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Mineral Symbols

As national and state symbols go, minerals are far more obscure than plants and animals. But take a closer look.

Let’s take a brief tour of flowers of state. Minerals may be represented on flags and coats of arms by the color yellow or mining icons. Minerals, gems, rocks, and stones are very popular among the symbols adopted by the 50 U.S. states.

National ˆ

United States ˆ

Most states have an official mineral, gem, rock, or stone. Most states also have an official fossil. However, the lines between the two can be surprisingly confuising.

For example, coal is the fossilized remains of plants. It has been adopted by three states, two of which call it the state rock, while Kentucky calls it the state mineral. Similarly, several states have adopted limestone and marble—rocks made of the remains of marine animals—but none call them their state fossil.

The fact that coal, limestone, and marble normally can’t be traced to a particular species clinches it; I listed the in the table below, not in the State Fossils table. However, what about fossilized coral and wood, which are commonly designated official stones or gems?

I listed them in the State Fossils table. However, I also listed the ones designated state gems or stones in the table below.

Hawaii is an even more unusual case. Legislators stupidly named black coral the state gem. Reluctantly, I decided to include it in the table below, though an aqua background is a reminder that it’s not really a mineral.

Practically speaking, Hawaii is one of seven states that don’t have an authentic mineral, rock, or gem as an official symbol. The other three are Mississippi, New Jersey, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Washington, and West Virginia. New Jersey, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania do have official fossils, while Mississippi and Washington designated a fossil its state stone and gem, respectively. Like Washington, West Virginia has two fossils among its symbols, though neither one is designated an official fossil.

Indiana is yet another state whose hard earth symbols are both fossils, though limestone (the state rock) is indeed a rock. come to think of it, fossilized wood and coral are mineralized, so maybe they qualify as minerals after all. Confused yet?

Given its volcanic origin, Hawaii could be the only state that will never have an official mineral or fossil.

In the table below, petrified wood and coal are highlighted with the color green, whilc a light blue represents limestone and marble.

List of State Minerals, Gems & Rocks
State Species Designation
Alabama hematite (red iron ore) 1967
  star blue quartz Gemstone 1990
  marble Rock 1969
Alaska gold 1968
  jade Gem 1968
Arizona wulfenite 2017
  turquoise Gem 1974
  copper Metal 2015
Arkansas quartz crystal 1967
  diamond Gemstone 1967
  bauxite Rock 1967
California gold Mineral & Mineralogic Emblem 1965
  benitoite Gemstone 1985
  serpentine Rock & Lithologic Emblem 1965
Colorado rhodochrosite 2002
  aquamarine Gemstone 1971
  Yule marble Rock 2004
Connecticut almandine garnet 1977
Delaware sillimanite 1977
District of Columbia Potomac bluestone Rock 2014
Florida moonstone Gem 1969
  agatized coral Stone 1979
Georgia staurolite 1976
  quartz Gem 1976
Hawaii black coral (Antipathidae) Gem 1987
Idaho Idaho star garnet Gem Stone 1967
Illinois fluorite 1965
Indiana limestone Stone 1971
Iowa geode Rock 1967
Kansas galena Mineral 2018
jelinite Gem 2018
limestone Rock 2018
Kentucky coal 1998
  Kentucky agate Rock 2000
Louisiana agate Mineral 1976
Maine tourmaline Gemstone 1971
Maryland Patuxent River stone Gem 2004
Massachusetts babingtonite 1971
  rhodonite Gem 1979
  Roxbury puddingstone Rock 1983
  granite State Building Rock and Monument Stone 1983
Michigan Isle Royal greenstone (chlorastrolite) Gem 1973
  Petoskey stone (fossilized coral) Stone 1965
Minnesota Lake Superior agate Gemstone 1969
Mississippi petrified wood Stone 1976
Missouri galena (lead) 1967
  mozarkite Rock 1967
Montana sapphire Gemstone 1969
  Montana agate Gemstone 1969
Nebraska blue chalcedony (agate) Gemstone 1967
  prairie agate Rock 1967
Nevada sandstone Rock 1987
  Virgin Valley black fire opal Precious Gemstone 1987
  turquoise Semi-Precious Gemstone 1987
  silver Metal 1977
New Hampshire beryl 1985
  smoky quartz Gem 1985
  granite Rock 1985
New Jersey (none)
New Mexico turquoise Gem 1967
New York wine-red garnet Gem 1969
North Carolina gold 2011
  granite Rock 1979
  emerald Stone 1973
North Dakota (none)
Ohio Ohio flint Gemstone 1965
Oklahoma rose rock (barite rose) Rock 1968
  hourglass selenite crystal Crystal 2005
Oregon thunderegg Rock 1965
  Oregon sunstone Gemstone 1987
Pennsylvania (none)
Rhode Island bowenite 1966
  cumberlandite Rock 1966
South Carolina amethyst Gem 1969
  blue granite Stone 1969
South Dakota Black Hills gold 1988
  Fairburn agate Gemstone 1966
  rose quartz Jewelry 1966
Tennessee limestone Rock 1979
  agate Stone 1969
Texas Texas blue topaz Gem 1969
  silver Precious Metal 2007
  petrified palmwood Stone 1969
Utah copper 1994
  coal Rock 1991
  topaz Gem 1969
Vermont talc 1991
  grossular granite Gem 1991
  marble Rock 1992
Virginia Nelsonite Rock 2016
Washington petrified wood Gem 1975
West Virginia bituminous coal Rock 2009
  Lithostrotionella (fossilized coral) Gem 1990
Wisconsin galena (lead) 1971
  red granite Rock 1971
Wyoming jade (nephrite) Gemstone 1967

Canada ˆ

List of Provincial Minerals
Province Mineral, etc. Designation
Alberta ammolite Gemstone
British Columbia jade Gemstone 1968
Newfoundland labradorite Mineral
Northwest Territories gold Mineral 1981
  diamond Gemstone 1999
Nova Scotia stilbite Mineral 1999
  agate Gemstone 1999
Ontario amethyst Mineral 1975
Saskatchewan sylvite (potash) Mineral 1997
Yukon Territory lazulite Gemstone 1976

Other Mineral Symbols ˆ

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