What is a Patriotic Gemstone?
There is no exact definition of what makes a gemstone patriotic. This guide was influenced by the work of gemologist George Frederick Kunz. In his book, The Curious Lore of Precious Stones, Kunz made a brief mention of some gemstones that he associated with particular states. Kunz thought that these gems, and their association with the state of which they were found, would make them an excellent accent to modern or traditional birthstones. Alternately, he suggested wearing them as a symbol of patriotism or state pride.
Much has changed since the debut of his seminal work. A number of new states have joined the United States, and many more have adopted particular gemstones and minerals as official symbols that represent the state. With this in mind, consider these suggestions of gems and minerals.
Gemstones VS Minerals
How can you tell the difference between a gem and a mineral? That’s a tricky question. Gemstones are simply materials, usually minerals, that are considered valuable to humans. Often, they are the crystallized versions of minerals. Specific chemical compositions and natural processes of the Earth has transformed these humble minerals into something beautiful and pleasing to the eye while making them durable enough to survive the rigors of being worn as jewelry.
Alternately, other gemstones are composed of organic materials. This means they’ve come from either plants or animals. Pearls and amber are perhaps the two most famous examples of organic gemstones.
Why use a Patriotic Gemstone?
It’s a great question. Why would someone desire a patriotic gemstone?
- Gemstones are highly collectible. A person could build an entire collection around finding examples from all 40 states.
- Fans of birthstones might appreciate owning another symbol associated with their birth. This is especially true if their birthstone by month doesn’t appeal to them.
- Jewelry is a personal expression that helps tells a person’s story in a visual way. One could weave a tale of their journey and places lived by the gemstones displayed in their jewelry or gem collection.
What is Your State Gemstone?
Our five-part series educates you on state rocks, state minerals, and state gemstones. Consult the list below to learn your state gemstone, mineral, rock, or fossil!
Your Guide to State Gemstones: Alabama to Georgia
Your Guide to State Gemstones: Hawaii to Maryland
Your Guide to State Gemstones: Massachusetts to New Jersey
Click here to view Massachusetts to New Jersey!
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
Your Guide to State Gemstones: New Mexico to South Carolina
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
Your Guide to State Gemstones: South Dakota to Wyoming
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Stay tuned to read about your state rock!