Independence Day! Fireworks, fun, apple pie, stars and stripes.
50 stars, 50 states, 50 stones.
Each state of America has an official stone, gem, or mineral to represent their state. Thirty-five states have chosen a official state gemstone. Do you know your state stone?
I was excited to learn that Florida has a state gem and a state stone. The Sunshine State's official gemstone is moonstone. Florida designated moonstone as the official state gem in 1970 to memorialize the American astronauts spaceflight and moon landing in 1969 from the Kennedy Space Center.
Moonstone, a form of the mineral feldspar, is not a gemstone found naturally in Florida. However our state stone, agatized coral, is found naturally in the state.
Coral is the outside skeleton of tiny ocean animals which live in colonies attached to hard underwater surfaces. The tiny ocean animals, polyps, form a lime-stone like substance -- coral -- when their carbon dioxide combines with warm seawater. Agatized coral is 20-30 million years old.
And while we are at it, Florida also has an official tree: the beautiful Sabal palm, which grows everywhere in the state.The sabal palm tree has wonderful uses in landscaping, medicine, and food, and is the palm tree on our state seal.
We have some awesome state flowers, as well as butterflies and shells too. And Florida has some very cool state animals, including manatees, dolphins, and panthers!
Can you guess what the official drink of Florida is? Yes, orange juice of course!
To celebrate the 4th of July, I thought it would be fun to explore the 50 state's minerals, gems, and stones. Some states only have an official mineral, while other states have all: an official mineral, stone, and gemstone. The following state listings are from Geology at About.com. Check the "List of Official Gemstones" for links to images of the state gems.
What's Your State Gemstone?
Alabama: Star Blue Quartz (1990)
Hawaii: Black coral
Idaho: Star Garnet
Kentucky: Freshwater pearl
Maryland: River Stone
Minnosota: Lake Superior Agate
Mississsippi: Petrified Wood
Missouri: Montana Agate and Sapphire
Nebraska: Chalcedony blue agate
Nevada: Black Fire Opal, Turquoise, Sandstone
New Hampshire: Smoky Quartz and Beryl
New Jersey: none
New Mexico: Turquoise
New York: Garnet
North Carolina: Emerald
North Dakota: none
Ohio: Ohio form of quartz
Oklahoma: Rose Rock
Rhode Island: Bowenite
South Carolina: Amethyst
South Dakota: Rose Quartz, Black Hills Gold
Tennessee: Tennessee Pearl, Agate
Texas: Blue Topaz, silver
Utah: Topaz, copper
Vermont: Grossular garnet
Washington: Petrified Wood
West Virginia: Chalcedony
Wisconsin: Red Granite
Have a Happy 4th of July!
Have fun Celebrating Independence Day!