New Hampshire may be called the “Queen State” for its royal beauty, but crystal hunting here can be quite the challenge. It’s important to have the right guide to have fun while being successful at finding stunning specimens that will leave you in awe. That’s why went all out to discover the impressive spots where you can find crystals in New Hampshire— Moat Mountain Mineral Site, Pillsbury Ridge, Greens Ledge, Hutchin Mountains, and Ore Hill.
Get ready to embark on an amazing adventure and discover the incredible beauty of New Hampshire’s crystals!
The Types of New Hampshire Crystals You Can Find
New Hampshire is a haven for crystal hunters, offering a wide variety of minerals and crystals that are truly a sight to behold. Our state’s abundance of mineral deposits makes it an ideal location for crystal hunting, and experienced collectors and enthusiasts flock to the area to explore its many crystal-rich locations. Here’s what you can find when you visit our state:
Rare crystals found in New Hampshire
More common crystals found here
- Quartz (Clear, Smoky, Rose, Rutilated)
The Best Locations For Crystal Mining in New Hampshire
We had the best time and success exploring the following impressive spots, so we highly recommend putting them on top of your to-visit list when you’re crystal hunting here.
Moat Mountain Mineral Site is Our Favorite Crystal Mine in New Hampshire
Carroll County, NH
Moat Mountain Mineral Site has a rich history dating back to the 1800s when it was a popular spot for mining mica. Today, it’s known for its abundance of the most beautiful crystals in our state. In fact, it’s also great site to find high-quality New Hampshire gems.
White Mountains, where this site is situated, are home to a variety of mineral deposits, including the pegmatite veins that can be found at Moat Mountain Mineral Site. These veins contain large crystals that are perfect for collectors.
One of the reasons Moat Mountain Mineral Site is such a great location for crystal hunting is that it’s accessible and easy to navigate. It’s located right off the main road and offers ample parking for visitors. From there, it’s just a short hike up the mountain to reach the crystal-rich areas.
Where we found crystals at Moat Mountain Mineral Site
Being a mineral site, Moat Mountain abounds in crystal reserves that can be found in its different parts. Some of the most abundant crystals that you can find here are Amazonite, Smoky Quartz, and Topaz.
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.
Sullivan County, NH
Pillsbury Ridge has a rich history dating back to the 1800s, when it was a popular spot for mining mica. Today, it’s known for its abundance of pretty crystals.
The geology of the area is what makes it such a prime location for crystal hunting. The Pillsbury Ridge area is situated on a large pegmatite deposit, which means that there is a high concentration of large crystals to be found. The geology of the area has also led to the formation of unique and beautiful crystals that are not commonly found in other locations.
One of the reasons Pillsbury Ridge is such a great location for crystal hunting is that it is accessible and easy to navigate. The site is located just off Route 31 and offers ample parking for visitors. From there, it’s just a short hike up the ridge to reach the crystal-rich areas.
During your search here, you’ll find that some of the more common crystals can be very easy to confuse. If you’re having this problem, you can refer to the few guides we’ve put together to tell specific crystals apart:
Where we found crystals at Pillsbury Ridge
You can explore near the summit of Pillsbury Ridge and at the Columbia and Reynolds mines to find stunning samples of Amethyst, Aquamarine, and Smoky Quartz crystals.
Read our latest pricing guide to know how much crystals are worth.
Coos County, NH
Located in the picturesque town of Harrisville, Greens Ledge’s history dates back to the 1700s when it was a popular spot for mining feldspar.
Greens Ledge is situated on a large pegmatite deposit, which means that there is a high concentration of large crystals to be found. The geology of the area has also led to the formation of unique and beautiful crystals.
One of the reasons it’s such a great location for crystal hunting is that it’s relatively untouched and offers a sense of adventure for rockhounds. The site is located on private property, but with permission from the landowner, visitors are welcome to explore the area in search of crystals.
Where we found crystals at Greens Ledge
When you visit here, search through the area pegmatite exposures near Milan. Here, you will find Amethyst, Fluorite, Muscovite, Pyrite, Clear and Smoky Quartz, and Topaz crystals.
Coos County, NH
Hutchin Mountains is a must-visit for anyone interested in finding and collecting crystals in New Hampshire. Located in the town of Orford, these mountains have a rich history dating back to the early 1900s when they were a popular spot for mining mica.
Hutchin Mountains are part of the Littleton Formation, which is a large series of rock formations that were formed millions of years ago by volcanic activity. The resulting metamorphic rocks have created a variety of unique and stunning crystals that are not commonly found in other locations.
When you visit here, it’s important to bring along the right gear. Sturdy hiking boots and a backpack are a must, as well as tools such as a rock hammer and chisel. It’s also important to respect the environment by not damaging the landscape and leaving behind any trash.
Where we found crystals at Hutchin Mountains
Explore the different nooks and crannies of Hutchin Mountains and you might get lucky to find the following crystals: Amethyst, Fluorite, Muscovite, Pyrite, Smoky Quartz, and Topaz.
Grafton County, NH
Back in 1800s, miners would dig for iron ore in Ore Hill, giving it its name. While iron mining has long since ceased, the hill remains a prime location for rockhounding.
Like the Hutchin Mountains, Ore Hill is part of the Littleton Formation, which explains its abundant crystal reserves. You can bask in a rich variety of crystals when you go here.
Ore Hill is also an ideal location for crystal hunting because of its accessibility. Since it’s located on public land, you are welcome to explore the area. The terrain is relatively easy to navigate, making it a great spot for families and beginner rockhounds.
Where we found crystals at Ore Hill
We recommend starting your search on the south side of the hill, area surfaces, and in topsoil where you can find Amethyst and Quartz crystals, among others.
Our Other Favorite Places For Crystal Hunting
Aside from the 5 most impressive spots that we’ve shared above, there are plenty other crystal hunting sites here. After all, New Hampshire is considered a treasure trove of crystals. What’s even better is that many of the places we’re sharing with you are great spots to find New Hampshire geodes, too.
Where you can find crystals for free in New Hampshire
If you’re keeping your crystal mining hobby on a budget, here are some of the free-to-search places that you can visit.
|At the Redstone Red Quarry
|At Victors Head in Percy area
|At the Kittridge, Carlton, and Cannoli Granite Quarries
|The old Bliven prospect
|At Youngs Hill
Other great places to dig for crystals
If you don’t mind paying a fee for a better chance of finding your desired crystals, here are the pay-to-dig site here. Remember, the fees may vary depending on the season, so it’s crucial to call the place first before heading out.
|Alton area mines
|At the Wenham Mine, Fitzgibbon Mine, Turner Mine, Windham Mine, Will Wise Mine, and Stoddard Mine
|At the Ruggles Mine (a noted producer)
|At the Silverdale Mine
|At Blake Mine, Chandler Mine, Smith Mine, and Welch Mine
|At the Foss Mica Mine and Parker Mountain Mine
|At the Globe Mine Dump, Columbia Gem Mine, Reynolds Mine, and mine dump at Beryl Mountain
How to find crystals in New Hampshire
While many of our recommended places cover large areas, you can narrow down your search by focusing on areas where crystals usually naturally occur. Here are these areas in New Hampshire:
Mines and Mine Dumps
If you’re looking for a guaranteed way to find beautiful crystals in New Hampshire, then searching in mines and mine dumps is definitely worth considering. When miners extract minerals from mines, they often leave behind waste materials called mine dumps. These piles of rock and dirt can contain a treasure trove of crystals that were not valuable enough for the miners to extract.
The great thing about searching in mines and mine dumps is that you’re essentially searching in a concentrated area where crystals are abundant. In New Hampshire, there are several old mines that have been abandoned and are now open to the public for rockhounding.
Quarries are locations where rock, stone, and minerals are extracted for construction and other purposes. Many quarries in New Hampshire are no longer in use and have become popular destinations for rockhounding.
One of the great things about searching in quarries is that they can be rich sources of minerals and crystals. The geological processes that formed the rocks in the quarry can create conditions that are ideal for crystal growth. The open spaces created by quarrying also provide great access to the rocks and minerals, making it easier to find and collect specimens.
Streams and Creeks
Streams and Creeks are often overlooked by many rockhounds, but they can actually be a fantastic source of crystals. As water flows over rocks and minerals, it can dislodge and carry away small crystals and other specimens. These can then accumulate in gravel beds, sandbars, and other areas along the stream or creek. By carefully sifting through these deposits, you can uncover some amazing specimens.
Aside from the unique specimens you can find here, searching in streams and creeks is a fun and refreshing way to spend time outdoors. You can enjoy the beauty of nature while also searching for hidden treasures. Plus, it’s a great way to beat the summer heat here!
New Hampshire Crystal Mining Laws And Regulations
Crystal mining is legal in New Hampshire provided that you abide by our local laws concerning the activity, especially those from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES). Generally speaking, it’s always important to secure any necessary permit or permission before engaging in crystal mining. Also, with our rich resources, there are rules and regulations to protect our environment and wildlife, so you should be aware and compliant with these, too. Overall, by respecting these laws and guidelines, you are helping ensure that crystal mining will remain legal in New Hampshire for years to come.
The Best Crystal Shops In New Hampshire
If you want a more comfortable and surer way of taking home a New Hampshire crystal (for a fee, of course), you can visit the local crystals shop here. These shops have the best selections of crystals in their show room:
- The Quartz Source Rock & Mineral Shop – 503 Nashua St, Milford, NH 03055
- Artisan Crystal and Gift Shop – 255 B Portsmouth Ave, Stratham, NH 03885
- Crystal Moon – 502 US-4, Enfield, NH 03748
- Amy’s Crystal Creations – 120 Laconia Rd #302, Tilton, NH 03276
- A Broader Concept – 143 Londonderry Turnpike, Hooksett, NH 03106
- The Dragon’s Keep – 401 Main St #206, Salem, NH 03079
- Gemstar Gemstone Company – 427 Shaker Blvd, Enfield, NH 03748
- Santerre’s Stones ’n Stuff – 275 Calef Hwy, Epping, NH 03042
- The Bohemian – 50 S Willow St Unit 9, Manchester, NH 03103
- AliCat Jewels – 99 Rockingham Park Blvd, Salem, NH 03079
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!