The Best Spots For Gem Hunting In Vermont In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

| Updated

The Best Spots For Gem Hunting In Vermont In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD


Vermont is an exciting and beautiful place to explore and go gem hunting. With its stunning mountain landscapes and vast forests, the Green Mountain State is a treasure trove of gems, minerals, and fossils. Whether you’re looking for rare or more common gemstones, we’ve got plenty of recommended spots to explore.

Our picks for Vermont’s best gem hunting locations are listed below. The state offers something for everyone to enjoy, whether you’re a novice eager to try your luck or an expert miner looking for rarer gems. Visit the top locations we’ve highlighted and continue reading to discover more!

The finest areas to look for gemstones in the Green Mountain State are mines, rivers, creeks, hillsides, mountains, and quarries. The significant places we consider our favorites, such as William’s River, Ely Mine, and Springfield Dam, are described in detail below.

How We Picked The Best Places For Gem Mining in Vermont
In order to find the absolute best places in Vermont for gem mining we had a lot of things to consider. 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 Vermont You Can Mine

A pile of pretty Corundums discovered while gem hunting in Vermont

The fact that our state is home to various gemstones makes any trip a potential bonanza. There are different conditions and levels of accessibility for gem hunting resources, regardless of the state where you intend to dig for gems. With this information, we’ve developed numerous guides to assist you in discovering gem mines near you. You’ll see how rewarding it is to look for gems in this state with the proper knowledge and a little luck!

Rare gemstones found in Vermont

  • Actinolite
  • Beryl
  • Corundum
  • Garnet
  • Jasper
  • Quartz

More common gemstones found here

  • Agate
  • Calcite
  • Diamond
  • Diopside
  • Dolomite
  • Epidote
  • Feldspar
  • Malachite
  • Marcasite
  • Pyrite
  • Serpentine
  • Sphalerite
  • Sphene
  • Staurolite
  • Talc
  • Tourmaline
  • Vesuvianite

Our Favorite Places For Gem Mining in Vermont

Some of our all-time favorite locations to look for gems have been chosen. Anyone who wants to search for gems in our state has access to these fantastic options!

William’s River

A few pieces of gorgeous Sphenes found at William's River

Okemo State Forest, Chester, VT, United State

William’s River is ideal for outdoor recreation, such as gem hunting, hiking, camping, and more. The area also offers a variety of cultural attractions, including rock shops, antique shops, and galleries. With its picturesque setting and rural charm, William’s River is a great place to explore and discover what gemstones our state offers.

The Types Of Gemstones Found At William’s River

For people hunting for gemstones, this place is among the first ones that come to mind. It is known that this location is rich in the following gems:

  • Actinolite
  • Calcite
  • Diopside
  • Garnet
  • Kyanite
  • Pyrite
  • Quartz
  • Sphene
  • Staurolite
  • Tourmaline

Some more common gems have several similar characteristics that make it difficult to tell them apart. So we created a few guides to help you out:

The Best Time To Visit William’s River

June, July, and August offer the warmest temperatures and longest days for exploring the river. The water in William’s River is typically shallow and slow-moving, making it an ideal spot to dig for gems. Searching for gems is fun for all ages, so bring any necessary tools, like buckets or shovels, to help improve your experience!

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.

Ely Mine

An elegant Pyrrhotite located at Ely Mine

Vershire, VT 05079, USA

Going to Ely Mine is a unique and exciting way to explore the area’s natural beauty and discover some of Vermont’s precious gems and minerals. Gem hunters can participate in various activities, including digging for gems, panning for gold, exploring the mine’s tunnels, or shopping in the gift shop.

Ely Mine’s friendly staff accommodated us with all our inquiries, giving the place a family-friendly atmosphere. In our opinion, Ely Mine is an excellent destination for anyone who wants to learn about gem mining and explore one of Vermont’s most beautiful areas. It’s even among the best spots to find Vermont crystals!

The Types Of Gemstones Found At Ely Mine

It is well-known that the following gems are abundant in this area:

  • Actinolite
  • Calcite
  • Garnet
  • Malachite
  • Pyrrhotite
  • Pyrite
  • Sphalerite
  • Tourmaline

The Best Time To Visit Ely Mine

The mine is open from May 1st to October 15th each year and offers hunting for gems, rock hounding, and gold panning activities.

Springfield Dam

Many beautiful Smoky Quartz mined at Springfield Dam

Springfield, Southern Vermont, VT, United States

Springfield Dam is a popular location for gem hunters. The area around the dam is known for its abundance of gems and minerals. You can rent buckets or pans to search for the gems in the riverbed and keep all your gemstones found. The Springfield Dam area is also known for its natural beauty, making it a great place to spend an afternoon or even longer.

We enjoyed looking for gems while taking in this area’s scenic view. We recommend gem miners check out this location and find out what it offers.

The Types Of Gemstones Found At Springfield Dam

This area has a lot of these listed gems:

  • Actinolite
  • Biotite
  • Calcite
  • Pyrrhotite
  • Smoky Quartz

The Best Time To Visit Springfield Dam

We advise that you go to Springfield Dam during the summer when the weather is warm and sunny. The peak season for mining gems in this area is typically from late May to August, so it’s the best opportunity for finding gems.

Other Great Options For Real Gem Mining in Vermont

A stunning Idocrase discovered while real gem mining in Vermont

After you’ve had the opportunity to explore the spots we previously listed, there are still many other unique places you can visit if you want to do real gem mining in our state. Those with extensive experience in mining gems should go to the following areas if they want to look for more active mines.

  • Adams Brook – Agate, Quartz, Serpentine
  • Ascutney Mountain – Corundum
  • Carlton Quarries – Actinolite
  • Devil’s Den – Pyrite, Quartz, Rutile
  • Elizabeth Mine – Pyrrhotite
  • Jay Peak – Chlorite, Feldspar, Malachite 
  • Lake Champlain – Jasper
  • Lake Willoughby – Beryl, Garnet, Idocrase
  • Lamoille River – Dolomite
  • Niquette Bay – Agate, Jasper
  • Round Hill – Aventurine

Vermont Gem Mining Laws And Regulations

Vermont does not have any specific recreational gem hunting regulations. However, all gem miners are encouraged to follow the established rules and regulations of the land where they are searching for gems. This includes obtaining permission from the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation and following the laws and regulations about public lands. It is also important to know that collecting gems from state parks are generally prohibited.

For more information about the state’s gem mining laws and regulations, visit the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation 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 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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