Rockhound Locations in Tennessee

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Here at Rockhounding Maps, we give you access and information to the best dig sites for crystals and minerals in Tennessee.  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 Tennessee 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.

Tennessee Rockhound Locations

Tennessee has quite a few locations for rock hounds to explore and collect crystals, gemstones, and Agates. Most of the mines are accessible to junior rock hounds, families, and long-term rock and mineral collectors.

If you’re big into fossils then Tennessee is home to a couple of great locations known for producing higher-quality fossils specimens.

Let’s dig into some of the best, most accessible rockhounding sites in Tennessee.


Tennessee Gemstone Map

Location NameLongitude and LatitudeRocks and Gemstones
Marion County, stream gravels35.146979, -85.596820Barite, Fluorite, Galena, Pyrite
Monteagle road cuts35.208836, -85.819165Calcite onyx
Livingston quarries36.450963, -85.355686Calcite, Celestite, Dolomite, Geodes, Marcasite, Pyrite
Monterey mine dumps36.178118, -85.287697Calcite, Dolomite, Fluorite, Quartz crystals
Ben Lomond Mountain35.628371, -85.773202Calcite, Celestite, Marcasite, Pyrite
Cannon County35.829771, -86.059013Calcite, Fluorite, Goethite, Pyrite, Celestite
Beechgrove35.608213, -86.231533Chalcedony
Limestone quarries, Unicoi County36.260520, -82.320533Calcite, Celestite, Dolomite
Bumpus Cove mining district36.151845, -82.489790Anglesite, Chalcopyrite, Hematite, Galena
Flag Pond, road cut to E36.016426, -82.547902Unakite
New Prospect Mine36.398151, -83.841385Smithsonite, Sphalerite
Unaka Mountains36.110236, -82.381487Epidote, Quartz, Unakite
Nun’s Cove35.872170, -83.415587Calcite, Barite, Sphalerite
Bristol, Hwy. 421 road cut36.541575, -82.124248Onyx


The Cumberland Plateau is known as one of the most scenic locations in the US. Along with the state parks, the area is loaded with several different types of Agates like Plume Agate, Moss Agate, and Banded Agate. Sphalerite, Pyrite, Calcite, Barite, celestite, fluorite, quartz, Galena, and Unakite can also be found in this region of Tennessee.

Dale Hollow Lake is a great location if you’re hunting for fossils or geodes. If you can make it, head out to this location during late autumn when the water levels are low, especially if you’re into crinoid fossils.

Coral heads, crinoid stems, chert nodules, horn coral, and geodes are available for collecting at this location.


Tennessee Agate Map

Location NameLongitude and LatitudeRocks and Gemstones
Bumpus Cove36.168435, -82.474990Jasper
Horse Mountain35.512953, -86.420000Horse Mountain agates
Pannell Ridge35.530021, -86.385544Agatized coral
Philippi Church35.514145, -86.385858Agatized coral
Sugar Creek35.455025, -86.510751Agatized coral
Cookeville36.135772, -85.428822Agate, Jasper
Gravels and dredges near Richardson’s Landing35.511367, -89.933433Agate, Agatized fossils
Wayne County35.319555, -87.763501Agatized fossils, Quartz crystals
Murfreesboro35.855191, -86.370378Agate
Jellico36.551214, -84.069232Agate, Chalcedony, Jasper


Horse Mountain produces top-quality Agate and if you have the opportunity to dig at this location then you shouldn’t pass on it. These Agates display tight banding, similar to Brazillian Agate.

They’re technically classified as Ordovician-age sedimentary agates.

While you’re looking for Horse Mountain Agate you’ll come across Chalcedony, Carnelian, and Quartz crystals.

Have you heard about Cooper’s Gem Mine located in Blountville, Tennessee? Cooper’s Gem Mine charges a small entrance fee for young miners and rockhounds to have a chance to dig for crystals. 

While it’s not an authentic outdoor exploration, it’s an excellent experience for the little rockhounds in our life and beginners.

You can leave your tool kits at home if you want to. This location has everything needed.

Ducktown, Tennessee, is home to the Burra-Burra Mine. A copper mine that operated for 60 years. Over 15 million tons of copper ore was removed. Today it’s on the National Register of Historic Places. Burra-Burra is also home to the Ducktown Basin Museum.

The site contains old abandoned hoist houses, machine shops, powder houses, and boiler buildings. It’s like a geology trip back in time. 

The downside… collecting anything inside the mine is strictly prohibited.


Tennessee Geode Map

Location NameLongitude and LatitudeRocks and Gemstones
Woodbury35.793297, -85.989632Geodes
Russellville area36.256454, -83.185598Geodes (quartz crystals)


Back in 2000, members of a road crew stumbled upon unusual and uncommon bones. The Tennessee Division of Geology was contacted to identify invertebrate and vertebrate fossils. It wasn’t long before this rockhounding location became one of the most vital Miocene-age fossil sites.

While it’s primarily a fossil site, a number of rocks can also be collected in the area. Specimens include quartz and geodes.


Douglas Lake & Dam Area

The Douglas Lake rockhound location is best to explore during the winter. Every winter, the water levels are lowered by the county. This means the water levels in the lake are low enough to expose the exciting specimens rockhounds are hunting for.

This rockhound location is home to quartz crystals, quartzite, hematite, and fossils like snails, brachiopods, and trilobites. Douglas Lake Diamonds (a type of quartz crystal) can be found, and they resemble Herkimer Diamonds.


Tennessee Rivers, Tributaries, & Lakes

If you’re searching for freshwater pearls and are in or around Tennessee, head to the waters. You won’t be disappointed! Tennessee and several other states have a diverse and rich freshwater mussel population, which means there’s an opportunity for pearling.

Basically, you can explore any of the freshwater streams, rivers, and tributaries in Tennessee with the chance of getting your paws on these pearly beauties.

Rock And Mineral Societies

There are several excellent rockhound clubs and societies in Tennessee. If you’re a Tennessee local interested in rockhounding, you should consider becoming a member. The benefits are worth the small annual investment. 


The Knoxville Gem and Mineral Society (KGMS)

The Knoxville Gem and Mineral Society is an educational and scientific interest group that holds monthly meetings on the 3rd Thursday of each month. This family-oriented organization shares an interest in collecting, studying, and sharing various specimens.

Every year the society holds a Gem, Mineral, and Jewelry show, with the proceeds supporting the principal goal of education.


Mid-Tennessee Gem and Mineral Society

The Mid-Tennessee Gem and Mineral Society are dedicated to the study and education of the earth sciences. They’re open to the public, with annual fees being $15 for the first member and an extra $2 for each additional member in the same household. 

MTGMS maintains a library of videos, books, and magazines on the related subject of earth sciences, giving members access to seemingly endless information. Society members can enjoy field trips to various locations throughout the year. The society also offers several special workshops, including the William Holland School of Lapidary Arts and Wildacres Retreats workshops.


Tennessee Valley Rock and Mineral Society

The Tennessee Valley Rock and Mineral Society was founded in 1971 as a local resource for anyone who wanted to learn about collecting mineral and rock specimens.

Tennessee Valley Rock and Mineral Society is a member society of the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies and the Southeast Federation of Mineralogical Societies. Suppose you’re interested in learning about fossils, minerals, rocks, cutting cabochons, cutting faceted stones, silversmithing, and making jewelry. In that case, you might want to consider joining this society.

Rockhound clubs and societies are excellent places to learn more about the tricks of the trade. Whether you are a hobbyist or a professional in the lapidary arts, there’s something worth learning.