How to Find Crystals in Your Backyard?

Backyards possess a wealth of natural elements and many of those remain unseen or unnoticed for most people. There’s wildlife, plants, grasses, and plenty of soil nutrients. There can also be crystals. Searching for crystals can make for an interesting family project or individual hobby. 

Certain methods are tried and true for how to find crystals in your backyard. The key is knowing where to hunt like limestone areas and by waterways like oceans, rivers, and creeks. No matter how you look, you finding crystals will require digging in the dirt.

The article below will help you find, dig and identify crystals from your backyard. 

Common Crystals in Backyards

You likely aren’t going to find gold or diamonds in your yard but many gems are common to many properties. The Western United States will hold more findable gems than other parts of the country, but some like quartz, are plentiful across the land. 

Be aware that all crystals may not look the greatest as you sift for them in the backyard. They can look dull and dirty. You may have to pay special attention to find them.

Here’s a look at five gems that could be in your backyard. 


Quartz is the most common crystal found in typical topsoil. However, most people don’t know it’s quartz when they find it. Quartz can be mixed with loose rock-like gravel so the place to start looking for it is in the surface rocks you may have in your flowerbeds, near a creekbed, or even near a driveway.

A driveway is a good place for gems because of overturned dirt and rocks and sands that are used to create a driveway.

The most common quartz is clear quartz. It may have white streaks or can be translucent. Most quartz is in a hexagon shape. 

Quartz is also a popular crystal among those who use them for healing and emotional healing.

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This is a type of quartz that is more valuable. It is purple and can be a variety of colors depending on the ratio of irradiation and transitional metal inclusions.  Amethyst is usually found with other rocks or inside rock geodes, near creeks and streams. 

Amethysts are more common in Colorado, Main, Arizona, and North Carolina.
Since amethyst is usually found within a geode, you may have to go make the extra effort to break geodes to find it.

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Most people don’t know about agate but this red or brown gem may also have a marbled or striped look. They can be green but the red-brown type is the most common. It is typically found in the Western states and most common around old lava beds. 

Looking in the desert planes may prove advantageous to your search.


Opals are some of the more valuable backyard finds. They are smooth and have a rainbow glow about them. They are rare in their natural form but can be found in the backyards of Idaho, California, Nevada, and Oregon. 

They are bright so easier to notice but that doesn’t mean they are easy to find. They are found in typical areas like among rocks, pebbles, and near water although some can be found in certain dirt areas.

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The gem peridot is common in certain areas like Hawaii, Arizona, Wyoming, and New Mexico. It’s a yellow-green gem that is pushed up through the earth by volcanic activity. It is found as small pieces so you will need a loup while looking at the soil.

The peridot isn’t the most attractive crystal you’ll find but does make for an interesting ending to a search.

Tools You’ll Need to Find Gems

You will need a few tools to search for gems in your backyard. Things you will need are a pickaxe, a shovel, a classifier, a sifter or loupe, a large bucket, and tweezers. 

The ax helps you get into compact dirt or rock and the shovel helps you dig deeper. The classifier is used to shift dirt above the bucket so you don’t lose any small gems and tweezers are used to collect gems hard to pick up with your fingers. 

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Great Locations for Gems

You should target your gem search to areas with the highest probability of them existing. Those with limestone deposits stand a good chance of finding a gem. Digging in areas with a lot of rocks can also be fruitful in your gem search. 

Be ready to chop rock or dig around several areas to search for crystals. It may take a few times to have any success.

Those who live near water will stand a better chance of finding gems as they can be in beach sand, river rocks, and creek beds. 

It also pays to do some research for your state and area to see what the most common crystals are for your area. 

The Work of Searching

Start digging once you have pinpointed an area where crystals may be. This is where you use the tools you brought depending on the type of dirt, rock, or surface you’re facing. Use a sifter to go through the dirt to see if you found anything. 

The pickaxe may be handy if you come across hardened rocks.

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After Your Search

You will need to clean your crystal finds after your search. Use a gem cloth to do that. Fold the cloth in half, and then again so that it’s a square. Tuck your stone inside and rub the stone with your fingers over the cloth to clean it.

Stone with a dull outer layer should go to a jeweler for sanding. 


Where are crystals in your backyard?

Crystals can be among gravel or pebble pieces. They can also be found in rocky or sandy areas and near water beds. 

Are there places open to looking for crystals?

There are several public areas where people can look for gems and crystals. That includes Emerald Hollow Mine in North Carolina, Craters of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas, and Graves Mountain in Georgia. 

How do you find geodes in your yard?

Geodes can be found in places where rocks are round and have a bumpy texture. The places to look are volcanic ash beds, limestone areas, and riverbeds. 

What do geodes look like on the outside?

You may overlook geodes because they don’t have a smooth surface and may look like any other rock. They are usually round or egg-shaped and have an uneven or bumpy service. They are gray or white but can have several colors mixed.

Can you tell if a rock is a geode without breaking it?

No, you must break it to see what’s inside. You can do that by cutting it open with a saw or tapping it with a hammer. The interior will tell you whether it is solid or hollow. 

Is there an app to help you find crystals?

Several apps exist that can help you find and identify crystals, gems, and stones. There is the Geology Toolkit, Rock Identifier Stone Finder, Minerals guide: Rocks, Crystals and Gemstones, and Rockcheck.

The Geology Toolkit is considered a good app for beginners.

Where do you find geodes?

They can be found in many places around the world but usually are found in deserts or areas where there is a lot of limestone.