We’ve learned that to successfully find quartz, knowing the right places to look is crucial. It can be quite a challenge, especially if you’re not familiar with the best locations or don’t have a guide who knows the ropes
Luckily, we’re here to help! We’ve got the inside scoop on some of the top spots in Michigan for quartz hunting. We’ll take you through places like Marquette County and the Gogebic Range all of which are known for their abundance of quartz.
Plus, we’re ready to share lots of great tips to make your search more successful. With the help of our experiences, you’ll have a better chance of finding these beautiful crystals.
What Is Michigan Quartz Anyway?
Quartz is made of silicon and oxygen, two of the most abundant elements in the Earth’s crust. Identifying quartz is exciting because it comes in different colors and forms.
In addition, quartz is strong and doesn’t get easily scratched, making it a popular choice for jewelry and decorations.
You can often discover quartz in various locations, from sandy beaches to mountain ranges. It’s usually found in rocks like granite and sandstone. It’s also often found in geodes, which are round rocks with crystal-lined cavities inside.
Meanwhile, in riverbeds and on beaches, you might come across quartz as smooth, rounded pebbles.
With its hardness and resistance to chemicals, quartz is more than just a pretty stone. Because it has various uses in everyday life, what quartz is worth goes beyond money. It’s used in making glass, electronics, and even watches.
The Types Of Quartz Found In Michigan
These are the types of quartz we’ve encountered in the state:
- Smoky quartz
- Lake Superior agate
- Milky quartz
- Plume agate
If you’re curious about what else you can find when you explore, check out our guide to the different types of crystals in Michigan. It’s a great resource for both beginners and seasoned rockhounds alike.
The Best Places To Find Quartz in Michigan
Finding quartz can be a real adventure, but it’s not always easy. Even with the best locations, having someone experienced to guide you makes a huge difference. Our experience can help you figure out where to start and narrow down areas to search.
We also have a guide that can offer you tips on how to mine gems in Michigan. This guide has the insights and tips you’ll need to successfully hunt for various gems in the state.
Marquette County is home to a part of the Upper Peninsula, where lush forests and large lakes dominate the landscape. The terrain here is varied, with rolling hills, rugged cliffs, and vast stretches of forested land.
Lakes and rivers add to the scenic beauty, creating a picturesque setting for outdoor activities.
Geologically, Marquette County sits on some of the oldest rock formations in North America, with rocks dating back over a billion years. This area is famous for its iron deposits, and historically, it played a significant role in the iron mining industry.
The county also offers a variety of minerals and rocks, including impressive quartz specimens, which attract geologists and enthusiasts from all over.
Before you go exploring, make sure to familiarize yourself with the rules. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) sets guidelines for rock collecting to protect these natural resources.
Make sure to check with the Michigan DNR to understand the specific guidelines and rules for rock collecting in the area. This ensures that your rockhounding activities are both enjoyable and responsible.
Where we found quartz in Marquette County
We’ve found a variety of quartz, including smoky quartz and milky quartz, in several locations in the county.
Goose Lake, Champion, Eagle Mine, Negaunee, Huron Mountains, and Republic are just a few spots where these quartz varieties are abundant.
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:
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.
Lake Michigan is one of the Great Lakes and is surrounded by diverse landscapes, including sandy beaches, dunes, and cliffs. The shoreline is varied, offering everything from long, sandy stretches to rugged, rocky areas.
The lake itself was formed by glacial activity, which also shaped the surrounding land. This history is visible in the layered sedimentary rocks and occasional glacial deposits found along the shore.
We’ve also found that the beaches along the lake are great spots to find smoothed stones, including fossils at times.
Where we found quartz around Lake Michigan
The shores of the lake are often great spots for discovering Michigan quartz. After storms, new quartz pieces often wash up on the shore, making these times ideal for searching.
The eroded sections along dunes and cliffs also sometimes reveal larger quartz deposits, hidden within the layers of sediment.
Isle Royale National Park is known for its rugged wilderness and natural beauty. This large island, surrounded by Lake Superior, features dense forests, numerous small lakes, and a rugged coastline with many bays and inlets.
The terrain is quite diverse, with rocky cliffs and hills offering breathtaking views and challenging hikes. Geologically, the island is fascinating, formed by a mix of volcanic rocks and glacial deposits.
We’ve found that the park’s geology includes rich veins of copper and various minerals, a reminder of its vibrant mining history. The island’s rocks are some of the oldest we’ve encountered, dating back billions of years.
Where we found quartz in Isle Royale National Park
We’ve discovered that Tobin Harbor is a great spot for finding quartz. The shoreline here, with its mix of pebbles and rocks, often reveals hidden quartz gems among the stones.
Carnelian Beach is another location we’ve found to be rich in quartz deposits.
The Gogebic Range is characterized by long, narrow ridges and hills, creating a unique and varied landscape. It’s mostly forested, with dense woods covering much of the terrain, making it a great place for outdoor adventures.
The range is especially known for its rich iron ore deposits, which have played a significant role in the local history.
From a geological perspective, the Gogebic Range is fascinating due to the variety of rock formations and mineral deposits. We’ve encountered numerous outcrops exposing the area’s geological history, including layers of iron-rich rocks.
The range also hosts a variety of other minerals, making it a popular spot for rock collecting.
Where we found quartz in Gogebic Range
We’ve come across both smoky quartz and milky quartz when exploring the area. These quartz types are often found in the area’s old mine tailings, where past mining activities have unearthed them.
You can also spot quartz along the hiking trails and near the forested areas. The streams cutting through the Gogebic Range are another common place where you can discover quartz.
The Crystal Falls area is known for its rolling hills and dense forests, creating a picturesque and tranquil setting. Geologically, Crystal Falls is fascinating because of the variety of rock formations and mineral deposits present.
We’ve found that the region’s geology includes rich iron ore deposits, a key feature of its history and local economy. The area around Crystal Falls also boasts a range of other minerals, making it a prime spot for rock collecting.
Where we found quartz in Crystal Falls
We’ve discovered areas where to mine for quartz in the area, specifically smoky quartz and amethyst. The rocky areas near the riverbanks are often good spots, including old mine tailings.
Other Great Places To Find Michigan Quartz
Here’s a list of areas in Michigan where we’ve had success in finding quartz:
Our recommendations by county
|Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
|Lake Superior beaches
|Trout Lake Township
|Black River Harbor
|Elm River Township
|Mandan, Grant Township
|Winans Lake fulgurite
|Lake Superior beaches
|Berlin Charter Township
|Frenchtown Charter Township
|Spring Lake Township
Common Quartz-Hunting Questions
We’ve compiled some of the most commonly asked questions about quartz in Michigan:
Is it illegal to collect quartz in Michigan?
While it’s generally legal to collect quartz in Michigan, there are some important rules to follow. You’ll need to make sure to follow guidelines on how to find quartz responsibly in different kinds of areas.
On state-owned lands, such as state parks, you usually need a permit to collect any rocks or minerals, including quartz. Meanwhile, on private lands, you must always get the landowner’s permission before collecting quartz or any other minerals.
National forests allow rock collecting for personal use with certain limitations. You can collect small amounts of quartz without a permit, but commercial collecting is not allowed.
In places like national parks, rock collecting is prohibited to preserve the natural environment.
The Best Places To Buy Quartz In Michigan
Here’s a list of some of the best shops we’ve discovered where you can buy quartz:
- Main Street Rocks and Crystal Shop – 300 W Main St, Durand, MI 48429
- World of Rocks – 32 N Huron St, Ypsilanti, MI 48197
- Geoscape Rock Shop – 37111 W Red Arrow Hwy, Paw Paw, MI 49079
- Rockhound Rock Shop – 33 W Battle Creek St, Galesburg, MI 49053
- Earth Treasures Rocks and Minerals – 6582 Airline Hwy, Fruitport Charter Twp, MI 49415