral Collecting Area. Checkout our complete pricing guide to determine how much crystals are worth.
Washington County, ME
Located in the easternmost town in the country, Lubec, this site is home to some of the most interesting mineral specimens you can find in the state. The Lubec Lead Mine was in operation in the early 19th century and was known for its lead, silver, and zinc deposits.
The mine’s unique geology provides the ideal conditions for crystal growth. That’s why you can expect to find a variety of crystals here, both rare and common. Another great thing about this place is its stunning coastal location. The mine sits on the shores of Cobscook Bay, and on a clear day, you can see all the way to Canada. The surrounding area is also home to a variety of wildlife, including bald eagles, seals, and porpoises.
While the Lubec Lead Mine is a bit more remote than some of the other crystal hunting destinations in Maine, it’s well worth the journey. To get here, take Route 189 to Lubec, then turn onto Boot Cove Road and follow the signs for the Lubec Lead Mine. The site is located about a mile down a dirt road, so be prepared for some rough terrain.
Where we found crystals at Lubec Lead Mine
Collecting is best done in the dumps along the shoreline below the Lubec Lead Mine, where you can find Calcite, Chalcopyrite, Epidote, Galena, Hematite, Malachite, Pyrite, Quartz, and Wulfenite crystals.
Lincoln County, ME
Edgecomb Quarry was once a source of high-quality granite used in construction projects throughout the Northeast. Today, it’s a popular destination for rockhounds looking for beautiful crystal specimens.
The quarry is characterized by pegmatite dikes, which makes it ideal for crystal formation. And unlike some of the more remote crystal hunting destinations in Maine, this quarry is accessible.
One of the best things about the Edgecomb Quarry is that it’s a family-friendly destination. Kids love searching for crystals, and the quarry’s accessible location makes it easy to bring the whole family along. Just be sure to keep an eye on little ones and make sure they stay safe around the quarry’s steep drop-offs.
Where we found crystals at Edgecomb Quarry
Explore the different parts of Edgecomb Quarry to find Garnet, Aquamarine, Muscovite, and Smoky and Milky Quartz crystals.
Oxford County, ME
Lord Hill Mineral Collecting Area was once home to a thriving feldspar mining operation. Today, it’s owned and managed by the Oxford County Mineral and Gem Association and is open to the public for mineral collecting.
Characterized by pegmatite deposits, the area has ideal conditions for crystal growth. Its rich mining history also means that there are plenty of crystal specimens to be found here, particularly in the mine tailings.
Getting here is also relatively easy as it is accessible by car. Lord Hill Mineral Collecting Area is located off of Route 5, just a few miles north of the town of Stoneham. When visiting, be sure to come prepared with appropriate gear, including sturdy boots, gloves, and eye protection. A rock hammer and chisel will also come in handy for extracting crystals from the rock.
Where we found crystals at Lord Hill Mineral Collecting Area
Go through the nooks and crannies of Lord Hill Mineral Collecting Area to get your hands on amazing Quartz, Topaz, and Garnet crystals.
Our Other Favorite Places For Crystal Hunting
Aside from the first 5 places that we shared with you, there are tons more top locations where you can find crystals in our state. In fact, many of these spots are also great sites to find Maine geodes.
Where you can find crystals for free in Maine
To find crystals without much cost, here are some of the best free-to-search crystal mining sites here.
|At the Pulsifer Quarry, Frank Pitts Quarry, and Wade Quarry
|At the LaChance Quarry
|At the Bemis Stream Prospect
|North of Spears Corner
|At the Benner prospect and LaPoutre Prospect
|Southwest base and in stream at Ragged Jack Mountain
|At the Consolidated Quarry, Fisher Quarry, Staples Quarry, Topsham Quarry, Thomas Feldspar Quarry, and Willes Feldspar Quarry
|Along shoreline of Howard Lake
|In narrow streams and small boulders at Straw Hill
Some of the more common crystals here can be very similar so it’s hard to tell them apart, but don’t worry! We’ve put together a few guides that can help you distinguish them:
Other great places to dig for crystals
If paying a fee for some sure finds is cool with you, here are the top places that you can visit. Take note that the fee for exploration may vary depending on season (or they could be free if you’re lucky enough!), so call the place first before heading out.
|At the Phillips Mine
|At the Drew Hill Sulfide Mine
|At Garland Mine
|At the Wing Mine
|At the Atlantic Mine, Blue Hill Mine, Douglas Mine, Granger Mine, Mammoth Mine, Owen Mine, Stewart Mine, Stove Hill Mine, Twin Lead Mine, and Cape Rosier Mine
|At the Winslow Tin Mine
|At the Appleton Mine, Isle au Haut Mine, Porterfield Mine, Union Pyrrhotite Mine, Island City Mine, and Starrett Mine
|At the Dunton Mine, Slattery Mine, and Whispering Pines Mine
|Area mines of Exeter and Garland
|At the Robinson Mine
|At the Fort Knox Mine
|Big Hill Mine, Pembroke Mine, and Young’s Point Mine
|At the Berry Mine
How to find crystals in Maine
You may notice that many of our recommendation cover wide areas, so to help you focus your exploration on the most productive sites, here are some of the locations where crystals are usually found. We recommend prioritizing these locations in your search.
Mines and Mine Dumps
Mines and mine dumps are a treasure trove of minerals and crystals. These sites are the result of years of mining operations, which have left behind an abundance of mineral specimens for us to discover. Since the conditions within the mines themselves provide ideal environments for crystal growth, these locations also often contain crystals that are not easily found elsewhere.
Quarries are areas where rocks and minerals have been extracted from the earth, so they can offer a wealth of crystals and minerals. Quarries can also provide a unique opportunity to find larger and more impressive crystals than may be found in other locations. This is due to the fact that these areas often contain larger veins of minerals, which can lead to the formation of larger crystal specimens.
Streams and Creeks
Searching for crystals in streams and creeks is an exciting way to discover natural treasures. Maine is blessed with an abundance of waterways that offer excellent opportunities for rockhounding. Streams and creeks are excellent locations for finding crystals because water naturally erodes and carries away sediment, revealing what is beneath the surface. As a result, crystals and minerals that are buried in the ground can be found in stream beds and along the banks.
Maine Crystal Mining Laws And Regulations
Crystal mining in Maine is legal if you comply with our local laws regarding the activity, especially those from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry (DACF). These laws include securing any necessary documents, such as permits and permissions, before starting your exploration. Also, be aware of any existing guidelines to protect the environment and biodiversity of the area you’re visiting. By being responsible and law-abiding crystal hunters now, you are helping ensure the sustainability of crystal hunting in the future.
The Best Crystal Shops In Maine
If you’re looking for a specific crystal type to add to your collection, but don’t have the time or energy to gamble away trying to find it in its natural environment, then you can visit our local crystal shops here. The following have some of the best crystal selections in our region:
- Leapin’ Lizards Bridge2Heaven – 364 Maine Mall Rd, South Portland, ME 04106
- Lavish Earth – 15 Holly St, Scarborough, ME 04074
- Crystal Joys – 191 Middle St, Portland, ME 04101
- Northern Maine Minerals – 16 Pritham Ave, Greenville, ME 04441
- Matrix Minerals – 120 Drummond Ave, Waterville, ME 04901
- The Raven Collections – 406 Main St, Norway, ME 04268
- Kullat Nunu – 202 Main St, Damariscotta, ME 04543
- Charmed in Brewer – 153 State St suite 4, Brewer, ME 04412
- Dragon Star Creations – 106 York St, Kennebunk, ME 04043
- Flourish – 140 Main St #105, Biddeford, ME 04005
Additional places to find crystals in nearby states
If you’ve already tried all of our recommendations above or are planning a trip out of the state, you should check out our guides for neighboring states:
If you have any recommendations we haven’t covered, please leave them in the comments below!