Mine Your Own Gemstones

Now that the winter has sufficiently melted away and the summer sun has risen, the time is right to start thinking about summer weekend plans. Going to the beach, bike riding and perusing farmers markets are certainly great ways to get outdoors, but for those of you with a sense of adventure: consider taking a trip upstate to mine for gemstones! Check out some mines below located in New York.

Ace of Diamonds: Mine and Campgrounds, Middleville, NY

Quatrz HerkimerNY

Scour the earth for Herkimer diamonds (brilliant, water clear quartz crystals) at this mine and campground located in Middleville, NY. Prospector equipment is available to rent, however they suggest you bring your own tools if you have them, i.e. small hammers or garden tools. Cost to enter the grounds is $10 and they are open from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. You can also rent campground space on the property so you don’t have to drive back that night!

 Barton Mines Garnet Mine Tours, North River, NY

Garnet with hornblende reaction ring-413w

The hardest garnet in the world is only found on Gore Mountain, making the garnet extremely rare. The Barton garnet has an unusual and beautiful ruby red color that flashes in the sun. Take a tour of the Barton Mines in North River, NY and collect garnets and other gemstones along the way – they are only $1 per pound!

The mine is open:
Monday thru Saturday 9:30-5:00
Sunday 11:00 -5:00

The great thing about this mine is that it’s 30 minutes fromLake George, NY. If you’ve ever thought about taking a weekend trip out there, consider garnet mining since it’s an activity unique to the region.

Crystal Grove Diamond Mine and Campground, St. Johnsville, NY


Herkimer, Herkimer, Herkimer! Mine for Herkimer Diamonds and then settle in for the night in Crystal Grove’s adjacent wooden campground. They also offer cabins for rent to those who appreciate nature but also modern conveniences. The mines and campground are open daily from mid-April through mid-October.  The camp store sells ice, firewood, camping basics, mining tools, gift items, and beautiful mineral specimens from around the world, as well as an extensive assortment from their own Herkimer Diamond crystals and matrix specimens.

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