Are you looking for a fun family activity that doesn’t cost the earth? Gem hunting might be the answer! Hunting for treasure is a novel activity for kids and adults alike, and road tripping across the US to do it is also an experience nobody in your group will quickly forget. Here are some of the best spots to go hunting for gold, gems and other precious minerals in America.
5: Emerald Hollow Mine, North Carolina
The Emerald Hollow Mine is incredibly aptly named, considering that you can dig up your very own emeralds at America’s only public prospecting destination for this specific mineral. Explore three sluiceways with your bucket in hand and dig up valuable green gemstones – along with topazes, amethysts and aquamarines as well.
This gem mine has even partnered up with Hiddenite Family Campground to encourage guests to stay over and explore what the region has to offer. Near Emerald Hollow is the Brushy Mountain range, numerous hiking opportunities, and plenty of chances to experience nature in all its glory.
4: Crater of Diamonds State Park, Arkansas
Based in Murfreesboro, Arkansas, this state park is the only public one in the world that allows you to dig for your own diamonds. Upon arrival, you can rent the tools you need for your hunt, but you are also welcome to bring your own.
There are more than 40 different kinds of rocks and minerals to find in the rich volcanic earth, and that’s not all there is to enjoy locally. You can also indulge in a beautiful nature hike, fishing trip, or wildlife tour, visit the Ka-Do-Ha Indian Village Museum, or explore one of the various local riverside resorts and motels on offer. If you manage to find time to play pokies online for real money in amongst all of this, we would be surprised!
3: Gem Mountain, Montana
This remote spot in Philipsburg, Montana offers the unique chance for you and your family to dig for sapphires. Everything you need for the hunt will be provided to you on admission, and gravel is priced by the bucket. The friendly staff at Gem Mountain will even help you to locate what’s worth keeping and what you should return back to the dirt. As well as the possibility of finding real sapphires, you will also be very close to Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park here, so get your hiking boots on and do some exploring while you are in town!
2: Herkimer Diamond Mines, New York
Based in Herkimer, NY, the Herkimer Diamond Mines are famed for their wealth of Herkimer diamonds – gems that look like diamonds, but are actually closer to clear quartz crystals. These beautiful gems are hidden in the mines’ caves in their thousands, and some are estimated to be as old as 500 million years of age! The mines are also very close to the Kampgrounds of America grounds, along with the Adirondack Scenic Railroad, the Utica Zoo, and a number of tempting cider mills.
1: Royal Peacock Opal Mine, Nevada
The Royal Peacock Mine in Virgin Valley boasts some of the world’s most stunning black fire opals, making it pricey but well worth your money to visit. The bank area, which contains the highest concentration of opals, costs around $200 per day to dig, but can leave you with gems worth far more if you have a good eye. The area also boasts a unique history and a nearby RV park, giving you plenty to do on your Nevada journey.