Montana has a large diversity of different minerals that can be collected in the state. Western Montana is famous for having some of the only commercial sapphire mines in the United States. These mines produce beautiful sapphires of exceptional quality in a wide range of colors. There is also a considerable amount of gold that has been mined in Western Montana as well. The eastern side of the state is famous for some exceptional fossils.
Below are a few of mines that allow access by the public. Prices and access dates will vary, so be sure to contact each of these mines directly if you would like to learn more.
Blue Jewel Mine
Since 2003 when the Blue Jewel Mine first opened its doors, there has been over 10,000 carats of beautiful stones sold to date! At Montanaís famous Eldorado Bar, Blue Jewel Mine is a place where a perfect afternoon outing with a family can be well spent.
For a truly fulfilling outing expedition, panning the gravel for your own pieces of sapphire that are natural from the ground; no special form of treatment. You may be as surprised and excited as many other gemstone collectors who flock to this site in search of gemstones.
Crystal Park, a unique recreation area is located in southwest Montana is open for all your gemstone mining outings during the day. You can dig for the quartz crystals of all color varieties and the facility is universally accessible.
For car owners, thereís a small access fee that goes into maintaining the site. Bring along your family for an exclusive rock hounding and fossil collection activities. For safety reasons, however, no one is allowed to access the abandoned mines within the facility.
Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine
This is Montanaís largest and oldest sapphire mine. While there are many areas in Montana that are known for some of the finest sapphire stones, Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine is famous for creating beautiful stones out of the rough collected sapphire.
The site is expansive and you wonít experience those often undesirable crowded sites. Buckets of gravel arenít costly and the gravel is already dug up and cleaned to make your entire search for the precious metals easy. A great activity for kids.
Libby Creek Recreational Gold Panning
A free gold panning area has been set aside for recreational gold prospecting within the Kootenai National Forest at the Libby Creek Recreational Gold Panning Area. It is located 23 miles south of the town of Libby.
This area was the site of a short-lived gold rush during the 1860s. The areas was mined for several decades and eventually the area was both dredged and hydraulically mined
as late as the mid-1940s. The area is now designated for recreational gold panning and is free access using basic tools. Contact the Kootenai National Forest for more information.
More about Gold Mining in Montana
Spokane Bar Sapphire Mine
Spokane Bar Sapphire Mine in Montana is many sapphire loversí haven, boasting lots of these beautiful gems. Every day, prospectors and adventurers flock the rugged terrains to find the precious stones that are collected from the gravel sourced from the best mines in Montana.
The rich gravels along the banks of Hauser Lake are some of the best sapphire discoveries in Montana. The largest sapphire discovered at Spokane Bar was 155 carats! On rare occasions, diamonds, rubies, topaz, and citrine specimens have also been found here.
Also Read: Gems & Mineral Map of the U.S.