Rocks and Minerals

Rock Hunting: What Rocks are Worth Money

Rock Hunting What Rocks are Worth Money.

Instead of gem shops, many-a-times, people experience luck at finding gemstones right in their backyard. Many people do not recognize these stones or do not bother to look for one, and hence, these valuable rocks in your backyard go unnoticed.

The type of rock obtained depends on the geography of the region. California, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah are famous for procuring profitable stones in the garden. Let us look at ten rocks that are worth your money.


A Quartz rock fountain

You can get quartz crystals mixed with gravel and loose rock even in your topsoil as surface rocks in all regions of the United States. To confirm for quartz, scratch the surface with a pocket knife, and if it does not deform, it is most likely quartz. Depending on the quality, you can sell them for between $10 and $20. If you live somewhere near the beach, you have a bit of better luck for more transparent quartz rocks that sell better.



Agate or a reddish-brown marbled rock is available along with the western provinces of the United States or a place where igneous rocks are present. It is a semi-translucent stone with banding and has a colorful pattern. Larger patterned pieces are more valuable than plain ones.



Topaz is a common backyard stone in Utah, Texas, and Mexico. It contains lots of impurities that affect its color, and hence, traditional topaz has many colors, the most common being yellow. Look out for topaz in rock veins than on the surface soil.



Opal is common in California, Idaho, Oregon, and Nevada and has a smooth, oval appearance. Opal shows a rainbow-type light diffusion and is extremely rare in its purest form. The artificial light play makes it extremely easy to spot it, owing to its shine, and the most vibrant ones sell the most expensive.



Peridots are trivial. They accumulate in the mantle and come up in the crust during volcanoes. They come in flakes and flash a green lime color. Flashes make it easier for identification. Usually, they dwell near Hawaii. Arizona, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Though you may lay hands on the yellow peridot, a greener-toned one sells better.



Found in Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming, Obsidian is easier to find with its sharp edges. It has a black, glossy, artificial surface that ages beautifully. However, because of the glass texture, finding old pieces becomes difficult.



Found in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, North Carolina, and Utah, Garnet is an excellent crimson addition to your backyard. They also come in pink and yellow and may have impurities that darken their colors.



Found in California and Maine, tourmalines are tricky to identify and, you need a gemologist to certify them. As you move the light around it, the stone should glare in a uniform color to indicate pure tourmaline. If luck favors you, you might even find a neon blue or green and copper tourmaline. The cost of a tourmaline changes with size and ranges from inexpensive to thousands of dollars too.


Fibrous Malachite Stone

Malachite is present along the fringes of Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. It is a dark green, opaque, semi-precious stone of limestone. It has a rhythm and pattern all around the surface. Sold in bulk, the price of this unique stone is directly proportional to its vibrancy.



Found in California, Washington, Alaska, and Wyoming, the decent green stone personifies heaven and is smooth to touch. It is precious. It is versatile and has various applications in tools, sculptures, and ornaments. It has a high demand and is worth your money.

Tools To Procure Valuable Rocks

  1. Pickaxe to get away with the soil and dirt.
  2. A trowel or a shovel to dig and explore better.
  3. A classifier to find and group various rocks. Tweezers to pick on rocks that are hard on fingers.
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Some rocks are worth your money, and to find it out, look for appraisal associations near you. Check the quality of the rock and if it resists scratching effectively. The price also depends on the availability of the rock, its current market, and demand.

You can also sell your stone at local auctions, online auctions, or to other buyers. Alternatively, local jewelry shops, makers, and specialty shops will also buy valuable gems from you.


Finding valuable rocks for your backyard is probably the best thing that can happen. However, one needs knowledge on how they look to identify valuables. Moreover, you also need proper tools to bring them to the surface.

Cleaning, checking, and rubbing add up to the tasks. Valued rocks like quartz are present almost everywhere but go unnoticed. Hence, if you are willing to take a chance, take your shovel and find one right in your backyard.

Sandy Jensen
Sandy Jensen is the founder of OrganizeWithSandy and Works with Champalimaud Design where she curates and creates fresh ideas for designing and styling your life.

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