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North Carolina Earth Symbols

North Carolina State MineralA gold nugget and emerald, with Mt. Airy granite for a border.

Gold and granite are North Carolina’s official state mineral and rock, respectively. However, the star of the show is North Carolina’s official precious stone, the emerald. In fact, North Carolina boasts the only significant emerald deposits in North America. Huge emeralds have been found, at least one selling for over one million dollars. Some of the finest emeralds have been found in Hiddenite Mine.

Two mines in North Carolina are the world’s only producers of the quartz necessary for semiconductor manufacturing. (more)

In 1879, Thomas Edison (New Jersey’s official inventor) sent Dr. William Hidden to North Carolina to find an alternative to replace tungsten in light bulbs. Instead, Dr. Hidden found a variety of spodumene never before seen near the town of White Plains. Hidden’s find was christened Hiddenite, and White Plains adopted the same name.

Perhaps Hiddenite will one day change its name to Emeraldville.

Fossil ˆ

North Carolina State Fossil

Georgia calls shark teeth its state fossil. North Carolina instead adopted a very special shark tooth. Its state fossil is evidence of a super shark called Megalodon. Bigger than a modern great white shark, Megalodon may have grown to lengths of more than 40 feet. Its teeth may have been more than seven inches long.

But if you traveled back in time and encountered a Megalodon, there might be hope. The animal was so big, it might have simply ignored something as small as a human. We hope.

Soil ˆ

North Carolina State SoilTypical Piedmont landscape and land use for Cecil in North Carolina.

North Carolina’s unofficial state soil, Cecil, was first identified in Cecil County in faraway Maryland in 1899. Cecil is one of several related soils common to the southeast Piedmont that are often referred to as “Georgia Red Clay.” Stretching south into Alabama, Cecil soils were generally forested before early settlers cleared the land for farming.

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