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Utah Earth Symbols

Utah Earth SymbolsLeft to right: copper, topaz, honeycomb calcite, and coal.

Utah has beautiful forested, snow-covered mountains. However, it is best known for its fabulous rock formations, fossils, and mineral resources.

Earth Symbols
Mineral copper 1994
Rock coal 1991
Gem topaz 1969
Stone honeycomb calicite 2021
Fossil † Allosaurus 1988
Dinosaur † Utahraptor 2018
Soil Mivida (unofficial) Unofficial

Utah’s state symbols include topaz, copper and coal—the state gem, mineral, and rock. Though topaz is more exciting, Utah’s copper reserves are more valuable commercially.

Most of Utah’s copper is extracted from Utah’s Kennecott Copper Mine on the west side of the Salt Lake Valley. It is one of the world’s biggest open-pit copper mines, measuring nearly three miles wide and a mile deep.

The mine has produced a staggering 12 million tons of copper since 1906. This figure is said to equal eight times the combined yield of precious metals from Nevada’s Comstock Lode, Alaska’s Klondike gold rush and the California gold rush.

If that’s hard to believe, just look at the photo of Utah’s Kennecott Copper Mine below. See that truck underneath the arrow?

Utah State Mineral

The Statue of Liberty is made out of copper. It stands 305 feet tall. You could stand 17 Statues of Liberty on top of each other and they would fit inside the Kennecott Mine.

In 2021, Utah gained an official stone: honeycomb calcite. Utah’s Duchesne County is the only place in the world where this particular type of calcite is found.

More than half a billion years old, honeycomb calcite ranges in color from yellow to brownish amber, similar to honey. First discovered in the area in 1995, the deposit is now mined by a company that polishes the stone and ships it worldwide.

Fossil ˆ

Utah State FossilAllosaurus (left) and Utahraptor. (Allosaurus: By Allosaurus_SDNHM.jpg: Sheep81derivative work: Creoqueteamo – This file was derived from Allosaurus SDNHM.jpg:, CC BY-SA 3.0link; Note: I modified the background on this image.)

Utah also has two official fossils, both of them carnivorous dinosaurs.

The original state fossil is Allosaurus, a huge carnosaur that lived during the Jurassic Period. Its prey might have included neighboring Colorado’s Stegosaurus, which also lived during the Jurassic.

A couple Utah quarries have produced more fossils of Allosaurus than any other dinosaur. They include the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry, which contains the densest concentration of Jurassic dinosaur fossils ever found. Like California’s famous La Brea tar pits, the Cleveland-Lloyd quarry may have been a predator trap.

In 2018, Utahraptor was named the official dinosaur. This creature was much smaller than an allosaur and probably a lot faster.

Raptors are noted for the extremely long claws on their rear feet. They must have been ferocious weapons.

Soil ˆ

Utah’s unofficial state soil is Mivida. Widespread across southeastern Utah, the Mivida soils series was formed from sand derived from ancient dunes and even older sandstone. It is commonly used for livestock grazing.

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