State Gemstones of the United States

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The State Gemstones

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.

See the state gems listed by state

See gemstone names correlated with their mineral names

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Agate

LA,MD,MN,MT,NE,ND
State Gemstones of the United States. Photo courtesy Julie Falk of flickr under Creative Commons license

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).

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Almandine Garnet

NY
State Gemstones of the United States. Photo courtesy Dave Merrill of flickr under Creative Commons license

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.

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Amethyst

SC
State Gemstones of the United States. Photo (c) 2009 Andrew Alden, licensed to About.com ( fair use policy)

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

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Aquamarine

CO
State Gemstones of the United States. Photo (c) 2013 Andrew Alden, licensed to About.com ( fair use policy)

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. 

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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.

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Black Coral

HI
State Gemstones of the United States. Photo courtesy Gordana Adamovic-Mladenovic of flickr under Creative Commons license

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.

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Blue Quartz

AL
State Gemstones of the United States. Photo courtesy Jessica Ball, all rights reserved

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

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Chlorastrolite

MI
State Gemstones of the United States. Photo courtesy Charles Dawley of flickr under Creative Commons license

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.

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Diamond

AR
State Gemstones of the United States. Photo (c) 2009 Andrew Alden, licensed to About.com ( fair use policy)

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.

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Emerald

NC
State Gemstones of the United States. Photo courtesy Orbital Joe of flickr under Creative Commons license

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

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Fire Opal

NV
State Gemstones of the United States. Photo (c) 2009 Andrew Alden, licensed to About.com ( fair use policy)

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

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Flint

OH
State Gemstones of the United States. Photo (c) 2007 Andrew Alden, licensed to About.com ( fair use policy)

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.

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Fossil Coral

WV
State Gemstones of the United States. Photo courtesy of David Phillips, all rights reserved

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.

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Freshwater Pearls

KY,TN
State Gemstones of the United States. Photo courtesy Helmetti of flickr under Creative Commons license

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.

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Grossular Garnet

VT
State Gemstones of the United States. Photo courtesy Bryant Olsen of flickr under Creative Commons license

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.

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Jade

AK,WY
State Gemstones of the United States. Photo courtesy Adrià Martin of flickr under Creative Commons license

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.

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Moonstone

FL
State Gemstones of the United States. Photo courtesy Dauvit Alexander of flickr under Creative Commons license

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.

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Petrified Wood

WA
State Gemstones of the United States. Photo courtesy of tree-species of flickr under Creative Commons license

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.

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Quartz

GA
State Gemstones of the United States. Photo (c) 2009 Andrew Alden, licensed to About.com ( fair use policy)

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

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Rhodonite

MA
State Gemstones of the United States. Photo courtesy Chris Ralph, from 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.

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Sapphire

MT
State Gemstones of the United States. Photo courtesy Beth Flaherty of flickr under Creative Commons license

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

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Smoky Quartz

NH
State Gemstones of the United States. Photo courtesy Andy Coburn of flickr under Creative Commons license

Smoky quartz is the state gem of New Hampshire.

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Star Garnet

ID
State Gemstones of the United States. Photo courtesy Claire H. of flickr under Creative Commons license

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

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Sunstone

OR
State Gemstones of the United States. Courtesy oregon-sunstone.com; photo by Paula Watts, all rights reserved

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.

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Topaz

TX,UT
State Gemstones of the United States. Photo (c) 2009 Andrew Alden, licensed to About.com ( fair use policy)

Topaz is the state gem of Texas and Utah.

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Tourmaline

ME
State Gemstones of the United States. Photo courtesy Orbital Joe of flickr under Creative Commons license

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.

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Turquoise

AZ,NV,NM
State Gemstones of the United States. Photo courtesy Bryant Olsen of flickr under Creative Commons license

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