The 39 Certified Places To Find And Dig For Crystals In New York In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

| Updated

The 39 Certified Places To Find And Dig For Crystals In New York In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD


Are you a crystal enthusiast looking for new spots to explore in New York? Well, you’re in luck! Several places to find and dig for crystals across the state offer crystal hunters an exciting and unique adventure.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or new to the hobby, these locations offer a range of opportunities to uncover some stunning crystal specimens. We’ve seen a lot of people have success in these spots.

There is no shortage of places to explore, from the famous Balmat-Edwards Zinc Deposit to lesser-known sites like Crystal Grove. So, grab your gear and get ready to discover the natural beauty of New York’s crystal-filled landscapes.

We’ll look closer at some of the top verified places for finding crystals in New York below, so you can confidently plan your next adventure.

How We Picked The Best Places To Find Crystals in New York
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 York Crystals You Can Find

A stunning citrine with a unique shape on top of a black surface

Crystals are like nature’s jewels, sparkling and mesmerizing. They come in all shapes and sizes, from small and delicate to large and powerful. They have been used for centuries to treat ailments, bring good luck, and help people tap into their inner power.

They can be used in rituals or worn as a reminder of the beauty within us all! Each crystal has unique properties, from amethyst to quartz, to help you reach your goals. Explore the world of crystals today; you never know what amazing things await you!

Rare crystals found in New York

  • Aquamarine
  • Bloodstone
  • Bronzite
  • Chrysocolla
  • Citrine
  • Epidote
  • Magnesite
  • Malachite
  • Moonstone
  • Sapphire
  • Stilbite
  • Sunstone

More common crystals found here

  • Apatite
  • Calcite
  • Celestite
  • Fluorite
  • Galena
  • Garnet
  • Hematite
  • Labradorite
  • Muscovite
  • Pyrite
  • Quartz
  • Serpentine
  • Tourmaline
  • Tremolite

The Best Locations For Crystal Mining in New York

A tiny shiny labradorite with a metallic sheen held between two fingers

Check out these places if you can only visit a few sites. We have the most success in these areas and believe 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.

Balmat-Edwards Zinc Deposit

An area where you can find crystals at the Balmat-Edwards Zinc Deposit

St. Lawrence County, NY

If you’re looking for a good area in the state to find some stunning crystals, you might want to peek at the Balmat-Edwards Zinc Deposit. It’s easy to see why crystal hunters have long regarded this historical location as one of their favorites.

You can also include this spot in your list of where you can mine gems in New York.

The area has been known for its mineral deposits since the mid-1800s, and it’s located along the western shores of Lake Ontario. Geologically speaking, it’s made up of a mix of metamorphic and sedimentary rocks rich in sulfide minerals like zinc, lead, and copper.

It’s a great spot for crystal hunting because these minerals often contain beautiful crystals that can be collected by hand. Plenty of other minerals are found in the area, too – quartz, garnet, hematite – so you’ll never get bored! And if you’re feeling adventurous, there are caves and tunnels to explore with amazing crystal formations.

Where we found crystals at the Balmat-Edwards Zinc Deposit

We have collected various crystals, such as apatite, calcite, celestite, chalcopyrite, galena, garnet, hematite, pyrite, quartz, rhodonite, serpentine, tourmaline, in the whole area of the Balmat-Edwards Zinc Deposit.

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.

Brant Lake

A beautiful view of Brant Lake reflecting the sky and trees

Warren County, NY

Brant Lake in New York is a great place to go if you’re looking for crystals. Located in the Adirondack Mountains, it has been a popular destination for crystal hunters since the early 1900s.

It’s known for its quartz and calcite deposits, easily accessible due to the lake’s shallow water. The terrain around Brant Lake is mostly hilly, with some flatland near the lake itself, so it’s easy to find a spot to hunt for crystals.

The lake is fed by several small streams that run through the area and provide plenty of opportunities for wading and searching.

The area also offers plenty of outdoor activities, such as camping and crystal hunting, making it an ideal spot to spend your vacation if you want to find crystals while enjoying outdoor fun.

With its picturesque views of the Adirondack Mountains and its abundance of crystal deposits, Brant Lake is a great place to visit if you want to find some unique treasures.

Where we found crystals at Brant Lake

There are apatite, calcite, muscovite, pyrite, and tourmaline crystals found south of the shore, in the roadcuts through the pegmatites of Brant Lake.

Diamond Acres Mine

Crystal hunters mining for specimens at Diamond Acres Mine

1706 Stone Arabia Rd, Fonda, NY 12068

Diamond Acres Mine in New York has been a popular tourist destination for crystal-seekers since the early 1900s. Located in the Catskill Mountains, it’s known for its varied terrain and abundance of quartz crystals.

The mine lies on an ancient riverbed filled with millions of years of sedimentary deposits. The mix of rocks and minerals creates an ideal environment for crystal growth, making it a great spot for finding quartz, calcite, and amethyst.

You can explore the mine’s many tunnels and caverns or purchase mining equipment to dig their crystals from the ground. Many experienced miners recommend going with a guide to get the full experience.

With its rich history, stunning scenery, and ample opportunities to find crystals, Diamond Acres Mine is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to get their hands on some gorgeous crystals!

Where we found crystals at Diamond Acres Mine

Quartz crystals are primarily found at Diamond Acres Mine in the Fonda area. We’ve made a thorough article on crystals value for rockhounds who want to learn more about them.

Lake Harris

A scenic view of the lake, trees, and mountain at Lake Harris

291 Campsite Rd, Newcomb, NY 12852

Lake Harris is a great place to go if you’re looking for crystals in the state. Located in the Adirondack Mountains, Lake Harris is known for its crystal-filled beaches and its rich history.

The lake was formed over 10,000 years ago by melting glaciers, creating a large body of water surrounded by mountains and hills.

It’s also one of the deepest lakes in the area, reaching depths of over 40 feet. Its crystal-filled beaches are made up of quartz, and other minerals eroded from the surrounding rocky terrain.

You can find crystals in various shapes and sizes along the shoreline, such as apatites, tourmalines, quartz, and more.

For those looking to explore further into the lake’s depths, there are plenty of opportunities to find even more precious stones. With its breathtaking views and abundance of crystal-filled beaches, Lake Harris is definitely worth a visit if you’re looking to add some sparkle to your life!

Where we found crystals at Lake Harris

Apatite, muscovite, pyrite, quartz, tourmaline, and tremolite crystals are abundant in the area outcrops of Lake Harris.

Tilly Foster Mine

Tilly Foster Mine marker at one area of the mine

Putnam County, NY

Tilly Foster Mine is located in Brewster, New York, and it’s been around since the 1700s. The mine is best known for its abundance of quartz crystals, which are found in various colors, such as clear, pink, and purple.

The mine is also home to iron ore and magnetite deposits. Geologically speaking, the area is rich in sedimentary rocks like limestone and shale due to its location near the Hudson River.

There’s also plenty of history here – the mine was once used as a source of iron ore during the Revolutionary War! Plus, you can take home some souvenirs or get your hands on unique jewelry made from quartz stones within the mine walls.

So if you’re looking for an adventure, Tilly Foster Mine is the perfect destination.

Where we found crystals at Tilly Foster Mine

We had the best luck locating different types of crystals, like apatite, bronzite, calcite, chalcopyrite, chrysocolla, fluorite, garnet, hematite, magnesite, malachite, muscovite, opal, pyrite, quartz, serpentine, tourmaline, and tremolite around all the areas of Tilly Foster Mine.

Our Other Favorite Places For Crystal Hunting

An enormous gorgeous stilbite with a nice pink hue and white crystals

After giving our top five sites for finding crystals, we wanted to share many more options. Because our state is vast and has a diverse geology, there are more fantastic places to go crystal hunting, including where you can find geodes in New York. Other locations to visit are as follows:

Where you can find crystals for free in New York

Let’s begin by discussing a few areas where you may hunt for no price. Even though many of the most incredible locations require a fee, certain places are still free to visit.

County Location
Cayuga Old pits in the Auburn area for fluorite
Clinton Buttermilk Falls at Keeseville for serpentine
Erie The Fogelsanger Quarry at Buffalo for calcite
Erie Area deposits of Eighteen Mile Creek for pyrite
Essex The gravel beds and bars of Opalescent River and area gravels and outcrops of Cascade Lakes for labradorite
Jefferson In the area quarries of Muscalonge Lake for fluorite
Madison In the area quarries of Cazenovia and Chittenango Falls for celestite
Niagara In the area limestone quarries of Lockport for fluorite
Ontario Candice Lake and Honeoye Lake for labradorite
Orange Along the Hudson River area for bloodstone and jasper
Richmond At the southwest tip of Staten Island in the Androvette Clay Pits for serpentine
Schoharie At the area exposures of the Roundout Waterline for celestite
St. Lawrence At Rylestone Quarry, outcrops of Oswegatchie River for calcites, fluorites, and serpentines
St. Lawrence The Hobby Quarry at Bedford for citrine crystals

Other great places to dig for crystals

Here are some additional locations where you can look for crystals if you want to pay. The price will vary depending on the season, and sometimes it may be free. You should get in touch with them before visiting the areas.

County Location
Clinton Palmer Hiss Mine and Finch ore bed for fluorites
Clinton In the dumps of Arnold Mine for jasper
Essex Area mines of Mt. Bigelow for garnets
Essex Fisher Hill Mine for sunstone
Essex Old mines of Oven Mountain for garnet
Montgomery Crystal Grove campsite for quartz
Montgomery Sprakers at Fonda for quartz
Orange The Phoenix Mine at Otisville for galena
St. Lawrence Gouverneur Talc Mine, Arnold Open Pit Mine, Zinc Mine, Loomis Talc Mine for apatites and tremolites
Warren Go 5 miles up Gore Mountain to shop at Barton Mines for garnet

Identifying crystals can be a bit challenging, but don’t worry! Our comprehensive guides will help you distinguish between the most commonly confused crystals, making it a breeze to tell them apart.

How to find crystals in New York

A pretty serpentine with white streaks

Here are more detailed suggestions on where to spend most of your time in a particular area to aid in your search. The following are some of the greatest locations to look for crystals:

Lake Shores

Lake shores provide the perfect opportunity to find a variety of crystals in one spot. Not only do they offer a wide array of geological features, but they also often contain minerals and rocks that have been eroded and transported by water.

Plus, it’s relatively easy to access lake shores, and you don’t have to be an expert geologist to find some great specimens.

When searching for crystals on lake shores, it’s important to remember that different types of crystals form in different areas. For example, quartz is typically found in sandy or silty areas, while calcite and fluorite are commonly found near limestone outcrops or shale deposits.

Additionally, it’s important to watch out for slippery surfaces along the shoreline and any potential hazards from the water itself.

Lastly, it never hurts to bring supplies when searching for crystals on lake shores, such as a trowel, a magnifying glass, and a few sample bags to store your finds. With these items and an eye for detail, you can explore the lake shore and come away with some truly unique crystals.

Mines and mine dumps

Mines and mine dumps provide a wealth of opportunity for the crystal hunter, as they are often full of gems and minerals unearthed during the excavation. One of the benefits of searching at these sites is that they are usually abandoned, so there is no need to worry about trespassing or getting permission from anyone to access them.

This means that you can hunt for crystals without any restrictions or limitations.

Taking special safety precautions is important when searching a mine or mine dump. Many old mining sites contain dangerous substances such as lead and arsenic, so wearing protective clothing and equipment is important when searching for them.

It’s also a good idea to bring a flashlight or headlamp with you in case it gets dark while you’re out hunting.


Searching on roadcuts is a great way to find crystals because it’s a convenient, accessible location for most people. Roadcuts are the areas of exposed rock that are created when roads are built or maintained.

It’s easy to spot these cuts from the side of the road and access them with minimal effort. In addition, they often contain various types of rocks and minerals, making them an ideal spot for crystal hunting.

Being aware of your surroundings and taking safety precautions is important when searching on roadcuts. Wear sturdy shoes and bring water, snacks, and tools like a hammer or chisel.

Also, check with local authorities before collecting anything from public land or roadsides. Finally, don’t forget to have fun! Crystal hunting is an exciting activity that can lead you on incredible adventures.

New York Crystal Mining Laws And Regulations

Anyone wishing to crystal hunting must first obtain a New York Department of Environmental Conservation permit. Once registered, miners must follow certain guidelines regarding where they can search for crystals and how much they can collect.

For example, miners can collect no more than five pounds of quartz crystal daily and may not use mechanical devices or explosives when collecting specimens.

Furthermore, all specimens must be left in their natural state; no cutting or polishing is allowed. Collectors should be aware that there are certain areas in New York State where crystal mining is prohibited altogether due to its sensitive nature; these areas should be avoided at all costs.

The Best Crystal Shops In New York

Ruby's House of Crystals shop in New York where you can find and buy different types of crystals

Because the state offers a large variety of crystals spread out across such a vast area, many of us love making small purchases to complete our collections. If you’re seeking unique and stunning items, these are the best crystal shops we’ve found.

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.

Leave a Comment