Texas is a vast state with a diverse landscape, making it a prime location for crystal hunting. However, finding crystals in Texas can be a daunting task without the right guidance. With so many different types of crystals buried deep within the earth, it can be overwhelming for an amateur crystal hunter to know where to start. Many of the most coveted crystals are found in remote locations, requiring hours of hiking through rugged terrain but there are also plenty of options for those who are looking for a more leisurely and enjoyable search.
Despite the challenges, the beauty and wonder of crystals make finding them more than worthwhile. The unique colors and patterns within each crystal are truly awe-inspiring, and they have been used for centuries for their healing properties and spiritual significance. Fortunately, with our crystal guides’ help, even those new to the hobby can find success in their search for these incredible treasures!
The Types of Texas Crystals You Can Find
Texas is home to a diverse range of crystals, each with unique color, shape, and properties. From the clear quartz crystals found in the Hill Country to the smoky quartz and amethyst of the Big Bend region, there are countless options for crystal hunters to explore. The beauty of these crystals is truly stunning and will captivate anyone who appreciates their natural wonder!
Rare crystals found in Texas
- Black Tourmaline
- Blue Topaz
- Smoky Quartz
More common crystals found here
The Best Locations For Crystal Mining in Texas
You should visit these areas if you only have time to travel to a few locations. These locations have provided the greatest success for us, and we believe you will too.
The Bonanza Mine is Our Favorite Crystal Mine in Texas
El Paso County, TX 79851, United States
If you’re looking for a great spot to find some beautiful crystals in the state, you might want to check out the Bonanza Mine. This historic location has been a favorite of crystal hunters for many years, and it’s not hard to see why. This is also among the best locations to find gems in Texas.
The Bonanza mine is in the Big Bend region of Texas, near Marfa. The mine was first discovered in the 1920s and was actively mined for lead, zinc, and silver until the 1940s. However, it wasn’t until later that crystal hunters discovered the incredible variety of crystals that could be found at the site.
One of the great things about the Bonanza mine is that it’s accessible to beginners and experienced crystal hunters. The area is open to the public; no fees or permits are required to collect crystals. However, respecting the area and not damaging the rocks or surrounding environment is important.
Where we found crystals at the Bonanza Mine
The east side of the Bonanza Mine was where we got the best results while looking for chalcopyrite and galena 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 tools 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.
Brewster County is in the Big Bend region of Texas and is characterized by mountains, canyons, and deserts, making it a diverse and exciting place to explore. The region’s geology is just as varied, with a wide range of minerals and crystals found throughout the area. Crystal hunters can explore abandoned mines and search for crystals in vugs and other small pockets within the rock.
The history of Brewster County dates back to the mid-1800s when ranchers and miners first settled the region. Mining played a significant role in the area’s development, with silver, lead, and other minerals extracted from the earth. The region is still a popular spot for mining and crystal hunting, with many different types of crystals like ambers, agates, jaspers, quartz, and other minerals throughout the area.
Brewster County is a fantastic spot for anyone who loves rocks and minerals. With its rich history, stunning geography, and diverse geology, there’s always something new and exciting to discover. So, pack up your rock hammer and safety goggles and head to Brewster County for a crystal hunting adventure you’ll never forget.
Where we found crystals at Brewster County
There are a ton of excellent options available here. To get started, try the following areas:
- You may locate agates, jaspers, and quartz in the Glass Mountains area.
- A large area at Needle Peak in the Study Butte area contains agates.
- Amber, agates, and jaspers are available at the Terlingua Creek banks along the county’s western edge.
- Galena may be found in the Altuda area mines.
- Excellent galena specimens are found at the Solitario area mines,
- The area mines in Terlingua offer calcite and fluorite crystals.
You can check how much is crystal worth by visiting our guide.
If you’re looking for a great spot to find and collect crystals, the Chinati Mountains should definitely be on your radar. This rugged region’s rich history and geology make it a fantastic spot for crystal hunting. The Chinati Mountains are located in the Trans-Pecos region of Texas, and these mountains are part of the Chihuahuan Desert, known for its unique flora and fauna. The area’s geology is equally fascinating, with a wide range of minerals and crystals throughout the region.
The Chinati Mountains’ history began in the middle of the nineteenth century when ranchers and miners began to occupy the region. Silver, lead, and other minerals were mined, and this activity contributed significantly to the region’s growth. The area is still well-liked today for mining and crystal hunting because of the wide variety of crystals.
The region surrounding the former Shafter Mine is one of the most popular locations for searching for crystals in the Chinati Mountains. Calcite, fluorite, and other minerals can be found in this area. The ancient mine can be explored by crystal hunters looking for crystals in other tiny rock crevices.
Ultimately, anyone who enjoys rock and minerals will love the Chinati Mountains. There is always something fresh and fascinating here because of its rich history, breathtaking geography, and diversified geology. So prepare a crystal hunting adventure you won’t soon forget!
Where we found crystals in the Chinati Mountains
We mostly found agate and jasper crystals at the regional draws, washes, and surfaces of the Chinati Mountains. There are also good specimens of fluorite and galena on the dumps of the area mines surrounding the Chinati Mountains along the southwest side of San Antonio Canyon.
Plata Verde Mine
Van Horn Mountains in Hudspeth County
The Plata Verde Mine should be at the top of your list if you’re seeking an excellent place to find and collect crystals! This historic site is perfect for crystal hunting because of its unique geology and history.
The Plata Verde Mine is located in the Big Bend region of the state. The mine was first discovered in the early 1900s and was actively mined for silver and other minerals until the 1940s. Today, it’s a popular spot for crystal hunters looking to add stunning specimens to their collections.
The geology of the Plata Verde Mine makes it such an incredible spot for crystal hunting. The area is rich in minerals, such as azurite, chrysocolla, malachite, muscovite, quartz, and turquoise, and these crystals are often found in small pockets or cavities within the rock. These can contain a variety of crystals, from small points to large clusters, making the mine an exciting place to explore.
Where we found crystals at the Plata Verde Mine
You may collect the minerals mentioned above at the Plata Verde Mine in the foothills of the northwest side of the Van Horn Mountains.
Hudspeth County, TX 79851
The Quitman Mountains are a must-visit location for finding and collecting crystals. This stunning mountain range is located in the west-central part of the state and has a fascinating history and geology that make it a prime spot for crystal hunting.
The Quitman Mountains have a long and rich history, dating back to the mid-1800s when ranchers and miners first settled there. The mountains peak up to 8,000 feet above sea level. The area’s geology is just as diverse, with a wide range of minerals and crystals throughout the region.
What makes the Quitman Mountains such a great spot for crystal hunting is the variety of crystals that can be found in the area. Additionally, the crystals in the Quitman Mountains are often incredibly clear and have a unique beauty that’s hard to find anywhere else.
Where we found crystals at Quitman Mountains
We had the best luck finding agates, amethysts, carnelians, and jaspers along the south edge of the Quitman Mountains.
Our Other Favorite Places For Crystal Hunting
We wanted to provide you with many more options now that we’ve disclosed our five best locations for finding crystals. With a state the size of ours, particularly one with such geological diversity, there are many fantastic locations to search for crystals as well as Texas geodes. Here are some additional choices to consider:
Where you can find crystals for free in Texas
Let’s start by discussing some places that are free to search. While many of the greatest locations will require you to pay, some places are free for all.
|You can find agates in breaks, cuts, and surfaces of Smithville
|Numerous mined deposits at Zephyr for Celestite
|Prospects at the northeast side of the Carrizozo Mountains for turquoise
|Franklin Mountain road cuts for garnet and serpentine
|General area of the Van Horn Mountains for agate and jasper
|County wide pegmatite exposures for topaz
|West to Enchanted Rock for epidote and quartz
|Pegmatite outcrops of the Gritt area for topaz
|The Laredo Gravel Pit for agate and jasper
|River bars on islands’ gravels and at low water for agates
|All Rio Grande tributaries, stream bars, and stream beds for agates and jaspers
Some of the more common crystals that are found here can be very easy to confuse, especially those that share many similarities. So to help you tell them apart, we’ve created a few guides you can use:
Other great places to dig for crystals
These are the additional locations to visit if you’re willing to spend a little money to find crystals. The season will determine how much they charge; occasionally, it may even be free, so contact them before going.
|Silver Creek area mines and prospects for galena
|The Sierra Diablo and other mines for chalcopyrite and galena
|Sierra Blanca area mines and prospects for turquoise
|H.D. House Ranch for jasper
|Barringer Hill area mines for fluorite
|Kingsland area mines for fluorite
|Charles Moss Ranch for epidote and quartz
|Sweetwater open pit mine for celestite
|Bishop Ranch for agates
How to find crystals in Texas
The suggestions above cover a lot of rather sizable areas. There are more precise suggestions on where to spend most of your time in a certain location and focus on where you will be hunting. The following are some of the greatest locations to look for crystals:
Mines and mine dumps
Mines and mine dumps can be great places to find crystals for several reasons. First, many mines were abandoned before all the minerals were extracted, leaving plenty of rocks and crystals for the taking. Additionally, minerals can be concentrated in certain mine areas, such as vugs and pockets, making it easier to find specimens.
Another great thing about searching in mines and mine dumps is that they often contain minerals and crystals that aren’t found anywhere else. The unique geology of these areas can lead to some truly incredible finds, from brightly colored fluorite to beautiful and intricate calcite formations.
Of course, there are some special considerations when searching mines and mine dumps. Safety should always be your top priority, as these locations can be unstable and dangerous. Be sure to wear the appropriate safety gear, such as a hard hat and sturdy shoes, and never enter an abandoned mine without proper training and equipment.
Rivers and riverbanks
For several reasons, rivers and riverbanks can be excellent places to locate crystals. Flowing water can aid in clearing away dirt and other debris, revealing crystals that may have previously been obscured. Moreover, the flow of the water can help shape and polish crystals to produce stunning specimens.
Another excellent benefit of finding crystals and minerals in rivers and riverbanks is that they come in various shapes and sizes. These areas can provide unexpected discoveries like clear quartz and beautiful agates.
There are also some unique factors to consider when looking along rivers and riverbanks. Because of how slippery and unpredictable these places can be, safety should always come first. Always use the proper safety equipment, such as solid footwear with high traction, and stay out of the water when the current is strong.
You should definitely consider searching in roadcuts! Roadcuts are man-made exposures of rock that are created when roads are cut into hillsides or mountainsides. These cuts create vertical or sloping surfaces, making seeing and accessing crystals hidden within the rock easier.
One of the reasons that roadcuts are a great place to search for crystals is that they often expose layers of rock that are not visible at the surface. These layers can contain minerals and crystals not typically found in other locations. In addition, roadcuts are usually easy to access and are often located near roads, making them a convenient location for crystal hunting.
When searching for crystals in roadcuts, remember a few things. First, always make sure that you have permission to access the roadcut. Many roadcuts are on private property or in areas with restricted access, so check with the appropriate authorities before beginning your search. Second, be mindful of safety hazards such as loose rocks or unstable ground. Finally, respect the environment and avoid damaging the roadcut or surrounding area.
Texas Crystal Mining Laws And Regulations
Although it’s allowed to mine crystals in Texas, it’s crucial to abide by all local, state, and federal rules, especially those from the Texas Commission on Environment Quality that control the crystal gathering on public lands. This involves acquiring the appropriate permissions or permits from the landowner or administrative body in charge of the area you intend to mine. Rules and limitations might also be in place to safeguard the local ecology. You may contribute to ensuring that crystal mining is lawful by abiding by these regulations.
The Best Crystal Shops In Texas
Since the state has a large variety of crystals spread over such a vast area, many of us like making small purchases to complete our collections. If you’re seeking unique and stunning pieces for your collection, these are the top crystal shops we’ve located.
- Alamo City’s Rocks and Crystals – 1315 S Presa St, San Antonio, TX 78210, United States
- Auracle: World of Crystals – 1230 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006, United States
- Crystal Rock Shop – 2136 Roy Rd, Tyler, TX 75707, United States
- Crystal Source – 441 W Bedford Euless Rd, Hurst, TX 76053, United States
- Crystal Works – 908 W 12th St, Austin, TX 78703, United States
- Dance with Stones – 14761 Memorial Dr, Houston, TX 77079, United States
- Katy Rock Shop – 535 Pin Oak Rd, Katy, TX 77494, United States
- Nature’s Treasures – 4103 N Interstate Hwy 35, Austin, TX 78722, United States
- Power of the Rainbow – 1730 W Randol Mill Rd #125, Arlington, TX 76012, United States
- Rock Barrell – 13650 T I Blvd #104, Dallas, TX 75243, United States
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!