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California Eureka!

Posted by Maryanne Fender on

California State Gemstone - Benitoite

California designated benitoite as the official state gemstone.   Benitoite was discovered in 1906 at the Benitoite Gem Mine locality in San Benito County. The mineral was thought to be sapphire. In 1907, George D. Louderback, a mineralogy professor at the University of California at Berkeley identified it as a new mineral species, and named it benitoite after the river, county, and nearby mountain range where it was found.

The “wreath” of blue crystals is benitoite, the California state gemstone. On exhibit at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles.

Collecting in California 

For more than seventy years thousands of visitors have come to Trona during the second weekend in October for the annual Gem-O-Rama to collect some of the best and most desirable evaporite mineral specimens in the world.

COVID canceled for this year but put this on your calendar for 2021.