Vermont is home to many natural wonders, including an array of natural gemstones that occur organically in deposits throughout the state. Rockhunters enjoy visiting Vermont for the thrill of the gem hunt; however, those seeking their own gemstones in Vermont should exercise extreme caution. Asbestos has been found in large quantities in many of Vermont's gem mines, and exposure can lead to lung and respiratory problems.
The official state gemstone of Vermont is the Grossular garnet, which is found throughout the state. Grossular garnet is a fusion of calcium and aluminum, often with a fair percentage of iron included in the mix. Grossular garnets range from reddish brown to olive green to bright pink and yellow. Some of the best specimens come from Mount Belvidere, Mount Lowell and Eden Mills.
A member of the serpentine family of minerals, antigorite is mined in Vermont, primarily from the Mount Belvidere mines. Named for the Antigorio region of Italy where the stone was first mined, antigorite is beloved by many Vermont jewelers for its resemblance to the state's green mountains; however, while antigorite is usually green in color, light yellow, black and brown varieties have been found as well.
Aquamarine deposits are scattered throughout the United States, and Vermont has been known to produce some fair, if small, specimens. Aquamarines mined on the East Coast tend to be small and difficult to polish.
Vermont is also home to small deposits of freshwater pearls, beryl, jasper, tourmaline, pyrite, malachite and many colors of quartz.
About the Author
Hailing from California, Ann Mazzaferro is a professional writer who has written for "The Pacifican," "Calliope Literary Magazine" and presented at the National Undergraduate Literature Conference. Mazzaferro graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of the Pacific.
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