Kevin Gauthier, the owner of gem and jewelry store Korner Gem in Traverse City, is a seasoned rock hunter and a pro at finding Petoskey stones. He was kind enough to share his best advice with us and fellow Petoskey stone hunters. (Even experienced rock rounds may not know some of these!)

1. First, on the internet, find and study both a wet image and a dry image of a Petoskey stone, so you know what they look like—there’s a big difference.

2. Hunt immediately after or while it’s raining (if there’s no lightning). The rocks are much easier to spot when wet.

3. Know that Petoskey stones are scattered around everywhere, like salt and pepper all over Northern Michigan. There is no secret spot, no Petoskey stone mine.

4. Look where earth has been disturbed, like at a road cut, a washout or a newly excavated place.

Photo by Jon-Paul Allgaier

5. Look in parking lots.

6. Go where people don’t go: beaches that are a good walk from a parking area. Look where people don’t look: right inside a stump washed up on the beach, dig down in the sand by big things like logs washed up on the beach.

7. Petoskey stones are known as relatively soft stones, so they get bruised when banged around against other rocks in the surf. Look for that bruising, which appears as little white spots when the stone is dry.

8. If hunting a beach, go after a big windstorm, when waves have moved the sand around.

9. There are no Petoskey stones north of Harbor Springs because the northern rim of the coral reef is there, and the glaciers pushed rocks south.

10. Michigan law says you can take no more than 25 pounds of rocks a year from the Great Lakes.

Visit Korner Gem
Find a world of Petoskey stones, gems, minerals and jewelry made from all the above (custom orders encouraged) at Kevin Gauthier’s Korner Gem, 231.929.9175.

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Photo(s) by Jon-Paul Allgaier