Official State Gems

Listed by state along with the date they were adopted.

Pre-cut fire opal gemstone.
A beautiful, pre-cut piece of fire opal -- the state gemstone of Nevada. De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images

Thirty-five of the 50 states have designated an official state gem or gemstone. Montana and Nevada have both named two (one precious and one semiprecious), while Texas has named a state gem and gemstone cut. 

Most of the gem names are linked to the picture gallery of state gemstones. The "Adoption Date" link goes to the best existing material from the respective state government or science institution.

More detail below the table. 

State Gemstone Adoption Date
Alabama Star blue quartz 1990
Alaska Jade 1968
Arizona Turquoise 1974
Arkansas Diamond 1967
California Benitoite 1985
Colorado Aquamarine 1971
Florida Moonstone 1970
Georgia Quartz 1976
Hawaii Black coral 1987
Idaho Star garnet 1967
Kentucky Freshwater pearl 1986
Louisiana Cabochon cut oyster shell 2011
Maine Tourmaline 1971
Maryland Patuxent River stone 2004
Massachusetts Rhodonite 1979
Michigan Chlorastrolite (pumpellyite) 1973
Minnesota Lake Superior agate 1969
Montana

Sapphire

Montana agate

1969

1969

Nebraska Blue agate 1967
Nevada

Nevada turquoise

Virgin Valley black fire opal

1987

1987

New Hampshire Smoky quartz 1985
New Mexico Turquoise 1967
New York Almandine garnet 1969
North Carolina Emerald 1973
Ohio Ohio flint 1965
Oregon Oregon sunstone 1987
South Carolina Amethyst 1969
South Dakota Fairburn agate 1966
Tennessee Freshwater pearls 1979
Texas

Texas Blue topaz

Lone Star Cut (gemstone cut)

1969

1977

Utah Topaz 1969
Vermont Grossular garnet 1991
Washington Petrified wood 1975
West Virginia Fossil coral Lithostrotionella 1990
Wyoming Nephrite jade 1967

A gemstone is not necessarily a sparkling crystal—the majority of state gemstones are not crystalline minerals, but rather colorful rocks that look their best as flat, polished cabochons (perhaps in a bolo tie, belt buckle or ring). Most are unpretentious, inexpensive stones with democratic appeal. 

Above all else, the gems are unique to or represent their state in some fashion. Arkansas' adoption of diamond as their state gem, for example, is due to the state having the only public diamond deposit in the USA. On the other hand, Florida's state gem (moonstone) is not actually found in Florida. Instead, its adoption is a tribute to the role that the state played in the 1969 moon landing.

Of course, state legislators do not follow the same guidelines as geologists for how they classify a gem. In many cases, states have named rocks, minerals or even fossils as their gem or gemstone. 

Helpful Links

Many gems have both a gemstone name and a mineral name, cross-listed in this pair of tables. My favorite and most easily navigable site for all state symbols is statesymbolsusa.org

Be sure to check out my list of state fossils, state minerals and state rocks. You might find that the lawmakers did not necessarily follow the geologic rule book for those classifications, either. 

Edited by Brooks Mitchell