State Mineral: Fluorite (1965)
State Fossil: Tully Monster [Tullimonstrum gregarium] (1989)
The Mazon Creek fossil sites are well known throughout the world. Illinois also is famous for its fluorite deposits. At least nine meteorites have been found in the state including the Benld Meteorite that, in 1938, hit and penetrated a garage and ended up embedded in the seat of an automobile. In addition, the Field Museum in Chicago is one of the finest museums in the world for rockhounders. CLICK HERE
Jacob’s Geodes is a salvage yard/dig them yourself mining operation in Hamilton, IL. Something with wheels like a large wheeled wagon or hand truck would be very useful since these can get heavy in a hurry. There are a lot of geodes in bands in the shale/clay. You want to look for the round ones. The hollow ones are considered more desirable. Many geodes are filled with kaolinite, a pure white pasty mineral.
- Garden Trowel
- 3 prong hand cultivator
- A few buckets
- Knee pads or something to kneel on
Closes at 9 pm
You dig as much as you like and pay by the bucket on the way out. In 2010, it was $18 per 5 gallon bucket. Call for current prices.
Admission is free
Please note that rock collecting locations are always changing so be sure to check with the site owner for the most current information before going.
We’ve listed a few locations here but there may be many more that are not listed.
Dig safe, never go underground, and make sure to get permission from the landowner to search for and collect rocks.