The 48 Best Spots To Find And Mine For Quartz In North Carolina In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

| Updated

The 48 Best Spots To Find And Mine For Quartz In North Carolina In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

Updated

In North Carolina, quartz is one of the most common minerals. Quartz is a crystal made of silicon and oxygen, and it can be found in many forms, including clear, milky, rose, and smoky quartz.

These crystals are most often found in the western part of the state, where the geology makes it easy for them to form. The beauty of quartz and the thrill of finding these natural treasures make it popular in the area.

Explore the world of quartz in the state with our in-depth guide. We tell you where to look, what tools you might need, and how to tell the difference between the different types of quartz!

What Is North Carolina Quartz Anyway?

Quartz photo provided by and available at SacredMinerals333

Quartz is a common mineral known for being very hard and clear. It is made up of silicon and oxygen, two of Earth’s most common elements.

It can be pink, white, or even black, but its clear, colorless form is what it’s best known for. Quartz is often used in jewelry because it’s so beautiful and strong.

Quartz is also fascinating because it can make electricity when pressure is put on it. This is called piezoelectricity, and it makes quartz useful in electronics like watches and radios.

We wrote this piece to make your search easier by helping you identify what quartz looks like.

One of the most common crystals in the world, quartz, can be found everywhere, from beaches and rivers to mountains. It usually forms in igneous rocks, like granite, and metamorphic rocks, like schist.

Because it does not break down easily, quartz often ends up as sand on beaches and in rivers. Miners also find big quartz crystals in the cracks of rocks, where they grow into beautiful rock crystals.

Quartz is highly valued for its beauty and is often collected or used in jewelry.

The Types Of Quartz Found In North Carolina

North Carolina’s quartz comes in various colors, shapes, and names that reflect the area’s varying geology. Here are the different kinds of quartz that are hidden below the state’s surface:

  • Clear quartz
  • Milky quartz
  • Rose quartz
  • Smoky quartz
How We Found The Best Quartz Locations in North Carolina
When it comes to choosing the best options for finding North Carolina 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 geode 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 mineral 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 North Carolina

A gorgeous quartz with big spiky crystals
Quartz photo provided by Geo Crystals

We will start by listing our top spots in the state to look for quartz. There are many great places to mine for gems in North Carolina, but only a few are good for finding quartz specimens. Some places are not as well-known, but they often have great chances to search.

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.

Beaverdam Creek

A beautiful creek setting where you can search for quartz crystals

A favorite location for geology buffs seeking quartz, Beaverdam Creek flows through mineral-rich areas perfect for nature lovers and mineral collectors.

The region’s geology is distinctive due to its combination of igneous and metamorphic rocks, known for containing quartz crystals.

In particular, the creek’s surroundings have a history of volcanic activity and high-pressure environments, which are conducive to the formation of quartz.

Depending on the minerals present during its creation, the quartz found here can range in hue from clear to milky white, and occasionally even in tints of pink or red.

Where we found quartz at Beaverdam Creek

Quartz crystals are easier to find because the creek’s natural processes wear away the rocks around them over time, revealing hidden quartz deposits. Because of this, you can often find quartz crystals along the creek’s edges or in the shallow water.

Rock pick being used

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. 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 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:

National Audubon Society Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals: North America 

Southeast Treasure Hunter's Gem & Mineral Guide 

Earth Treasures: The Southeastern 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.

Cape Fear River Formation

Rushing waters at the Cape Fear River surrounded by forests of trees

People who like rocks and minerals, especially quartz, will enjoy the Cape Fear River Formation. It’s part of the state’s geological landscape and is a great place to find different kinds of quartz.

The formation is made up of layers of sedimentary rocks that were formed millions of years ago, such as sandstone and shale. Over time, natural forces like water and wind have shaped these layers, revealing hidden quartz.

Quartz is found here because the formation is a good place for it to grow. Igneous and metamorphic rocks in and around the formation show that the conditions were good for quartz crystals to form.

Where we found quartz at Cape Fear River Formation

You can find clear, milky, and even colored quartz, each type offering a glimpse into the area’s geological history. You can find these crystals in the layers of rocks or just lying around in the ground.

Crowders Mountain

An aerial view of the vast landscape at Crowders Mountain with lush vibrant trees and a lake in the middle

Crowder’s Mountain is a great place for rock lovers, especially those looking for quartz. The mountain is part of the ancient King’s Mountain Range, with a lot of geological history.

The rocks on the mountain are mostly felsic igneous and metamorphic rocks, known for having quartz.

These rocks have been exposed to many natural processes over millions of years, making Crowder’s Mountain a prime place to find quartz.

Along with being important for geology, Crowder’s Mountain is also a great place to enjoy nature and do many outdoor activities.

Hikers, climbers, and people who love being outside are drawn to its trails and rock formations, making looking for quartz here educational, fun, and exciting.

Where we found quartz at Crowders Mountain

You can find various quartz specimens in the mountain’s exposed rock faces and rugged cliffs.

Shining Rock

A tranquil spot at the Shining Rock with a panoramic view of the landscape

Shining Rock is a one-of-a-kind place to find quartz in the state’s mountains. The area’s name comes from the large, naturally occurring quartz rock that sparkles and shines, giving the place its name.

It stands out in the Pisgah National Forest, known for its wide range of minerals and beautiful scenery. The quartz here is white and pure, so it sparkles brightly.

The Shining has beautiful views and lets you experience the great outdoors. Hiking trails in the area go through various landscapes, from dense forests to open meadows, with the Appalachian Mountains in the background.

Where we found quartz at Shining Rock

Quartz was brought to the surface by geological processes and now forms large, visible outcrops. These outcrops are not only beautiful, but they also make it easy to find and look at the quartz.

Sugar Mountain

A mesmerizing sunrise at the peak of Sugar Mountain with a view of the bright orange trees and river

Sugar Mountain is not just a popular ski destination; it’s also a great spot for finding quartz. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this area is known for its scenic beauty and rich geological features.

The mountain’s terrain includes a variety of rocks, among which quartz is a significant component. The reason why Sugar Mountain is good for quartz hunting is due to its geological makeup.

The region is part of an ancient mountain range and has experienced various geological processes over millions of years, leading to the formation and exposure of quartz.

Where we found quartz at Sugar Mountain

You can find quartz crystals in the rocks or along the trails here. It’s best to look after it has rained or been worn away by nature, as this can reveal new pieces.

Other Great Places To Find North Carolina Quartz

A quiet and peaceful lake where you can find quartz

Following our top picks, we wanted to discuss the other locations on our list. Below is a list of a few additional sites where we have had success, and below that is a breakdown of each recommendation by county.

Our recommendations by county

County Location
Alamance Burlington Area, Buck Hill
Alamance Burlington area, Superior Stone Quarry
Ashe Shatley Springs
Avery Grandfather Mountain
Beaufort Pamlico River
Buncombe Beaucatcher Mountain
Buncombe Lookout Mountain
Burke South Mountain area mines
Burke Walker Top Mountain
Caldwell Grandmother’s Mountain
Catawba Shuford Mine
Cherokee Snake Ridge
Cherokee Martin Creek
Cherokee Vengeance Creek
Cleveland Broad River
Cleveland Mountain Mine
Cleveland Jones Mine
Cleveland Little Harris Creek
Gaston Little Beaverdam Creek
Halifax Medoc Mountain State Park
Harnett Hector Creek
Harnett Chalibeate Springs
Harnett Raven Rock State Park
Macom Mason Mountain
Macom Tathams Creek
Macom Tesentee Creek
Macom Thorn Mountain
Macom Tremount Mountain
Macom Turtle Pond Creek
Madison Mars Hill
Rutherford Hollis area, Huckleberry Mountain
Rutherford Rutherfordton area, Hollands Creek
Stokes Hanging Rock State Park
Transylvania Pink Beds Recreation Area
Vance Kerr Reservoir
Vance Island Creek
Wilkes Bending Rock Mountain
Wilkes Honey Creek

Common Quartz-Hunting Questions

A stunning natural quartz crystal
Quartz photo provided by Saphira Minerals

Below are some frequently asked questions about finding quartz in the state that should also be answered:

Is it illegal to collect quartz in North Carolina?

The legality of collecting quartz or any other minerals in the state depends on the location and the specific regulations in place.

To collect these minerals on private property, you need permission from the owner. Doing so without permission is theft and trespassing.

Mineral collecting, like national forests and state parks, can be limited or banned on state and federal lands. For example, it’s usually okay to pick up a few minerals for personal use in national forests. Still, it’s usually against the law to do so for profit or in large amounts.

It’s very important to learn about and follow the rules for the place you want to visit. If you are not sure what to do, always ask the right people for permission or advice.

The Best Places To Buy Quartz In North Carolina

Points of Light rock shop in North Carolina where you can find and purchase various quartz specimens

It’s always exciting to hold a piece of quartz, but some people do not like the dirty and hard work that goes along with it. This is for you if you want to find quartz without having to do that!

Here are some of our favorite rock shops in the area where you can find and buy various quartz specimens:

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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