Georgia Rocks and Minerals

Georgia has rocks of almost every geological period exposed

So, it is not surprising that Georgia has a large variety of rocks and minerals.

The southern half of the state is part of the coastal plain over sedimentary rocks. North of this is the Piedmont Plateau and, in the extreme northeast, a highlands, both formed of crystalline rocks. The extreme northwest corner of Georgia consists of ancient folded and eroded sedimentary rocks.

Georgia has produced beryl, mica, and kyanite. Georgia’s state mineral is Staurolite, and it can be found in relative abundance especially in the northwestern part of the state. Quartz, Georgia’s state gemstone and amethyst are present over a wide portion of Georgia, as well as lovely banded agates and jaspers.

Gold is found in Georgia. In fact, in 1828 the Georgia Gold Rush began. America’s first significant gold strike was actually near Dahlonega, a small town in the mountains of north Georgia, and gold is still found in the state’s rivers and creeks, especially in this area. Crisson Gold Mine, at 2736 Morrison Moore Pkwy, E Dahlonega is an open pit mine established in 1847 and offers Pay for Dig gold panning, gemstone mining, and self-guided walkthrough tours of historic equipment, and they call themselves the largest rock & mineral shop in North GA.

Northern Georgia has pegmatites that produce high-quality gemstones in a wide variety of minerals including quartz, amethyst, garnet, beryl, kyanite, and rutile. The northwestern region of Georgia contains many rockhounding sites and is particularly notable for the many locations where staurolites can be found. But Northeastern Georgia is probably the most prolific region of the state for rockhounding. Numerous mineral varieties can be found here including beryl, quartz, ruby, kyanite, agate, amethyst, and corundum.

The best rockhounding locations near Atlanta and eastern Georgia are mining dumps, prospects, select creek beds and gravels. This is where you will find Graves Mountain Mine, a Pay for Dig mine where you may find lazulite, rutile, and pyrophyllite. Graves Mountain on Hwy. 378 in Lincolnton, Georgia is probably the most famous collecting site in Georgia. World class rocks and minerals have been found here, including multiple twinned rutile crystals; rutile, lazulite, pyrophyllite, kyanite, hematite, pyrite, fuchsite, barite, sulfur, blue quartz, quartz crystals, variscite, cacoxenite, and other rare minerals. The site is open to collecting by appointment only.

The rocks and minerals found in southwest Georgia include chert, petrified wood, moss agate, and jaspers. And though southeastern Georgia has less digging sites and variety of rocks, there are some very unique finds there. Southeastern Georgia is one of the few places in the United States where you can find tektites (glassy fragments of Earth thrown up from a meteorite impact) and agatized coral. The best places to look for tektites in Georgia are in Dodge County and Osierfield, particularly in exposed and recently tilled fields. For agatized coral, the Withlacoochee River near Clyattville is the place to go.

The Hogg Mine, another Pay for Dig site, is known for producing crystals with exceptional clarity and distinct geometric shapes. The Hogg Mine at 4098 Whitesville Rd, La Grange, Georgia has regularly scheduled public digs that do not require reservation. Lots of variety is found there, including amethyst, aquamarine, beryl, garnet, mica, quartz, and tourmaline.

Another Pay for Dig site is at the Jackson’s Crossroads Mine. Located in Tignall, Georgia, the mine is .7 of a mile WSW of Jacksons Crossroads, a few hundred yards North of Clifford Grove Church. Here you can dig for beautiful purple Amethyst crystals.

If you wish to go rockhounding in Georgia, the best places to explore are the creek beds and in gravels that contain pegmatite minerals, the many mining dumps across the state, fee-to-dig mines, lakeshores, and hillsides.

Before venturing out-do some research on where and what you can collect. Remember you must have permission to collect on private property.

See my page on Rockhounding Rules for general information on the rules of collecting rocks on various lands.