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 fourth part of the Patriotic Gemstone series and covers New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina.
Don’t see your state? Check out this page to read the rest of the Patriotic Gemstone series.
New Mexico Gemstones and Minerals
Known as the “Land of Enchantment”, New Mexico is home to a diverse terrain that includes the Chihuahuan Desert as well as the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The state welcomes tourists with open arms and exposes them to few days of pure, unadulterated fun.
New Mexico State Gemstone – Turquoise
Color: Blue to Green
Where: Eddy, Grant, Otera and Sante Fe counties
One of the oldest gemstones known to mankind, turquoise is an opaque, blue to green mineral. A vast majority of the world’s finest-quality turquoise is found in the Southwestern United States, which are also the leading turquoise producers in the world.
Turquoise has been used extensively by many of the native tribes of Mexico, as well as the Southwestern Native Americans for making turquoise beads, carvings, and inlaid mosaics. It’s interesting to note that almost all of the important deposits of the turquoise are scattered around the copper deposits in the arid regions of the world.
Presently, turquoise jewelry set in sterling silver enjoys a great demand in New Mexico, and the market is flowing with innovatively designed turquoise jewelry.
New Mexico State Mineral
New Mexico saw the development of a number of mineral mines around the early 1800s. This activity was particularly prominent in its Southwestern region that was and still is one of the richest mineral areas in the state.
Copper was extracted as early as 1804 at Santa Rita. The Chino Copper Mine, where copper was first discovered, is still operational.
One of the other most popular mineral mining areas in the state, the Magdalena Mountains, near Socorro, lies in Central New Mexico The area is particularly rich in lead ores.
New Mexico State Rocks
Mines have been in New Mexico since 1800. Some of these mines are still operational even today. The only facet-quality dolomite found in the entire United States is colorless material that is found in New Mexico. Gem quality fluorite is found in the deposits of Lincoln, Luna, Rio Arriba, Socorro, Bernalillo, Catron, Dona Ana, Grant, Hidalgo, Sierra, and Taos.
Facet-quality leopardine comes from Socorro, while the best facet-quality moonstone in the entire US is found in Grant. Until the 1920s New Mexico was the largest supplier of turquoise in the entire country. New Mexico also has quite a few areas where fossils are found.
New York Gemstones and Minerals
Known as “The Empire State,” New York is also rich in gemstones and minerals. It has gained popularity for producing a variety of quartz crystals popularly known as Herkimer Diamonds. A variety of calcite, quartz, tourmaline, and garnets are also found in different corners of the state. New York recognizes red garnet as its official gemstone and “Herkimer Diamond” quartz as its state mineral.
New York State Gemstone- Wine Red Garnet
Color: Intense red to strong, deep red
Where: Adirondack Mountains (one of the most prominent garnet mining sites)
It was in 1969 that wine red garnet was adopted as the state gemstone of New York. The Barton Mines in the Adirondack Mountains is the largest garnet producing mine in the world. However, the garnet that’s excavated from the mines is mostly industrial grade garnet. This abrasive material is used for polishing glass and metal. Only occasionally is gemstone quality garnet found in these mines.
Since 2003 New York is the leading producer of industrial garnet in the United States.
New York State Mineral – Herkimer Diamond
Color: Colorless, but some are smoky and dull
Where: Herkimer County
The “Herkimer Diamond” holds the honor of being the official state mineral of New York. A variety of quartz, the mineral is also known as “Little Falls Diamond” because it was discovered at Little Falls which falls in Herkimer County.
Herkimer Diamond can also be found at the Crystal Grove Diamond Mine near the town of Johnsville in Montgomery.
New York State Rocks
New York is a fascinating destination for geology lovers. Western New York is popular for dolostones, shales, sandstones, siltstones, and limestones.
Rocks discovered in 1837 in the city of Syracuse were determined to be serpentinite. Similar instances of rocks being unearthed were soon reported from Ludlowville to the South and West Canada Creek in proximity to the Little Falls to the East.
North Carolina Gemstones and Minerals
North Carolina is one of the most naturally gifted states in the US. Whether you are trekking along its many trails or relaxing on its beaches, there’s no end to the fun in this state. North Carolina also boasts an official state gemstone, rock, and mineral.
North Carolina State Gemstones – Emerald
North Carolina adopted emerald as its official gemstone in 1973. An emerald crystal, believed to be the largest ever found in North America, was discovered in 2003 near Statesville in North Carolina. Furthermore, a 71 carat stone that produced two finished stones was found in the same location. The finished stones are the Carolina Prince, weighing 7.85 carats, and the Carolina Queen weighing 18.88 carats.
North Carolina State Mineral – Gold
Color: Metallic yellow
Where: Cabarrus, Rutherford County
North Carolina has adopted gold as its state mineral in 2011. The discovery of gold in the state is credited to a twelve-year-old boy who discovered it in 1799 in Cabarrus County and began the gold rush in America. The location where the gold was discovered is now named after its discoverer, Conrad Reed, as the Reed Gold Mine.
The mid-1800s saw the minting of gold coins at privately owned Bechtler Mint in Rutherford County and at a branch of the United States Mint in Charlotte. Though gold production on a bigger scale ceased in the 1800s, it continued at a smaller level until 1942. However, modern mining technology has revived the interest in commercial gold production in the state.
North Carolina State Rock – Granite
Color: Dark gray
Where: Mount Airy, Surry County
North Carolina has adopted the “Noble Rock” granite as its state rock. Located outside Mount Airy in Surry County is the largest open face granite quarry in the world. It measures about a mile in length and about 1800 feet in width.
The granite found here is often unblemished, gleaming and without any interfering seams that can ruin its splendor. The high quality of the granite is testament to the fact that it’s used as a building material in the both industrial and laboratory sectors, where smooth surfaces are mandatory.
Granite stands for strength and resoluteness, qualities that typify North Carolinians. It is, therefore, fitting that state adopted this gorgeous stone as its state rock.
North Dakota Gemstones and Minerals
North Dakota is renowned for its natural beauty and wild life. Though the state has not adopted state gemstone, mineral, or rock, nature has not deprived it of its boon. Some of the leading gemstones, minerals, and rocks found in North Dakota are mentioned below.
North Dakota State Gemstone
North Dakota is home to goshenite that is mostly used as a gemstone. It is also a source of beryllium. Before diamond stimulants like cubic zirconia was used for the purpose, goshenite was also used as diamond replacement.
Apart from North Dakota goshenite is also found in Burma, Pakistan, Brazil, Russia, China, Namibia, Canada, and Mexico. In the United States, goshenite deposits are also found in New Hampshire, Colorado, California, Maine, North Dakota, Connecticut, and Idaho.
North Dakota State Mineral
Though North Dakota does not boast of state mineral, yet it will be very wrong on anyone’s part to think of the state as one completely devoid of this natural treasure.
Some of the prominent minerals to be found in the state include volcanic ash, sand and gravel, petroleum, uranium, salt, and coal.
North Dakota State Rock
Field stones are common to many areas of North Dakota. These stones were used by earliest settlers to lay the foundation of their homes. Today field stones are utilized for the purpose of decorating front yards in towns like Bismarck and Minot and to a lesser extent in places like Fargo and Grand Forks. They are also used as foundations along the shorelines and dams as well as for the purpose of landscaping.
Geologists have coined the term “erratic” to address field stones that are left behind by glaciers. Glacial erratic fieldstones are the oldest geologic materials to be found on the surface of North Dakota. Those that are composed of dolomite or limestone are about 300 to 500 million years old, while some of the metamorphic or igneous erratic fieldstones might be three to four billion years old. In sharp contrast, the land where they might be lying might be as recent as 12000 years old, particularly in places where erratic fieldstones lie directly on glacial deposits!
North Dakota State Fossil – Teredo Petrified Wood
Color: Gray with yellow tints
Where: Warm-water swamp area of North Dakota
Despite not having a state rock, mineral or gemstone, North Dakota does has a state fossil! In fact, Teredo Petrified Wood has been deemed as the official state fossil as it is found primarily in the warm-water swamps throughout the state. Scientists estimates that the fossil was originally from 60-80 million years ago.
Ohio Gemstones and Minerals
Ohio is well known for flint deposits. However, not many know that Ohio is also the largest producer of geodes in the world. The state has adopted “Ohio Flint” as its official gemstone.
Ohio State Gemstone – Ohio Flint
Color: Dark grey, black, green, white, brown
Where: Rocky Mountains and Gulf of Mexico
It was in the year 1965 that the Ohio General Assembly adopted “Ohio Flint” as the official gemstone of the state. As it is rich in flint deposits, it is only natural that Ohio adopted “Ohio Flint” as its official gemstone.
Flint, a member of the quartz family, is a tough and strong mineral in use for centuries. It is believed that Native American, before coming in contact with Europeans, used flint to make a variety of ceremonial regalia, tools, and weapons. Skilled craftsmen used coarse flint pieces to make such utility items like knives, scrapers, pipes and arrowheads. Flint Ridge, that falls in Licking and Muskingum counties, was a major contributor of flint for Ohio’s Native Americans.
Archaeologists have found artifacts made from Flint Ridge flint in such distant places as the Rocky Mountains and the Gulf of Mexico. The Ohio History Connection runs a museum at Flint Ridge that showcases the close connection that the state shares with flint. Visitors can see for themselves excavation pits that were operational centuries ago. Early European settlers of Ohio used flint for a variety of objects that even included millstones and rifle parts.
Ohio State Mineral
A variety of areas in Ohio boast of mineral deposits. Findlay Arch Mineral District that lies in Northwestern Ohio is the most reputed mineral district in the state. Grand crystals of dolomite, calcite, fluorite, and celestite are found in cavities of rocks from the Silurian age. Most of these quarries, however, are now closed to the public.
A small area of Southern Ohio, popularly referred to as Serpent Mound, is known for producing sphalerite, a mineral that is a major ore of zinc. Other minerals that are found in the area include barite and calcite along with geodes.
Rocks in eastern Ohio are renowned for producing petrified wood, hematite nodules, and ironstone septarian concretions. Marcasite and pyrite crystals are found in Olentangy Shale and Ohio Shale in outcrops throughout Ohio.
Ohio State Rocks
Ohio can boast of metamorphic, igneous and sedimentary rocks all of which lie deep beneath the surface of the state. These are covered with thick layers of younger and more recent sedimentary rocks. The rocks that lie buried are the foundation on which ancient water bodies deposited the layers of sedimentary rocks that can be seen today on the surface, while the upper sedimentary layers created the foundation on which Ohio’s present day soil developed.
Ohio State Fossil – Isotelus
Color: Brownish gray
Where: Southwestern Ohio
In 1985, a class of third-graders and another class of fourth-graders petitioned together to get trilobites recognized as Ohio’s state fossil. Although the Ohio government agreed that they needed to recognize a state fossil, they did not agree with the choice. They thought that since Isotelus is more prominent and can be found in larger quantities, it was decided that Isotelus is the more appropriate choice for state fossil. The extinct animal would have lived 300 million years ago and was a predator of the seabed.
Oklahoma Gemstones and Minerals
Oklahoma has considerable natural deposits. Indeed, the gemstone and mineral deposits in the state will not disappoint any enthusiast. Oklahoma has adopted rose rock as its state rock.
Oklahoma State Gemstones
Though Oklahoma is not considered a gemstone rich state, it has considerable gemstone deposits scattered around the state.
Egirine, quartz, malachite, barite, and orthoclase occur in Comanche County in considerable deposits.
Ample deposits of quartz are found in McCurtain County.
The unusual stone brochantite is found in Garvin County.
Oklahoma State Mineral
Oklahoma has considerable mineral deposits. In the past, the Northeastern region of the state was particularly popular for its lead and zinc mines. Today, mineral deposits are found in all 77 counties of the state.
The minerals found in Oklahoma can be classified into non-fuel and fuel minerals. The non-fuel minerals include salt, limestone, clay, gypsum, sand and gravel, and iodine. Whereas the fuel mineral group includes coal and petroleum (crude oil and petroleum). In recent times the mineral industry of Oklahoma has emerged as the state’s greatest source of revenue.
Oklahoma State Rock – Rose Rock
Color: Reddish brown to cinnamon
Where: Noble (it’s the unofficial Rose Rock capital of the world!)
In 1968, Oklahoma adopted rose rock (barite rose) as its official state rock. These rocks were formed by barite rocks during the Permian age and resemble blooming roses. This is the reason why they are called rose rock.
There are very few places around the world where these rocks are found. Barite rose rocks are found in clusters that can be of two roses as or of bouquets of roses. Some clusters are known to weigh hundreds of pounds! The red soil of Oklahoma is responsible for their color of reddish brown to cinnamon.
Oregon Gemstones and Minerals
A beautiful state, Oregon’s landscape varies from pine-covered mountains, to dry deserts, to beautiful beaches. Whatever your choice you will not face a moment of dullness. Oregon its own state gemstone and rock.
Oregon State Gemstone – Oregon Sunstone
Where: Southcentral Oregon
Oregon chose Oregon Sunstone as its state gemstone in 1987. Also known as heliolite, the stone is known for its uncommon clarity, composition, and range of colors.
The color of these sunstones is directly related to the quantity of copper metal within the stone. These also produce unusual optical effects. These are formed by the weathering of the basaltic lava that flows of South-central Oregon.
Oregon State Mineral
There are minerals that can be found while strolling on the beaches along the Oregon coast. Agates are often found after big storms along the coast. If you are an agate fan, then you will do well to look for it after big winter storms.
Though one can find agate and other minerals along the coast, one of the best agate hunting places is south of Otter Rock.
In Southern Oregon, on the other hand, one can find agates and fossils from the mouth of Sixes River down to Gold Beach.
Oregon State Rock – Thunderegg
Color: Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, Brown, White
Where: Wasco, Crook, Wheeler, Jefferson, Malheur
In 1965 the “thunderegg” was designated as the official state rock of Oregon. Available mostly in Wasco, Crook, Wheeler, Jefferson, and Malheur, each thunderegg is distinct in its pattern, color, and design, showcasing exquisite designs once cut and polished. An exceptional gift from Mother Nature, thundereggs are highly sought after around the world.
The stone formed in rhyolite lava flows that spread over Oregon about 60 million years ago during the Eocene Age. Geologists are of the opinion that the round-shaped thundereggs were formed within the lava that served as molds.
Pennsylvania Gemstones and Minerals
Pennsylvania does not have an official state gemstone, mineral, or rocks. However, it is wrong to think that the state is completely devoid of natural treasures. Find some of the most prominent ones described below.
Pennsylvania State Gemstone
Prominent gemstones found in Pennsylvania include three varieties of garnet, pyrite, and quartz.
Garnets that are found in Pennsylvania are almandine garnet, andradite garnet, and spessartine garnet. The sites where these garnets were found are now closed for commercial mining.
Almandine garnet has been found in the areas of Boothwyn that falls in Delaware County and Merion Station, and Miqun falling in Montgomery County. Andradite garnet is known to have been found in St. Peters Village and in Lebanon County. Spessartine garnet was found in Delaware County.
Pyrite, “the poor man’s gold,” is found in Lancaster County, Chester County, Lebanon County and in Berks and Luzerne Counties.
Regions of Pennsylvania where quartz crystal is found include the Mud Grubb lake that runs between Mountville and Columbia in the Lancaster County. It is also found in the Brookdale mine which is located at Phoenixville in Chester County, as well as at Rossville Road Cut about a mile to the north of Rossville. However, the Southwest Chester and Brookdale mines are now abandoned.
September 2018 Update: The Pennsylvania Senate is officially considering amethyst as the state’s gemstone. If you would like to read more about the progress of the jurisdiction, click here.
Pennsylvania State Mineral
York County in Pennsylvania houses some mines where calcite is found. The place has a limestone belt in the central region where calcite deposits are mostly found.
The Codorus Stone and Supply Company Quarry that is located near Emigsville and Roosevelt Avenue Plant in York County are places where some of the best quality of calcite is found.
However, it should be noted that one requires prior permission to visit any of these quarries.
Pennsylvania State Rock
Some of the common clastic sedimentary rocks found in Pennsylvania are claystone, conglomerate, shale, siltstone, and sandstone, while common non-clastic sedimentary rocks found here are dolomite and limestone.
Pennsylvania also has deposits of igneous rocks. These are formed by the cooling of molten lava or magma. Pennsylvania boasts of a variety of igneous rocks, most of which have undergone metamorphism.
Metamorphic rocks are also found in Pennsylvania. Some of the prominent metamorphic stones found in Pennsylvania include phyllite, phyllite, gneiss, marble, and schist.
Rhode Island Gemstones and Minerals
Rhode Island is the smallest state of the Union and therefore there is very little for gemstone and rock enthusiasts here. However, beach goers will find the place interesting as Rhode Island has several fabulous beaches. The state has adopted bowenite as its state mineral and cumberlandite as its state rock.
Rhode Island State Gemstone
Rhode Island does not have any official state gemstone. However, the state does produce high-quality amethyst. Moonstone is another important gemstone that is found in the beaches of Rhode Island. In fact, it will be interesting to note that one of the beaches in Rhode Island is known as Moonstone Beach!
Rhode Island State Mineral – Bowenite
Color: Dark green to light olive green
Where: Northern Rhode Island
In 1966 Rhode Island officially declared bowenite as its state mineral. It is closely related to jade and is regarded as a semi-precious gemstone. Bowenite owes its discovery to the geologist George Bowen who unearthed it in the early 1800s.
Bowenite is a form of serpentine that can be cut into polished slabs or cabochons. The stone is associated with limestone and originally found in Lincoln.
Rhode Island State Rock – Cumberlandite
Color: Black or dark brown
Where: South of Cumberland
The state of Rhode Island designated cumberlandite as its state rock in 1966. Cumberlandite is an extremely rare variety of igneous rock. The rock is magnetic and is believed to be 1 to 1.5 billion years old.
Black or dark brown in appearance with white markings, cumberlandite is found south of Cumberland on both sides of Rhode Island and Narragansett Bay.
South Carolina Gemstones and Minerals
South Carolina boasts huge deposits of granite, particularly blue granite. Gemstones like amethyst, beryl, and garnet, and minerals like sillimanite, kyanite, and zircon are also found in the state. South Carolina has adopted amethyst as its state gemstone, while blue granite is its official rock or stone.
South Carolina State Gemstone – Amethyst
Where: Lowndesville, Antreville
South Carolina has adopted amethyst as its official gemstone. Samples of these amethysts find a place of honor in the prestigious American Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Mines near Lowndesville and Antreville also hold amethyst reserves.
The biggest cluster of pure amethyst was found in Antreville in 2008. The prized discovery weighed 118 pounds and revealed a range of purple crystals that measured up to 14 inches long. This is the biggest discovery of pure amethyst crystals in the entirety of North America. The mammoth crystal is housed in the prestigious South Carolina State Museum in Columbia.
Diamond Hill is one of the most popular areas for amateurs to find amethyst gemstones.
South Carolina State Mineral
South Carolina does not have an official state mineral, yet the state is not devoid of valuable natural resources.
Some of the most prominent minerals found within the state include sand and gravel, certain types of industrial metals, crushed stone, and different types of clay.
South Carolina State Rock – Blue Granite
Color: Light-blue, gray
Where: Fairfield County
South Carolina has declared blue granite to be its official state rock and stone. The Midlands and Piedmont regions of the state are popular for producing this granite in plenty. The stone was used in the construction of the South Carolina State House.
Often addressed as Winnsboro Blue Granite or simply Winnsboro Blue, this light-blue or gray-colored stone was excavated in Fairfield County between 1883 and 1946.
South Carolina has maintained its position as one of the leading producers of granite in the entire United States.
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