USA Natural Gemstones

USA Natural Gemstones

USA Gems 101

Jay F. Jeweler

USA Natural Gems

Picture of four yellow and yellow-orange sapphires


Natural Gemstones Sourced from the United States


Types of Gemstones

Gemstone quality stones can be mined from mineral deposits or harvested from organic sources. Listed below are some of the various gemstones produced throughout the United States:

  1. Agate
  2. Beryl
  3. Coral
  4. Diamond
  5. Garnet
  6. Jade
  7. Emerald
  8. Opal
  9. Pearl
  10. Ruby
  11. Sapphire
  12. Shell
  13. Topaz
  14. Tourmaline
  15. Turquoise
  16. + many others like jasper and quartz

** Some gemstones are more abundant than others in the United States

** List Compiled from U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries 2020




About Domestic Gemstones

Demand vs. Production: Gemstone quality minerals have been mined in the United States for centuries. There has been an increasing demand for these gemstones in the last few years with new production not meeting the demand. Part of this increasing demand stems from consumers wanting to purchase local and understand the origin of the luxury products they are purchasing. The production of USA gemstones in 2019 was an estimated $10 million (USGS 2020). In contrast, USA 2019 lab-created gemstone output was valued at an estimated $55 million (USGS 2020). Barriers to increasing USA production of natural gemstones are the existing mineral deposits, labor costs, and environmental regulations. Many USA mining operations for gemstones are small companies (USGS 2014). 



USA Gemstone Production by State

These 13 states produced 96% of USA natural gemstones in 2019 (USGS 2020). States are listed in order of volume of production.


Main Gem

Other Gems

1.     Arizona


Amethyst, Peridot, Tourmaline, Garnet, Topaz

2.     Oregon


Fire Opal

3.     Nevada



4.     California


Aquamarine, Beryl, Quartz, Morganite, Turquoise

5.     Montana



6.     Maine



7.     Arkansas



8.     Colorado



9.     Utah


Gypsum (Gem Quality), Red Beryl

10.  Idaho



11.  North Carolina


Ruby, Sapphire

12.  Tennessee

Freshwater Pearls

N/A Not Enough Data

13.  New York


Herkimer Diamond


** This data was collected from the USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) 2014 Minerals Yearbook Volume II – State Chapters, along with state government data and USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) Mineral Commodity Summaries 2020


USA Gemstone Production

There are vast differences in the production level of the various natural gemstones in the United States.

While there are many gemstone quality mineral deposits throughout the United States, their size, accessibility and volume of gemstones differ greatly. Not every deposit is currently being mined, and many areas have been depleted over time or it is no longer economically feasible to mine for the resources.

“Most natural gemstone producers in the United States are small businesses that operate independently.” - USGS Minerals Yearbook Volume ll 2014

Sourcing USA Gemstones

A word of caution – just because USA gemstones are produced does not mean they are easy to source or are readily available at every retailer.

There are vast differences in the availability of natural USA gemstones. Blue Montana sapphires or California tourmalines are easier to find than Arkansas diamonds because there are more Montana sapphires and California tourmalines currently on the market. If you have your heart set on sourcing your jewelry or gemstones from domestic production operations, contact Jay F. Jeweler. We will work with you to find the best option possible. Certain USA gemstones are very rare or are not available in the price range you are searching for. Three of the main reasons jewelers internationally source gemstones are: superior quality, price point, and availability. For example, Australia has significantly more opal deposits than the state of Nevada. It will be easier to find multiple high quality, larger Australian opal gemstones than Nevada opals. 

Sourcing USA Lab-Created Gemstones

Looking into USA produced, lab-created gemstones is an alternative route to sourcing natural USA gemstones. Lab-created gemstones have the same chemical structure as natural gemstones, so they generally have similar properties to their natural counterparts. Lab-created diamonds have been rising in popularity over the last few years and the industry continues to grow. Lab created gemstones are currently being produced in the states of: North Carolina, California, Maryland and Arizona.

"U.S. synthetic gemstone production increased by 10% in 2019 compared with 2018." - USGS Mineral Commodity Summary 2020 

Recreational Gem Hunting in the USA

There are companies in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah, and New York that allow you to dig for your own gemstones. There is a growing industry around giving individuals access to recreational “gem hunting”. If you enjoy the outdoors and adventure, gem hunting may be the perfect way to discover a unique and meaningful gemstone for your next piece of fine jewelry. 

** There is no guarantee that you will find gems on your visit.

** Information for this blog post was compiled from the USGS 2014 Minerals Yearbook Volume II – State Chapters, state government websites, GIA's Gem Tour of America and USGS Mineral Commodity Summary 2020



U.S. Geological Survey, 2020, Mineral commodity summaries 2020: U.S. Geological Survey, 200 p., mcs2020.

U.S. Geological Survey, 2014, Minerals Yearbook Vol. ll - Domestic State Chapters 2014,

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