State Gemstones of the United States

Gemstones
Don Farrall/Getty Images

Thirty-five of the 50 states have designated an official gem or gemstone. Some states like Missouri have named an official state mineral or rock, but not a gemstone. Montana and Nevada, on the other hand, have chosen both a precious and semiprecious gemstone.

Although the laws may call them "gems," these state gemstones are generally not sparkling crystals, so it is still more accurate to call them gemstones. The majority are colorful rocks that look their best as flat, polished cabochons, perhaps in a bolo tie or belt buckle. They are unpretentious, inexpensive stones with democratic appeal.

01
of 27

Agate

Agate
Julie Falk/Flickr

Agate is the state gem of Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, and North Dakota. This makes it by far the most popular state gemstone (and ​state rock).

02
of 27

Almandine Garnet

Almandine Garnet
State Gemstones of the United States. Dave Merrill/Flickr

Almandine garnet is the state gem of New York. The world's largest garnet mine is in New York, but it produces the stone exclusively for the abrasives market.

03
of 27

Amethyst

Amethyst
Andrew Alden/Flickr

Amethyst, or purple quartz crystal, is the state gem of South Carolina.

04
of 27

Aquamarine

Aquamarine
Andrew Alden/Flickr

Aquamarine is the state gem of Colorado. Aquamarine is the blue variety of the mineral beryl and is typically found in block-shaped hexagonal prisms, which are the shape of pencils. 

05
of 27

Benitoite

CA
State Gemstones of the United States. Photo (c) 2004 Andrew Alden, licensed to About.com ( fair use policy)

Benitoite is the state gem of California. In all the world, this sky-blue ring silicate is produced only from the Idria locality in the central Coast Range.

06
of 27

Black Coral

Black Coral
State Gemstones of the United States. Gordana Adamovic-Mladenovic/Flickr

Black coral is the state gem of Hawaii. Various species of black coral occur around the world, and all of them rare and endangered. This specimen is located in the Caribbean.

07
of 27

Blue Quartz

Blue Quartz
Jessica Ball/Flickr

Star blue quartz is the state gem of Alabama. Blue quartz like this contains microscopic inclusions of amphibole minerals and occasionally exhibits asterism.

08
of 27

Chlorastrolite

Chlorastrolite
Charles Dawley/Flickr

Chlorastrolite, a variety of pumpellyite, is the state gem of Michigan. The name means "green star stone," after the radiating habit of the pumpellyite crystals.

09
of 27

Diamond

Diamond
Andrew Alden/Flickr

Diamond is the state gem of Arkansas, the only state in America with a diamond deposit open for public digging. When they are found there, most diamonds look like this.

10
of 27

Emerald

Emerald
Orbital Joe/Flickr

Emerald, the green variety of beryl, is the state gem of North Carolina. Emerald is found as stubby hexagonal prisms or as streamworn pebbles.

11
of 27

Fire Opal

Fire Opal
Andrew Alden/Flickr

Fire opal is the state precious gem of Nevada (turquoise is its state semiprecious gem). Unlike this rainbow opal, it displays warm colors.

12
of 27

Flint

Flint
Andrew Alden/Flickr

Flint is the state gem of Ohio. Flint is a hard, fairly pure type of chert used by Indians for toolmaking and, like agate, attractive in polished cabochon form.

13
of 27

Fossil Coral

Fossil Coral
David Phillips/Flickr

The fossil coral Lithostrotionella is the state gem of West Virginia. Its growth patterns combine with the attractive colors of agate in a desirable gemstone.

14
of 27

Freshwater Pearls

Freshwater Pearls
Helmetti/Flickr

Freshwater pearls are the state gem of Kentucky and Tennessee. Unlike sea pearls, freshwater pearls have an irregular form and a wide range of color. Pearls are considered a mineraloid.

15
of 27

Grossular Garnet

Grossular Garnet
Bryant Olsen/Flickr

Grossular garnet is the state gem of Vermont. This garnet mineral ranges in color from green to red, including golden and brownish colors as seen in this specimen.

16
of 27

Jade

Jade
Adrià Martin/Flickr

Jade, specifically nephrite (cryptocrystalline actinolite), is the state gem of Alaska and Wyoming. Jadeite, the other jade mineral, is not found in useful quantities in the United States.

17
of 27

Moonstone

Moonstone
Dauvit Alexander/Flickr

Moonstone (opalescent feldspar) is the state gem of Florida, although it does not naturally occur there. The state cited moonstone to honor its space industry.

18
of 27

Petrified Wood

Petrified Wood
tree-species/Flickr

Petrified wood is the state gem of Washington. Agatized fossil wood makes attractive cabochon jewelry. This specimen was found at Gingko Petrified Forest State Park.

19
of 27

Quartz

Quartz
Andrew Alden/Flickr

Quartz is the state gem of Georgia. Clear quartz is the material making up Swarovski crystals.

20
of 27

Rhodonite

Rhodonite
Chris Ralph/Wikipedia

Rhodonite, a pyroxenoid mineral with the formula (Mn,Fe,Mg,Ca)SiO3, is the state gem of Massachusetts. It's also known as manganese spar.

21
of 27

Sapphire

Sapphire
Beth Flaherty/Flickr

Sapphire, or blue corundum, is the state gem of Montana. This is an assortment of stones from Montana's sapphire mines.

22
of 27

Smoky Quartz

Smoky Quartz
Andy Coburn/Flickr

Smoky quartz is the state gem of New Hampshire.

23
of 27

Star Garnet

Star Garnet
Claire H/Flickr

Star garnet is the state gem of Idaho. Thousands of needlelike mineral inclusions create a starlike pattern (asterism) when the stone is cut properly.

24
of 27

Sunstone

Sunstone
Paula Watts

Sunstone is the state gem of Oregon. Sunstone is feldspar that glitters from microscopic crystals. Oregon sunstone is unique in that the crystals are copper.

25
of 27

Topaz

Topaz
Andrew Alden/Flickr

Topaz is the state gem of Texas and Utah.

26
of 27

Tourmaline

Tourmaline
Orbital Joe/Flickr

Tourmaline is the state gem of Maine. Many gemstone mines are active in Maine's pegmatites, which are deep-seated igneous rocks with large and rare minerals.

27
of 27

Turquoise

Turquoise
Bryant Olsen/Flickr

Turquoise is the state gem of Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico. There it is a prominent aspect of Native American culture.