Gold is not the only valuable mineral on the earth. RV prospectors who find themselves traversing an area of the country barren of gold might well consider searching for other exciting and valuable mineral deposits, such as diamonds.
All but a few U.S. states claim valuable minerals or gems beneath their land surfaces. Forty-five states have declared a state gemstone, rock, or mineral, and quite a few boast all three.
Alaska, California, and North Carolina declare gold their state mineral. (Who can blame them?) All three states boast historic gold strikes. Silver is the state mineral of Nevada … and Texas, too.
Where to find diamonds
The only diamond-producing state (for now) is Arkansas. In your RV travels, you can visit a place where thousands of diamonds have been found, such as a 16-carat stone found there in 1975, worth over a million dollars! Diamonds have turned up in Wyoming, and that area could become the next diamond bonanza in America.
Here is a list of the state minerals, rocks, and gemstones you can search for on your travels. Gem digging requires only very basic hand tools and a desire to get out into the country and dig. A more comprehensive description of the gemstones found in each state is here.
Want to mine for diamonds in Arkansas? The Crater of Diamonds State Park is located 120 miles from Little Rock. It is currently the only mine in America where park visitors can dig for the precious sparklers and keep any that they find! Visitors can make RV park reservations at Crater of Diamonds State Park’s website or on the campground app of your choice. In addition to digging for lustrous stones, the area is also noted for great scenery and wildlife.
In 2015, a prospector uncovered the 8.52-carat Esperanza diamond at Crater of Diamonds, worth more than $1 million!
Gem hunters will also find prime prospecting country heading west down the road into Montana. There’s also the Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine in Philipsburg, MT.
That winter RV boondocking mecca Quartzsite, Arizona, also hosts a well-known annual gem show from January to February.