Rockhounding & Prospecting: Upper Midwest

Rockhounding & Prospecting: Upper Midwest


How to Find Gold, Copper, Agates, Thomsonite, and Other Favorites

“In this beginner’s guide to rock collecting, the author presents easy-to-follow processes to help you maximize rock-hunting adventures, from Lake Superior agates and geodes to gold and copper in the Upper Midwest. Magnuson, a rock hunter since childhood, gives advice on what to look for, where to look, and how to prospect, as well as essential information about equipment, safety, the legality of collecting, polishing your finds, metal detecting, and more. This info-packed paperback is filled with close-up photos of rocks and minerals and maps and diagrams.”

Mary Ann Grossman, Pioneer Press

Author Bio:
For author Jim Magnuson, rockhounding is not only a hobby, but it’s also a serious and rewarding avocation that helps him connect with nature. He has been an avid hunter and student of various gems, minerals, and fossils since his childhood, when he first began to hunt for stones in his native state of Illinois. These experiences taught Jim the importance of persistence and the willingness to follow the road less traveled in order to find unique or rare kinds of rocks. Jim also enjoys sharing his passion through writing, both creatively and from a practically oriented process perspective. Because of Jim’s in-depth knowledge, he is frequently called upon to present to groups such as rock and mineral clubs, geological societies, and educational institutions that focus on outdoor and environmental interests. In addition to Jim’s passion for prospecting and hunting, he also likes to perform various lapidary arts with the stones that he finds, and he has a small business making and selling custom-polished stones and jewelry pieces. Finally, Jim enjoys creating photographic illustrations that are up close and personal for prospecting, hunting, and lapidary work. Jim was a photographer for his high school and college newspapers and yearbooks, where he focused on student activities that created perspectives on campus life. This experience has helped Jim capture unique and compelling photographic images for modern-day gem and mineral prospecting.

Find success on your rock hunts for popular gems and minerals by selecting the best locations to look for them.

Agates, copper, gold—you want to find them! But if you’re searching without a plan, the odds are stacked against you. Whether you’re new to rock hunting or already hold an interest, prospecting is the way to maximize your success. This beginner’s guide by rockhounding expert Jim Magnuson helps you to confidently hunt for a variety of collectible and valuable gems and minerals, including agates, fossils, geodes, and gold.

In each chapter, Jim introduces sought-after targets (like Lake Superior Agates to Keokuk Geodes). Then he provides a simple, step-by-step process to finding, collecting, and identifying them in the Upper Midwest. Full-color photographs show the specimens as you’re likely to see them in the field, while range maps tell you if you’re in the right place. Jim points you to locations where you’re allowed to hunt and collect, and he also includes need-to-know information about equipment recommendations, safety, and the legality of collecting.

Inside you’ll find:

  • Expert advice: discover what to look for, where to look, and how to prospect
  • Professional photos: see specimens as you’re likely to find them in the field
  • Essential information: learn about collecting rules, safety, and affordable equipment
  • Bonus content: get advice on polishing your finds, metal detecting, and more

Perfect for residents and visitors of Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, Rockhounding & Prospecting: Upper Midwest is everything you need in one handy guide.

Additional information

Weight 17.76 oz
Dimensions 6 × 9 in


Page Count:


Illustration Notes

Color illustrations, maps, and photos throughout

Publication Date

November 16, 2021


Adventure Publications


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