Rare Gems and Minerals in New Jersey

You may not think of the Garden State for rock and gemstone hunting. The state it is actually home to an abundance of beautiful rocks and gemstones. Some of the sites have been picked over or closed for other reasons, but there is still plenty out there to be found if you know where to look. These are just a few of the gemstones that can be found around the state:

Amber



One of the best, and fairly secret, locations for finding amber in New Jersey is Sayreville. To get here youíll need to be well equipped and ready for a bit of a hike. Donít worry though, your findings will be worth the effort. Collectors have found an abundance of amber in this area.

Youíll find most of the productive areas around and in black lignite. The lignite is often associated with marcasite and pyrite so youíll be able to recognize it by the appearance.

While you may have dreams of finding a fist-sized piece of amber with an entire insect stuck in the middle, you are much more likely to find pieces that are pea-sized or smaller.

Garnets



Garnets are one of the most common stones to find, but that doesnít mean that they arenít worth seeking out. In fact, garnets are often found by gold miners when they are panning for gold due to their high specific gravity.

The stones themselves vary in color from a light red-pink to a deep rich red that is reminiscent of rubies, shades of green or even blue. These last two colors are unusual and therefore can be quite a great find if they are of decent size.

These variations in color can be due to the fact that garnets are not made of a single mineral. There are actually 6 distinct types of garnets: Grossularite, Pyrope, Almandite, Spessartite, Andradite, and Uvarovite.

Though they may be more common and are worth less than rubies, they can be just as beautiful and fun to seek out. The best places to hunt for garnets in New Jersey can be along the waterways where gold has been found. Who knows, you might get lucky and find some gold nugget while youíre searching, it has been known to happen!



Franklinite



Youíve probably never heard of this stone but that doesnít mean you should hunt for it. Franklinite is not recognized as a gemstone but it is an actual native New Jersey mineral, and while it might not make you a million dollars it does have other rewarding properties. When you hold this chocolate chip colored stone under a black light it will give off a florescent glow making it a popular rock to find.

You can find Franklinite from the Sterling Hill Mining Museum in Ogdensburg. While you can look elsewhere this mining facility has a unique ambiance since you will be able to search in the old mines. You can also look around nearby Franklin in any of the three popular collection sites. The Franklin Mineral area includes a 3.5 acre location where some of the newest stones have been found. Either site will have you heading home with something so select the one that works best for you.

Fossils



While there are some interesting rocks and minerals to collect in New Jersey, for many collectors it is the wide array of fossils that are really fun to search for.

The different types of fossils that can be found throughout New Jersey is huge. Perhaps the most popular finds are the shark teeth that are abundant along many waterways within the state. Countless varieties of shark species along with other marine fossils can be found.

Large dinosaur fossils have also been unearthed in New Jersey. Species such as Monasaur, Hadrosaurus, Plesiosaur, and several species of crocodile and turtle have all been found in the state.