Hey everybody, my name is Sean and I just joined this site yesterday. I was born and raised in New York and rocks/gemstones never really entered my mind. It wasn't until I moved to Las Vegas a couple years ago with my rockhounding brother and his wife that I fell in love with "the hunt." Ever since then I've been going out looking for agates, jaspers and really anything that I can find beauty in and feel positive energy from. It was in Vegas where I started making gemstone jewelry and that's a big influence on my hounding as well. I am absolutely an amateur at this point but I have acquired some skills in getting a feel for the earth and where to look. My only problem now is finding decent locations in my area. I took a recent trip to Quartzsite, AZ and while there we all went near The Opal Hill Mine in Blythe, CA. It was there that I fell in love with druzy quartz and some type of crystalized pieces. I believe these were geode segments that I came across. I also got some nice fire agate and desert roses.
I just moved about 20 miles north of Napa, CA. I've done hours and hours of research online looking for places to rockhound and explore and really haven't come up with much. I've been to Clearlake to search for quartz and obsidian as well. The obsidian was amazing but not much luck with the quartz. I've rented books from my library but everything they talk about is at least 3 or 4 hours south towards Las Vegas.
If anybody on here knows of any locations in Central or Northern California I would greatly appreciate it. I usually just drive around looking for dried up river beds and washes but I'm maxed out in my general area. I respect the land and I don't take too much or disrespect the Earth in any way. I'm simply a rock and gem loving fool looking for some decent places to go. Thanks for your help and I appreciate your time regardless of your response, hope to hear from you soon...
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 12:22 pm Posts: 16302 Location: San Francisco
caution...just picking up rocks and looking at them in california will soon be cause for being ticketed for destroying the environment....drive over the hills to nevada
I suspect stairman is making a joke? Of course that is not true. Yes, there are many fossicking sites in California.
Southern California is full of pegmatite locations with tourmaline, kunzite and lepidolite. Along the coast, there is Jade Cove is around Monterey. Agate Beach which is located in Patrick’s Point State Park. Tumbled agates and more nephrite jade can be found there.
I would suggest you join your closest Rock and Mineral Club. They usually plan frequent field trips.
Sean, you can google: sonoma county rockhounding and select the first item. That will get you to the sonoma county gem and mineral society. Their site will have a map on the first page you can click on and see various locations in different states of the USA, especially CA, and quite a few of those are in NorCal area within an hour or two from your location. Some of them even provide gps coordinates or very specific directions/descriptions. I plan to visit some of them in a few months as my interest in the avocation continues to grow toward "irresistable".
I just joined this site today to let you know this info. I am not a member of any local gem/mineral group (yet), but I am so impressed by the willingness of 'hounds' to help each other with info that I wanted to let you know. I am a woodturner who recognizes that quality in other woodturners and appreciates good character in others and the beauty God provides us in wood and in stone. Good luck. norm
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