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How to "Dig" for minerals?

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I've seen a few videos on the internet of people simply reaching into small holes in the ground and pulling out beautiful crystals(see @wild_frontier_crystals on Instagram for an example http://instagram.com/wild_frontier_crystals ) Is there some sort of secret to this or is location key? Im sure the area has something to do with it, and I was wondering where I might be able to find something like this. I have a few places in mind where erosion has taken it toll and left behind red clay with some small quartz crystals sticking out. However is there anything thing to look for specifically if i want to find things other than just milky quartz or do i need to dig in and see if the stuff is all mixed together in the dirt? Thanks in advance
asked Nov 2 by Thesamster7 (230 points)

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There are many places to start. Any stream or river where you see gravel. The shores of the great lakes. Abandoned mines. Dry river beds. Exposed bedrock, fault lines, mines slag piles, your back yard. You can travel to places that are known gem producers.

To give you an example or two. I walk the beaches and streams around Michigan, we have mines and we are subject to many different rock strata around the lakes. We have the mountains where copper was formed and the ancient mines. The glaciers came through here, so I found a 300 lb. puddingstone in the yard. Imbedded in that is jasper and a lake superior agate. The upper great lakes there had significant volcanic activity, so there are basalt lava flows. The earths crust actually split and formed lake superior, lake ontario was also formed by a big crack in the earth's crust. Grab a rucksack and your rock hammer and go. In Ohio, there are sedimentary limestone bluffs along the highway where fossils are found. Quarries everywhere.

I literally love the Lake shores in Michigan. Surf, sand, ships, lighthouses, waterfalls and rocks like agates, jasper, jasperlite, amethyst, chalcedony, chert,
answered Nov 3 by Weasel (39,600 points)
selected Nov 4 by Thesamster7

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