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South Carolina State Gemstone

Amethyst

South Carolina State Gemstone: Amethyst

(SiO2 - Silicon Dioxide)

Adopted on June 24, 1969.

The Amethyst was designated as the official State Gem Stone by Act Number 345 of June 24, 1969. Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz with shades varying from a light violet to deep grape color. South Carolina is one of three states where the amethyst of good quality is found in the United States.

Amethyst: South Carolina State Gemstone

South Carolina State Gemstone: Amethyst

One of the best specimens of amethyst ever found was on a property near Due West, and it is currently displayed at the American Museum of Natural History. Amethyst crystals have also been found near Lowndesville and Antreville in Abbeville County.

"South carolina is one of three states where the gem stone Amethyst of good quality is found in the US; the curator of mineralogy for the Smithsonian Institute has graded one of the largest early specimens from this State as the finest seen in this country; such stone now holds first place in the Amethyst section in the institute...is the most prized type of quartz for its wide use and various shades and hue from deep orchid color."

The United States has a great diversity of amethyst deposits from Maine, Pennsylvania and North Carolina to Montana and Colorado. The color range of American Amethyst is generally from medium to high in saturation and may include smoky or translucent versions of crystal. Amethyst of Maine and the Carolinas is usually dark with North Carolina amethyst having a bluish tint unique to that area. Very dark stones are sometimes heated to lighten and intensity color. There are deposits of amethyst at Due West and Jonesville. At one time, was considered so rare that there were stones of amethyst set in the Crown Jewels of England.

Purple, lilac and mauve quartz is called amethyst. The highest quality is transparent. Amethyst is an affordable purple gemstone. Its chemical make-up is SiO2 (Silicon Dioxide). With such a simple composition the cause for its coloration has been debated greatly by scientists. Recently its purple color has been attributed to the presence of manganese in quartz and the intensity of the color has been determined to be affected by the amount of iron present. An interesting property of amethyst which also affects its coloration isits response to heat. If heated to temperatures as low as 250 degrees Fahrenheit the crystals will turn to a yellowish brown colored citrine. This phenomenon is why often Citrine is referred to as "burnt amethyst."

FEBRUARY Birthstone:

Amethyst (Birthstone)

.This member of the quartz family is the birthstone for the month of February and is designated for the first wedding anniversary. Amethyst symbolizes sincerity and security. It was believed by ancient Greeks and Romans to ward off intoxicating powers of Bacchus, the god of wine, grew angry at mortals. He vowed the next mortal that crossed his path would be eaten by tigers. at that time, a beautiful young maiden named Amethyst was on her way to worship the goddess Diana. Diana, knowing of Bacchus's vow, turned Amethyst into a pillar of colorless quartz to protect her from the tigers. Bacchus, witnessing the miracle, repented and poured wine over Amethyst, staining her purple. This connection with Bacchus led to the belief that drinking wine from an amethyst cup would prevent drunkenness.

Amethyst (Birthstone)

Also considered an aid to the brave, Amethyst was believed to protect soldiers in battle, control evil thoughts, help hunters capture wild beasts and make it's owner shrewd in business matters. It is said to have a sobering effect, keeping the wearer clear-headed and quick witted as well as symbolizing peace, protection and tranquility; and some say it prevents baldness and improves complexion, as well as protection from treason and deceit. Amethyst purple tones range from deep, dark violet, to the less coveted pale lavender. The gem's rich color is associated with royalty and nobility. Amethyst is said to have been Catherine the Great's favorite gemstone and dark-hued stones are found in today's British Crown Jewels. It is important to keep amethysts away from the sun, as heat strips the gem of color and causes it to turn yellow. Evidence points to the use of amethyst by Egyptian nobility beginning around 3,000 BC.

South Carolina House Bill No. 1808 (H1808)

House Bill No. 1808 (H1808) was signed by Governor Robert McNair on June 24, 1969.

(R494, H1808, A345)
AN ACT
TO DESIGNATE THE AMETHYST AS THE OFFICIAL STATE GEM STONE AND BLUE GRANITE AS THE OFFICIAL STATE STONE.
Whereas, South Carolina is one of three states where the gem stone amethyst of good quality is found in the United States; and
Whereas, the curator of mineralogy for the Smithsonian Institute has graded one of the largest early specimens from this State as the finest seen in the country; and
Whereas, such stone now holds first place in the amethyst section in the Institute; and
Whereas, the amethyst is the most prized type of quartz for its wide use and various shades and hue from deep orchid color; and
Whereas, the blue granite stone of this State has been widely used to beautify all areas of South Carolina; and
Whereas, South Carolina has a state flag, a state flag, a state song, a state bird, a state flower, a state tree; and
Whereas, in preparing for the Three-hundredth Anniversary of the founding of this State, it is only fitting that a State gem stone and a state stone be officially adopted. Now, therefore,
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Official gem of State.--The amethyst is the official gem stone of the State.
SECTION 2. Official stone of State.--Blue granite is the official stone of the State.
SECTION 3. Time effective.--This act shall take effect upon approval by the Governor.
Approved the 24th day of June, 1969
----------

South Carolina Law

The law designating Blue granite as the official South Carolina state stone is found in the The South Carolina Code of Laws, title 1, chapter 1, article 9, section 1-1-620.

Title 1 - Administration of the Government
CHAPTER 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS
ARTICLE 9. STATE EMBLEMS, PLEDGE TO STATE FLAG, OFFICIAL OBSERVANCES
SECTION 1-1-620.

SECTION 1-1-620. Official State stone.

Blue granite is the official stone of the State


State Rocks,
Minerals, & Gems
US State Gemstone or Gems
State symbols represent things that are special to a particular state. Some of these symbols are the Gemstone, Minerals, Rocks. Of the 50 states, 19 have adopted a state gemstone and all have adopted some sort of earth symbol.
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