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Patriotic Gems: Your Guide to State Gemstones – Massachusetts to New Jersey

Patriotic jewelry may have never been on your radar before. But perhaps you’re a proud resident of your state, and you want a fun, subtle symbol to reflect that. Or maybe you’re a curious collector, looking to start a new project? Consult our useful guide to learning more about your state’s official gemstone, mineral, and more!

This is the third part of the Patriotic Gemstone series and covers Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire and New Jersey.

Don’t see your state? Check out this page to read the rest of the Patriotic Gemstone series.

 Massachusetts Gemstones and Minerals

Massachusetts, officially the “Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” is a global leader in technology and various other fields. While being modernized, Massachusetts is conferred with an official state gemstone, mineral, and rock.

Rhodonite is the state gemstone of Massachusetts

Massachusetts State Gemstone – Rhodonite

When: 1979

Color: Rose-red to brown

Where: Bett’s Mine

Officially, rhodonite is the state gem. A member of pyroxenoid mineral group, this variety exhibits a luscious rose-red color. Often, the specimens tend to have a brown color due to surface oxidation. What makes them the most impressive is their perfect, prismatic cleavage.

Massachusetts State Mineral – Babingtonite

WhenL 1981

Color: Very dark green to black

Where: Lane Quarry, Cheapside Quarry, Blueberry Hill, Mount Tom (a few of the most popular sites)

First discovered in Arendal, Aust-Agder, Norway in 1824, babingtonite got its name from the Irish physician and mineralogist William Babington. This crystal boasts a very dark green to black color, depicting short prismatic clusters and druzy coatings.

Massachusetts State Rock – Roxbury Conglomerate

When: 1983

Color: Light blue-gray to gray

Where: Roxbury

Roxbury conglomerate is generally known as Roxbury puddingstone and is the state’s official rock. A formation of sandstone, conglomerate, and diamictite, the rock age is estimated as forming between 570 and 595 million years ago. The name refers to the rock formation that forms bedrock under most of Roxbury, Massachusetts. It’s used in constructing walls and house foundations. Oliver Wendell Holmes, the American poet, wrote a poem “The Dorchester Giant” in 1830 and mentioned this special rock. To showcase its significance, a monument to the 20th Massachusetts infantry on the Gettysburg Battlefield made of Roxbury Conglomerate is placed. This rock was officially adopted as an official state symbol in 1983.

Michigan Gemstones and Minerals

Also known as “The Great Lakes State”, Michigan is a great place for rock hounds. Michigan has both an official state gemstone and state rock.

Petoskey Stone is the state rock of Michigan.

Michigan State Gemstone – Chlorastrolite

When: 1972

Color: Yellow-green to black

Where: Isle Royale and Lake Superior’s shoreline

Chlorastrolite is a variety of the mineral pumpellyite and is primarily discovered in small round pebbles on Isle Royale and on the shore of Lake Superior. What makes this gemstone fascinating is its turtle-back pattern. The name means “green star stone,” reflecting the beauty of this unique specimen. However, it is known as greenstone, with colors ranging from yellow-green to virtually black. Discovering this gemstone in a larger size is very rare.

Michigan State Mineral

Michigan enjoys a great diversity of minerals but officially has not selected a state mineral. You can easily discover silver, copper, analcime, and celestine to name but a few.

Michigan State Rock – Petoskey Stone

When: 1965

Color: Light pink to maroon

Where: Lake Michigan’s lakeshore

Petoskey stone is a fossilized coral. As early as 350 million years ago, Michigan was concealed by a shallow sea that was loaded with coral colonies that later became these fossils.

Minnesota Gemstones and Minerals

Nicknamed itself the “agate capital of the world” and “Land of 10,000 Lakes” Minnesota along with its massive iron deposits is popular for “Lake Superior agates.” Being a hub of some of the oldest rocks found on earth, Minnesota is an excellent place to discover a variety of gemstones.

A closeup of Minnesota’s state gemstone – the Lake Superior Agate.

Minnesota State Gemstone – Lake Superior Agate

When: 1969

Color: Red, orange, and yellow with hints of white and gray

Where: Lake Superior

The classic specimen of Lake Superior agate is housed in the office of the “Secretary of State.” Also known as “lakers,” this beautiful gemstone is noted for its red, orange, and yellow coloring including hints of white and gray.

The history of the stone traces back to about a billion years ago. The North American zone started to split, forming a valley with large cracks, giving space for the lava to rush up to the area now called Lake Superior. Lava captured bubbles of air formed within, providing an opportunity for iron, quartz and other minerals to deposit in layers, creating agates. Lake Superior collects frequently discover these agates. Most of the agates are the size of peas, but larger specimens can weigh over twenty pounds!

Minnesota State Mineral

Minnesota is the home of several minerals. However, it has not officially adopted an official state mineral. Minnesota produces many minerals such as amphibole, garnet, olivine, biotite, graphite, plagioclase feldspar, calcite, gypsum, potassium feldspar, chalcopyrite, halite, pyrite, dolomite, hematite, pyroxene, fluorite, magnetite, quartz, galena, muscovite and sulfur.

Minnesota State Rock

Minnesota possesses a rich geological history that creates many beautiful sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks. It’s easy to discover rocks as ancient as 3.6 billion years old. However, the state does not have an official rock. You can still discover sandstone, basalt, Morton gneiss, shale, and granite (just to name a few).

Mississippi Gemstones and Minerals

Also known as “The Magnolia State” and “The Hospitality State,” Mississippi is a location that enjoys a rich heritage of petrified wood and fossils.

Petrified Wood is Mississippi’s state rock.

Mississippi State Gemstone

Known for its rich sources of petrified woods and fossils, Mississippi is difficult to discover gemstones. That is the reason why this state does not have any official state gemstone. While it’s hard to find specimens of the gemstones, there are a few stones such as agate and fulgurites that have been spotted at some locations.

Mississippi State Mineral

Mississippi does not have an official mineral. Still, you can find a few minerals such as marcasite and pyrite here. Both minerals portray a unique beauty that sets them apart.

Mississippi State Rock – Petrified Wood

When: 1976

Color: Varies. Colors determined by the composition

Where: Mississippi Petrified Forest near Flora (most popular)

Forming over 30 million years ago, trees growing during the Oligocene Epoch are the primary source of petrified wood in Mississippi. The coastline of the Gulf of Mexico extended further north during this time, which is why the wood is found in the northern parts of the state. Petrified wood is a fossil, wood turned into stone. The Mississippi Petrified Forest near Flora is the best location to find petrified wood in Mississippi.

Missouri Gemstones and Minerals

Nicknamed as the “The Show-Me State,” Missouri has been renowned as the “Cave State” for possessing almost 6000 wild caves. With highly varied geography, Missouri has two dozen documented meteorites.

Galena is Missouri’s state mineral.

Missouri State Gemstone

Although quartz is one of the most common gemstones found in Missouri, the state does not officially recognize any state gemstones. Other gemstones native to the state include barite, dolomite, and sphalerite.

Missouri State Mineral – Galena

When: 1967

Color: Gray

Where: Southwest Missouri

Being the major foundation of lead ore, Missouri state legislature brought the recognition to this mineral by emphasizing Missouri’s status as the nation’s top manufacturer of lead. The beauty of this mineral is its gray color and the small cube structure. Galena was first discovered in the late 1600s, and in 1720 its extraction began from the Mine La Motte. Amazingly the Galena mining has been succeeded in the southwest Missouri area known as Joplin-Granby. While you can discover rich deposits in other places such as Washington, Crawford, Iron, and Reynolds counties.

Missouri State Rock – Mozarkite

When: 1967

Color: Red, pink, and purple hues with hints of green, gray and brown

Where: Lake of the Ozarks

Mozarkite has won distinction as a unique variety of fine-grained chert because of its fabulous deviation of colors and high-finish. You can enjoy its beauty in a variation of reds, pinks, and purples, with tantalizing hints of green, gray, and brown. Mostly found along the shore of Lake of the Ozarks. Before it was renamed in 1950 by two rock fanciers, Mozarkite was called “Missouri agate.”

Montana Gemstones and Minerals

Montana, the “Treasure State,” is famous for its large copper and coal deposits. A beautiful place to rock hunt sapphires and agates, Montana is world renowned for its exceptional dinosaur fossils.

Sapphire is one of the two-state gemstones of Montana.

Montana State Gemstone – Agate and Sapphire

When: 1969

Color: Brown, white, red, gray, pink, black, yellow (agate); any color except red (sapphire)

Where: Southeastern Montana (agate); Lewis, Clark, Deer Lodge, Granite and Judith Basin County (sapphire)

Not one but two gemstones share the title of state gemstone. In 1969, Montana announced agate and sapphire its official state gemstones. Montana is famous for its “Montana agates” also known as ‘moss agate.’ Their home is the stony beds of the Yellowstone River in southeastern Montana. The name ‘Moss’ defines the beautiful agate. It refers to the dendritic patterns that usually appear as moss-shaped inclusions due to the occurrence of manganese and iron oxides.

Montana is also celebrated for its sapphires. The first US sapphires were found in the grit of the Missouri River in 1865, in Lewis and Clark County, Montana. In 1889, on Dry Cottonwood Creek in Deer Lodge County, in 1892, on Rock Creek in Graphite County and in 1895, on Yogo Gulch in Judith Basin County. However, there are several other sites in Montana where small amounts of sapphires are also being found.

Montana State Mineral

Montana is very well known for its native copper deposits. In the gold rush days, when gold was found in 1864, the state also produced lots of silver, manganese, zinc, and coal. While being an epitome of such prized minerals, Montana does not recognize an official state mineral.

Montana State Rock

Being a rich resource of some of the beautiful gemstones, Montana is a great place to find the lovely rock named Covellite. It’s a rare mineral composition of copper sulfide. The pretty metallic purplish blue color is decorated with inclusions of golden pyrite. Still, Montana has not officially stated any rock as its official state rock.

Nebraska Gemstones and Minerals

Not as popular for gemstone or rock deposits, Nebraska is well-known for its tremendous fossil legacy. With exceptional climate diversions, this state is a proud holder of some beautiful specimens of gemstones and rocks.

Blue agate is Nebraska’s state gemstone.

Nebraska State Gemstone – Blue Agate

When: 1967

Color: Blue and strips of blue and white

Where: Northwestern Nebraska

Blue agate was designated the state gemstone on Nebraska’s 100th anniversary in 1967. This beautiful stone sometimes possesses a dark internal form with blue and white strips and frequently has a colorless line. Formed in a wind-blown deposit and claystone silts, these gemstones are easy to discover in Northwestern Nebraska.

Nebraska State Mineral

While not possessing an official state mineral, Nebraska is the home of numerous minerals. And the list of minerals continues to grow with the new discoveries and research conducted within the state. Some of the known minerals that are easy to find here are onyx, quartz, sulfur, gold, chalcedony, barite, and coal.

Nebraska State Rock – Prairie Agate

When: 1967

Color: Tan yellow and brown with strips of white, gray and black

Where: Not native to Nebraska

Prairie Agate became the state rock of Nebraska in 1967. What makes it unique is that it occasionally shows traces of other agates in its brands. Nebraska is filled with agate, especially near the Oglala National Grassland in northwest Nebraska. While being an official state rock, this state is not a native to Nebraska. It was created in sedimentary rocks in Wyoming and South Dakota and consequently windswept from these deposits, passing into Nebraska by streams.

Nevada Gemstone and Minerals

Nicknamed the “Silver State,” Nevada is home to the famous Comstock Lode, one of the biggest mineral finds in history. Being the fourth-largest miner of gold in the world, Nevada is an extraordinary place with a wide variety of gemstones, rocks, minerals, and fossils.

Turquoise is one of two state gemstones of Nevada.

Nevada State Gemstone – Turquoise and Virgin Valley Black Fire Opal

When: 1987

Color: Blue (Turquoise); Black with bright colors (Virgin Valley black fire opal)

Where: Throughout the state (turquoise); Northern Nevada (Virgin Valley black fire opal)

When one isn’t enough for a state that’s filled with extraordinary findings, there are always two. Nevada appointed two official state gemstones in 1987. Nevada turquoise is the semi-precious official state gemstone. Nevada turquoise is occasionally known as the “Jewel of the Desert” and can be discovered in many parts of the state.

Nevada designated Virgin Valley black fire opal as its official state gemstone in 1987. In Northern Nevada, Virgin Valley is the one place in North America where it’s easy to find this black fire opal in any a noteworthy quantity. The black opal mined from this region draws comparisons to black opals from Australia. This gemstone has a beautiful display of bright colors on a black background. Along with black opal, other opals are also found in the Virgin Valley, such as opalized wood.

Nevada State Metal- Silver

Where: 1977

Color: Metallic gray ore. Polished silver gleams bright white.

Where: Virginia Range

During the early mining days, silver was the most important metal found in Nevada. This is why we call it the “Silver State,” and why Nevada does not recognize an official mineral! In 1859, an enormous silver deposit dubbed the Comstock Lode was found in Virginia Range. The land was first claimed by the prospector Henry Tomkins Paige Comstock. The enormous silver findings in Nevada have been significant factors in the growth, foundation, and prosperity of Nevada.

Nevada State Rock – Sandstone

When: 1987

Color: Tan, brown, yellow, red, grey, pink, white, black

Where: All throughout Nevada

In 1987, Nevada elected sandstone as its official state rock, thanks to the efforts of the children from Gene Ward Elementary School, Las Vegas. It’s easy to discover sandstone in its common form or as a quartzite all through Nevada. Interestingly, sandstone formed millions of years ago when Nevada was beneath a vast inland sea. Valley of Fire State Park and Red Rock Canyon Recreational Lands, near Las Vegas, are the best places to have Nevada’s most remarkable scenery and sandstone.

New Hampshire Gemstones and Minerals

Holding many granite formation and quarries, New Hampshire is known as the “Granite State.” In fact, the state’s official emblem “Old Man of the Mountain” defies their granite legacy. A good state for rock hunting, New Hampshire provides excellent opportunities for recreational visitors.

Smoky quartz is New Hampshire’s state gemstone.

New Hampshire State Gemstone – Smoky Quartz

When: 1985

Color: Yellow-brown, brown to black

Where: White Mountain National Forest

Regarded as the official state gemstone of New Hampshire in 1985, smoky or smokey quartz is a brown-to-black specimen of quartz and is discovered in various kinds of rocks, together with granite. The White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire takes account of a favorite smoky quartz site.

New Hampshire State Mineral – Beryl

When: 1985

Color: Aquamarine, green, yellow-green, pink, colorless, yellow

Where: Grafton, Rockingham, Sullivan, Cheshires, Caroll counties

In 1985, New Hampshire declared beryl as its official state mineral. New Hampshire has an abundance of granite rocks, and these rocks are the source of beryl stone. Interestingly, beryl has a big family that has some wonderful members such as aquamarine, emerald, heliodor, morganite, goshenite, and golden beryl. Beryl was also a popular source for the crystal in crystal balls.

New Hampshire State Rock – Granite

When: 1985

Color: Spots of white, black, pale pink, gray

Where: Throughout the State

Granite was awarded New Hampshire’s official state rock position in 1985. The abundance of beautiful granite is why we call New Hampshire the “Granite State.” The iconic “Old Man of the Mountain” in New Hampshire is made of Jurassic Conway granite.

New Jersey Gemstone and Minerals

Also known as “The Garden State,” New Jersey is a geologically diverse state. Although this state hasn’t recognized any official gemstone, rock or mineral, there are many mineral and gem deposits.

Although New Jersey does not have a state rock, gemstone or mineral, amethyst is found readily throughout the state.

New Jersey State Gemstone

Although New Jersey has not officially adopted any gemstone, the state enjoys a variety of beautiful gemstones. if purple is among your favorite colors, you will love the gorgeous amethyst found here. New Jersey hosts a unique variety of clear quartz known as “Cape May Diamonds.” These gemstones can be discovered on Sunset Beach in the town of Cape May. You may also find a variety of gemstones such as smoky quartz and opal.

New Jersey Mineral

Not usually known as a gemstone, New Jersey’s mineral “franklinite,” was discovered in the zinc mines in the state’s northwest corner. Franklinite is the blend of two minerals: zinc and iron. Looking like yummy chocolate chips, the minerals found in Franklin area are loved for their fluorescence when seen under black light.

New Jersey Rock

New Jersey has no official rock, but this state is filled with beautiful rocks specimens. You will love the agates found here. They are readily available at the same sites as of quartz pebbles. Along with agate, discovering jasper is very easy. The site where these rocks are found is sometimes referred as “Carnelian Brook,” South of Interstate Highway 78 in Somerset County.

These stones portray beautiful strip patterns which make them incredibly distinct from their counterparts. As your search deepens, you can also find beautiful malachite and serpentine rocks with other minerals at a dense mine near Lake Valhalla in a Morris County Park. There are very early copper mines at Watchung Mountains, which offers copper finds attached to rocks such as malachite.

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