List of State Gems & Gemstones Found In The USA

We all too often think of Africa as the world’s main source of quality gemstones, and whilst Africa does contribute significantly, some may be quite interested to learn just how extensive and diverse the deposits of the gemstone are in the USA! The Middle East and North Africa Salary Survey 2022

As you would probably imagine, much of the gems are sourced in the western regions of the USA – Colorado, Arizona, and Nevada would rightly be most peoples guess, but lesser know is the areas of North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, and even Maine!

The regular names that we associate with Gemstones, such as Emeralds, Rubies, Beryl, and Sapphires are all mined in the USA. But there are also many unique stones that are peculiar to the region!

Some of the main gemstones are listed below and the areas in which they are mined:

Main Areas for Gemstones

  • Opals: – These are mainly found in the states of Nevada, Oregon, and Idaho. In Virgin Valley in Nevada, there are black fire opals. Oregon is also famous for its Thundereggs and Sunstones.
  • Rubies: – These are gemstones with a rich red coloring to them. They are quite rare. One of the places you can find them is in Franklin North Carolina. There are quite a number of areas mining rubies.
  • Jade: – This gemstone can be found in both California and Wyoming. Wyoming in the mid-1930s was named the Jade State.
  • Emeralds: – This beautiful gemstone can be found mainly in North Carolina. Some of the rarest and biggest Emeralds can be found in this state. The Carolina Emperor which is one of the largest Emeralds found in North America came from North Carolina.
  • Turquoise: – This gem is found mainly in Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. There are a large number of small mines, particularly in Nevada
  • Topaz: – The purest form of a Topaz gemstone is clear but they can also be found in light Blue, Yellow, Brown, and Red.
  • Tourmaline: – This gem also comes in many colored hues. It can be found in Minnesota, California, and New Hampshire.
  • Benitoite: – This gem is the state stone of California where it can be found. Very rare pale to the emerald green gemstone.
  • Hiddenite: – This is a light green gemstone and is extremely rare. It is named after a small town in North Carolina. There are other similar gems found in other parts of the world but this is the original.
  • Pearls: Pearls are classified as gemstones. The largest natural freshwater pearl industry in the USA is situated in Tennessee. They utilize Mussels to produce coin-shaped pearls.

In addition to the above Petrified Wood, Azurite, Agate, Malachite, and Peridot are to be found.

Unique to USA Gemstones

  • Oregon sunstone would be a very good example. Sunstone has lovely copper, red and burnt umber tones, and a glowing disposition, that makes it a great choice for jewelry.
  • Ammolite is also of particular interest. This is also known as Aapoak and is sometimes marketed under different branding. It is found primarily in the Eastern areas of the Rocky Mountains and is unique to the USA. Its USA status is however not all that makes it unusual! Ammolite is a biogenetic Gemstone, meaning that it was created by natural life processes, through the fossilization of shells! It comes in many shades, but most often has a layered, green, red, and brown structure.
  • Red Beryl This rare form of Beryl is found in the Wah Wah Mountains of Beaver County, Utah

Mining of Gemstones

Whilst the USA has a good diversity of Gem stone sites, the industry is still relatively small and undeveloped. Commercial production is fairly limited. Diamonds, for example, remain the most sort-after gem in the USA, whilst there are currently no commercial diamond mining operations in place. As such, there is still a heavy reliance on imported gems. Azeztulite Stone Properties, Benefits, Colors

Production in the USA is hampered by high labor costs and environmental concerns.

A significant portion of USA gemstone mining is done by amateur miners or small commercial concerns with only a hand full of employees. This is primarily done on Government land, where permission to prospect is given. There are also more specifically designated gem sites where people can pay a fee to search for gemstones.

In the first part of the 20th Century, the USA was the top producer of Tourmaline in the world. Unfortunately, this has become increasingly expensive to mine and today there are no longer any commercial mines.

Fine qualities Garnets are still commercially mined in Idaho and there are three mines that produce industrial garnets. There are more than 11 million tons a year mined of industrial garnet that has many uses.

Although many millions of tons of diamonds are dealt with annually in the States the only active Diamond mine is the Crater of Diamonds in Arkansas. However, this is not mined anymore on a large commercial scale. Red Beryl Gemstone Value, Price, and Jewelry

Interesting facts about Gemstones in the USA.

  • In the state of Colorado, the geographical symbols are the national flag’s colors of Red (Rhodochrosite), White (Yule Marble), and Blue (Aquamarine)
  • The state of Florida took on the Moonstone Gem as their state gem to tie in with their role in the lunar program which allowed men to walk on the moon.
  • The Thunderegg is Oregon’s State Rock. This gem was said to have been made by the Thunder Spirits who lived in the craters where this gem is formed. The Sunstone is Oregon’s official gemstone
  • In 1991 a single Garnet was discovered in Virginia weighing more than 2,800 carats. It was named the Rutherford Lady.
  • The largest Diamond discovered in the USA is the Uncle Sam Diamond. It originally weighed more than 2,800 carats. It was found at the Crater of Diamonds.
  • The Dom Pedro which is the world’s largest cut and polished Aquamarine stone is on display in Houston.

Where to buy USA Gemstones

There are lots to take in, but where can I buy USA gemstones from, you may well ask? The good news is that there are a number of online sites offering USA gemstones for sale directly to the public and because the industry is still relatively small, the prices are really competitive!

There are a number of options available ranging from loose high-quality stones sold in little velvet drawstring bags, ideal for jewelry or investment, or you can buy lower-quality stones for collection and general interest, which is ideal for kids and enthusiasts. There are also a number of sites that offer mounted stones, fabricated into fine jewelry pieces or a more ethnic string of gemstone beads! Delivery across the USA by courier or post is available and a number of sites also offer international shipping. Black Diamond: Properties, Carat, Colour, Sizes & Shapes

Remember, if you are buying for investment or to commission a fine piece of jewelry, you need to ensure that the store offers certification.

The USA is the world’s largest consumer of gemstones

More gemstones are actually sold in the USA than in any other country in the world. Over 99% of these gemstones are imported as there is very little domestic production. Most of the gemstones are mined in developing countries.

Diamonds are the most traded and supplied gemstones in the USA. They account for nearly $18 billion of the gemstone trade and colored stones for only about $ 1 billion. One of the reasons this is so is because diamonds are traditionally set in engagement rings.

There is also a large market in synthetically produced gemstones. These are produced in laboratories and have the same characteristics as naturally occurring stones. These must however be clearly marked das synthetic in terms of the law,

There is also a growing Simulant gemstone market which is “gemstones” made from glass plastic etc. They look like gemstones but have completely different properties.

Holidays at Pay to Dig for Gemstones!

Finally, for the serious collector or just a fun family holiday, there are several of these mines open in which you pay to dig.

Emerald Hollow Mine, North Carolina

This is the only Emerald mine in the world that is open for prospectors. It is located near the town of Hiddenites. This is an extremely rare gem and one of the few places on earth it can be found. They allow you to prospect and will provide education on gemstones as well as having a shop that can set any gems you may find. Howlite Meaning: Healing Properties & Everyday Uses

Crater of Diamonds State Park, Arkansas

This park offers a chance to hunt for real diamonds. If you find one you can keep it. It includes campsites, gift shops, and restaurants.

Cherokee Ruby Mine, North Carolina

This is situated in the town of Franklin which is said to be the Gem Capital of the World. One can prospect for Rubies and Sapphires. There is accommodation just outside the mine.

Finally, gems are precious their colors shine in many shards of colored brilliance. They have been fought over, loved, and honored throughout time. They are both icons in ancient and present times.

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