State Gemstones and Minerals - new series.

Posted by Maryanne Fender on

Alabama State Gemstone -  Star Blue Quartz

The Star Blue Quartz was nominated as the state’s official gemstone in the year 1990. The area along the Flint River** in Madison County of Alabama is a site where the star blue quartz can be found. There are quite a few different minerals that you can find along the Flint River, including garnets, beryl, tourmaline, and various quartz varieties. *** I have been informed by knowledgeable sources that the Madison County "blue quartz" is a low grade blue agate and that the true gem grade Blue Quartz is from southwest Chambers County, Alabama. These locations is Chambers County are all on private property and should not be entered without permission from the owners.

Unlike the other varieties of quartz (such as citrine or amethyst), pure blue quartz has not yet been found in nature. Instead, the quartz crystals appear blue because of the inclusions of other minerals or properties of the mineral itself that make the light reflect through the mineral and makes it appear blue. The reason that Star Blue Quartz is blue is by amphibole inclusion and displays asterism when polished.


Collecting in Alabama

Alabama produced a significant amount of gold when it was discovered in Chilton County in the late 1830s. The state’s gold rush ended in 1849, when most gold miners left the state to join the California Gold Rush. There have been sporadic gold revivals since then, but no large quantity has been produced.  However today you can still find gold in Alabama at Gold camp, a fee collecting area.  

You can also find red garnets, fossils, citrine, and Native American artifacts on the property.