Where to Find Utah Gemstone and Lapidary Materials

Red Beryl from Utah
Red Beryl from Utah | Source

You may find it surprising that Utah has so many highly collectible rocks, minerals and gemstones.

In fact many of the most popular lapidary and gemstone materials found in the United States come from Utah.

Below are a list of some of my favorite Lapidary and gemstone materials you can find in the state of Utah.

Brianhead Agate

Brianhead Agate is one of my personal favorites. Not that it is anymore collectible or valuable than any of the other great Agates in Utah but because it is one our families favorite rock collecting locations.

Brianhead Agate is found near the ski resort town of Brianhead, Utah. The Agate can be collected from National Forest land so although it's legal to collect, it is not legal to collect the material for the purpose of reselling it for commercial gain.

Brianhead Agate can have some wonderful colors that can be enhanced by heat treating the stone at approximately 450oF for several hours. Heat treating will bring out many red colors as well as intensify some of the other colors found in Brianhead Agate.

Clay Canyon (Fairfield) Variscite

If you are ever fortunate enough to get some of this material you will probably wish to hold on to it.

The Little Green Monster Mine where this material was mined was intentionally collapse due to safety concerns.

Due the the unique makeup of this wonderful material and because it is no longer available for collecting, a nice slab of this material could cost you well over $1000.

This wonderful Variscite is also known as Fairfield Variscite or Little Green Monster Variscite.

Since you can no longer collect this wonderful variety of Variscite you will have to look for specimens from old collections that turn up for sale once in a while.

Use caution when buying this material due to it's value. It's not uncommon for material to be listed as Clay Canyon Variscite when it's actually something else.

Flowering Tube Onyx

This wonderful looking material was fairly easy to get just a couple of years ago. It is now very hard to purchase rough of this material because it is essentially played out.

If you ever get the opportunity to cut cabochons out of this material, be careful not to overheat the stone as it will break along the bands of different colors.

You used to be able to purchase this wonderful material at K&O Rock Shop in Nephi, Utah however this old shop is now closed.

There was rumor that the claim was played out however it's believed that the claim has been taken over by someone else.

This is another Utah gemstone that would be easiest collected online from old collections.

Gem Dinosaur Bone

High quality Agatized Dinosaur Bone or petrified dinosaur bone is often referred to as Gem Bone. The very best Gem Dinosaur Bone has bright colors and has very distinct cell patterns.

Black webbing in the cells are particularly beautiful due to the way it creates a contrasting difference from the yellow, orange or red colors. Other colors that may be found in Gem Bone are brown, white, blue or gray.

Gem quality dinosaur bone is among some of the rarest fossils in the world. Some of the highest quality Gem Bone in the world comes from Moab, Utah.

Because it is made of agate, the highest grade gem dinosaur bone is rated at near a 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness. This is the same hardness of most quartz such as Amethyst or Citrine.

The only material that is available comes from private land and is only available in the local rock shops or online.

Obsidian

One of the most sought after types of Obsidian that can be found in Utah is Snowflake Obsidian. Obsidian is basically a volcanic glass that is usually black but can have other colors depending on the inclusions that are found in it.

Snowflake Obsidian is actually Obsidian that is starting to break down forming white spots of varying sizes.

Snowflake Obsidian can be found south of Delta, Utah. Here are some great instructions on how to get there: http://geology.utah.gov/utahgeo/rockmineral/collecting/obsidn.htm

Snowflake Obsidian
Snowflake Obsidian

Red Beryl

The most well known type of Beryl is Emerald however it is not the most expensive. The rarest and most expensive type of Beryl is called Bixbite or Red Beryl.

Red Beryl gets it's wonderful red color from the element manganese.

Although descriptions of Red Beryl date back to the beginning of the 20th century, gem quality Red Beryl was not discovered until 1958 in the Wah Wah mountains in Beaver County, Utah.

High quality Red Beryl can cost as much as $10,000 per carat. When purchasing such a rare and expensive gemstone such as Red Beryl you should be sure to have it certified by a registered gemologist.

Red Beryl Crystal

Utah Red Horn Coral
Utah Red Horn Coral | Source

Red Horn Coral

Utah Red Horn Coral is very hard and can be made into wonderful red cabochons. This material is a delight to work with.

For those who enjoy the look and color of coral this is a great alternative to the endangered corals found in the Mediterranean Sea or cheap dyed imitations.

The image to the right is a cabochon cut by the author from a piece of Utah Red Horn Coral. The color is 100% natural is would be a great stone for use in a ring, bracelet or pendant.

Septarian Nodule

Millions of years ago mud formed around dead sea creatures to create mud balls. As the ocean receded these mud balls cracked and shrank.

Due to organic material seeping into the cracks, Calcite crystals were formed. Eventually the Calcite that formed inside the cracks of the Septarian Nodules transformed into Aragonite.

This creation process gives Septarian Nodules their unique look. Septarian Nodules can be cut and made into cabochons, eggs, book ends or spheres.

Topaz

Utah Topaz is usually a naturally occurring amber colored. If left in the sunlight, the Topaz will become clear.

Topaz is the Utah state gemstone. One of the best known locations for collecting Topaz in Utah is Topaz Mountain in Juab County.

Editors Note: We recently moved from St. George, Utah to Richfield, Utah. We are excited of the prospect of being able to visit nearby Topaz Mountain in the future.

Topaz from Topaz Mountain in Juab County, Utah
Topaz from Topaz Mountain in Juab County, Utah | Source
Tiffany Stone (Bertrandite) from Utah cut and polished by the author.
Tiffany Stone (Bertrandite) from Utah cut and polished by the author. | Source

Tiffany Stone (Bertrandite)

This gorgeous material is mined at the Brush Wellman beryllium mine in the Sevier Desert in Utah. Most of this material is ground up and destroyed for the very small percentage of beryllium that it contains.

The beryllium extracted from this beautiful gemstone is used to create metal alloys for use in aircraft, missiles, and satellites, and is even used in more common items such as electric motors.

The wonderful blue, purple and white colors in the material is the result of opalized fluorite.

Tiffany Stone (Bertrandite)
Tiffany Stone (Bertrandite)
Tiffany Stone (Bertrandite)
Tiffany Stone (Bertrandite)
Tiffany Stone (Bertrandite)
Tiffany Stone (Bertrandite)
Tiffany Stone (Bertrandite)
Tiffany Stone (Bertrandite)

Other Gemstones & Lapidary Material from Utah

 
Gemstones & Lapidary Material
 
Agatized Barite Nodules
Black Horn Coral
Blood Vein Agate
Chinese Jasper
Delta Jasper
Delta Moss Agate
Amethyst
Dugway Geode
Fantasia Jasper
Golden Swirl Plume Agate
Grape Agate
Green River Agate
Hanksville Agate
Hanksville Coprolite
Hanson Creek Petrified Wood
Heber Petrified Wood
Henry Mountains Coprolite
Klondike Bluff Agate
Lucin Variscite
Marv’s Jasp Agate
Moab Red Plume Agate
Oyster Agate
Panguitch Agate
Pigeon Blood Agate
Pipeline Canyon Moss Agate
San Rafael Swell Coprolite
Serpentine
Smokey Quartz
Snowville Variscite
Sunstone
Utah Imperial Jasper
Utah Lace Opal
Wendover Moss Agate
Wendover Plume Agate
Yellow Cat Agate
Yellow Cat Petrified Wood
Yellow Feather Jasper
Zebra Stone
 

Utah Rock Shops

There are plenty of great rock shops scattered across the state of Utah. Be sure not to pass by some of the smaller shops to get some incredible finds!

Zion National Park

If you find yourself in the vicinity of Zion National Park you may want to stop by some of the many rock shops near both main entrances to the park.

While most of the rocks you will find are the usual tourist "junk", there are some great finds if you know what you are looking for.

Beaver, Utah

There's a small rock shop with some great looking material available in Beaver, Utah called Love the Art. They have some great looking Picasso Marble, White Tiger Stone, and a beautiful turquoise like mineral they call Seven Dwarfs after the mine from which it comes from.

Picasso Marble

Picasso Marble has criss-crossing patterns of lines that make it look similar to the art work of Picasso.

This unique look was created when molten igneous material was forced through the cracks in limestone.

Below are some photos of some of the Picasso Marble we purchased at Love the Art in Beaver, Utah.

Picasso Marble
Picasso Marble
Picasso Marble
Picasso Marble

White Tiger Stone

White Tiger Stone is very similar to Zebra Stone in appearance. In fact the two mines are located very close to each other.

The White Tiger Stone is quite stunning with a highly contrasting black and white coloration.

Here is some of the White Tiger Stone we purchased in Beaver, Utah.

White Tiger Stone
White Tiger Stone
White Tiger Stone
White Tiger Stone

Do you own any rocks, minerals or fossils from Utah?

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Utah Rock Hounding Locations

Here is a list of the rocks, gemstones and minerals that are found in Utah counties:

Acanthite can be found in Beaver County, Utah.  This example of Acanthite on Calcite was found in Germany
Acanthite can be found in Beaver County, Utah. This example of Acanthite on Calcite was found in Germany | Source
Brochantite can be found in Beaver County, Utah.  This specimen is from Bingham, New Mexico
Brochantite can be found in Beaver County, Utah. This specimen is from Bingham, New Mexico | Source
Wulfenite can be found in Box Elder, Beaver and Salt Lake Counties in Utah.  This specimen is from the Red Cloud Mine, Arizona, USA
Wulfenite can be found in Box Elder, Beaver and Salt Lake Counties in Utah. This specimen is from the Red Cloud Mine, Arizona, USA | Source
Aurichalcite can be found in Tooele County, Utah.  This example is from the Mina Ojuela of Mexico
Aurichalcite can be found in Tooele County, Utah. This example is from the Mina Ojuela of Mexico | Source

Beaver County

  • Acanthite
  • Adularia
  • Alunite
  • Amethyst
  • Anhydrite
  • Aquamarine
  • Autunite
  • Azurite
  • Banded Sandstone
  • Barite
  • Biotite
  • Bornite
  • Brochantite
  • Calcite
  • Cerargyrite
  • Cerussite
  • Chalcedony
  • Chalcopyrite
  • Chlorite
  • Chrysocolla
  • Clintonite
  • Cuprite
  • Diopside
  • Epidote
  • Feldspar
  • Fluorite
  • Galena
  • Garnet
  • Grossular Garnet
  • Grossular Granite
  • Hematite
  • Kaolinite
  • Laumontite
  • Limonite
  • Ludwigite
  • Magnesite
  • Magnetite
  • Malachite
  • Molybdenite
  • Muscovite
  • Opal
  • Pyrite
  • Pyrolusite
  • Quartz
  • Scheelite
  • Sericite
  • Serpentine
  • Skarn
  • Smokey quartz
  • Specular hematite
  • Sphene
  • Sulfur
  • Szaibelyite
  • Tellurides
  • Tourmalinated quartz
  • Tourmaline
  • tremolite
  • Uranophane
  • Wollastonite
  • Wulfenite

Box Elder County

  • Chrysocolla
  • Copper-bearing clays
  • Cuprite
  • Native Copper
  • Kyanite
  • Andalusite
  • Garnet
  • Staurolite
  • Gypsum
  • Wulfenite
  • Aurichalcite
  • Aragonite

Cache County

  • Horn coral
  • Quartz
  • Limonite after pyrite
  • Dolomite
  • Malachite
  • Azurite
  • Galena
  • Silver

Daggett County

  • Garnet
  • Staurolite
  • Kyanite
  • Tourmaline
  • Anthophyllite
  • Beryl

Davis County

  • Migmatite
  • Pegmatite
  • Gneiss

Emery County

  • Agate
  • Grape Agate
  • Petrified Wood
  • Celestite
  • Quartz
  • Calcite
  • Jasper
  • Geodes

Garfield County

  • Petrified Wood
  • Agate
  • Stibnite
  • Gypsum
  • Hornblende
  • Calcite
  • Coprolites

Grand County

  • Agate
  • Petrified wood
  • Agate pseudomorphs after barite

Iron County

  • Agate
  • Topaz
  • Quartz
  • Fluorite
  • Hematite
  • Magnetite
  • Siderite
  • Calcite
  • Apatite
  • Amethyst

Juab County

  • Agate
  • Geodes
  • Calcite
  • Petrified Palm
  • Pyrite
  • Enargite
  • Topaz
  • Red Beryl
  • Bixbyite
  • Pseudobrookite
  • Hematite
  • Garnet
  • Amethyst
  • Ilmenite
  • Fluorite
  • Calcite
  • Cassiterite
  • Durangite

Kane County

  • Septarian nodules
  • Petrified wood
  • Agate
  • Jasper

Millard County

  • Smokey quartz
  • Amethest
  • Albite
  • Garnet
  • Scheelite
  • Barite
  • Calcite
  • Galena
  • Magnetite
  • Malachite
  • Obsidian
  • Quartz
  • Diopside
  • Vesuvianite
  • Chalcopyrite
  • Molybdenite
  • Sunstone
  • Aragonite

Morgan County

  • Pyrite
  • Calcite

Piute County

  • Alunite
  • Psilomelane
  • Sphalerite
  • Fluorite
  • Chabazite
  • Stilbite
  • Heulandite
  • Mordenite
  • Scolecite
  • Calcite
  • Quartz
  • Amethystine Quartz
  • Bixbyite
  • Rutile
  • Corundum
  • Spinel
  • Nepheline

Salt Lake County

  • Pyromorphite
  • Pyrite
  • Ludwigite
  • Magnetite
  • Vesuvianite
  • Garnet
  • Actinolite
  • Forsterite
  • Serpentine
  • Epidote
  • Clintonite
  • Hemimorphite
  • Wulfenite
  • Cerussite
  • Galena
  • Calcite
  • Forsterite
  • Brucite
  • Manganese Oxides
  • Spinel
  • Quartz

San Juan County

  • Agate

San Pete County

  • Quartz
  • Magnesite
  • Aragonite

Sevier County

  • Agate
  • Wonderstone
  • Gypsum
  • Anhydrite
  • Halite

Summit County

  • Horn Coral
  • Petrified Wood

Tooele County

  • Agate
  • Gypsum
  • Oolitic sand
  • Cerussite
  • Cinnabar
  • Orthoclase Feldspar
  • Calcite
  • Azurite
  • Malachite
  • Hemimorphite
  • Aurichalcite
  • Pyrite
  • Galena
  • Sphalerite
  • Epidote
  • Parapierrotite
  • Stibnite
  • Quartz
  • Wonderstone
  • Sulvanite
  • Calciovolborthite
  • Fluorite
  • Barite
  • Stibiconite
  • Adamite
  • Austinite
  • Conichalcite

Utah County

  • Limonite Pseudomorphs after Pyrite
  • Sphalerite
  • Pyrite
  • Quartz
  • Birdseye marble
  • Algal ball limestone

Wasatch County

  • Spinel
  • Garnet
  • Vesuvianite
  • Titanitecolecite
  • Specular Hematite
  • Quartz
  • Ozokerite

Washington County

  • Petrified wood
  • Alaskite (Granite)
  • Agate
  • Jasper
  • Fossils

Wayne County

  • Agate
  • Jasper
  • Chert
  • Jet Coal
  • Petrified Wood
  • Selenite

Weber County

  • Calcite
  • Manganese

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Comments 1 comment

Clyde Shokes Jr profile image

Clyde Shokes Jr 5 months ago from Charleston SC

Thanks for all the effort and fantastic information in your article! I did not know Utah had so many gemstones. I have not seen this anywhere else. Now everyone will want to go to Utah! I am a Follower from now on....

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