New Mexico Collecting Sites

Mineral Collecting at Los Lunas,, New Mexico

Agate, Jasper and Petrified Wood

Source: Jon Ciemiewicz 11/8/97

Directions: Head south out of Albuquerque on I25 to the Los Lunas exit / Route 6. From the off ramp head west 4.6 miles to a dirt road on the left, this road will be before crossing the RR. Head south on this road for approximately 10 miles, the best collecting is in the hills and mounds near the Arroyo at the third water tank.

Collecting: Lots of small pieces of agate and jasper are all over the place and some nice pieces of petrified wood are available. A small hand rake is usefull for uncovering the lightly burried pieces. Collecting at this site is very plentiful and everyone can come home with some very nice additions for their collection from NM.

Suggestions: The agate tends to be white with color splotches and the jasper is red/orange. The best wood is brown with red spots and all of this material is very cutable as cabs. This collector came home with a bucket full in about 1 hour of collecting.

Bingham Claims near White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico


Source: Rockhounds Mailing List 5/23/95
Daniel Fox

Out here in New Mexico, the Bingham claims are well known. There are a number of them along a ridge overlooking part of White Sands Missile Range, about 10 -15 miles from the Trinity Site where the first A-Bomb was tested in 1945. It costs $10.00 per person per day. To get there you take the San Antonio exit from I-25 (birthplace of Conrad Hilton and home of the Owl Bar, which claims to have the best chile-cheesburgers in NM) and go about 25 miles east to the "town" of Bingham which is just a rock-shop. The specimens I've seen have xls mostly about 1/4 inch to 1 inch on a side, and range in color from turquoise to dark blue. Sometimes you can find violet colored crystals, but they are more rare.

Blanchard Mines Collecting Status - Other New Mexico Sites

Fluorite, Galena, Selenite, Smoky Quartz, Quartz, Amethyst, Wulfenite, Linarite, Brochantite and Other Minerals
Source: Allison Nilsen

I have one claim open to collecting in the north end of the of the district it has been producing some fluorite, galena, barite, selenite, smoky quartz, quartz, amethyst, wulfenite, linarite, and brochantite. We charge $10 per person for the first twenty pounds per person. Anyone under 10 years old is half price. We also can give discounts to groups of twenty people or more. You can reach me at 505-423-3235. The collecting has been very good!

We are also the primary source of Ghost Jade, which is an extremely chatoyant nephrite jade from Nevada. It was discovered in 1999 by Wayne Holland and featured in the March 2001 issue of Rock & Gem. The article is titled " Nevada's Elusive Ghost Gem", by Steve Voynick. For any more info on this newly discovered rock please contact us.

If you are interested in rockhounding in the Magdalena district I would suggest going to Bill's Rock Shop. He has the North Graphic and Nitt mines. The collecting has been very good for smithsonite, allophane, azurite, and several other species. He charges $5 per person. He also owns a great rock shop and the prices are very good. You can reach Bill or Helen at 505-854-2236. Please call first, as Bill's health hasn't been that good and they might not be open.

When it comes to the Northern part of the state you can collect pegmatites at the Harding/Dixon Mine in Dixon, NM.. It is controlled by the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. For permission to collect there you have to contact the geology dept. at the University or check in with a gentleman named Gilbert Giego that can by found on the East side of Dixon. May I also suggest that you visit the Crystal Nest rock shop in Eagle Nest, NM.. It is owned by Sheila Lycan and has a large variety of minerals from this state also. She is more familiar with other collecting localities up. She can be reached at the shop at 505-377-9440 or at her home, 505-377-3386.

For collecting sites is southern New Mexico I suggest you call Susan at the Royal Scepter Rock shop in Silver City, She has even compiled a small booklet about collecting in the southern part of the state and has a great rock shop also. You can reach Susan at 505-538-9001.

If you would like any more info on collecting in New Mexico you may contact us by phone at 505-423-3235 or email, at . We do provide private tours to several mineral localities and gold mines throughout New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada.

While in New Mexico visit the New Mexico Mineral Museum on the campus of New Mexico Tech in Socorro. This is one of the best museums in the Southwest and is free. It is a wealth of information for the rockhounds and has handouts on mineral localities throughout the state. The "characters" to speak with there are Virgil Lueth ( the curator of the museum ), Bob Eveleth ( senior mining engineer for the NM Bureau of Mines) and/or Patty Frisch ( their side kick/assistant ). These three are great people and a lot of fun. The number that they can be reached at is 505-835-5420.

Happy rockhounding!
Allison Nilsen
The Blanchard Rock Shop

Collecting Site Index

Table of Contents 11/17/97