Where can gemstones and geodes in Vermont be found? While the state is small and its most well-known rocks are marble and granite, there are some treasures to be found for those interested in rockhounding. Old quarries and road cuts are the best places to hunt for gemstones and geodes in Vermont, gold has been panned in the rivers and streams of the state and fossils have been located all over the country's Green Mountain State. The state's gemstone is grossular garnet, which occurs in shades of red, brown and yellow. Another unique and interesting gemstone found in Vermont is chalcedony, a bright green gemstone that is colored by nickel. Other gemstones found in Vermont include beryl, quartz, dolomite, serpentine, agate, marcasite, tourmaline, pyrite and jasper.
Collecting Rocks in Vermont
As is the case in any other state or country, gemstones and geodes should only be collected in areas where you have permission to do so. Be respectful of other rock enthusiasts and take only what you can use in your collection. Do not damage private property and do not trespass in order to collect gemstones.
Be prepared for your outing and observe safety precautions, including wearing safety goggles, gloves, closed-toes shoes and long-sleeved shirts. Wear a hat to protect you from the sun, and bring plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Gemstones and Geodes in Vermont
Along with common rocks like granite, marble and slate, there are some interesting gemstone varieties in Vermont. Several guides to rockhounding sites can be found online, with many of them providing directions to locations that are somewhat off the beaten path.
One interesting gemstone that has been found by rock collectors around the town of Newfane, Vermont, is chalcedony. The bright green of this gemstone is caused by the oxidation of nickel impurities in the rock. Jasper, serpentine and small quartz crystals have also been found in this area.
Grossular garnet, the state gemstone, has been found in several places in Vermont. A silicate mineral, some of the finest grossular garnets in the world have been collected from the Belvidere Mine at Eden Mills, Vermont.
Vermont is not known for geodes, but some may be found occasionally. They are typically found in outcrops of limestone or in caves; look for uneven rocks with bumpy surfaces for your best chances of discovering crystals within a rock.
Other Gemstones in Vermont
Several colors of quartz can be found in Vermont, including blue, smoky and clear. Pyrite, a mineral with a metallic luster, is also found in locations throughout the state. Pyrite suns, which are pyrite concretions, can be found in certain locations rich in black shale.
Jasper, which is often reddish in color, can be found along the east coast of Lake Champlain in Vermont. Boulders with green, yellow, red and orange agate may be found in Windham County, Vermont. Serpentine can also be found in this area.
Beryl, agate and tourmaline are other gemstones that are organic to Vermont. In addition to these gemstones, many other interesting rocks occur in Vermont. These include several different types of fossils, such as Ordovician trilobites, brachiopods, bryozoans and crinoids.
For a period, there was actually a gold rush in Vermont, and small deposits of the precious metal can still be found along many streams and rivers in the state. Other unusual rocks, such as Swanton red marble, zebra marble, plumose muscovite and prune or bullseye granite are also organic to Vermont. Of course, Vermont is famous for its granite, and the city of Barre, Vermont, is known as The Granite Capital of The World.
About the Author
Meg Schader is a freelance writer and copyeditor. She holds a Bachelor of Science in agriculture from Cornell University and a Master of Professional Studies in environmental studies from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Along with freelancing, she also runs a small farm with her family in Central New York.
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