Where to Find Jade in California?

Jade, a highly-valued and beautiful gemstone, can be found in several locations throughout California. This state is known for its rich geological history, making it a perfect place for jade hunting.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the best locations where jade is found in California, including Big Sur Jade, Jade Cove, Pulga Jade, Happy Camp Jade, Joshua Tree Jade, Placer Jade, Eel River Jade, and Mendocino Jade.

Big Sur Jade

A photo of the Big Sur Coastline, showing the Bixby Bridge.
Beautiful coastline of Big Sur, California, where jade can be found. Photo credit to Jake Faulstich.

Big Sur is one of the most famous locations for finding jade in California.

The rugged coastline offers beautiful scenery and a wealth of jade deposits, especially within the Jade Cove area. The underwater deposits of nephrite jade found here are some of the highest quality in the world.

Collectors and divers have been exploring these jade-rich beaches since the 1960s, and many unique and rare jade specimens have been recovered from the area.

Jade Cove California

Jade Cove is a part of the Big Sur region and is known for its high-quality jade deposits.

The cove is a popular destination for jade hunters who comb the beaches and dive underwater to find the precious stones.

It is important to note that there are rules and regulations governing jade collection in the area, and visitors should familiarize themselves with these rules before attempting to collect jade.

Additionally, the trails leading to Jade Cove can be steep and dangerous, so caution and proper planning are essential when visiting the area.

Pulga Jade

Pulga Jade is found in the North Fork of the Feather River, located in Northern California.

The Feather River area is also popular among gold prospectors, making it a great place to explore for both jade and gold!

Happy Camp Jade

A highway sign for the small town of Happy Camp, California.
Happy Camp, California, has some interesting specimens of jade that come from river deposits.

Located in Siskiyou County, Happy Camp is another prime location for jade enthusiasts.

The area is known for its rich jade deposits, especially along the banks of the Klamath River.

Nephrite jade found in Happy Camp is often green or black, and many collectors search the riverbed and surrounding areas for these beautiful stones.

Joshua Tree Jade

A joshua tree and night sky with rocks in the background. Taken at Joshua Tree National Park, California.

Joshua Tree National Park, located in Southern California, is another excellent place to search for jade.

The park is home to a variety of unique geological formations, including large deposits of nephrite jade. Joshua Tree Jade is often found near the surface, making it relatively easy for collectors to locate and extract.

The jade found in this area is usually green or blue-green, with some specimens exhibiting a unique blue hue.

Eel River Jade

The Eel River meandering through a forest.
The Eel River in Northern California is known for its Placer Jade deposits. Photo credit to Scrubhiker.

Placer Jade is a type of nephrite jade that has been naturally eroded from the surrounding rock and carried downstream by the river.

The jade found in the Eel River often comes in a range of colors, including green, white, and black. Collectors typically search the riverbanks and sandbars for these beautiful stones.

Mendocino Jade

Mendocino County, located along the Northern California coastline, is another excellent location for finding jade.

The coastal cliffs and beaches of Mendocino are known for their jade deposits, which can be found both on land and underwater.

The jade from this region is often green, blue-green, or white, and can exhibit a unique botryoidal or “bubble” texture.

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