10 Lakes That Are Known For Rare Gemstone Finds | LakeWizard

Key Takeaways

  • Lakes globally harbor hidden gemstone treasures.
  • Specific sites offer public access for gem hunting.
  • Knowledge enhances your gem-finding adventure.

Treasure isn't just found in fairy tales or pirate ships—sometimes, it's nestled beneath the waves of tranquil lakes.

Ever imagined stumbling upon a hidden gem while taking a leisurely stroll along a lake shore?

Lakes around the world are treasure troves for rare gemstone finds, waiting for you to discover their secrets.

You can trust us to guide you through the remarkable experience of gemstone hunting.

With known hotspots and the thrill of the find, we ensure you're well-equipped with the right information.

Imagine the sparkle of a freshly found gem in your hand—this could be your reality at some of the world's most stunning lakes known for their rare and precious stones.

Table of contents


Lake Superior, Michigan/Minnesota/Wisconsin

Have you ever admired the stunning variety of colors in a band of Lake Superior agates?

These gemstones are a type of quartz, treasured for their beautiful bands and colors.

If you're a rockhound, chances are you've dreamed of finding your own piece of this natural art.

Lake Superior agates can be found along the shores of Lake Superior in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, where they rolled and tumbled for years after being formed over a billion years ago.

Fancy a treasure hunt?

Here's what you might stumble upon:

  • Banded Agates: Keep an eye out for their distinctive bands. Wouldn't it be amazing to hold a piece of geological history in your hand?
  • Eye Agates: These rare beauties have circular patterns and are quite the sight.
  • Iris Agates: They show their colors best when sliced thin and are known for their iridescence.

Where to Look

  • Minnesota: In fact, it's Minnesota's official state gemstone – as if you needed more reason to visit the North Shore!
  • Wisconsin: With more than 800 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, your odds are good here.
  • Michigan: Hunt along the beaches, especially after a storm when new stones could be uncovered.

Why Lake Superior?

Why do these gorgeous stones hail from this region?

Blame ancient volcanic activity and silica-rich solutions filling up cavities which gives us the agates we find today.

And with a shoreline nearly 2,800 miles long, your chances of finding these gems are as vast as the lake itself.

Remember, each agate is unique – just like your adventure will be when you explore the beautiful shores of Lake Superior.

Happy hunting!

Crater of Diamonds State Park, Arkansas

Ever dreamt of unearthing your very own glittering gem?

Well, at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas, that dream could become a reality!

Nestled near Murfreesboro, this park isn't your typical lake gem-hunting ground, but it's a gem itself as the only public diamond site around.

What Can You Find?

  • Diamonds: More than 35,000 diamonds have been discovered since 1972.
  • Uncle Sam: The largest at 40.23 carats.
  • Amarillo Starlight: A hefty 16.37-carat find.
  • Star of Arkansas: A shimmering 15.33 carats.
  • Not just diamonds: Look out for amethysts, jaspers, and more!

Your Gem-Hunting Adventure

  • Open year-round.
  • The Field: 37.5-acre plowed soil field.
  • Finders Keepers: If you spot a diamond, it's all yours!

Got a sharp eye?

Who knows, you might just find the next showstopper, like the 16.37-carat Amarillo Starlight.

And get this – the park does you a solid by plowing the field regularly, keeping the treasure hunt alive.

Recent Finds (as of 2024)

  • 4/27/2024: A visitor from Louisiana discovered a white diamond.

So, why not roll up your sleeves and dig in?

Remember, the next sparkling find at Crater of Diamonds State Park could be twinkling in your hands!

Gem Lake, Colorado

Have you ever heard of Gem Lake in Colorado?

It's tucked away near the charming town of Estes Park and offers an experience that is nothing short of sparkly.

Trail Overview:

  • Length: 3.2 miles out-and-back
  • Difficulty: Moderately challenging
  • Best for: Hiking and fishing enthusiasts
  • Accessibility: Year-round
  • Starting Point: Lumpy Ridge Trailhead, north of Estes Park

Why visit?

Gem Lake may not be the spot to find a trove of shiny stones, but the views here are so striking, you might think you've struck it rich with beauty!

The trail to this alpine treasure is a 3.2-mile journey that promises diverse landscapes and the opportunity to rub elbows with fellow nature lovers.

Getting There: Point your compass to the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead.

Once you're on MacGregor Avenue in Estes Park, head north, and you'll find the path that leads you straight to Gem Lake's scenic embrace.

Exciting Features:

  • Parking Longitude: -105.51319
  • Elevation Gain: A hearty 1,000 feet over 1.7 miles
  • Staircase Challenge: Stone steps can be as high as 15-20 inches – a real leg workout!

Don't let the elevation intimidate you; just take it step by significant step, and before long, you'll be rewarded with the kind of panoramic views that make every drop of sweat worth it.

Remember, you don't need a pickaxe or shovel here, just a sense of adventure and a camera to capture the memories!

Got kids?

The trail's steep nature might mean a bit more effort, but it's a fun challenge for the sprightly young ones.

So lace up those hiking boots and set out for a day where you're sure to find the real gem—unforgettable Rocky Mountain memories.

Emerald Hollow Mine, North Carolina

Have you ever dreamed of unearthing your very own precious gems?

Well, tucked away near Hiddenite, North Carolina, there's a treasure hunter's paradise just waiting for you: the Emerald Hollow Mine.

This unique spot is not only a destination for its emerald finds; you may also come across sapphires, garnets, and a spectrum of other gemstones!

Here's a quick peek at what makes this mine extraordinary:

  • Location: 484 Emerald Hollow Mine Dr, Hiddenite, NC 28636
  • Contact: 828-635-1126
  • Treasures: Emeralds, sapphires, garnets, and more

Imagine wading through the stream, sifting through the soil, and there it is—a glint of green.

Could it be an emerald?

This mine is the only place in the world where you have the chance to find hiddenite in its natural habitat, a rare green gem named after Hiddenite town itself.

The mine has been a gemstone lover's go-to since 1980 and offers a hands-on prospecting experience.

Here's what you can expect:

  • Activities: Sluicing, creeking, and digging for over 60 types of minerals
  • Permits: Required and available upon arrival

Are you set for a day of adventure?

Make sure to bring your sun hat, a bucket, and a hearty dose of curiosity—who knows what treasures you'll dig up!

Remember, every peek into the earth holds the whisper of a gem's promise.

Will you be the lucky one to claim a piece of the Earth's hidden beauty?

Lake County, Oregon

Ever dreamed of unearthing your own treasure?

In Lake County, Oregon, your dreams could glitter with reality.

Did you know that nestled a mere 23 miles north of Plush, you can dig for your own sunstones?

That's right, sunstones, Oregon's pride and officially crowned state gem!

Here's what you need to get started on your sparkling adventure:

  • Location: Oregon Sunstone Public Collection Area, a haven for rockhounds like you.
  • What to look for: Oregon sunstones, which can range from clear to yellow, pink, red, and green hues.

The Fun Part: Collecting

  • Sunstone collecting in Lake County is not just allowed; it's encouraged!
  • Keep your eyes peeled for the tell-tale sparkle on the ground or get down and dig to find larger stones beneath the surface.

Tips for Your Trip:

  • Bright Clothing: Helps you spot fellow adventurers amidst the sagebrush.
  • Tools: Pack a shovel and a screen. You never know what size sunstones you might find.
  • Respect: Remember to collect only in designated public areas. Trespassing on private mining claims is a no-go.

Ready to embark on this sunny quest?

Grab your gear, and who knows, you might just find a dazzling piece of Oregon to call your own.

Happy hunting!

Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada

Have you ever imagined a peaceful getaway, where the glimmer of water meets a horizon dominated by towering mountains?

Well, let me introduce you to a hidden jewel of northeast Nevada: Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Nestled at the southern tip of Ruby Valley, this refuge is a serene sanctuary at an elevation of about 6,000 feet.

It's the kind of place where nature whispers and rare treasures await.

  1. Location: Southern end of Ruby Valley, Nevada
  2. Size: 39,928 acres
  3. Known for:
  1. Wildlife
  2. Garnet finds in the nearby Ruby Mountains

Wouldn't you agree that wildlife refuges are often treasure troves in more ways than one?

The nearby Ruby Mountains, bordering the west side of the refuge, are not only a backdrop of rugged beauty but also home to garnets and various minerals.

While you might come for the panoramic views and diverse ecosystems, don't be surprised if you leave with a little sparkle in your pocket – provided, of course, you respect any and all regulations regarding gemstone collecting.

  1. Wildlife:
  1. Birds
  2. Various marsh and meadow dwellers
  1. Activities:
  1. Wildlife observation
  2. Fishing
  3. Hunting (with restrictions)
  4. Mineral collecting (Check for regulations)

Engaging in the quiet splendor, you can wander through the marshes, meadows, grasslands, and uplands, each offering a slice of the refuge's 39,928-acre tapestry.

Think of it: almost 40,000 acres of natural wonder, just waiting for you to explore.

Whether you're binoculars-ready to spot some of the refuge's feathered visitors or are keen on the geological wonders hidden among the mountains, Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge may just reveal more than you expect.

And who knows?

Maybe the 'ruby' in Ruby Lake will be more than just a name for you.

Lake Ouachita, Arkansas

Ever dream of stumbling upon a hidden gem?

Well, Lake Ouachita in Arkansas might just be the treasure trove you're hoping to find—you just need to look in the right places.

Nestled within the Ouachita Mountains, this lake is renowned for its clear waters and pristine beauty.

Quartz Crystals Around the Lake

Did you know that, just beyond the lake's shores, the Ouachita Mountains are a haven for quartz crystal enthusiasts?

That's right!

You won't be diving into the lake for these gems; rather, you'll be digging around the scenic area that's ripe with crystal finds!

Fun Facts about Lake Ouachita:

  • Location: Near Hot Springs, Arkansas.
  • Size: Over 66,324 acres of water.
  • Shoreline: Extends over 690 miles.

The lake itself is a marvel, being Arkansas's largest, nestled in the embrace of the Ouachita National Forest.

It's the kind of spot you'll want to not only visit but linger in, soaking up the serene atmosphere.

Adventures at Lake Ouachita:

  • Hiking: Miles of trails await; from leisurely walks to challenging treks.
  • Fishing: Cast your line for bream, crappie, catfish, and bass.
  • Water Fun: Dive into activities like swimming, skiing, scuba diving, and kayaking.

Alright, so you might be more likely to hook a fish than a gemstone in the lake itself, but with such a treasure trove of natural attractions, who's complaining?

Whether you're here for the quartz or to simply bask in the beauty of Lake Ouachita, you're sure to find something that sparkles!

Lake George, Colorado

Ever dreamed of unearthing your very own piece of treasure?

Lake George, Colorado might just be the perfect spot for your rockhounding adventure!

Nestled in the shadows of the majestic Rockies, this area is a playground for gem enthusiasts like you, offering a bounty of minerals that are as unique as they are beautiful.

Are you a fan of the serene blue-green hues of amazonite?

Or perhaps the dark allure of smoky quartz crystals catches your fancy?

Well, you're in luck because Lake George is particularly famous for these gems.

Picture yourself, with a trusty pickaxe in hand, chipping away to reveal a shiny prize--what a rush!

Here's what you'll find:

  • Amazonite: Echoing the exotic greens of the distant Amazon River, these tranquil stones are a sight to behold.
  • Smoky Quartz: A dramatic cousin to transparent quartz, with a smoldering elegance all its own.

When you're out exploring, keep an eye on the Pike's Peak batholith, the geological wonder responsible for bestowing Lake George with its treasure trove of mineral wealth.

Thanks to the Lake George Gem and Mineral Club, even novice rockhounds can join in on the fun, guided by those who share your spark for gem hunting.

Remember, whether it's on private land or in the adjacent national forests, always respect property rules and regulations.

So, grab your gear and step into nature's hidden vault.

Who knows?

Your next dazzling discovery at Lake George could be just a pickaxe swing away!

Happy hunting!

Antero Reservoir, Colorado

Have you ever imagined searching for treasure at the bottom of a lake?

Antero Reservoir in Colorado offers a unique opportunity for gem hunters like you.

This scenic spot is not only perfect for a day of fishing or boating—it's also a gemstone haven!

Did you know?

Every few years, Antero Reservoir is drained.

It's during these times that the exposed lakebed reveals its hidden treasures.

You can potentially find:

  • Aquamarine – Colorado's state gemstone, boasting beautiful blue hues reminiscent of the sky.
  • Topaz – Sparkling with a classic golden shine.
  • Other intriguing minerals.

Here's a fun tidbit: The thrill of the hunt is real here!

Imagine walking along the dry lakebed, eyes peeled, with excitement bubbling up at the prospect of spotting the glimmer of a gem.

Before You Visit:

  • Plan your trip around the draining cycle to increase your chances.
  • Remember to respect the site; only collect where it's permitted.

What to Bring:

  • Sturdy boots – The terrain can be unpredictable.
  • A good pair of gloves – You'll be digging and sifting.
  • Sunscreen and water – Colorado's sun is intense.

When prospecting at Antero Reservoir, the experience is just as valuable as the stones you might find.

So why not make a day of it?

Bring your sense of adventure, keep your eyes on the ground, and who knows—your visit might just sparkle with a rare find.

Happy hunting!

Boron Dry Lakes, California

Have you ever fancied treasure hunting right in the lap of the desert?

Let's talk about the Boron Dry Lakes in California, where digging up sparkly wonders isn't just a wish, it's a weekend plan!


  • Region: Mojave Desert
  • Nearest Highway: State Route 58

What's on the Ground?

  • Petrified wood, truly a snapshot of time!
  • You might also find borax crystals—a throwback to the old mining days.

Hints for the Hunt:

  • Bring a sturdy shovel and a bucket, trust me, you'll need them.
  • A good pair of gloves saves the day from unexpected sharp crystals.
  • Don't forget plenty of water; no gem is worth a dehydration headache!

Did You Know?

  • The nearby town of Boron is home to the largest open-pit mine in California.
  • It's responsible for about half of the world's supply of borax! That's a lot of laundry booster, right?

Tips for New Rockhounds:

  • Start early to beat the heat – your sunscreen will thank you.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for the less obvious finds; not all treasures shout for attention.

Remember, these are dry lake beds we're talking about—no water in sight, but plenty of geological history underfoot.

It's like a playground for anyone passionate about Earth's natural artifacts.

So, are you ready to scoop up some of California's rocky riches?

Your adventure at the Boron Dry Lakes might just turn a regular day into an extraordinary one!

Happy hunting!