Both Texas and New Mexico have a nice variety of mineral specimens that can be found including fluorite, quartz, opals, barite, agates, chalcedony, and more. Texas in particular has a nice variety of fossil specimens that you can also find. There are several pay-to-dig opportunities in these states.
Desert Rose Mine
This mine is located about three miles west of Bingham along Highway 380 next to the Blanchard Rock Shop in Bingham, New Mexico. If you love collecting high quality minerals, then this is one of the best pay-to-dig mines that you can visit.
You can collect great tabular barite crystals and cubic fluorite specimens, and galena crystals among other great stones. If you want ready gemstones as gifts to your loved ones then you can buy them in the adjacent Blanchard Rock Shop.
Rockhound State Park
This is a free collecting site that you can explore about 10 miles south of Deming in the Little Florida Mountains. What makes this such a special area is that it is one of the few state parks in the country that has been designated specifically for rock collectors. You can find several varieties of collectable gemstones including quartz, agates, chalcedony, and opals. Rockhounds can keep up to 15 pounds of rocks per day, and it doesnít cost you a thing.
Also Read: Gold Prospecting in New Mexico
Mineral Wells Fossil Park
There are few other location in Texas to excavate and collect Pennsylvanian Period fossils with ease and abundance than at Mineral Wells Fossil Park. Itís typically the best place for students and fossil enthusiast as some of the fossils are over 300 million years old. Thanks to years of erosion, the park has evidence of ancient sea species including crinoids, echinoids, brachiopods, corals, trilobites, plants and primitive sharks. Mineral Wells Fossil Park is the mecca for the avid fossil hunters, paleontologist and rare gem collectors, for a memorable experience.
Seaquist Family Ranch
In Texas, the Seaquist Family Ranch is the most popular location for topaz Hunting. Unlike the many sites that are privately owned and do not allow public collecting, Seaquist Family Ranch is open for all and you can dig up and collect as many gems as you can possibly find. Topaz is the most valuable gem found here, but you can also find beautiful quartz as well as chalcedony, jasper, and agate. The spring rain will hasten your work, washing away the top soil and exposing new gems.
Teri Smith Rock Hunts
This is a unique experience for beginner rockhounds who are interested in hiring a guide to help them explore the remote mineral and fossil hunting areas in Texas. Some of his common locations include trips to some of Texasí popular rockhounds for agate and other collectible rocks.
Novices and experienced rockhounds alike can find a wide variety of mineral through these guided excursions. One of the best things about the Teri Smith Rock Hunts are the access that has been granted to some exclusive Texas ranches that others have not searched yet. The odds of finding quality mineral specimens is very good.
Also Read: Gold Panning in Texas
And: Rare Gems & Minerals in Texas