Georgia State Gemstone or Gem

Quartz (Amethyst and Clear Quartz) (Staurolite)

SiO2 - Silicon DioxideQuartz (Staurolite)

Adopted in 1976.

In 1976, Georgia designated two forms of quartz as Georgia state gems: amethyst and clear quartz. Quartz is common in Georgia and comes in many colors. The official designation from the Georgia State Assembly cites "the importance of Georgia's minerals to the industrial growth and heritage of this State."

Quartz is common in Georgia and found in a wide variety of colors. The resolution making quartz, (SiO2 - Silicon Dioxide,) the state gem cited two particular forms: the amethyst, which is mostly used in jewelry, and the clear quartz, which, when faceted, resembles the diamond. Clear quartz is the material making up Swarovski crystals.

Quartz: Georgia State Gemstone or Gem


Quartz (Staurolite)

Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz often used in jewelry. The name comes from the Ancient Greek methustos ("intoxicated"), a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness. The ancient Greeks and Romans wore amethyst and made drinking vessels of it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication. It is one of several forms of quartz. Amethyst is a semiprecious stone and is the traditional birthstone for February.

Amethyst is the most precious variety of quartz. Composed of silicon dioxide, amethyst is colored light pinkish violet to deep purple by iron and aluminum impurities. Amethyst occurs in crystalline or massive forms. This stone can occur as six-sided crystals or as drusy, which are crystalline crusts covering the host rock. It is found in alluvial deposits and inside geodes all over the world.

Clear Quartz

Quartz (Staurolite)

Clear Quartz, pure silicon dioxide, is also called Rock Crystal or Ice Crystal, from the Greek word "krystallos", meaning "ice", because crystal was believed to be water frozen so hard it could never thaw. The prismatic hexagonal crystals have relatively smooth sides and naturally facetted terminations at one or both ends, and may be transparent as glass, milky or striated, often found in clusters and ranging in all sizes. The terminations have different facet shapes depending on the rate at which they were formed, and these shapes are deeply significant.

Clear Quartz, the most common gem variety of quartz crystal, is, like all quartz, formed from the two most abundant elements in the earth's crust: silicon and oxygen. Quartz is colorless and transparent. It is also known as "Rock Crystal". Other colors of quartz have special names such as: Rose Quartz, Citrine, and Amethyst. Quartz is a simple clear stone often worn as a crystal pendant. It is the very popular in new age stores and alternative healing shops.

Specimens vary according to color, shade, transparency, size of crystals and crystal form. There are hundreds of unique quartz varieties. Various kinds of quartz have been adopted by Arkansas, Georgia, Alabama (star blue quartz), South Dakota (rose quartz), and New Hampshire (smoky quartz). Quartz gems also include rutilated quartz, citrine, ametrine, onyx, and chrysoprase.

FEBRUARY Birthstone: Amethyst

Quartz (Staurolite)

Amethyst is the birthstone for February, and is also the accepted anniversary gemstone for the 6th year of marriage. Amethyst symbolizes sincerity and security. It was believed by ancient Greeks and Romans to ward off intoxicating powers of Bacchus. 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.

Act of Georgia General Assembly

March 18, 1976
No. 104 (House Resolution No. 517-1385).

A Resolution.
Designating staurolite as the official State mineral, the shark tooth as the official State fossil and quartz as the official State gem; and for other purposes.

Whereas, Georgia has a wealth of minerals and gemstones; and

Whereas, staurolite is a mineral found in old crystalline rocks and is particularly well known and abundant in north Georgia; and

Whereas, staurolite crystals are known mostly as "Fairy Crosses"or "Fairy Stones", and generations after generations have collected them for good luck charms; and

Whereas, the shark tooth is a relatively common fossil in Georgia and in fossil form can be traced back 375,000,000 years; and

Whereas, the teeth are especially prized for fossil collectors and range in color from the more common blacks and grays to white, brown, blue and reddish brown; and

Whereas, quartz is the second most abundant mineral on Earth, and Georgia is blessed with a great deal of it in a wide variety of colors; and

Whereas, quartz is the amethyst that has been most used in jewelry, and clear quartz when faceted resembles diamond; and

Whereas, the importance of Georgia's minerals to the industrial growth and heritage of this State should be appropriately recognized.

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the General Assembly of Georgia that the following designations are hereby made:

(1) Staurolite is designated as the State of Georgia's official mineral.
(2) The shark tooth is designated as the State of Georgia's official fossil.
(3) Quartz is designated as the State of Georgia's official gem.
Approved May 18, 1976.
Source: Ga. Laws 1976, pp. 567-68.

Georgia Law

The law designating the quartz as the official Georgia state gem is found in the Georgia Code, Title 50, Chapter 3, Section 50-3-57.

Section 50-3-57. Official gem

Quartz is designated as the official Georgia state gem.

Ga. L. 1976, p. 567.


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