Collecting Peridot in New Mexico – Olivine Bombs at Kilbourne Hole – Find Green Rocks in a Volcano!

One of the more common questions that is asked about where to find specific minerals is…”Where can I find Peridot
With the distinctive green color and hardness that lends itself to faceting, along with being a popular gemstone from antiquity, the gem variety of the common mineral Olivine is often a subject of rockhounds.

Peridot Grains in a Volcanic Bomb of basalt

Peridot Grains in a Volcanic Bomb of basalt – Notice the larger grains on the left side of the photo. These grain are almost large enough to produce a cut stone.


Large, beautifully formed crystals of gem peridot were mined on an island in the Red Sea, off the coast of Egypt. These peridot crystals were a staple of the green gems associated with Egyptian royalty. Today, fine crystals of peridot are mined out of Pakistan, but is more to peridot than crystals, there is gem rough! One out of this world example is peridot being found inside meteorites that have landed on earth. These meteorites, when sliced, show the gem quality inside, metallic webs wrapping a dark olive color, which can be cut into gemstones. The other type of peridot to be found is gem rough that forms alongside volcanic eruptions, forming “peridot bombs” or Xenoliths. A xenolith is a fragment of rock that gets caught up in a flow, in this case, chunks of peridot were caught up in the lava erupting from the ground, creating these chunks of black basalt in which lumps of cracked, fragmented peridot can be found. Not every lava flow has peridot, but when they do, they become noted to rockhounds all over the world.

Kilbourne Hole Satellite Overview Map from Google Maps

Kilbourne Hole Satellite Overview Map from Google Maps – Peridot is found all around, best places are to the North East.


One of these lava flows containing peridot, that is open to collecting, is the Kilbourne Hole, located a few dozen miles outside of El Paso Texas, in New Mexico. Just think of that, readers in El Paso, Las Cruces, Western Texas, rejoice, a site for you! For the rest of us, a long drive! Kilbourne Hole is a place where one can explore and discover gem peridot – a trip for those with a AWD or 4×4 vehicle, as this is a sandy area with poor dirt roads. The lava flows that created this area were low erupting, not like what you have in mind in terms of a tall cinder cone, but rather a very wide crater, windswept and buried under millions of tons of sand. To collect here, you can either walk around the areas where chunks of dark black basalt are laying, chipping at them to see if they have peridot inside, or work into the walls of the flow, where you can see the layer with the basalt. It doesn’t always jump out at you!

When you are looking for gem peridot, it is all about size and color. You want clean green and a size large enough to cut away at in order to make a gemstone.

Large Peridot Grain ready to be faceted

Large Peridot Grain ready to be faceted

Two Peridot Lava Bomb Samples and one large grain, ready to be faceted

Two Peridot Lava Bomb Samples and one large grain, ready to be faceted

Google Map Directions to Kilbourne Hole Peridot Location

Google Map Directions to Kilbourne Hole Peridot Location

Close Up of Kilbourne Hole Rim Peridote Location East Side

Close Up of Kilbourne Hole Rim Peridot Location East Side – Notice the two thin dirt roads going around the perimeter of the Lava Crater.

Close up view of Peridot Grains in a Basalt Volcanic Matrix

Close up view of Peridot Grains in a Basalt Volcanic Matrix

Now, if Kilbourne Hole is too far for you to go – Check out our fun Gem Hunt – Gem Rough Mining Kit!
We have 12 gem rough, including Peridot, found in every kit, which featured a brick of hard sand, just add water to the box and then search with the included tweezers through the thick sand for your gems, sort them into the included gem cups and identify them and learn about gemstone mining and identify what you found in our 16 page full color Gems 101 Booklet – Perfect for ages 5 and up, Is it good for a science minded 7 year old? Yes! It is for EVERYONE who wants to play around and find real gemstone crystals. You always get a Herkimer Diamond, a Blue Zircon, Green Peridot and much more – Buy one through this page and get a FREE Peridot Xenolith, just like the ones on this page – Until December 15th –

Gem Hunt - Mine Your Own Gem Rough - Educational Toy Kit

Buy one of these from us before December 15th and get a FREE Peridot Xenolith with your order!


For $34.99 plus $8.99 shipping to USA – You get one of these high quality Gem Hunt kits, a perfect gift idea for almost all ages – Plus a Peridot “Bomb” approx 2 inches in size! Order one now, supplies are limited! Use the button below to order via PayPal or email FortySevenPress@gmail.com – re: GemHunt Peridot Order





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