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  • Niki Knox

Rockhounding In Arizona

If you know me, then you know how much I LOVE rocks and gemstones. I have them EVERYWHERE. In my house, my car, my purse, and yes, even in my bra! Ha!

And if you are new to Arizona, then you might not know just how much of a "gold" mine it is when it comes to rock hounding here.

Arizona holds a vast array of different gemstones and minerals. Depending on how dedicated you are to the craft, you have many options for hounding some fascinating pieces. From Northern Arizona to Tucson, you have quite a selection to choose from.

My favorite location is the Diamond Rim Quartz Mine, located just northeast of Payson in a small town called Star Valley. Here, you park along the road, and no matter the direction you choose as your hounding spot, it is a good spot! Sometimes, you don't have much digging to do. A few sweeps moving loose dirt around, you are bound to expose those pretty little crystals hidden in plain sight. And, yes, they did come out of the ground looking like the pieces you see on store shelves. Gorgeous! My dog has picked up on Mommy's interests and is the best little helper when digging for those precious stones.

My next adventure will be down at the Planet Mine, which will be a new type of adventure for me. Since the caves are home to many bats, the walls are covered in guano. It is also a copper mine. What does that mean? It means it is toxic and can be harmful if you are not suited up properly. Why go through all that for a crystal? Oof, the botryoidal blue chalcanthite and velvety smooth malachite you can find there are absolutely STUNNING.

Your socially awkward friend,


PS. Map courtesy of Arizona Mining & Mineral Museum Phx


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