Searching For Gems

I could use this title to try to convey some deeper message about life or religion, but the title of this post is actually what it’s about.

About a week ago, my family took a trip about an hour and a half away to a place called Moat Mountain here in New Hampshire in the town of Conway. We have been here a few times before for both hiking and mineral hunting. You see, Moat Mountain is one of the best places here in NH to find Smoky Quartz crystals. Smoky Quartz is our state gemstone. Seems kind of silly to have a state gem, but it is what it is. The quartz is embedded in the granite found all around on Moat Mountain. Some is easy to chip out with our hammers and chisels and others have to be left where they lie.

It’s about a mile walk from the trailhead to the beginning of the mineral site, which is it self quite large and extends in all directions. Though it’s been heavily mined, both by amateurs and by commercial miners, it’s still fun to try to find some treasures. We’ve never come home empty-handed. We may not be finding museum-quality pieces, but we do make some great memories walking through the forest. I just wanted to share a few photos of our trip. Enjoy:

Some of the rocky ledges (If you look closely, you can see my teenage son at the top)


The granite boulders are everywhere…even under the trees


People have dug so much, the boulders are almost like caves (Here’s my son again)


Here’s what we came for. Some homegrown NH Smoky Quartz


Here are some shinier pieces still embedded in the granite


Here is a rough-looking geode I found. I found a rock with a crack forming. I split it with my chisel and found some gems inside. They’re a little dirty here, but I plan to polish them up a bit


A few more small specimens


20 thoughts on “Searching For Gems

    1. It’s a great place to explore. I always hope to find something great, but usually only find tiny crystals. Still, the family time is always enjoyable.

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  1. Ben, you know that clear quartz has all sorts of “healing and rejuvenating powers.” 😉 Does New Hampshire have any clear quartz? The smoky quartz apparently has all sorts of VIRILITY properties! A good thing you and your son found that variety, huh? 😁

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    1. Yes, NH does have clear quartz. There is another place we have hiked in the past that has a lot of that variety. It’s a good thing we have both types. Using too much of one’s virility might require some healing later. 😁

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      1. When I was in West Virginia years ago I stayed with a woman who had the greatest rock collection I’d ever seen. She had money, and a geologist who worked for her, so the samples were huge, individually stunning, and housed in a room dedicated just to the rocks. Want. Want. Want.

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      2. I have a decent rock collection that I started as a child. Lots of geodes, large amethyst pieces, pyrite, state slices and many other mixed pieces. Our local county fair used to sell uncut geodes that they would cut right in front of you. It was always exciting to find what was inside. They were decent size too, probably the size of a softball. I always loved my collection and had it displayed all the time. I boxed it all up years ago as I didn’t really have a place to display it anymore. I showed it to my oldest son once and he loved it. He now owns it and proudly displays it in his room. Glad it’s out of storage and being enjoyed again.

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  2. Wow those crystals are really cool. I like finding unusual rocks and crystals from time to time. Some of the beaches here are full of volcanic rocks from significant eruptions in the past few thousand years, it’s cool to see all the different colours on them. I also got some shiny obsidian from a quarry once.

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    1. Volcanic rocks can be really cool. I don’t think I’ll find any here in the countryside in my tiny town, but that’s okay.

      When I was a kid, my family went on a camping trip. I found the coolest thing ever. It was a meteorite…at least my 7 or 8 year old brain thought so. It was a shiny black rock with a strange shape. To my parents, it was just a dirty rock, but to me, a piece of outer space landed on Earth for me to find. I kept it for the longest time and then it was gone. I don’t know what happened to it. I wonder if I saw it now, my dad brain would kick in and I’d agree with my parents’ assessment from all those years ago.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well if you didn’t know what it was, the chances of it being a meteorite probably aren’t great, but any shiny rock is pretty cool to find on it’s own, especially when you’re a kid 🙂

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