The 38 Great Locations To Find and Dig For Crystals In New Jersey In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

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The 38 Great Locations To Find and Dig For Crystals In New Jersey In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD


Finding crystals in New Jersey can be a challenging and daunting task, especially if you don’t know where to look. Luckily for you, we know where to look! With a unique beauty that has captivated human beings for thousands of years, crystals are one of the most fascinating natural wonders of our planet.

From their sparkling hues to their intricate shapes, these formations have a mesmerizing allure that has led many people to explore the world in search of them.

If you’re planning on starting your own search, don’t worry because we visited different areas of our state and pulled together recommendations (Palisades Interstate Park, Pompton Lakes, Pennington Mountain, Houdaille Quarry, and Prospect Park Quarry) to help make your crystal hunting journey loaded with fun and success.

Let’s get started!

How We Picked The Best Places To Find Crystals in New Jersey
We spent a lot of time determining which of the many options for digging and mining for crystals that we have available would be recommended. We wanted to have a good mix of locations for experienced and novice crystals hunters in a variety of settings. Here are the main factors we used when determining the recommendations we set out :

  • The extensive local experience and understanding of our team
  • Input from multiple local crystal hunters and crystal collecting groups
  • The accessibility of the crystal mining locations
  • Safety and potential hazards when collecting
  • Private and public locations
  • A desire to include locations for both experienced crystal hunters and those who are just starting out

Using these weights we think we’ve put together the best list out there for those who love finding new crystals for our collections!

The Types of New Jersey Crystals You Can Find

A fascinating sample of a deep red garnet

With its rich geological history, there are a huge number of incredible New Jersey rocks that are a treasure trove for crystal enthusiasts. Our state boasts of a variety of crystal mining sites, ranging from abandoned mines to active quarries, each offering its own unique crystals and formations. And below is a list of some of the most amazing crystals that you can find here.

Rare crystals found in New Jersey

  • Agate
  • Amethyst
  • Amber
  • Garnet
  • Jasper
  • Rutile

More common crystals found here

  • Apatite
  • Apophyllite
  • Calcite
  • Carnelian
  • Chalcedony
  • Chalcopyrite
  • Chrysocolla
  • Epidote
  • Galena
  • Hematite
  • Malachite
  • Muscovite
  • Opal
  • Prehnite
  • Pyrite
  • Quartz
  • Serpentine
  • Tourmaline
  • Tremolite
  • Turquoise

The Best Locations For Crystal Mining in New Jersey

A bunch of beautiful white Apophyllite crystals

We’ll share with you our top recommended places first in case you only have time to visit a few crystal hunting sites here. We had the best of time (and best of finds!) in these spots, and we know you will, too!

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.

Palisades Interstate Park is Our Favorite Crystal Mine in New Jersey

A scenic view of the cliff, rock formations, and waters of the Palisades Interstate Park

1 Alpine Approach Road, Alpine, NJ 07620

The Palisades Interstate Park is a truly unique location for crystal hunting as it boasts of some of the most diverse and fascinating geological formations in the state. In fact, it’s also one of the top sites for gem mining in New Jersey! It spans over 2,500 acres and stretches along the Hudson River, offering visitors stunning views of the Manhattan skyline as well as some truly remarkable crystals to collect.

The Palisades were formed over 200 million years ago during the Triassic period, making them some of the oldest rocks in the state. The area is dominated by basaltic cliffs and boulders that have been eroded over time by the Hudson River, exposing an array of different minerals and crystals.

Fun fact: The Palisades weren’t always a prime location for crystal collecting. In fact, the park was originally established in 1900 to preserve the scenic beauty of the Hudson River Palisades. It wasn’t until later on that rockhounds discovered the incredible mineral wealth within the park’s rocks.

Where we found crystals at the Palisades Interstate Park

The most crystal abundant quarries occur in the Palisades of the Hudson River in Bergen County. You can find crystals (Agate, Amethyst, Apatite, Calcite, Epidote, Galena, Malachite, Opal, Quartz) in the cavities and debris of this area.

Rock pick being used

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:

National Audubon Society Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals: North America 

Northeast Treasure Hunter's Gem & Mineral Guide 

Earth Treasures: The Northeastern 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.

Pompton Lakes

A scenic view of Pompton Lakes and its surrounding community

Pompton Lakes and Wayne in Passaic County, NJ

Pompton Lakes were formed during the last ice age. The area is surrounded by hills, and the lakes themselves were formed by glacial melting. The lakes are now a popular spot for swimming, boating, and fishing, but they also have a secret— they contain some fantastic crystals, too!

The geology of this place is unique and diverse, with a mixture of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks that creates the perfect environment for crystal growth. As a result, the lakes abound with different minerals and crystals.

Overall, the natural beauty of the lakes combined with the abundance of different minerals and crystals make it a must-see location that you wouldn’t regret visiting.

Where we found crystals at the Pompton Lakes

You can find beautiful samples of Agate (banded), Amethyst, Calcite, Chalcedony, Hematite, Opal, Prehnite, Quartz crystals and more if you explore the area quarries of Pompton Lakes. Get to know these crystals’ value by reading our guide!

Pennington Mountain

A view of the Pennington Mountain in broad sunlight

Mercer County, NJ 08534

Located in the northwest part of our state, Pennington Mountain is known for its rugged terrain and beautiful views. As part of the Appalachian Mountains, it’s comprised of different types of rocks, including gneiss, schist, and quartzite.

Did you know that you can find a variety of crystals here? What’s more is that the mountain is home to some fascinating geological formations, such as boulders and cliffs, where you can find pockets and veins of crystals.

The history of Pennington Mountain is also fascinating. The area was once used for mining, and there are still remnants of this activity today. Many of the rocks and cliffs have been blasted open, revealing incredible mineral deposits that are just waiting to be found.

Where we found crystals at Pennington Mountain

You will have the best of luck finding New Jersey crystals here if you explore the north side area of the Pennington Mountain.

Houdaille Quarry

A look at the rock formations and geography of Houdaille Quarry

48242 Los Gatos Creek Rd, Coalinga, CA 93210

Houdaille Quarry is located in Sussex County, New Jersey. Once regarded as a great place for mining, the quarry remains a fascinating place to explore if you’re interested in the area’s history.

But what really makes it special is the different kinds of crystals that it has, including its varying range of colors and sizes, from small fragments to larger ones.

If you’re planning a trip to the Houdaille Quarry, there are a few things to keep in mind. The quarry is on private property, so you’ll need to get permission before you start collecting. Additionally, the terrain can be rough, so make sure you have appropriate gear and footwear.

Where we found crystals at Houdaille Quarry

Being a quarry, the different nooks and crannies of this area contains crystals. If you’re here, chances are, you are actually near one!

Prospect Park Quarry

A view of the quarry areas of Prospect Park Quarry

100 Planten Ave, Prospect Park, NJ 07508

Prospect Park Quarry is located in Passaic County. It has a rich history dating back to the late 19th century, when it was first established as a source of high-quality trap rock. Today, it has some of the most amazing crystals you can find in New Jersey.

One of the unique features of the Prospect Park Quarry is the presence of “bubble pockets” or small cavities in the rock that contain delicate and intricate mineral formations. These bubble pockets are some of the most sought-after finds for crystal collectors, as they often contain rare and beautiful specimens.

Like our previous recommended place, this quarry is also on private property, so be sure to get permission first before you start exploring and collecting.

Where we found crystals at Prospect Park Quarry

You can find bountiful reserves of Agate, Amethyst, Calcite, Chalcedony, Galena, Hematite, Opal, Prehnite, and Quartz crystals if you explore the area quarries of this location.

Our Other Favorite Places For Crystal Hunting

Close up look at a neon green Tremolite

If you’re on a crystal hunting frenzy, our top 5 recommended places above may not be enough. You don’t have to panic, though, because there are plenty other crystal mining spots in New Jersey that you can visit. In fact, some of these places are also great for finding New Jersey geodes!

Where you can find crystals for free in New Jersey

We know that the best spots to find crystals usually require fees, but did you know that our state also has some of the finest, free-to-search places? Here are some of the best ones!

County Location
Atlantic In cliffs and at the base of Somers Point area
Bergen Every basalt and diabase outcrop exposed in road cuts, railroad tunnels, building excavations, or other across the entire state
Burlington Extreme northwest corner at Crosswicks Creek, area marl and sand pits
Cape May Area ocean beach sands and gravels
Essex Short Hills and Upper Montclair area quarries
Gloucester Marl pit at Oldmans Creek
Hudson Snake Hill, just off the New Jersey Turnpike east of the Hackensack Road 2 miles E of Jersey City
Hunterdon At the Lambertville Quarry
Mercer A quarry on Rte. 29 between Moore and Lambertville
Monmouth In marl along the Shark River
Morris Mt. Hope area quarries
Ocean & Atlantic Entire stretch of the Atlantic Ocean beaches from the northeast county border to Cape May County, in beach gravels, and weathering out of the cliffs
Passaic West 3 miles on US 46 at the Great Notch Quarry
Salem Along the Delaware River southwest to Mott State Park and northeast to the Gloucester County border
Union At Summit area quarries

Other great places to dig for crystals

If you’re one who’s open to invest more time— and money— to find the crystals that will add more glamour to your collection, then here are our recommended sites that require some fees. Take note these fees vary per season, so make sure to make a call first before visiting these places.

County Location
Essex Area old mines of Belleville and Bloomfield
Hudson At the Arlington Mine
Hunterdon Area old mines of Clinton
Middlesex Area mines of Middlesex and New Brunswick
Morris At the Golden Corner Mine, Scrub Oaks Iron Mine, area mines of Hibernia, and old regional mines of Hurdtown
Somerset In the American Copper Company Bridgewater Mine
Sussex At the Ogden Mine Group mines and area mines of Franklin
Warren At the Cummings Iron Mine

How to find crystals in New Jersey

A sample of a brown Rutile crystal

A handful of our recommendations above cover broad areas, so to help you optimize your search where you have the highest chance to find crystals, here are the areas that you can visit:

Streams and Creeks

Streams and creeks are a natural source of mineral deposits that often carry crystals and gemstones downstream from their source. By searching in the gravel and rocks along the banks of streams, you can often find small but beautiful specimens of crystals. Streams and creeks are also great places to find unique and rare specimens, as they can be eroded from different geological formations.

Mines and Mine Dumps

Mines are locations where minerals have been extracted from the earth, often leaving behind stunning crystal formations. The specimens found here are often of high quality and can be quite large and impressive. Meanwhile, mine dumps are piles of rocks and debris that were removed from the mines during excavation. These piles can contain discarded crystals, including rare and unique specimens that may not be found in other locations.


Quarries are open-pit mines where large amounts of rock and minerals are extracted. They are great places to find crystals because they often contain a variety of mineral specimens. The crystals found in quarries are often of high quality and can be quite large, making them highly sought after by collectors. Best of all, many quarries are open to the public for collecting!

New Jersey Crystal Mining Laws And Regulations

Crystal mining in New Jersey is legal for as long as you comply with the existing laws of our state, especially those from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) that regulates this activity on public lands. If you’re exploring private lands, make sure to obtain permission from the owner first. Similarly, if you’re searching on government land, coordinate and get necessary permits from concerned government agencies. Take note, by respecting and abiding by these laws, you are also helping ensure the sustainability of crystal mining in New Jersey.

The Best Crystal Shops In New Jersey

A look at the front window of The Gem Mine

So many crystals to uncover, so little time to spend exploring— if you can relate to this, you might want to consider visiting the local crystal shops here instead. You don’t have to worry because New Jersey has some of the most amazing crystal shops that you’ll surely have a blast visiting:

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!

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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