Rock Discoveries

Rockhounding in Pennsylvania: Discovering the State’s Hidden Geological Gems

Rockhounding in Pennsylvania: A Guide to Finding Minerals and Fossils

Do you enjoy searching for hidden treasures? Are you fascinated by the earth’s geological history?

If so, rockhounding may be the hobby for you. With a diverse range of minerals and fossils, Pennsylvania is a perfect destination for rockhounds.

In this guide, we’ll be exploring where to find some of the most valuable and unique specimens in the state.


Known as “fool’s gold,” pyrite is a common mineral throughout Pennsylvania. The French Creek Mine in Chester County is one of the most well-known places to find pyrite.

Be sure to bring a hammer and chisel, and look for exposed veins along the creek bed. The Blue Ball Stone Company and Cornwall Iron Mine are other notable locations.

Sullivan Trail Coal Company and Bossardsville Quarry also yield good results.


Quartz, the most common mineral in the world, is abundant in Pennsylvania. Brookdale Mine in Luzerne County is a great location to find clear or smoky quartz crystals.

You can also find clear quartz at Rossville Road Cut in York County and Mud Grubb Lake in Lancaster County.


Found in a variety of colors, calcite is another common mineral in Pennsylvania. York County is a hotspot for calcite, with Codorus Stone and Supply Company Quarry and York Building Supply Quarry being the best locations.


This rare mineral is known for its crystal formations and bright green color. Chester County’s Wheatley Mines and Brookdale Mine have produced exceptional specimens.

Petrified Wood

Southeastern Pennsylvania is home to Triassic-era petrified wood. It can be found on private land, so be sure to obtain permission before searching.


Eastonite is a unique mineral found in eastern Pennsylvania. Look for it at the Sherrer Quarry, C.K. Williams Quarry, or areas with mica and williamsite.


Rutile is found near the Maryland state line in Fawn Grove, as well as Parkesburg and on farmland near streams.


There are several different types of garnet found throughout Pennsylvania, including andradite, spessartine, and almandine. Cornwall Iron Mine, Teeter Quarry in Lancaster County, Boothwyn, Sharpless Quarry, Constitution, and Deshongs Quarry are all locations where garnets have been found.


Kyanite is found in Ridley Township near Prospect Park and Morton Homestead, along with many other locations throughout the state. It’s often found in quartzite matrices.


Azurite, a deep blue mineral, can be found in Cornwall Mines and Lebanon Country. Rossville Road Cut is another location with good potential.

Be sure to bring a hefty rock hammer to crack open fresh rock.

Other Minerals and Fossils

There are many other minerals and fossils to be found in Pennsylvania. Precious metals, such as gold, silver, and copper, are often found in Paleozoic rocks.

Trilobites, an extinct marine arthropod, are found in the shale formations of central Pennsylvania. Be aware of permit and trespassing requirements when collecting on public or private land.

Abandoned mines should never be entered without the proper permits and safety gear.

Where to Buy Minerals and Gemstones

After you’ve exhausted your search in the field, head to a local rock shop to add to your collection. Appalachian Rock Shop & Jewelry Emporium, Geology Rocks! And Minerals, Crystal River Gems, Back Mountain Jewelry & Rock Shop, Beys Rock Shop, and Rockys Crystals & Minerals are great places to start.

In conclusion, Pennsylvania is a treasure trove of minerals and fossils. With a little research and a willingness to explore, you can find some amazing specimens.

Remember to always obtain permission when collecting on private property, and utilize the proper safety gear when entering abandoned mines. Happy rockhounding!

In conclusion, Pennsylvania offers an incredible opportunity for rockhounds to explore its diverse range of geological treasures.

From pyrite to garnet, kyanite to petrified wood, there is so much to discover. Remember to always obtain permission when collecting on private property, and never enter abandoned mines without the proper permits and safety gear.

If you’re interested in rockhounding, feel free to check out our FAQs below for more information. FAQs:


Is it legal to collect rocks and minerals in Pennsylvania? Yes, but be sure to obtain any necessary permits and abide by the laws and regulations in the area.

2. Can I collect rocks and minerals at state or national parks?

It depends on the specific park. Be sure to check with park officials about their regulations on collecting rocks and minerals.

3. What safety precautions should I take when rockhounding?

Always wear the appropriate safety gear, such as gloves and eye protection, and be aware of any potential dangers in the area, such as unstable cliffs or abandoned mines. 4.

Can I sell the specimens I collect? Again, this varies based on state and local laws.

Some areas may require permits or restrict selling certain specimens. 5.

How do I properly clean and store my collected specimens? Clean your specimens with water and a soft brush, and store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and humidity.

Consider labeling them with the location and date of collection.

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