The 59 Prime Places To Find And Mine For Tourmaline In Maine In 2024

By Keith Jackson - Geologist

| Updated

The 59 Prime Places To Find And Mine For Tourmaline In Maine In 2024

By Keith Jackson - Geologist

Updated

If you’re into tourmalines, then Maine is the place for you! It’s filled to the brim with prime places that contain these fascinating gems in different colors. In fact, with so many spots to explore, you might feel a bit overwhelmed.

But you don’t have to worry, because we got you. We’ll share our most recommended places for your tourmaline hunting here, such as Mount Mica, Plumbago Mountain, Mount Rubellite, Cathance River, and the mines in the Newry area.

Without further ado, let’s begin our thrilling discussion!

How We Found The Best Tourmaline Locations in Maine
When it comes to choosing the best options for finding Maine tourmaline 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 Tourmaline

A piece of raw black tourmaline
Black tourmaline photo provided by and available for purchase at GemstoneJewelryA

Our state may be small in area, but it has plenty of great gem mines. But if you want to focus on tourmalines, below are the prime places where we had the most success finding them:

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

Mount Mica

A pegmatite in Mount Mica with a hole as entrance to the underground workings

Mount Mica is where tourmaline was first found in the United States back in 1820. That’s right! People have been coming here for over 200 years to find these colorful gems.

It’s nestled in the rolling hills near the town of Paris, with a terrain that’s a mix of rocky areas and soil. It’s famous for its pegmatites, which are rocks that form in the last stages of magma cooling and contain large crystals, including tourmaline. The tourmalines here can be in many colors, from deep greens to bright pinks.

To get to Mount Mica, you can simply drive to Paris. Once you’re here, you may have to hike because the best places to find tourmaline could be off the beaten path. But before exploring, make sure you abide by Maine’s collecting guidelines.

Where we found tourmaline in Mount Mica

You can find tourmaline in the pegmatite deposits of Mount Mica, which are exposed in pegmatites in various open pits and trenches. You can also find tourmaline often embedded in quartz or feldspar, requiring careful extraction.

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.

Plumbago Mountain

Pegmatites at Plumbago Mountains

Plumbago Mountain is nestled in the picturesque landscapes of Newry. Its scenery is a mix of beautiful forests and rocky terrain, making your search for tourmaline also visually stunning.

The terrain at Plumbago Mountain offers a variety of spots where you can find tourmaline. You’ll come across areas with exposed bedrock and loose soil, perfect for digging and exploring.

Getting to Plumbago Mountain is pretty straightforward. It’s near the town of Newry, accessible by road. A good map or a GPS will help you find the exact location.

Where we found tourmaline in Plumbago Mountain

You can find tourmaline if you explore the area mines in Plumbago Mountain. You can also search for this crystal at the pit of the Halls Ridge in the area.

Mount Rubellite

Exposures at Mount Rubellite

Mount Rubellite is actually named after a variety of tourmaline known for its vibrant red and pink hues. It’s surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of Maine’s landscapes, featuring dense forests and rolling hills.

The terrain here is diverse, with areas of exposed bedrock and soil rich in mineral deposits. Tourmaline from Mount Rubellite is remarkable for its variety of colors, especially rubellite and green ones.

To reach Mount Rubellite, you can drive using a map or GPS. The journey going here is part of the adventure, as the paths are nothing short of scenic.

Where we found tourmaline in Mount Rubellite

To find tourmalines in Mount Rubellite, you can search through the pegmatite outcrops and prospects north of the area.

Cathance River

Running waters and surrounding rock formations and landscapes in Cathance River

Cathance River flows through the charming town of Topsham. The area around it is a mix of lush forests and rocky banks.

The terrain along the Cathance River is varied, with spots where the river cuts through rock, leaving exposed areas that are ideal for finding minerals. Here, the bedrock and loose stones along the riverbanks are great places to look for tourmaline.

To get to the Cathance River, head towards the town of Topsham. It’s easily reachable by car, and using GPS will help you find the best spots along the river.

Where we found tourmaline in the Cathance River

You can find tourmaline in the area overlooking the Cathance River in the feldspar quarries at Brunswick.

Newry

Exposures at Dunton Quarry, one of the mines in Newry

Newry is a small town surrounded by a picturesque landscape of mountains, forests, and rivers. Its terrain is varied, with everything from gentle hills to rugged mountains and serene river valleys. This diverse landscape offers numerous opportunities to find different kinds of rocks and minerals.

This town is home to the famous Dunton Quarry, a must-visit spot for any rock hunter. This quarry has produced some of the most spectacular tourmaline specimens in the world.

If you want to pay a visit here, your journey will be straightforward. It’s located in Oxford County and is easily accessible by car.

Where we found tourmaline in Newry

You can uncover tourmalines if you explore the area mines of Newry, such as the Dunton Quarry, also known as the Newry Gem Mine, and the Newry Mines, such as the False Mine, Lower Mine, and Nevel Quarry.

Other Great Places To Find Tourmaline

Watermelon tourmaline set on a small piece of white quartz
Watermelon tourmaline photo provided by Saphira Minerals

If you’re looking for more prime places to find tourmaline, we have lots more in store for you. We’ve listed them down by county below:

Our recommendations by county

County Location
Androscoggin Many area mines in Auburn, such as Androscoggin Tourmaline, Fisher, Hatch Farm, Greenlaw, Keith (Towne), Maine Feldspar, Pulsifer
Androscoggin Bell (Giddings) prospect
Androscoggin La Flamme Mine
Androscoggin Phillips Mine
Androscoggin Sturtevant Mine
Androscoggin Berry Quarry
Androscoggin Mine on Mount Apatite
Cumberland LaChance Quarry
Franklin Hardin-Keith-Small prospect
Kennebec Winslow Tin Mine
Knox Appleton Mine
Oxford Donahue prospect
Oxford Guy Johnson Mine prospect
Oxford Sterns prospect (Hornet Mine)
Oxford Pingree Ledge Quarry
Oxford Peabody Mt. Quarry
Oxford Bumpus Quarry
Oxford J.H. Fletcher Mine
Oxford Exposure near Rout 117 in Buckfield
Oxford Irish (Westinghouse) Mine
Oxford Tiger Bill Mine
Oxford Mud Pond
Oxford Mines in the Greenwood Mining District
Oxford Hibbs Quarries
Oxford Hill No. 4 Quarry
Oxford Rubellite (Cushman) Mine
Oxford Rumford Point
Oxford Tubbs Ledge
Oxford Scribner Ledge Quarry
Oxford Little Singpole Group of mines, such as the Foster Mine, Haveringen Mine, and the Mills Quarry
Oxford Hoopers Ledge (Twitchell Mine
Oxford Mt. Marie Mine
Oxford Perham Mine
Oxford Whitecap Mountain
Oxford Elliot Mine
Oxford Willis Warren Quarry
Oxford Scribner Mine
Sagadahoc Combs Quarry
Sagadahoc Ordway mines
Sagadahoc Moffatt mines
Sagadahoc McKay Farm prospect
Sagadahoc Rogers Mine
Sagadahoc Thomas Quarry
Sagadahoc Willes Feldspar Quarry
Sagadahoc Fisher Quarry
Sagadahoc Numerous area quarries in Topsham
Sagadahoc Square Pit Quarry
Sagadahoc Davis Mine
Sagadahoc Trott Cove Mine

Laws about collecting tourmaline

Collecting tourmaline is generally legal in our state, but it depends on where you are and whose property you’re on.

If you’re on private land, you need the landowner’s permission. Remember, much of the land where tourmaline is found here is privately owned. On public lands, such as state parks, collecting is often restricted or prohibited to protect natural resources.

In commercial quarries, like the ones in Newry, you can collect tourmaline for a fee, and they provide a legal and safe way to hunt for gems. Always check the rules and regulations of the area you’re planning to visit. For more guidance, check with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry (DACF).

The Best Places To Buy Tourmaline

Front store window of Crystal Joys

If you prefer a more laidback way of finding and probably taking home a tourmaline, you can visit our local crystal shops. Some of our favorites are:

About Keith Jackson - Geologist

Keith Jackson is an avid rockhound who is constantly exploring new sites to expand his collection. He is an active Geologist with a wealth of experience and information from across the country that he loves to share with the Rock Chasing crew.

Leave a Comment