Peridot is Arizona's most valuable gemstone. It is often faceted and used in fashion jewelry.
Turquoise is Arizona's second most valuable gemstone. It is fairly common and often associated with southwestern jewelry styles. American Indian jewelry often has turquoise cabochans set in sterling silver.
Moissanite was discovered in a meteor crater in Arizona in 1893. Though pieces there are too small to be used for jewelry, it inspired Charles & Colvard to create lab versions of this stone.
State Gemstone: Turquoise
Turquoise was adopted as Arizona's State Gemstone in 1974.
State Mineral: Fire Agate Fire Agate is said to be Arizona's State Mineral -- but I'm still looking for more information.
State Fossil: Petrified Wood
Petrified Wood was adopted as Arizona's State Fossil.
Useful Books & Bibliography:
- Rockhounding Arizona - by Gerry Blair
Learn about more than seventy of the state's best rockhounding areas, from jasper hunting in the historic mining district near Bagdad to searching for gold in the Superstition Mountains and digging for turquoise at the foot of the Hieroglyphic Range.
- Gem Trails of Arizona - by James R. Mitchell, Bessie Simpson
Find where to look for gems in Arizona.
- Roadside Geology of Arizona - by Halka Chronic
A great book for those driving through Arizona. Learn what stones you see alongs the roads.
- Gemstones (Eyewitness Handbooks) - by Cally Hall, Harry Taylor (Photographer)
A field guide to gemstones. Nice pictures and good, brief, well-written descriptions of over 130 varieties of gemstones.
- The Curious Lore of Precious Stones - by George Frederick Kunz
The definitive book on fascinating, traditional gem lore. Very practical.
- Gem Identification Made Easy: A Hands-On Guide to More Confident Buying & Selling New 3rd Edition - by Antoinette L. Matlins & Antonio C. Bonanno
This book is really great for knowing he latest gems, synthetics, treatments, and instruments. Easy to use.
- Gemstone Buying Guide: A Guide to Buying - by Renee Newman
Very nice gemstone identification book.
- Simon and Schuster's Guide to Gems and Precious Stones - by C. Ciprianai, Kennie Lyman (Editor), Alessando Borelli
This book is one inch thick and every facing page has a full colored photo of gems or precious stones. Hardness, weights, cuts, refractions, and value of color are given for each gem.
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