Rock Discoveries

Uncovering The Hidden Gems: Where to Find Jade in California

California has long been known for its rich natural resources, including its stunning jade deposits. From the icy waters off the coast of Big Sur to the dry, desert rockhounding in Joshua Tree National Park, there are plenty of places where you can find this beautiful green stone.

In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the best locations to find jade in California, as well as the various types of jade that can be found in the state.

Where to Find Jade in California

Big Sur: One of the most famous places to find jade in California is Big Sur. Here, you will find an underwater deposit of nephrite jade, which is one of the most valuable types of jade on the market.

Commercial mining is not allowed in this area, so if you want to find jade here, you will need to look for it on the beach cobbles or in the water. The ranger station can provide you with more information on where to look.

Jade Cove: Located just south of Big Sur, Jade Cove is a popular spot for diving enthusiasts who are looking for jade. However, weight limits do apply, and divers are only allowed to use hand tools to extract the jade.

The jade at Jade Cove is often found in beach cobbles, making it easy to spot. Willow Creek in Monterey County: Another great area to search for jade is in the riverbed at Willow Creek in Monterey County.

Here, you can find cobbles of various shapes and sizes that are rich in jade, as well as agates and jaspers. Storm Jade Mine: For those who love the great outdoors, the Storm Jade Mine in Joshua Tree National Park may be the perfect spot to find jade.

The mine is located on Pinto Basin Road, which can be accessed by taking Black Eagle Mine Road. This area is remote and requires some desert rockhounding skills, but the potential rewards are plentiful.

Butte County: If you’re looking for a specific type of jade, you might want to check out Butte County. Here, you can find Pulga Jade, which is an olive-green stone that is prized for its beautiful color and ability to polish well.

The jade can be found in old mines and riverbeds throughout the area.

California Jade

Imperial jade vs. nephrite jade: When it comes to jade, there are several different types that can be found in California.

Two of the most popular types are Imperial jade and nephrite jade. The main difference between the two is their composition.

Imperial jade is made up of jadeite, while nephrite jade is composed of tremolite-actinolite. Imperial jade is more valuable than nephrite jade, and is often used in high-end jewelry and carvings.

Variations of California jade: There are also several variations of jade that can be found in California. These include californite, vesuvianite, and serpentine.

Californite is a light green stone that is also known as Californian jade, while vesuvianite is a dark green stone that is commonly found in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Serpentine is a green stone that is often mottled with gray or black, and is found throughout the state.


Whether you’re an experienced rockhound or just starting out, California is a great place to search for jade. With its diverse landscape and rich natural resources, there are plenty of places to explore and discover this beautiful green stone.

From the underwater deposits off the coast of Big Sur to the rocky riverbeds of Willow Creek, there are endless opportunities to find the perfect jade specimen. So grab your tools and head out into the great outdoors you never know what treasures you might find!

In summary, California offers a variety of locations to discover the beauty of jade, from diving off the coast of Big Sur to exploring remote spots in Joshua Tree National Park.

Understanding the types of jade available, such as imperial and nephrite, and their variations, like californite and serpentine, can help you make the most of your search. By knowing where to look and what to look for, you can have a rewarding and successful jade-hunting experience.


1. What is the difference between imperial jade and nephrite jade?

Imperial jade is made up of jadeite and is more valuable than nephrite jade, which is composed of tremolite-actinolite. 2.

Where can I find jade in California? Jade can be found in various locations throughout California, including Big Sur, Jade Cove, Willow Creek, Storm Jade Mine, and Butte County.

3. What tools should I use to search for jade?

Depending on the location, hand tools or diving gear may be necessary to extract the jade from the rocks or cobbles. 4.

What are the variations of jade that can be found in California? Californite, vesuvianite, and serpentine are some of the variations of jade that can be found in California.

5. What is the significance of finding jade in California?

Jade is a valuable stone that has been used for thousands of years in various cultures. Finding jade in California provides an opportunity to connect with nature and history while potentially discovering a valuable gemstone.

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