Rockhound Locations in Illinois

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Here at the Rockhounding Maps, we give you access and information to the best dig sites for crystals and minerals in Illinois.  On top of that, we’ve created a resource page to assist with answering all of your gem and mineral collecting questions.

We hope you enjoy your time on our site and come back often because we’re always adding new dig locations and crystal collecting updates. This is a great resource for anyone who loves rockhounding, from beginners to experts alike!

Rockhounding in Illinois is a great way to discover the state’s diverse geology and fossilized wildlife. The number of potential collecting sites here makes it an excellent location for those interested not only in rocks, but also minerals that can be found within them!

We are here for any questions or concerns that might arise about your adventures in mineral collecting.

Illinois Rockhound locations

If you’re hoping to find the best spots for rockhounding in Illinois, you’ve come to the right place!

The geographic history of Illinois includes a long period when almost the entire region was underwater. This shallow sea created the perfect environment for mineral deposits and the development of limestone and fossils.

This makes Illinois a uniquely popular spot for rock hunting! Let’s dive into the best places to explore.

If you’re an active rock collector in Illinois then send us an email about your favorite locations and we will feature you on the site and we might sponsor you as well. That’s right, we will pay you to go dig for rocks and minerals.


Illinois Crystal Map

Location NameLongitude and LatitudeRocks and Gemstones
East Brooklyn area41.166642, -88.244958Marcasite, Pyrite
Conco Quarry41.802904, -88.319464Bornite, Calcite, Chalcopyrite, Pyrite
Galena area42.415961, -90.430005Cerussite, Galena


Hancock County, Illinois, is one of the prime spots for finding geodes, Quartz crystals, and Agate.

Hamilton City is located in Hancock County. This region is primarily in the western portion of the State. The Keokuk River runs along most of the city’s border and separates it from Iowa.

Hamilton County is home to several mining regions and crystal caverns that host a variety of gemstones and fossils. Some of the most popular crystals found in Illinois include Marcasite, Pyrite, Barite, and Fluorite.


yellow calcite with barite crystal


Illinois Geode Map

Location NameLongitude and LatitudeRocks and Gemstones
Dallas City40.630815, -91.166432Geodes (Chalcopyrite, Calcite)
Hamilton gravels40.383654, -91.374689Geodes
Crystal Glen Creek40.371423, -91.375454Geodes (Aragonite, Barite, Calcite, Dolomite, Goethite, Pyrite, Quartz)
Nauvoo area gravels40.521820, -91.351551Geodes
Tyson Creek40.588013, -91.288012Geodes
Western Illinois River Bank40.383278, -91.376545Geodes (chalcedony, amethyst, quartz)
Spillman Creek40.616325, -91.203021Geodes (Calcite, Pyrite, Chalcedony, Quartz)


Don’t forget about Jacob’s Geodes. It’s one of the best spots for collecting geodes in Illinois.

Crystal Glen Creek is a small exposed portion along the river and you can find calcite, dolomite, and pyrite.


Illinois Gemstone Map

Location NameLongitude and LatitudeRocks and Gemstones
Palestine39.003776, -87.612733Siderite
Edwards County38.429940, -88.099305Siderite
Cave-In Rock37.503211, -88.205179Barite, Calcite, Chalcopyrite, Fluorite, Galena, Pyrite
Minerva Mine37.543087, -88.156302Barite, Strontianite
Elizabethtown37.447940, -88.305197Aragonite
Rosiclare area mines37.430956, -88.342184Calcite crystals, Fluorite (blue, yellow, purple, clear), Sphalerite


Cave-in-Rock is part of Hardin County and it’s a small town where the main tourist attraction is the moderate-sized cavern, Cave-in-Rock.

You’ll be able to find Fluorite, Barite, Pyrite, and other high-quality minerals and crystals. Thanks to its accessibility, families and seasoned rock hunters can confidently explore this cavern.

Southern Illinois offers various translucent crystals such as Calcite, Fluorite, and Quartz. It hosts several plentiful mines, including Minerva in Fayville.


dolomite and fluorite crystals


Illinois Agate Map

Location NameLongitude and LatitudeRocks and Gemstones
Fayville area stream gravels37.198638, -89.452203Agate, Jasper
Thebes area gravel bars37.239330, -89.442243Agate, Jasper
Cordova, MS River Banks41.715999, -90.311226Agate
Bishop Hill41.205114, -90.115205Agate, Jasper
Hamilton area40.387228, -91.346232Agate, Jasper, Chalcedony


Minerva Mine is officially known as Minerva Mine No.1. It’s a retired zinc and fluorspar mine just north of Cave-in-Rock.

This mine is still accessible to the public for tours and offers a unique experience for junior rockhounds as well as seasoned mineral collectors.

Some of the most popular minerals are Jasper, Agate, varieties of Chalcedony, and Witherite.


Illinois Fossil Map

Location NameLongitude and LatitudeRocks and Gemstones
Niota area gravels40.611811, -91.306498Fossils, Geodes
Terre Haute area gravels40.655778, -90.980023Fossils
Sparta area38.077828, -89.728531Pyrite (disks), Fossils
Rapatee Strip Mine40.708663, -90.152367Pyritized Gastropods
Mazon River41.293361, -88.366698Fossils
Coal City41.279156, -88.200285Concretions with fossils


Terre Haute is an ideal spot to find fossils of small vertebrates and plant material. The limestone in the region made it suitable for their preservation.

Here you can find Mazon Creek Fossils and the Illinois state fossil, Tullimonstrum gregarium, aka the Tully monster. Most Mazon Creek Fossils are plant imprints from the late Carboniferous period.


large trilobite fossil


Is It Safe to Rockhound in Illinois?

Illinois is known as a prairie state, which means it’s relatively flat and geographically calm. This makes rockhounding pretty safe and straightforward. However, if you explore one of the many mines, make sure you go with a group or guide. 


Is it Legal to Collect Fossils in Illinois?

Collecting visible and surface-level fossils is legal in most public lands. However, excavation and large-scale dig sites are illegal unless you have a state-issued permit. You can find more details on the Illinois state website.  

Rock And Mineral Societies


Black Hawk Gem and Mineral Club

First organized back in 1955, the Black Hawk Gem and Mineral Club exist to educate people about rocks and minerals. They host yearly rock and jewelry display shows and actively engage with the local community to help people better understand geology and mineralogy.

Annual membership can be purchased via the contact us link on the website. Individual plans cost $15, but you can pay a little extra for larger group plans.


Chicago Rock and Mineral Society

The Chicago Rock and Mineral Society meets every second Saturday of the month at a local Lutheran Church. This group hopes to spread the love of rocks and minerals to the city of Chicago.

You can join this education group for $15.00 annually and receive their newsletter.


Elgin Rock Club

The Elgin Rock Club is located in the center of Elgin, Illinois. You can join their meetings every third Friday of the month.

Their goal is to stimulate a love of geology and mineralogy. They host their field trips for rockhounding and welcome young people to join their adventures.


North West Illinois Rock Club

The North West Illinois Rock Club meets every third Thursday of the month. They host rock and mineral shows and educational meetings.

You can use their rock-hunting tools to help enhance your search in the area!