There are a wide variety of different gems, minerals, and fossils that can be found all throughout Texas. Keep in mind there is almost no public lands in Texas, so permission is required to dig for gems on private lands. There are quite a few dig sites that you can pay a day-use fee to dig for various gems and minerals.
Some exceptional specimens of blue topaz are found in central Texas in the Llano Uplift region, particularly near the town of Mason and in the hill country of Mason County.
The limited areas where blue topaz occurs in Texas is all on private land, but there are many fee-digging locations where you can search for topaz specimens for a small fee. Some of the most popular places are the Lindsay Ranch, Seaquist Ranch, and Bar M Ranch. Prices generally range from $15 to $25 per day to screen for topaz.
Topaz is found as colorless crystals and light blue shades. Most crystals are small, but some large, quality pieces have been recovered over the years at some of the better sites.
Texas does not have turquoise mines that are commercially viable, although time mineral can be found in several locations in the state. Some turquoise is found as by-product while mining for other mineral deposits.
Some of the mines in Texas where the gemstone has been found include Sierra Blanca Peaks, Van Horn, Hudson Prospect, Calamet, and Maltby Prospect.
The turquoise from Texas is rarely of high-quality and not revered by collectors in comparison to what is found in Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico.
There isnít a whole lot of gold in Texas, but there are a few limited areas where gold can be found by panning. The most well-known locations is the Llano River. Gold dust and the occasional large flake can be panned from the streambeds of the Llano River.
Read more about Gold in Texas
Even though found in extremely low quantities, common opal has been seen in the Catahoula formations in the form of nodules in the coastal plains of Texas.
The Amethyst Mountains are known to have a deposit of the crystal however the amount or quality of the amethyst found there has not been recorded. The name of the mountain was suggested by the Geological department of the United States after an expedition to its summit as amethyst was found there.
Jasper is reported to have been found in and around Sullivan City situated in Hidalgo County of Texas.
Laredo in Webb County is situated on the northern bank of the river Rio Grande. Some have reported finding jasper and other interesting stones while biking along the rough tracks throughout these hills.
A well-known site in Texas where it is permitted to collect fossils in limited quantities and from the surface only is the Mineral Wells Fossil Park located in the city of Mineral Wells.
The fossils found here are as old as 300 million years. Fossils such as corals, bryozoans, arthropods, clams and oysters, sea lilies, brachiopods and echinoids are found here in large deposits.
The State Rock of Texas is petrified palmwood. It is found primarily in eastern counties near the Gulf Coast.
Hunting for Native American artifacts is a popular pastime in Texas due to the long history of habitation by many tribes in the state. In good locations, it isnít too hard to find a few arrowheads. Permission from private land owners is required, and be certain to follow all laws in regards to the areas that you search and methods that you use.