Rock Discoveries

Uncovering the Hidden Treasure: Exploring the World of Olivine

Exploring the World of Olivine: Where to Find and Understand This Magnificent Mineral

Olivine, the mineral that comes in various colors such as green, yellow, brown, and sometimes even black, is a captivating piece of nature. It is one of the most abundant minerals in the Earth’s mantle, but not as common in the Earth’s crust.

It’s not surprising then that discovering olivine minerals, particularly the peridot variety, can be quite an exciting venture for mineral lovers and gems collectors.

But where exactly can you find it?

What are the best environments to look for olivine, and what do you need to know before you start your olivine exploration adventure? In this article, we will explore different locations in the United States and beyond where you can find olivine, and the type of environments most conducive for its growth.

Environments to Find Olivine

When it comes to finding olivine, it is essential to know that it is a rock-forming mineral often found in the subsurface levels of the Earth’s crust. It is produced by magma below the Earth’s surface and is typically associated with igneous rocks such as basalt, dunite, gabbro, and diabase.

While olivine is present in many parts of the world, it weathers quickly, making it hard to find in some locations. However, when exploring beaches, quarries, outcrops, and meteorites, you could easily spot olivine deposits.

Best States to Find Olivine

Even though olivine can be found worldwide, some states in the US have particularly high concentrations of the mineral. The following are ten states where you might have the best chance of finding olivine:

Hawaii, Pennsylvania,

North Carolina,



Georgia, California, New Mexico, New York, and Arkansas.

Specific Locations to Find Olivine in the US

Beaches are excellent environments to find olivine. When olivine is ejected from a volcano, it can be transported to the sea, making it possible to find it on seashores, beaches, and rivers.


Hawaii, for example, the Papakolea Beach also goes by the name Green Sand Beach since olivine crystals, which ended up on the beach, have created an unusual green sand. Quarries are also ideal places to look for olivine, particularly those situated in bodies of water.

The quarrying process opens up areas of these rocks that are usually not visible, making it easier to find olivine deposits. Specific quarries like the one in Fairfield County, South Carolina, have yielded considerable amounts of olivine deposits.

Outcrops and Exposures are high potential places to find olivine as it forms in subsurface levels, which are brought up by geologic phenomena. Olivine can also be found in outcrops, which happens when landforms rise because of tectonic processes and erosion wears away the rock layers, exposing them to sunlight and air.

Meteorites are known to contain olivine as well. Meteorites are rocks that have fallen from outer space and contain fragments of other planets and stars’ materials.

You could find olivine deposits in areas where meteorites have dropped, which include parts of Australia, the United States, and Africa.

Olivine in Igneous rock Deposits

Igneous rocks such as basalt and gabbro contain large deposits of olivine hence the nickname, the rock-forming mineral. The pyroxene and plagioclase present in these rocks act as host minerals for olivine.

Basalt is the most common igneous rock, making up more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, including the ocean floor. Basaltic rock formations like the Columbia River Basalt Group in the Pacific Northwest, the Arctic Volcanic Belt in Iceland and Greenland, and the Deccan Traps in India have significant olivine deposits.

Hawaii, in particular, is well known for olivine deposits with the Pu’u O’o Crater on Kilauea Volcano having some of the most extensive deposits of olivine in the world.

Olivine in Beaches and Quarries

Olivine crystals are typically transported to the sea through volcanic activity. Therefore, beaches in

Hawaii, Oregon, and Alaska could be good spots to hunt for olivine.

Winnsboro Blue Granite Quarry in Fairfield County, South Carolina, is another great place to find olivine. The quarry has an underground area that makes it easier to spot different types of olivine deposits.

Olivine in Outcrops and Exposures

The most common host rocks for olivine are deep in the Earth’s crust, making it difficult to spot olivine deposits. However, sometimes these rocks can be uplifted and exposed, and areas that have witnessed a tectonic uplift could offer the best opportunities to find olivine.

Outcrops and exposures of basaltic and ultramafic rocks shed large olivine crystals onto the ground.

Olivine in Meteorites

Olivine is one of the most common minerals found in meteorites. When meteorites fall to the ground, they provide an opportunity to study the mineral and how it is shaped as a result of high impact.

Antarctica and Namibia have been two of the most productive locations for finding meteorites that contain olivine.

In conclusion, olivine is a fascinating mineral that continues to intrigue mineral lovers and gem collectors.

It can be found in many different types of rocks, most notably in igneous rocks. The best environments to find olivine are beaches, quarries, outcrops, and places where meteorites have fallen.

If you are interested in exploring the world of olivine, the United States and other countries have plenty of options to explore. An olivine adventure may take you to

Hawaii’s Green Sand Beach, the quarry in South Carolina, or an outcrop in Iceland.

Bon voyage!

Olivine Locations in Specific US States: Finding the Gem of the Earth

Olivine is a mineral that fascinates many with its beauty and rarity. Known for its pure and vivid green, yellow and brown colors, it is a favorite in jewelry making.

Its unique colors and rarity make it a favorite among those who love gemstones. With olivine being so rare, its discovery can sometimes feel like searching for a needle in a haystack.

However, knowing where to look can make all the difference. In this article, we will explore specific US states where olivine can be found and the locations that make it all the more effortless.


Hawaii’s Papakolea Green Sand Beach is one of the most prominent locations around the world to find olivine. The green sand on the beach is visible as a result of the olivine crystals that have eroded off the nearby cliff.

The crystals accumulate along the shore, producing the distinctive green sand. The nearby Ka Lae area has remnants of peridot-rich lava.

Many jewelry makers from all around the world purchase

Hawaii’s olivine to create stunning peridot jewelry.



Pennsylvania is home to olivine minerals, with area quarries around Gettysburg being rich in the mineral. You can find olivine deposits in Ringing Rocks Park in Bucks County near Philadelphia.

It is believed that olivine formation in

Pennsylvania is a result of the high-temperature and pressure environment during the Granite Ridge canning.

North Carolina

North Carolina is home to many gems and minerals, including olivine. There are several locations in

North Carolina that are known to have olivine deposits such as the Corundum Hill in Macon county, Elijah Mountain Gem Mine in Hendersonville, and the Democratic Mine in Alexander County.


Olivine deposits in

Kentucky are primarily located in Crittenden County, but they can also be found in the Ison Creek location. The olivine in

Kentucky is generally found in small crystal formations, making it less commercially viable for jewelry making.

The beautiful green color of the olivine deposits in

Kentucky makes them very popular for ornamental purposes.


The state of

Utah has a diverse variety of rock formations that are rich in minerals, and olivine can be found in some high desert areas around the state, such as

Utah County and Lake Mountain. The volcanic rocks in the Diamond Fork area are another prime location to find olivine deposits.


Carrollton in

Georgia is well known to have olivine deposits, with exposures off Route 166 being one of the best places to look for them. While Carroll County olivine is not as rich in color when compared to the olivine found elsewhere, it still makes for excellent ornamental pieces.


Siskiyou County in

California is one of the top locations to find olivine deposits. Jones Beach at Fort Jones has a high concentration of olivine, and it is believed that an ancient volcano transported the mineral to the area.

Most of the olivine found in

California is small and too small for gemstone or jewelry making.


Alabama has significant olivine deposits, particularly in Erin and Gold Mines Creek. It is home to one of the rarest types of olivine, pyrope.

The pyrope is reddish-brown and is highly sought after by collectors. Gem-quality olivine deposits in

Alabama are found primarily in the ultramafic rocks of the Appalachian Piedmont region.

New Mexico

Kilbourne Hole in Doa Ana County, New Mexico, is home to some of the best olivine deposits in the area. The deposits are believed to have originated from the deep mantle and were brought to the earth’s surface by volcanic activity.

The area is a former volcanic crater, which provides a perfect environment for olivine formation.

New York

Olivine is visible in Syracuse and Central New York. While the olivine in

New York may lack the brilliance of other olivine deposits, it’s still a unique find in the area.


Arkansas is home to Crater of Diamonds State Park, an area that is known for the diamond deposits found there. However, Prairie Creek and Murfreesboro have significant olivine deposits as well.

The Prairie Creek Mineral locality is a well-known location to find the mineral. In conclusion, the search for olivine deposits can be a fun and exciting adventure.

Finding the mineral is even more rewarding when you know where and what to look for. Specific locations, such as beaches, quarries, and outcrops, are known to have the best olivine deposits.

Moreover, the specific US states discussed in this article provide excellent opportunities to find olivine of great worth. With a little bit of luck and a trawl through these abundant areas, gem hunters and mineral lovers can search for the “gem of the earth” and find it.

In conclusion, olivine is a fascinating mineral with a rich history steeped in geological science. Found primarily in igneous rocks, beaches, quarries, outcrops, and meteorites, specific US states offer some of the best locations for finding olivine.

These locations and areas provide unique opportunities for mineral lovers and gem hunters to find rare specimens of olivine, which makes them ideal for gemstone and ornamental purposes. With the right knowledge and tools, anyone can go on an olivine adventure and discover the rare “gem of the earth.”


Q: What is olivine?

A: Olivine is a mineral that comes in various colors such as green, yellow, and brown, and it is primarily found in igneous rocks. Q: How rare is olivine?

A: Olivine is considered rare, and finding it can sometimes feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. Q: Where can you find olivine?

A: Olivine can be found in various locations worldwide, with some states in the US having particularly high concentrations of the mineral. Q: What are the best environments to find olivine?

A: Beaches, quarries, outcrops, and places where meteorites have fallen are among the best environments to find olivine. Q: Can olivine be used for jewelry making?

A: Olivine can be used for jewelry making, particularly the peridot variety, due to its unique green color. Q: What makes olivine such a fascinating mineral?

A: Olivine is a rock-forming mineral that provides insight into the geological history of the Earth and how it has evolved over time. Q: Is olivine commercially viable?

A: While olivine is rare, not all deposits offer gem-quality material and therefore, may not be commercially viable for jewelry making. Q: What are some specific locations to find olivine in the US?

A: Specific locations in the US that offer the best opportunities to find olivine include

Hawaii, Pennsylvania,

North Carolina,



Georgia, California, Alabama, New Mexico, New York, and Arkansas.

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