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Fee Mining and Digging for Gems, Minerals, Gold, Crystals

Fee mining sites are places where you can pay a fee to dig, pan, or search for rocks, minerals or gemstones and keep whatever you find. There are many places in the United States where you can pan for gold, wash gravel for gemstones, or split rocks to find fossils and have a reasonable chance of being very successful. We have been to fee mining sites many times, had some fun, and found some nice materials. We did not make a great find every time, but it was a good experience overall. One of our favorites is looking for Herkimer “Diamonds”.

If you own a fee mining site not listed here, please let us know. To be listed, a site must have a website and pass our review. We do not include sites where collectors search through materials that have been “salted” with things to find or where materials from other mines or locations are hauled in. Not all of the sites listed below require a fee.



Alabama

Alabama Gold CampGold

Alaska

Chicken Gold CampGold
Crow Creek Gold MineGold

Arizona

Arizona BLM collecting sitesAgate, Apache tears, fire agate, jasper, onyx, petrified wood

Arkansas

Board Camp Crystal MineQuartz crystals
Crater of Diamonds State ParkDiamonds and 40 other types of rocks and minerals including: lamproite, amethyst, banded agate, jasper, peridot, garnet, quartz, calcite, barite, and hematite.
Dixie Crystal Mining Co.Clear Quartz and Phantom Quartz
Jim Coleman CrystalsClear and White quartz crystal. You can also expect to find some interesting pieces with Adularia and Calcite
Ron Coleman MiningQuartz crystals
Sweet Surrender CrystalsQuartz crystals
Wegner Crystal Mines & RanchCrystal Forest Mine and Phantom Mine group dig and tailings collecting area.

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California

Benitoite Gem MineBenitoite
Golden Caribou MiningGold
Gold Prospecting AdventuresGold
Himalaya MineTourmaline, quartz crystals, lepidolite, topaz, morganite, and other pegmatite minerals
Modoc National ForestObsidian
Oceanview MineTourmalines, kunzites, morganites and more.
Roaring Camp Mining CompanyGold

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Colorado

Bachelor-Syracuse MineGold
Bob’s Rocks 4 U – Prospector ToursDinosaur bones, gold, petrified wood and more
Colorado Gold CampGold
Country Boy MineGold
Phoenix Gold MineGold
Pinnacle5MineralsTopaz, smokey quartz, amazonite
Vic’s Gold PanningGold

Connecticut

Simpson QuarryPegmatite

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Florida

Fossil ExpeditionsMammal, reptile and shark fossils.
Rucks Pit, Fort Drum Crystal MineFossils and crystals.

Georgia

Consolidated Gold MinesGold
Crisson Gold MineGold
Diamond Hill MineQuartz crystals (smokey, amethyst, some doubly terminated, some skeletal)
Gold ‘N Gem Grubbin’Gold, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, amethyst, topaz and more
Graves MountainBarite,quartz, rutile, ilmenite, kyanite, pyrite, lazulite, pyrophyllite, hematite, goethite, limonite, iridescent hematite
Hogg MineBeryl, star rose quartz, black tourmaline, and aquamarine

Idaho

Emerald Creek Star Garnet AreaStar Garnet
Gold Mine AdventuresGold
GoldFever Mining SupplyGold
Spencer Opal MinesOpal

Illinois

Keokuk GeodesGeodes

Iowa

Fossil & Prairie ParkFossils

Kentucky

Clement Mineral MuseumFluorite and related minerals

Maine

Coos Canyon Rock and GiftGold
Maine Mineral AdventuresQuartz, tourmaline, beryl, lepidolite and more
Maine Mineralogy Expeditionsblue beryl, golden beryl, amethyst, tourmaline, rose quartz, smoky quartz, clear quartz, mica, feldspar, apatite, lepidolite
Poland Mining CampsPollucite (gem grade), spodumene, kunzite (cab grade), muscovite and perhamite (tan spheres) with white fluorapatite.

Maryland

Calvert Cliffs State ParkFossils

Michigan

Caledonia MineNative copper, silver, datolite, quartz, feldspar, calcite, and epidote

Minnesota

Hill Annex Mine State ParkFossils

Missouri

Sheffler’s Rock Shop and Geode MineGeodes

Montana

Baisch’s Dinosaur DigsFossils
Blaze-N-GemsSapphire, Garnet
Crystal ParkQuartz crystals
Gem Mountain Sapphire MineSapphire
Spokane Bar Sapphire MineSapphire
Two Medicine Dinosaur CenterThe Two Medicine Dinosaur Center runs scheduled digs for dinosaur and other types of fossils. Note: Fossils found become the property of the Two Medicine Dinosaur Center. Check their website for full details.

Nebraska

High Plains HomesteadFossils

Nevada

Bonanza Opal MinesOpal
Kokopelli OpalsOpal
Rainbow RidgeOpal
Royal Peacock Opal MineOpal

New Hampshire

Twin River CampgroundGold panning

New Jersey

The Franklin Mineral MuseumFluorescent minerals
The Sterling Hill Mining MuseumFluorescent minerals

New Mexico

Desert Rose Mine – Blanchard Rock ShopFluorite, barite, galena, quartz, smoky quartz, linarite, brochantite, wulfenite and more
Kelly MinePyrite, allophane, calcite, brochantite, phyllite

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New York

Ace of DiamondsHerkimer Diamonds (doubly terminated quartz crystals)
Barton Garnet MineGarnet
Crystal Grove Diamond Mine and CampgroundHerkimer Diamonds (doubly terminated quartz crystals)
Herkimer Diamond MinesHerkimer Diamonds (doubly terminated quartz crystals)
Paradise FallsHerkimer Diamonds (doubly terminated quartz crystals)

North Carolina

Brushy Creek MineAquamarine, tourmaline, garnet, beryl
Cherokee Ruby and Sapphire MineRuby, sapphire
Cowee Gift Shop and Mason Mountain MineRhodolite and ruby
Crabtree Emerald MineEmerald
Euraka Gold Panning & Carolina Gem FlumingGold and Gems
Emerald Hollow Mine63 different gems and minerals.
Emerald VillageEmerald, semi-precious stones
Little Pine Garnet MineGarnet
Lucky Strike Gold and Gem MineGold
Mason Farm Staurolite ProspectStaurolite, corundum, ruby, sapphire and even gold has been found here
Mason’s Ruby and Sapphire MineRuby, sapphire
Rose Creek MineRuby, sapphire, garnet, amethyst, citrine, moonstone, topaz, smoky quartz, rose quartz, quartz crystals and more!
Sheffield MineStar ruby, sapphire

North Dakota

North Dakota Geological SurveyNDGS runs scheduled dinosaur and fossil digs from late June to mid-August. Note: All fossils found go to the North Dakota State Fossil Collection in Bismarck, ND. Check the NDGS website for full details.

Ohio

Caesar Creek Lake SpillwayFossils
Nethers Farm – Flint RidgeFlint

Oklahoma

Great Salt Plains National Wildlife RefugeSelenite crystals

Oregon

Double Eagle MineOregon Sunstone
Dust Devil Mining CompanyOregon Sunstone
Lucky Strike MineAgate, Thundereggs
Public Rock Hounding Sites (central Oregon)Petrified wood, agate, jasper, obsidian, thunder eggs
Richardson’s Rock RanchAgate, Thundereggs
Spectrum Sunstone MinesOregon Sunstone
BLM Sunstone Collection AreaOregon Sunstone

South Carolina

Diamond Hill MineAmethyst, quartz

South Dakota

Big Thunder Gold MineGold
PaleoAdventuresPaleoAdventures runs scheduled dinosaur digs in the Badlands area of South Dakota. Note: Your guide will inspect the fossils that you find. Diggers can keep common fossils that they find and purchase commercial-grade fossils that they find. Scientific-grade fossils are given to museums and universities. Check their website for full details.

Texas

Bar M Ranch ServicesTopaz
Mineral Wells Fossil ParkInvertebrate Fossils
Seaquist Family RanchTopaz
Stillwell RanchMany different kinds of agate and gemstones.
Teri Smith Rock HuntsAgate hunts to numerous locations in the Big Bend Region

Utah

Blue Crystal MinesAzurite
Gem ToursBixbyte, pink topaz, red beryl and more
Topaz Mountain AdventuresTopaz
Trilobyte Me! Quarry Fossil DigTrilobite fossils
U-Dig FossilsTrilobite fossils

Virginia

Morefield Gem MineOver 80 different minerals.

Washington

Geology AdventuresGuided trips to gem and mineral collecting sites.
Stonerose Interpretive Center & Eocene Fossil SiteEocene Fossils (you can keep three per day)

Wyoming

Fossil SafariFossil fish from the Green River Formation
Tynsky’s Fossils Inc.Fossils from Fossil Lake
Ulrich’s Fossil GalleryFossil fish
Wyoming Dinosaur CenterThe Wyoming Dinosaur Center runs scheduled digs for dinosaur and other types of fossils. Note: Fossils found become the property of the Wyoming Dinosaur Center. Check their website for full details.

Australia

Gemtree Gemfields Fossicking ToursGarnet and Mud Tank zircon
Mt. Hay Gemstone Tourist ParkThundereggs, Rainforest Rhyolite

Canada

Opal Resources CanadaOpal


Please Let Us Know About a Fee Mining Site!


If you own a fee mining site not listed here, please let us know by emailing the URL of your website to:  To be listed, a site must have a website and pass our review. We don’t include sites where collectors search through materials that have been “salted” with things to find.

RockTumbler.com Authors



Hobart KingHobart M. King has decades of rock tumbling experience and writes most of the articles on RockTumbler.com. He has a PhD in geology and is a GIA graduate gemologist. He also writes the articles about rocks, minerals and gems on Geology.com.

https://rocktumbler.com/blog/fee-mining-and-digging-sites/#ca

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