Our state is a haven for rock and geology enthusiasts but finding geodes in Maine can be quite a challenge without a little help. This is a big state with a lot of beautiful wilderness to explore. Geodes can be the star of your collection but are also notoriously difficult to find in a lot of areas.
We’re going to share with you are absolute best recommendations on where you can find geodes in the state as well as a few other types of formations that are just as beautiful. We have a lot of great variety here and plenty of places to explore as you search for that perfect geode!
What Are Geodes Anyway?
Geodes are geological rock formations that contain a hollow cavity lined with crystals, often quartz. They are formed when molten rock cools and hardens around a nucleus, such as a fossil or a piece of sedimentary material. Over time, the cavity fills with water that carries dissolved minerals which crystalize within the hollow space.
Geodes are highly prized by collectors due to their beautiful and unique appearance. The crystals inside can range from tiny to large and can come in many different colors with some geodes even have multiple colors or layers of crystals inside them! The outer shell of the geode is typically plain looking when compared to the beauty contained within. Collectors enjoy searching for geodes and discovering what surprises may be hidden inside them.
You can use the guide that we created on how to know if a rock is a geode, in case you’re having difficulty differentiating the two.
The Best Places To Find Geodes in Maine
If you’ve been searching for naturally occurring geodes in Maine you’ve probably had a very tough time. That’s because geodes are incredibly rare in Maine compared to other states. So rare in fact that there aren’t any known locations where you would have any realistic chance of finding one.
However, we have some great recommendations to find rock and gem formations that are very similar to geodes as well as recommendations on locations closest to Maine to find them.
Oxford County is located in the southwestern part of the state and covers an area of 1,848 square miles and it’s an especially great place to find large quartz crystals, tourmaline, and amethyst which are often what you find in geodes. The geography is varied and includes mountainous terrain, rolling hills, lakes and ponds which all have their benefits when it comes to finding quartz.
There are also several rivers running through the county including the Androscoggin River and the Saco River. Much of Oxford County is covered by forest land with white pine being the most common type of tree found throughout the region.
The geology of Oxford County is mainly composed of sedimentary rocks such as shale and sandstone which were formed during the Cambrian period some 500 million years ago. These rocks are rich in minerals such as copper, zinc, lead, silver and iron ore which were historically mined for commercial use. Mining operations began in Oxford County during the late 19th century but were largely abandoned by World War II due to declining demand for metals from local sources.
Where we found geode-like formations
There are several different geological formations and specimens that you can find in Oxford that are very similar to geodes:
- Large tourmaline and quartz crystals in Andover around Plumbago mountain
- Rose and smoky quartz at the Bumpus Quarry dumps outside of Bethel
- Amethyst and smoky quartz at the Warren Quarry outside of East Fryeburg
- Large amethyst crystals around Deer Hill north of Stow
The tools every geode hunter will need
When you're out looking for geodes 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 geode hunters which we outline in great detail in our complete rockhounding tools and kit 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. 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 geode-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.
Newry is a small town located in the western part of the state. It is situated on the edge of the White Mountains, which are a part of the Appalachian Mountains. Newry is characterized by its rugged terrain and rocky landscape with several mountain peaks, including Mount Abram and Sunday River Ski Resort.
You can find a variety of rock types, such as granite, schist, quartzite and marble here and there has been commercial mining dating back to the early 19th century when copper was mined in several local locations. Over time, other minerals such as zinc and lead were also mined from the area. Today, you can even find Maine crystals here.
Where we found geode-like formations
- The Newry mines have quite a few options including large quartz, pyrite, and tourmalines
- The Scotty Mine also has some nice quartz
- You can also find some nice Tourmaline around Knoll
Mount Mica is a beautiful mountain located in Oxford County. It’s the oldest gem mine in the United States, and has been producing gemstones since 1820. The geology of Mount Mica is quite unique and is composed primarily of granite and mica schist, which provides the raw materials for gemstones such as tourmaline and quartz. This combination of minerals has made Mount Mica a popular destination for rockhounds and mineral collectors around the world.
The history of mining at Mount Mica dates back to the early 19th century when it was discovered by two brothers who were looking for tourmaline. Since then, many miners have come to the mountain in search of gems and mineral specimens.
Where we found geode-like formations
- All along Quarry Road you can find places for citrine, rose, and smoky quartz of decent sizes
- Quartz and tourmaline of decent sizes can be found in the Foster Mine, Haveringen Mine, and Mills Quarry
- The Bowker Mine is also a great place for rose quartz
The closest place we’ve been able to find real geodes has been North Vandergrift in western Pennsylvania. That’s quite a trip from Maine! If you absolutely must find geodes in person this is going to be the closest available location.
You should know though that it isn’t an amazing place to try. You can find geodes there but they are still pretty rare. If you’re going to take a trip you might as well go a bit further south and east and track down some Kentucky geodes. That is probably the easiest place in the country to find geodes and isn’t too much further past Vandergrift.
Where we found geodes in North Vandergrift
- You can find decent-sized geodes in Gravel Bar Hollow around the various abandoned prospects in the area
Located in the northern portion of Maine and is bordered by Canada to the north and New Brunswick to the east Androscoggin County is mostly rugged and mountainous, with many lakes, rivers, and streams throughout the region. This geography makes finding various rocks and minerals much easier.
It’s mostly composed of sedimentary rocks, with some areas containing granite, schist, and gneiss. These rocks are estimated to be around 500 million years old and are part of an ancient mountain range that once stretched across much of northern Maine.
Mining has been a prominent feature in County’s history for centuries now. Iron ore was mined here extensively in the late 19th century to fuel the industrial revolution. Later on, other minerals such as copper, zinc, lead, molybdenum were also mined here. As a result, there are some great abandoned mines and dumps that you can explore.
Where we found geode-like options
- Some of the best apatite crystals can be found around Mount Apatite
- Pulsifer Quarry has some great apatite and tourmaline
- Phillips Mine is a solid source for amethyst and smoky quartz crystals of nice sizes
Common Maine Geode-Hunting Questions
There are also a few questions that always come up when it comes to finding geodes that we wanted to be sure to cover:
Where can you find amethyst geodes in Maine?
While you won’t be able to find amethyst geodes naturally in the state, there are some great places to find some beautiful amethyst crystals:
- Phillips Mine in Androscoggin County
- Hall’s Quarry in Hancock County
- The streams around Jagged Mountain
- Pleasant Mountain and Warren Quarry near Fryeburg
Is it illegal to collect geodes in Maine?
It isn’t illegal to collect geodes as long as you are following local rules and regulations. Every piece of land tends to have it’s own specific rules, both public and private, so make sure you’re spending a few minutes to read through the regulations or talking to the land owner ahead of time.
The Best Places To Buy Geodes In Maine
The only reliable way to find geodes in Maine is going to be from the several really great rock shops we have. Since this is such a great state for finding all kinds of beautiful rocks and gems we are spoiled with several great options:
Unique Rock Shop – 135 US-1, Verona Island, ME 04416
Amazon – There is actually a pretty solid selection of geodes on Amazon. You can even find whole kits to for breaking open your own geodes including geodes to crack open.
Northern Main Minerals – 16 Pritham Ave, Greenville, ME 04441
Willis Rock Shop – 69 Main St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609
Sonny’s Museum & Rock Shop – 226 Water St, Augusta, ME 04330
The Rock and Art Shop – 36 Central St, Bangor, ME 04401
Additional places to find geodes in nearby states
Check out our guides for nearby states if you’ve already tried all of our suggestions above or if you’re planning a trip outside of the state:
If you have any recommendations for our list please leave a comment below!