Help|Log In|Register|
Home PageMindat NewsThe Mindat ManualHistory of MindatCopyright StatusManagement TeamContact UsAdvertise on Mindat
Donate to MindatSponsor a PageSponsored PagesTop Available PagesMindat AdvertisersAdvertise on MindatThe Mindat Store
Minerals by PropertiesMinerals by ChemistryRandom MineralSearch by minIDLocalities Near MeSearch GlossaryMore Search Options
Search For:
Mineral Name:
Locality Name:
The Mindat ManualAdd a New PhotoRate PhotosLocality Edit ReportCoordinate Completion ReportAdd Glossary Item
StatisticsThe ElementsMember ListBooks & MagazinesMineral Shows & EventsThe Mindat DirectoryHow to Link to MindatDevice Settings
Photo SearchPhoto GalleriesNew Photos TodayNew Photos YesterdayMembers' Photo GalleriesPast Photo of the Day Gallery

Northern California Mineral Collector Help

Posted by Zach Ratley  
Northern California Mineral Collector Help
May 12, 2012 10:56PM
I have been prospecting for about 6 years now, the first 4 years spent all on gold, more recently I have been spending most of my time on other local minerals. I, being born and raised in placer county, feel a special need to collect Northern California Minerals. I go to the local college working on a degree in Geology and I try to collect any chance I get. I have a website where I keep a rockhound journal you can see some of the things I have collected. There's a couple things I haven't posted on there; Jade, Serpentine, Chiastolite, Vescuvianite and Fresno County Agate. If anyone knows about any local spots you like to collect or know of areas that used to be popular in Northern California let me know. I have read Gem Trails of Northern California and Rocks and Minerals of California for a few sites but am still looking. Right now, I have spent most of my days digging for quartz crystals locally. I have already been to Peterson Mountain, Crystal Mountain, Slate Mountain, Pino Grande, and Georgetown for Quartz. I have herd about people collecting crystals in Calaveras County, but I don't have any known digging pits. Also I have herd about Rose Quartz and Tourmalinated Quartz being found in Plumas County, California but once again I don't have too much specifics. Recently I've been making weekly trips to Peterson Mountain but am looking for other areas to collect. I'm also looking for people to dig with as I do all my collecting alone. Any info helps, thanks guys.
avatar Re: Northern California Mineral Collector Help
May 13, 2012 06:05AM
Do you know about BAM?

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Re: Northern California Mineral Collector Help
May 13, 2012 06:11AM
Yes I'm aware of the Bay area Mineral Club. I look at a lot of the field trips the California mineral clubs go on. My whole issue is most mineral clubs just do a trip once a month or so to an area for multiple days, and leave the state a lot of the time. I'm usually digging a minimum of 20 hours a week in areas much closer. Because I am in college and work part time it really doesn't allow much time for long trips. I am a member of a few rock hound clubs but I've never found anyone that digs a few days a week like me or even a few times a month. Thank you for your reply Rock Currier.
avatar Re: Northern California Mineral Collector Help
May 13, 2012 06:16AM
The Bay Area Mineralogists have as members some of the most experienced field collectors in California. You might get to know some of the members of the club and visit them and see their collections. You would be amazed at what some of them have managed to collect. Many of them are old guys and would probably be willing to give you information about where to dig even if they could not keep up with you in the field any more. I think it would be worth your time to do this.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
I spent my early years in Angels Camp. Before the playground at Mark Twain Elementary was paved, we (the children) would go out with forks and spoons to dig up quartz crystals from the area. It was sad to see such a rich deposit covered over by asphalt.

There were a few other areas I used to dig at, but being that it was over 40 years ago....I really couldn't tell you where those sites are. I would enlist local information from people who live there - I bet their kids know where to find them.
Re: Northern California Mineral Collector Help
January 19, 2013 10:17AM
I am interested in collecting minerals and was also looking for a place to collect. I would be happy to learn or go with or try a place you suggest. Any information would be greatly helpful. I am new to this a beginner. Thank you, Ed.
avatar Re: Northern California Mineral Collector Help
January 19, 2013 01:17PM
Hey Ed,

Join a rock club in your area, to start.
Also, read this blog entry
It should give you a good idea of the basics of locality research.

Zach, I love your blog, post more.
Grateful Rob
Re: Northern California Mineral Collector Help
August 20, 2013 01:19AM
I live in Plumas County , and know of many great local areas to dig for various crystals , and if your into the beauty of partially segmented rocks , areas for that as well.
You can e-mail me , and we can exchange info.
I go up to perterson alot as well , and im always looking for new areas out there to explore. So far i have found a few undiscovered areas that were a nice dig.
Get in Touch , and lets find some nice ones..
Im also involved in the rock and mineral club here locally - Its just starting up , but there are some nice plans in the works for the club
Re: Northern California Mineral Collector Help
August 23, 2013 05:24PM
,I was wondering if you might know of some gemstones that have been found in Northern California, I had a site and promptly lost it.
These stones came in a variety of colors, amber, green, blue, clear. They may have been sunstones? I am assuming they may have been in a volcanic area but like I say I lost the site almost immediately.
I live in the Okanagan Valley in BC and planning on going to Southern Oregon soon and would like to try and locate this or these stones.
Re: Northern California Mineral Collector Help
November 10, 2013 05:01AM

I am in the Nevada city area and always looking for a prospecting partner. I true my luck with gold over the summer and now have move on to crystals
Have you ever searched traverse creek for garnet?
January 17, 2014 11:21PM
Hi there friends.

I'm a Geologist, Jeweler and a rockhond. I just moved to California 4 months ago. Just moved into the Bay Area a few months ago and have been working alot. So I have not had a chance to dig anywhere on the west coast yet, but have found random chunks of Quartz while living down in Joshua Tree. I'm from the Midwest so have been down to Mt. Ida, Arkansas to collect minerals several times. Just last July a few friends and I took a trip down to Mt. Ida for a week and managed to speak to a local who happen to be a Geologist herself and showed up where we could find Quartz, Smoky Quartz, Opitical Clear Calcite, Iron Pyrite, Wavelite, Magnetite, Brookite, Varasite, Fossils and a few others. If anyone's interested in helping me locate some spots before my Midwest friends get here this summer, talk Geology or want to go dig together feel free to hit me up.

415-375-2088. ~ Jeremiah.

Pace e amore.
January 17, 2014 11:54PM
Have you joined BAM yet? (Bay Area Mineralogists)?

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
January 24, 2014 05:42AM
Hey all, good to meet you.

I'm headed up to Mineral Bar (Colfax) and to poke around Iowa Hill area tomorrow and over the weekend.
I'll be leaving Petaluma at 5pm and will be pulling into camp after dark.
If anyone is in the area, it would be great to meet up and share some stories and maybe a cold one.
Feel free to reach me and let's connect!

Zach M.
Terri Metcalf
Re: Northern California Mineral Collector Help
February 19, 2014 07:36PM
I grew up on Chandler Rd in Quincy. Moved to Alaska with the family many years ago but our roots seem to be coming back down here. I am visiting for a spell thinking about coming "back home". Dad was a rock hound and as a kid I accompanied him on many journeys. Would love to reconnect with the geology around here again. Maybe you would be interested in giving me some hints....Thankyou!
February 28, 2014 01:26AM
Hi Zach,
I was wondering how your trip to mineral bar went? My mom lives in colfax and I am looking for a place to take my kids to look for goodies. I what can you find in that area? Thanks Tasia
Re: Adventure
March 01, 2014 06:33PM
So I live in calaveras county ca. I have been a avid gem hunter all my life and even helped run a garnet, kyanite, ruby and sapphire mine in NC for six years. Recently I have been taking advantage of the low water levels at the melones reservoir. Just a few days ago I was hiking the water line and amazed at the amount of a unite specimens exposed. After a very long day I was returning to the car when I tripped and fell face first into the mud. Just inches from my nose I saw the tip of a crystal. I began clearing away the mud and pulled out a crystal over 8 inches in length and 6 inches around. The crystal is complete. It has a large phantom within that has a two inch section of green on one of its faces. Then I noticed another and another! I harvested what I could carry. Then the rain came. As soon as it is gone I'll be going back for the rest! :) happy days at melones!
Re: Adventure
March 01, 2014 06:44PM
Not unite, typo, foloaxinite
Re: Adventure
March 02, 2014 09:07PM
So I guess I'd be wearing a raincoat and be back there in about two minutes if I were you, Jay! Post a photo when you get the chance! --Ken
Were you down by the dam, JW? Right side as you look at it from the water? Took a boat out there years ago and brought back buckets we picked up between water and cliff.
Re: Northern California Mineral Collector Help
March 14, 2014 05:22AM
This site is pretty cool. I have also been digging California for the last 10 years. I am nuts about quartz and unusual inclusions, colors, phantoms, etc... Very cool Jay! New Melones is one of my favorite spots for chlorite phantoms. I have hit many pockets up there. Not only is it killer for water clear chlorite phantoms, but it also has other cool minerals in some matrix cluster like epidote, albite, and axinite. The only debbie downer about this spot is that it is closed to public collecting. I was harrassed by a fish and game ranger out there and talked myself out of a ticket. I have heard stories of the sherriff arresting people up in the spillway. Be careful!! I have a ton of rediculous spots to trade with peeps that also have some special spots.


  • Valid attachments: jpg, jpeg, gif, png, pdf
  • No file can be larger than 4.88 MB
  • 3 more file(s) can be attached to this message

Spam prevention:
Please, enter the code that you see below in the input field. This is for blocking bots that try to post this form automatically. If the code is hard to read, then just try to guess it right. If you enter the wrong code, a new image is created and you get another chance to enter it right.

Mineral and/or Locality is an outreach project of the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
Copyright © and the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy 1993-2016, except where stated. relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters.
Privacy Policy - Terms & Conditions - Contact Us Current server date and time: October 26, 2016 01:32:11
Go to top of page