Knowing the official state rocks, gems, minerals, and fossils is very useful information for rockhounds. Ordinarily, states with significant mineral deposits often designate an official state mineral, rock/stone, gemstone, fossil, or dinosaur to promote interest in their natural resources, history, tourism, etc. Accordingly, such official state symbols often are a good clue as to potential rockhounding opportunities. Not every state, however, has an official state mineral, rock/stone, gemstone, fossil, or dinosaur.
☞ Did you know?
- Although every state in the United States has a state bird and a state flower, not every state has an official state rock, state gemstone, state mineral, state fossil, or state dinosaur.
- California designated the first official state rock - serpentine in 1965.
- Vermont has three official state rocks.
- Kentucky has a state rock that is a mineral and a state mineral that is a rock.
- Massachusetts also has a state historical rock (Plymouth Rock) as well as a state explorer rock and a state building and monument stone.
- Colorado is the only state whose geological symbols are always red (rhodochrosite), white (yule marble), and blue (aquamarine).
- Florida chose an official state gemstone (moonstone) that doesn't occur anywhere in the state.
- Nevada has an official state metal - silver.
- One state has two official state fossils - both are early whales. It is Mississippi.
- South Dakota changed its state fossil. Prior to 1988 it was the cycad (a type of palm-like plant). In 1988, however, South Dakota changed the state fossil to triceratops.
- Texas changed its official state dinosaur.
- Louisiana also changed its official state gem after over a quarter century and did not pick a rock.
- In addition to a state gemstone (Texas Blue Topaz), Texas also has an official state gemstone cut - the Lone Star Cut.
- Some people believe that Maryland's official state gem isn't exactly what it was assumed to be when the designation was made.
- California considered changing its official state rock.
- Only one state has not adopted any official state rock/stone, gemstone, mineral, fossil, or dinosaur. It is Kansas.
Gator Girl Rocks makes it easy to know the official state rock, gem, mineral, fossil, and dinosaur. The state-by-state section includes the official state rock, gem, mineral, fossil, and dinosaur for every state as well as when the designation became effective. In addition, the Best Ever Guides section includes a summary table that specifies the official state rock, gem, mineral, fossil, and dinosaur for every state.