The 57 Confirmed Areas To Find Quartz In Pennsylvania In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

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The 57 Confirmed Areas To Find Quartz In Pennsylvania In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD


Pennsylvania is rich in areas where quartz can be found, from riverbeds to mountains. However, without the right knowledge, it can be a challenging task. Learning how to find quartz is the first step, and we’re here to guide you through it.

We’re here to guide you through some of the best spots in Pennsylvania for quartz hunting. From the town of McAdoo to Philadelphia, and along the serene banks of the Allegheny River, each place offers the potential for finding quartz.

Whether you’re a seasoned rockhound or new to this exciting hobby, our guidance will help you uncover the hidden gems of Pennsylvania’s geological landscape.

What Is Pennsylvania Quartz Anyway?

translucent white quartz crystals
Quartz provided by Moonpathstones

Quartz is composed of silicon and oxygen, forming crystals that can be clear, white, or colored by impurities. Learning how to identify quartz is easy once you know it’s one of the hardest minerals and has a glass-like shine.

You can usually find quartz in places like mountains, riverbeds, and deserts. It’s common in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks. In areas with volcanic activity, quartz often fills cracks in rocks.

Quartz isn’t just a pretty rock; it’s actually really useful. The price of quartz can vary, but its value is in more than just money.

Quartz is important in making watches and electronics because it can keep time really well. It’s also used to make beautiful quartz countertops in kitchens and bathrooms.

The Types Of Quartz Found In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is home to an amazing variety of quartz types, each with its own unique beauty and characteristics. These range from clear, sparkling crystals to striking smoky quartz.

  • Clear quartz
  • Milky quartz
  • Smoky quartz
  • Rutile quartz
  • Amethyst
  • Chalcedony
  • Rose quartz
  • Jasper

In our discussion on crystal mining in Pennsylvania, we delve into the specifics of where and how to find these beautiful quartz specimens and other crystals.

How We Found The Best Quartz Locations in Pennsylvania
When it comes to choosing the best options for finding Pennsylvania 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 geode 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 Pennsylvania

translucent rutilated quartz crystal
Rutilated quartz provided by HarlequinCrystals

We’re sharing our top five places in Pennsylvania to search for quartz. Navigating these locations requires a bit of know-how, and that’s where we come in to help.

Our guide on how to mine gems in Pennsylvania provides valuable insights and strategies for a successful and enjoyable experience. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned rockhound, these tips will enhance your adventure in the great outdoors.

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 directly with the location. We haven’t personally verified every location and the access requirements and collection rules often change without notice.

Many of the locations we mention will not allow collecting but are still great places for those who love to find beautiful rocks and minerals in the wild without keeping them. We also can’t guarantee you will find anything in these locations since they are constantly changing. 

Always get updated information directly from the source ahead of time to ensure responsible rockhounding. If you want even more current options it’s always a good idea to contact local rock and mineral clubs and groups


buildings on either side of a road
McAdoo by Shuvaev

McAdoo is nestled in a region known for its rich mining history, especially for coal. The landscape here is a mix of rolling hills and wooded areas, while the terrain is composed of areas of exposed bedrock and old mining sites.

The geology of McAdoo is particularly notable for its variety of minerals. This region was once bustling with mining activity, and remnants of these old mines can still be found. These sites are often rich in minerals, including quartz.

Make sure to check with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) to learn about the guidelines you need to follow when collecting rocks in the state.

Where we found quartz in McAdoo

You might be able to find quartz scattered in the general area, especially in fields and along gravel paths. Another exciting spot within the area is “The Echo,” a well-known mine among rockhounds.

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.


view of a river leading toward Philadelphia

Philadelphia sits in a region where the terrain is mostly flat, with some hilly areas, especially near the outskirts. The Delaware and Schuylkill rivers flow through the city, shaping the land over millions of years.

Geologically, the area is dominated by sedimentary rocks like sandstone, shale, and limestone. We often find these rocks in the river valleys and older buildings around the city.

In certain areas, the bedrock is exposed, giving us a glimpse into the region’s distant past.

Where we found quartz in Philadelphia

Fairmount Park is a good place to explore, as well as the neighborhoods of Frankford and Germantown. Quartz might appear near old quarries and natural outcrops.

Tacony Creek Valley and Wissahickon Valley are also areas where we’ve had success in finding quartz, often in areas with natural erosion and exposed rock formations.

Allegheny River

bridge across a river

The Allegheny River carves through various landscapes, from lush forests to rocky areas. Along its banks, we find a mix of sandy shores and rocky outcrops, which are great places to explore for rocks and minerals.

In terms of geology, the Allegheny River area is rich in a variety of minerals. The river helps to expose different rock layers, revealing the geological history of the region.

We often find interesting rock formations along the river, some of which contain pockets of quartz and other minerals.

Where we found quartz in the Allegheny River

You can find quartz along the banks of the Allegheny River and in the gravel bars. These areas, especially after heavy rains, are great for uncovering quartz that the river has carried and deposited.

In some parts of the river, particularly where the water runs slower, you can find larger quartz pieces nestled in the riverbed.

Chester County

river with trees along its banks

Chester County is characterized by rolling hills and wide valleys, creating a varied landscape that’s ideal for exploring. There are several streams and rivers all over the county, which have exposed a range of geological features.

The geology of Chester County is quite diverse, with a mix of sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks. You’ll find areas with exposed bedrock, providing you with a clear view of the county’s geological history.

The soil here is rich in minerals, and erosion from water and wind has brought many of these to the surface.

Where we found quartz in Chester County

You can find quartz in gravels and mining dumps. Creeks winding through the county also reveal quartz among their pebbles and sands.

The pegmatites found around the county are another source, sometimes even containing the unique Pennsylvania quartz.

Places like Avondale, Unionville, Willowdale, and East Bradford are just a few of the spots where we’ve had success in finding quartz.


aerial view of houses and fields

Kunkletown is a fascinating area that features rolling hills and lush valleys. Streams and creeks meander through the landscape, often revealing interesting rock formations and mineral deposits.

Geologically, Kunkletown is rich in a variety of rocks and minerals. The area’s bedrock is exposed in several places, giving us a clear view into the earth’s layers.

You can find a mix of sedimentary and metamorphic rocks here, each telling a story of the area’s geological past.

Where we found quartz in Kunkletown

Quartz is scattered in the stream gravels around the area. The streams here also tend to bring the quartz to the surface. As you walk along riverbanks, keep an eye out for the distinct sparkle of quartz among the other stones.

Other Great Places To Find Pennsylvania Quartz

pink rose quartz crystals
Rose quartz provided by Weinrich Minerals

In our adventures across Pennsylvania, we’ve discovered some amazing places to find quartz. These spots range from old mines and riverbanks to mountains and fields. Let’s dive into the list of where to look for quartz in this region:

Our recommendations by county

County Location
Culberson Van Horn area, slopes of smaller hills
Culberson Nickel Creek
Culberson Maltby Mine
Hudspeth Texas Turquoise Company Mine

Common Quartz-Hunting Questions

translucent dark brown smoky quartz crystal
Smoky quartz provided by Spirifer Minerals

Below, we’ll help answer the common questions that people have about quartz in Pennsylvania.

Is it illegal to collect quartz in Pennsylvania?

Collecting quartz in Pennsylvania is generally legal, but there are some important rules and guidelines we need to follow.

First, it’s crucial to know that collecting quartz (or any other minerals) from private property without permission is definitely not allowed. Always ask for permission from the landowner before you start your search.

On public lands, like state parks and forests, the rules can vary. In many state parks, collecting rocks, including quartz, is not permitted to preserve the natural environment.

However, there are designated areas in Pennsylvania where rockhounding is allowed and even encouraged. These areas often have specific rules about how much quartz you can collect and the methods you can use.

It’s a good idea to check the regulations for the specific area where you plan to mine for quartz. National forests often allow rock collecting for personal use, but they also have limits on the amount and types of rocks you can take.

Always do some research or ask local authorities if you’re unsure about the rules in a particular area.

The Best Places To Buy Quartz In Pennsylvania

shelves and display cases showing rocks and minerals
Bey’s Rock Shop

We’re excited to share this list of the best shops to buy quartz in the state, where you’re sure to find something special:

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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