The 21 Best Spots For Gem Hunting In New Hampshire In 2024

By Keith Jackson - Geologist

| Updated

The 21 Best Spots For Gem Hunting In New Hampshire In 2024

By Keith Jackson - Geologist


Are you looking for the best gem mining spots in New Hampshire? We can help. Our state is home to a wide variety of mines, making it perfect for a memorable solo trip or family outing.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced gem hunter, you’ll find plenty of options here. With an abundance of places to choose from, you’ll find the perfect spot for creating lasting memories while discovering great finds. So come on, let’s go gem mining!

The best places to mine gems here are in the mountains, mines, parks, caves, hills, and lakes. Our favorite places are Moat Mountain Mineral Site, Hutchins Mountain, Deer Hill Mineral Collecting Area, Lost River Gorge, and Clark’s Bears, which we have all discussed thoroughly below.

How We Picked The Best Places For Gem Mining in New Hampshire
In order to find the absolute best places in New Hampshire for gem mining, we had to consider a lot of things. It can be really tough to find good information, so it took us a long time to put together a solid list like the one below. The main inputs to our recommendations are as follows:

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

Overall, we’ve been able to put together a great list that anyone can use to locate a lot of beautiful gems.

The Gemstones Found In New Hampshire You Can Mine

A group of Quartz, Feldspar, and Topaz mounted on a single rock found while gem mining in New Hampshire

Our state may be small in area, but did you know that it has some of the best sites for gem mining? With its abundant deposits, you’ll have a blast trying to discover gems especially if you know where to look for them. Let this article be your guide through your journey of discovery!

Also, like this guide for New Hampshire, we created other guides to help you locate gem mines near you in case you’re planning to take your gem mining journey to other states as well. With the right information and a bit of luck, you’re set to have an adventure to remember!

Rare gemstones found in New Hampshire

  • Amethyst
  • Beryl
  • Fluorite
  • Smoky Quartz
  • Topaz

More common gemstones found here

  • Albite
  • Amazonite
  • Apatite
  • Aquamarine
  • Calcite
  • Diamond
  • Feldspar
  • Garnet
  • Jasper
  • Phenakite
  • Rhodonite
  • Sillimanite
  • Tourmaline

Our Favorite Places For Gem Mining In New Hampshire

We listed down our favorite places here where you can find some amazing and cool gemstones. We made sure to include locations where adults will experience real gem mining adventures and where kids will be able to see and appreciate the wonders that gem mining can offer.

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 directly with the location. We haven’t personally verified every location and the access requirements and collection rules often change without notice.

Many of the locations we mention will not allow collecting but are still great places for those who love to find beautiful rocks and minerals in the wild without keeping them. We also can’t guarantee you will find anything in these locations since they are constantly changing. 

Always get updated information directly from the source ahead of time to ensure responsible rockhounding. If you want even more current options it’s always a good idea to contact local rock and mineral clubs and groups

Moat Mountain Mineral Site

A beautiful aqua blue Amazonite on a white surface

High St, Conway, NH 03818

Moat Mountain Mineral Site has a long history of gem mining and exploration. It was first discovered by English settlers in the late 1600s, and was quickly mined for its precious stones. In the 1800s, the area became even more popular, with miners coming from all around the world to find gems in its rich deposits.

Today, you can pan for gems in several creeks throughout the property as well as explore numerous abandoned mines and rock formations. The mineral site also features an educational center, where you can learn about geology and local history.

The Types of Gems Found In The Moat Mountain Mineral Site

This place has a range of different gemstones. Most abundant of them are the following:

  • Amazonite
  • Smoky Quartz
  • Topaz

It can be very easy to confuse some of the more common gems from our state, so we’ve put together a few guides to help you tell them apart:

The Best Time To Visit Moat Mountain Mineral Site

The best time to visit here is during the summer months of June, July, and August. During these months, the weather is generally warmer and more conducive to outdoor activities. As a popular tourist destination, it is also likely that there will be more gem mining opportunities available during these months due to increased visitor numbers.

Rock pick being used

The tools every gem hunter will need

When you're out looking for gems it's very important that you bring the right tools with you. 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 gem miners which we outline in great detail in our complete rockhound 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 gem-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.

Hutchins Mountain

A beautiful yellow green Beryl against a black background

Stark, NH 03582

Located in the White Mountains, Hutchin Mountains is the highest peak in the Franconia Range. It is known for its gem mining operations, which have been running since the mid-19th century. Prospectors used to search for gems along the slopes of this place.

Today, you can take part in gem mining activities at several locations on the mountain. You can even find amazing New Hampshire crystals here. Aside from these, the place also offers a variety of other outdoor activities.

The Types of Gems Found In The Hutchins Mountain

This place is rich in different kinds of gemstones, both rare and more common, especially the following:

  • Albite
  • Amethyst
  • Beryl
  • Feldspar
  • Fluorite
  • Muscovite
  • Pyrite
  • Smoky Quartz
  • Topaz

The Best Time To Visit Hutchins Mountain

If you want to visit here, the best time would be during the summer months, between June and August, when the weather is warm and dry. During this time, there are more opportunities to find gems as the mountain is at its highest peak of activity. Additionally, the terrain is easier to traverse during the warmer months.

Deer Hill Mineral Collecting Area

Two pieces of deep red Garnets protruding from a piece of rock

71 White Mountain Drive Campton NH 03223

Deer Hill Mineral Collecting Area was established as a public mineral collecting site in the 1960s and has since become a popular destination for rockhounds and collectors.

When you visit here, you can pan for different kinds of gems, as the area contains several gem-bearing veins that have been mined over the years. You can also purchase pre-made gem pans from local vendors or bring your own to try your luck at finding precious stones.

The Types of Gems Found In The Deer Hill Mineral Collecting Area

This location has plenty of different kinds of gemstones, but most abundant of these are the following:

  • Amethyst
  • Beryl
  • Feldspar
  • Garnet
  • Muscovite
  • Pyrite
  • Quartz

The Best Time To Visit Deer Hill Mineral Collecting Area

This place is open year-round, but the best time to visit would be during the summer months of June through August. When you visit, make sure to get a free permit first from the ranger station before entering the area.

Lost River Gorge – Great for kids

Children and their moms happily sift through mine roughs at the sluice of Lost River Gorge

1712 Lost River Road North Woodstock, NH 03262

Lost River Gorge is a natural wonder that was discovered in 1852 by a local farmer who stumbled upon the entrance to the cave. Since then, the area has become a popular tourist attraction for visitors from all over the world.

The gorge has unique geological formations such as boulder caves, potholes and waterfalls. When you visit here, you can explore the caves and take part in gem mining activities.

The Types of Gems Found In The Lost River Gorge

This place is great for kids because it features a wide range of different gemstones that can be found in our state.

The Best Time To Visit Lost River Gorge

If you’re planning to explore this place, the best time would be from May to October. During this time, the weather is usually warm and sunny, making it a great time for gem mining. During these months, other attractions are also being offered here, so your visit will surely be more worth it.

Clark’s Bears – Great for kids

Three girls happily discovering gems at the sluice of Clark's Bears

110 US Route 3 Lincoln, NH 03251

Clark’s Bears is a family-owned business that was established in 1971. It offers a wide selection of precious gems, a variety of rare and more common ones, for visitors.

The place features an indoor gem mining area where you can sift through bags of sand to find your treasures. You can also take advantage of their gemstone identification services to learn more about the pieces that you will find. The place also provides educational seminars on topics such as geology and mineralogy and even offer field trips for you to learn how to pan for gold or visit a local mine.

The Types of Gems Found In The Clark’s Bears

This place is great for kids and families because there is a rich variety of gemstones that can be found here.

The Best Time To Visit Clark’s Bears

The best time to visit here is in the summer months, from May through August, when they offer all their outdoor activities, including gem mining. The weather is usually warm and sunny during these months, making it ideal for these activities.

Other Great Options For Real Gem Mining in New Hampshire

An intricate, transparent Phenakite found while gem mining here

Aside from our favorite places, there are other great options if you want to do gem mining in our state. You will find that the places we’ve shared below can give you some real gem mining adventures.

  • Hurricane Mountain – Amethyst, Smoky Quartz
  • South Baldface Mountain – Feldspar, Phenakite, Smoky Quartz, Topaz (Brown, Blue)
  • Bassett Hill – Beryl, Aquamarine
  • Bald Hill – Fluorite
  • Derry Hill – Beryl, Rose Quartz
  • Park Hill -Staurolite
  • Lord Hill Mineral Collecting Area – Feldspar, Quartz, Topaz
  • Mount Jasper – Jasper
  • Greens Ledge – Albite, Amethyst, Beryl, Feldspar, Fluorite, Muscovite, Pyrite, Smoky Quartz, Topaz
  • Victor Head – Albite, Amethyst, Beryl, Feldspar, Fluorite, Muscovite, Pyrite, Smoky Quartz, Topaz
  • Pearl Lake – Staurolite
  • Melvin Hill – Beryl (Blue, Golden)

The Top Public Gem Mining Locations in New Hampshire

A family poses all smiles with the mine sluice of Polar Caves

If you are looking for family-friendly places where your kids can freely explore the beauty of gem mining, here are some more family-friendly gem mining sites that both you and your kids will enjoy visiting.

New Hampshire Gem Mining Laws And Regulations

Our state does not specifically regulate recreational gem mining. However, there are laws and regulations here that may affect it.

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) may require permits for certain types of mining activities. It also regulates surface and ground water quality, and require permits for activities that may affect these resources. The NHDES also requires permits for certain activities related to wetlands, including the filling or dredging.

If you’re planning to do gem mining here, you should check first with local authorities to ensure that your planned activity does not conflict with any local ordinances or regulations.

For more information on the state’s gem mining laws and regulations, visit the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services’ link above.

Additional Places To Mine For Gems 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 Keith Jackson - Geologist

Keith Jackson is an avid rockhound who is constantly exploring new sites to expand his collection. He is an active Geologist with a wealth of experience and information from across the country that he loves to share with the Rock Chasing crew.

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