The 55 Proven Spots To Find And Mine For Quartz In Maryland In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

| Updated

The 55 Proven Spots To Find And Mine For Quartz In Maryland In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

Updated

Maryland is a fantastic place filled with natural wonders that will make you gaze in awe. One of the most common and beautiful minerals out here is quartz.

If you’re wondering where to mine for quartz in Maryland, there are several spots known for their abundant deposits. Among our favorites are Point Lookout, Susquehanna River, Soldiers Delight, Cherry Hill, and Bare Hills.

What’s exciting about searching for this treasure here is that you never know what you might find. After all, there are many different types of this crystal here, too.

So, if you’re eager to embark on a quartz-hunting adventure, we’re here to guide you to the proven spots you can explore. Whether you’re a seasoned or new rockhound, Maryland’s quartz treasures will captivate and inspire you.

What Is Maryland Quartz Anyway?

A beautiful specimen showing a fine smoky quartz crystal with feldspar, aegirine, and schorl
Smoky quartz with feldspar, aegirine, and schorl photo provided by and available for purchase at MineralMagik

Quartz is an amazing mineral that’s not only beautiful but also super useful. It’s one of the most common minerals found on Earth. What’s more, identifying quartz is pretty easy once you know what to look for.

It usually looks like clear or white crystals but it can also be found in different colors like pink, purple, or black. It doesn’t scratch easily and it has a glassy shine.

The value of quartz comes from its many uses. One cool use is in watches and clocks. It can be made to vibrate at a very steady rate when an electric current is passed through it. This makes it perfect for keeping time in watches.

It’s also used in electronics, like radios and computers, because it can carry electrical signals well. Plus, people use it to make glass and even construction materials.

Quartz is found all over the world. It’s in mountains, beaches, and even in the ground beneath our feet. It forms in different ways, which means you can find it in lots of different places, from deserts to snowy mountains.

The Types Of Quartz Found In Maryland

When you explore here, below are the different types of Maryland quartz you might find:

  • Cape May Diamonds
  • Clear Quartz
  • Milky Quartz
  • Smoky Quartz

You can also find many other crystals in Maryland aside from quartz. Refer to our guide if you’re interested in knowing more about them.

How We Found The Best Quartz Locations in Maryland
When it comes to choosing the best options for finding Maryland quartz there are plenty of things we consider. Many of the best locations are closely guarded secrets which can make it really difficult for more casual rock hunters to find success. The key factors in our recommendations are:

  • The deep experience and understanding of our team about the area
  • Recommendations from local groups and clubs
  • How easy it is to get the a particular location
  • Safety and potential hazards when collecting
  • Weighing private and public locations
  • The ability for both experienced and novice rock enthusiasts to find great samples

With these factors in mind we’ve been able to put together a fantastic list that just about anyone can use!

The Best Places To Find Quartz In Maryland

Pieces of pebble-like Cape May Diamonds
Cape May Diamonds photo provided by Jules/Julie

There are many gem mine sites in Maryland, but if you’re focused on finding quartz, here are our top recommended ones based on our personal experience and that of other rockhounds:

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.

Point Lookout

Aerial view of the stretch of Point Lookout

Point Lookout is located at the southern tip of St. Mary’s County, where the Potomac River meets the Chesapeake Bay. This area is known for its scenic beauty and rich history.

The geography here is really interesting because it’s where two big bodies of water come together. This means the area has a mix of sandy beaches, marshlands, and wooded areas.

The terrain here is varied, which makes it a fun place to explore. You can walk along the beach, hike through the woods, and even check out some marshy areas. It’s a great place to observe different types of landscapes and how they change.

Point Lookout also offers a unique opportunity to see how water and land interact, shaping the environment over time. To get here, you’ll take a two-hour drive from Baltimore or Washington, D.C. Then, you can take Route 5 south to reach it.

But before you head out here, make sure to review Maryland’s local collecting guidelines.

Where we found quartz in Point Lookout

You can find amazing Cape May Diamonds, which are essentially quartz pebbles, along the beaches and near the riverbanks of the Point Lookout area.

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.

Susquehanna River

Aesthetic long-exposure photo of the Susquehanna River

Susquehanna River stretches across Pennsylvania and into Maryland, finally flowing into the Chesapeake Bay. It’s not only one of the oldest rivers in the world but also one of the longest on the East Coast.

The geography around it is really diverse, featuring rolling hills, lush valleys, and rocky shores. As you explore the area, you’ll notice the terrain varies a lot.

There are parts where the river runs through narrow, rocky channels, and other areas where it widens and flows gently. This variety in the terrain means you can find different types of rocks and minerals, including quartz.

If you want to get to Susquehanna River, it’s easy as it’s accessible from various points in our state. You can take I-95 or Route 1 to get close to it.

Where we found quartz in the Susquehanna River

You can explore the Susquehanna River’s shores, especially along the west, and nearby areas to hunt for quartz. Often, you’ll find quartz in the form of smooth, rounded pebbles or larger rocks with quartz veins here.

Soldiers Delight

A view of Soldiers Delight showing a pathway across a field of grass

Located in Baltimore County, just northwest of the city of Baltimore, Soldiers Delight is a unique and fascinating place.

It covers over 1,900 acres and is known for its rare and diverse ecology. The geography here is special because it’s part of the Piedmont Plateau, so it has a mix of rolling hills and flat areas.

It’s famous for its serpentine barrens, which are areas where the soil has high levels of chromium and nickel. This makes it hard for most plants to grow, so it’s more open and grassy, with fewer trees, and you can see lots of exposed rock.

Geologically, Soldiers Delight is super cool because it’s one of the few places in Maryland where you can find chromite, a mineral used to make chrome. And of course, you can find quartz in various forms here, too.

Getting to Soldiers Delight is easy. It’s about a 30-minute drive from downtown Baltimore. You can take I-695 to Liberty Road (Route 26) and then follow the signs to the area. There’s a visitor center where you can learn more about the place.

Where we found quartz in Soldiers Delight

You can find quartz in the chrome mines of Soldiers Delight. You can also explore its rocky areas and stream beds to uncover this natural wonder here.

Cherry Hill

Serene view of the Patapsco River near Cherry Hill

Cherry Hill is located in Baltimore City, near the Patapsco River’s Middle Branch. It’s a cool urban spot with a mix of natural beauty and city life. It has areas of water, parkland, and urban development all close together.

Along the Patapsco River, you can find rocky areas and small beaches where quartz might be hiding. The river has shaped the landscape over time, washing down minerals and rocks from upstream.

What’s exciting about looking for quartz in Cherry Hill is the possibility of finding different types. You might come across clear quartz with its glassy appearance or smoky quartz with a darker look.

To get to Cherry Hill, it’s pretty easy if you’re in Baltimore. It’s just south of the city’s downtown area. You can take I-95 or the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (MD-295) to get there.

Where we found quartz in Cherry Hill

You can find stunning smoky quartz if you explore the area surfaces of Cherry Hill. You can also search along the riverbanks or visit one of the local parks like Middle Branch Park.

Bare Hills

Aerial view of former McMahon Quarry in Bare Hills

Bare Hills is located in Baltimore County, just north of the city of Baltimore. It’s known for its unique geological features. The area is part of the Piedmont Plateau, that’s why it’s made up of rolling hills and valleys.

There are rocky outcrops, wooded areas, and small streams here. What makes this place special for geology enthusiasts is the variety of rocks and minerals you can find.

The area’s geology includes a mix of metamorphic and igneous rocks, which have been transformed by heat and pressure over millions of years. For quartz hunters, Bare Hills is like a treasure trove!

Reaching this place is pretty straightforward. It’s close to Baltimore, so if you’re in the city, it’s just a short drive away. You can take I-83 North and then use the side roads to reach the Bare Hills area.

Where we found quartz in Bare Hills

You can search through the metropolitan area in the Bare Hills mining district if you’re aiming to find quartz. You can find different types of quartz here, like clear quartz and milky quartz.

Other Great Places To Find Maryland Quartz

A cluster of milky quartz crystals
Milky quartz photo provided by Patrick Arkfeld

Aside from our favorite proven spots to find Maryland quartz, below are more places you can consider exploring here:

Our recommendations by county

County Location
Baltimore Quarries or mines in pegmatites in Alberton
Baltimore H.T. Campbell Quarry
Baltimore Pegmatite quarries in Granite
Baltimore Loose in area soil in Granite
Baltimore Pegmatite quarries in Hollofield
Baltimore Quarries in Marriotsville
Baltimore Chrome mines in Reisterstown
Baltimore Nash property
Baltimore Beaver Dam Quarry
Carroll Old mine dumps in Sykesville
Carroll Mountain View Lead Mine
Carroll Hyde Limestone Quarry
Carroll Patapsco Mine
Carroll Mineral Hill Mine
Carroll Roop Mine
Carroll Oursler Talc Quarries
Cecil Mines and feldspar quarries in Bald Friar, Conowingo Creek, Flintville, and Pilot
Cecil Wiant’s Quarry
Cecil Port Deposit Quarry
Charles Popes Creek
Frederick Repp Mine
Frederick Gold Mine Road
Frederick Quarry between the town of Point of Rock and Washington
Frederick Mine at Young place in Unionville
Frederick Dollyhyde Creek
Frederick Hammond prospects
Frederick Cox Mines
Frederick Israel Creek prospects
Harford Reed Mine & Walkens Mine
Harford Maryland Green Marble Corporation Quarry
Harford Churchville Quarry
Harford Hope Ore Bank
Howard Frost Feldspar Quarry
Howard Day Mine
Howard Maryland Mine
Howard Brighton Dam Road Quarry
Howard Columbia area
Howard Weber’s Quarry
Montgomery Aspen Hill
Montgomery Irma Mine
Montgomery Sawyer Mine
Montgomery Stanmore Drive
Prince Georges Old area mine dumps and stream beds to north in Beltsville
Washington Quarries in Hancock
Washington Pennsylvania Sand Corporation pit

Common Quartz-Hunting Questions

A beautiful smoky quartz gwindel with adularia
Smoky quartz gwindel with adularia photo provided by prisma_fineminerals

In this section, we’ll answer one of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to finding Maryland quartz:

Is it illegal to collect quartz in Maryland?

The legality of collecting quartz in Maryland depends on where you are. On public lands like state parks and national forests, collecting rocks, minerals, and other natural materials is usually prohibited to protect the natural environment.

However, there are some places where limited collecting is allowed with specific rules and regulations. On private land, collecting quartz is legal as long as you have the landowner’s permission.

Always do your research before collecting quartz or any other minerals in Maryland. Visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website for more information.

The Best Places To Buy Quartz In Maryland

Front-store window of Earthy Elements

If you want a more laidback way of bringing home quartz from Maryland, you can also opt to pay a visit to our trusted local rock and mineral shops.

Some of our favorites are the following:

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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