Rock Discoveries

Jade Hunting in the United States: A Beginner’s Guide

Heading: Finding Jade in the U.S.Jade is a precious stone that has been used for centuries to make jewelry, sculptures, and other decorative items. It is known for its high durability, luster, and vibrant colors.

However, not many people know that jade can be found in the United States. In this article, we will discuss the different types of jade minerals, the formation of jade, common environments for finding jade, and state locations for finding jade.

Additionally, we will take a closer look into Wyoming, a state known for its jade spots.

Types of Jade Minerals

Jade can be classified into two types of minerals, nephrite and jadeite. Nephrite is a calcium magnesium silicate with a hardness of 6-6.5 on the Mohs scale.

It typically appears in shades of green, brown, and white. Jadeite, on the other hand, is a sodium aluminum silicate with a harder rating of 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale.

It is usually found in green, lavender, and other bright colors. Jadeite is known to be more valuable than nephrite due to its rarity and vivid colors.

Formation of Jade Minerals

Jade is formed from the metamorphism of rocks in oceanic plates that are subducted under continental plates. The pressure and heat cause the minerals in the rocks to change, resulting in the formation of jade.

Serpentine, a rock that contains a high amount of magnesium, is also a common precursor for jade formation. The movement of tectonic plates and earthquakes are also factors that contribute to the formation of jade.

Common Environments for Finding Jade

Jade can be found in various environments, including riverbeds, outcrops, earthquake zones, and ocean beaches. Riverbeds are a common location for finding jade, as the stones can be found among rocks and gravels that have been transported by water.

Outcrops, or areas where rocks are exposed on the surface, are another place where jade can be found. Earthquakes can also reveal jade deposits when they cause changes in the Earth’s surface.

Lastly, jade can also be found on ocean beaches, specifically in areas where the tides deposit stones brought from deeper in the ocean.

Mines and Fee-to-Dig Sites

There are several mines and fee-to-dig sites across the United States where people can search for jade. Before entering any mining site, it is important to obtain authorization from the landowner and ensure that you have the appropriate equipment.

For instance, a pickaxe, shovel, and safety gear are essential tools when searching for jade. Some fee-to-dig sites include the Jade Cove in California, Cowee Mountain Ruby Mine in North Carolina, and the Cassiar Jade Mine in British Columbia.

State Locations for Finding Jade

Wyoming is one of the top states known for its jade spots, along with Washington, California, Alaska, Canada, and Mexico. Wyoming has several areas where people search for jade, including Atlantic City, Fremont County, Warm Springs, and Seminoe Reservoir.

Atlantic City is known for producing high-quality blue-green jadeite. Fremont County, on the other hand, is home to the Carissa mine, which produces a combination of nephrite and jadeite.

Warm Springs and Seminoe Reservoir are also locations where jade can be found.

Wyoming Jade Spots

Wyoming is a dream-come-true for jade enthusiasts, as it is home to some of the most abundant jade deposits in the United States. Jadeite and nephrite types of jade can be found in the state.

Atlantic City, in particular, has gained popularity for its high-quality blue-green jadeite. The jade spots in Wyoming have a long history, with the state being a hotspot for jade mining since the 1950s.

Fremont County is one of the areas where jade mining is still active. The Carissa mine, located in the southern part of the county, produces a combination of nephrite and jadeite.

It is renowned for producing some of the best nephrite in the world. The operation is conducted by the Wyoming Jade Company, a family-owned business that has been in operation for decades.

In addition to the Carissa mine, Atlantic City is another place where jade is abundant. The region has several small mines, which are not accessible to the public.

However, visitors can still find pieces of jade on the surface or the banks of nearby streams. The Wind River Range, which includes Atlantic City, is a great place for hiking and exploring, as there are many areas where jade can be found.

Warm Springs and Seminoe Reservoir are also two other spots for finding jade in Wyoming. The Warm Springs area is known for producing both jadeite and nephrite, while Seminoe Reservoir is known for producing green nephrite.

The area offers stunning views of the reservoir and a chance to find jade while hiking and exploring the nearby hills.


In this article, we have discussed the different types of jade minerals, the formation of jade, common environments for finding jade, and state locations for finding jade in the United States. Wyoming stands out as one of the top states known for producing jade, with Atlantic City, Fremont County, Warm Springs, and Seminoe Reservoir being some of the best jade spots in the state.

Jade hunting is a thrilling experience that offers a chance to explore nature and discover unique treasures.

Finding Jade in California

Jade is a precious stone that has been sought after for centuries due to its durability, luster, and variety of vibrant colors. California is one of the US states that offers a variety of locations for finding jade.

In this article, well look at the types of jade minerals found in California and various locations in different regions of the state to hunt for jade.

Types of Jade Minerals in California

There are two types of jade minerals found in California, namely nephrite and jadeite. Nephrite is typically found in colors such as white, green, grey, and black.

Jadeite, on the other hand, is a rare mineral found in a wide range of colors such as blue, lavender, and pink. Both types of jade minerals can be found in California.

Locations for Finding Jade in Northern California

Northern California is a region with numerous locations that offer a chance for finding jade for rockhounds. Eureka, Siskiyou County, Trinity County, Mendocino County, and Leech Lake present opportunities for finding jade.

Siskiyou County is a particularly fruitful area for finding jade. The county has several locations, including Scott River, where a variety of colors of jadeite can be found.

Trinity County, located to the east of Siskiyou County, is another excellent location for jade hunting. Shasta-Trinity National Forest includes areas such as the Trinity Alps where rare blue-green nephrite jade can be found among other variations.

Southern Mendocino County is another area for jade hunting, with abundant white and green nephrite deposits.

Leech Lake, located near the Oregon border, has longstanding traditions associated with jade hunting.

The area has abundant jadeite deposits in various hues, including pale green, brown, lavender, and other colors.

Locations for Finding Jade in Central California

Central California is home to a variety of scenic locations that offer the chance to hunt for jade rocks. Mariposa County, Big Sur, San Simeon Creek, Limekiln Creek, and Willow Creek all have noteworthy history for jade hunting.

Mariposa County is well known for its green and white nephrite deposits. Yosemite National Park is also located close by, making for an ideal location for rockhounds to enjoy scenic views concurrently with their jade hunting.

Big Sur, located along the Pacific coast, offers a unique opportunity to hunt for differently colored elliptical beach jade pebbles. These pebbles, including pink, red, and other hues, can commonly be found among the shoreline.

San Simeon Creek is another wonderful location in central California to search for jade. The Jade Cove area along the creek has several locations where black, white, and green nephrite jade can be found.

Limekiln Creek is also located in central California, south of Monterey county. This location offers a unique opportunity to hunt for sea green jadeite at the state park.

Willow Creek, located in Humboldt County, is famous for its green nephrite deposits.

Locations for Finding Jade in Southern California

Southern California is another region in California that provides rockhounds with several areas to hunt for jade. Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo County offer a chance of finding jade rocks.

Paso Robles is located in central California, just north of San Luis Obispo County. Jade deposits in Paso Robles are mainly white and green nephrite.

San Luis Obispo County has an abundance of white, green, and black nephrite deposits along the coast.

Jade Rockhounding Spots in Alaska

Alaska has long been a desirable destination for rockhounds, with its vastness and rugged terrain providing a unique opportunity for finding jade rocks.

Types of Jade Minerals in Alaska

Jadeite is more common in Alaska. However, nephrite variations can be found along the Panhandle and the southeastern region of the state.

Locations for Finding Jade in Alaska

Jade Creek, Shungnak, and the Jade Mountains are some of the locations where jade rockhounds can hunt for jade in Alaska. Jade Creek is located in the Kobuk Valley National Park, near the Arctic Circle.

This location offers excellent views of mountain landscapes and opportunities to hunt for both jadeite and nephrite. Shungnak, located in northwest Alaska, provides an opportunity to hunt for both jadeite and nephrite.

Stony Creek, located in the Shungnak region, is a low-key location to hunt for green and white nephrite deposits. The Jade Mountains are located on the western side of the Brooks Range in northwestern Alaska.

The region provides an excellent chance for finding both rare and highly valued blue-green jadeite deposits.


California and Alaska offer an abundance of locations where rockhounds can hunt for jade. The types of jade minerals found in these states often vary in color.

Whether you’re searching for nephrite, jadeite, or rare variations, California and Alaska offer the perfect locations to turn your jade hunting dreams into a reality.

FAQ About Finding Jade Mineral

Jade is a precious mineral that can be found in different locations worldwide. As such, jade enthusiasts always have various questions concerning finding jade.

This article will look at some of these commonly asked questions and provide answers.

Common Questions About Jade

Q: Where can jade be found? A: Jade can be found in locations across the globe, including the US, Canada, Russia, China, and New Zealand, among other countries.

The mineral is known for its sturdy nature and its ability to withstand erosion, even when exposed to external elements for extended periods. Q: Is it possible to find jade anywhere?

A: While jade can be found in many places, it is often prudent to focus on locations known to have a history of jade deposits. Some of these areas include California, Wyoming, Alaska, Mexico, and British Columbia.

Taking into account geological conditions before embarking on a jade hunt can increase the chances of finding the sought-after mineral. Q: Is it legal to search for jade?

A: While jade hunting is not illegal in most places, it is essential to consider laws and regulations. Generally, private landowners may require authorization before allowing individuals access to the land.

Additionally, national and state parks may restrict rockhounding without a permit. Q: Can a novice find jade?

A: Jade hunting does not require any special skills or training. However, a basic understanding of geological formations and the ability to distinguish between types of rocks and minerals can improve the chances of finding jade.

It is also important not to overlook the safety aspect and to carry appropriate equipment such as pickaxes, shovels, safety gear, maps, and water. Q: Is it okay to collect jade on public lands?

A: Regulations surrounding rockhounding on public lands vary depending on the park and the area. In national parks, it is generally prohibited to engage in activities such as digging in search of minerals, and rock collecting may be limited to specific areas.

However, in national forests, the mining and collection of minerals may be allowed, but permits may be required. Q: What’s the best way to determine if a rock is jade?

A: Determining whether a rock is jade requires an understanding of the mineral’s characteristics. Jade can be identified by its colors, luster, and hardness.

Nephrite is usually a darker green than jadeite, and both are relatively hard minerals. On Mohs scale, jadeite has a hardness ranging 6.5 to 7, while nephrite ranges 6 to 6.5.

Q: How can one differentiate between jadeite and nephrite?

A: Nephrite and jadeite are both jade minerals that can be differentiated by their chemical composition. Jadeite is a sodium-rich mineral and is more common in Burma (Myanmar), while nephrite is rich in calcium and magnesium and is more common in China.

Jadeite is also more lustrous and translucent than nephrite, which is usually softer and features a waxy appearance. Q: What are some of the common rock formations for finding jade?

A: Jade is formed from metamorphic rocks, including serpentinite, eclogite, and metagabbro. Serpentinite is the most common rock formation for jade, resulting in the formation of nephrite and jadeite in various colors.

Eclogite and metagabbro are less commonly found, but their presence can result in the formation of high-grade jade. Q: What are some of the identifiers of high-quality jade?

A: High-quality jade is usually highly lustrous, translucent, and free from cracks and blemishes. Jade with even color and good clarity is also highly valued in addition to the stone’s overall smooth texture.

Q: Is it essential to use special equipment for rockhounding for jade? A: The equipment required for rockhounding for jade is relatively simple.

A shovel, trowel, pickaxe, gloves, safety glasses, and a bucket are usually sufficient for the task. However, the quality of equipment needed can vary based on the location of operations.

In summary, determining where to find jade and hunting for it can be an exciting and rewarding experience, even for novices. Essential considerations include geological formation, laws, and regulations governing rockhounding, and the use of appropriate equipment.

Moreover, being familiar with the unique characteristics of both jadeite and nephrite and sticking to known locations for jade deposits can help increase one’s likelihood of success when hunting for the sought-after mineral. In conclusion, finding jade can be a thrilling experience irrespective of whether you are a novice or seasoned rockhound.

Understanding the different types of jade minerals, the formation of jade, common environments for finding jade, and state locations for finding jade is crucial. Having a basic understanding of regulations surrounding rockhounding, the characteristics of high-quality jade, and knowing the appropriate equipment to utilize are also vital factors to consider.

Here are some common FAQs on finding jade that rockhounds may have: Where can jade be found? Is it legal to search for jade?

Can a novice find jade?

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