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Mineral Musings

Louisiana - The Bayou State

Posted by Maryanne Fender on

Louisiana State Gemstone, Fossil and Mineral

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Kentucky Blue Grass, Horses and Coal

Posted by Maryanne Fender on

The state mineral of Kentucky is Coal Coal has been known in Kentucky for over 250 years and was probably used by the Native Americans prior to European settlement.    According to the Kentucky Department of Mines and Minerals, 131 million tons of coal was mined in Kentucky in 2000; 62 percent was from underground mines and 38 percent was from surface mines.    Portal No. 31 Underground Mine Tour offers visitors a tour of an actual coal mine by rail car.  Please note the season is April to November and check for any covid restrictions before showing up. Image from...

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Kansas - To the Center and on!

Posted by Maryanne Fender on

Kansas, named for Siouan indigenous people, known for sunflowers and tornados went for years without a state mineral.  Thanks to a fourth grader and mineral collector, Casey Friend, Galena has taken its place as the state mineral for Kansas.  A fine choice it is.  Thank you, Casey!   Galena was mined in the triple-state corner, Missouri-Kansas-Oklahoma.  Most of the rest of the state is more of a fossil wonderland than a mineral bonanza.  Fossils are widespread but collecting requires permission from private land owners.  So what do you do while visiting Kansas?  How about a bike ride in a salt mine?  Kansas...

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Iowa - Fields of Opportunity

Posted by Maryanne Fender on

State Rock of Iowa - Geode The geode was designated the official state rock of Iowa. Iowa is known worldwide for the beautiful Keokuk geodes found in the state.  The Geode Bridge at Saunders Park Geode Fest The Worthen Earth Searchers of Hancock County rockhounding club sponsors the annual GEODE FEST generally held each Fall. Guided tours are held to various geode collecting locations throughout the area. This is perhaps the best way for new rockhounds to learn how and where to collect Keokuk area geodes. For more information, check out the following web page: Geodefest.org Fossil & Prairie Park Preserve...

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At a Crossroad in Indiana

Posted by Maryanne Fender on

Official State Stone of Indiana - Limestone Indiana designated limestone as the official stone. Even prior to Indiana’s admission to the Union in 1816, a light-colored, fine-grained native stone had been used by pioneer settlers for cabin foundations, door sills, milling burrs, and memorials. The stone was quarried with use of long star drills and wedges to separate blocks from the main deposit. The first organized quarrying effort of record was established in 1827 in Southern Indiana. The Cotton Exchange Building in New Orleans was the first major project in which limestone was shipped from Indiana, cut ready to set....

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