Just Gems: American Gemstones
In this episode of Just Gems, our host and gem expert Renata introduces the American gemstones: Oregon sunstone and fire opal, Arizona turquoise and peridot, Montana sapphire, Colorado rhodochrosite and Arizona’s Ant Hill garnet. These gems also have their own special beauty and can be found in the western states of good ol’ USA.
People have been using gemstones to barter with for a long time, including cowboys in the American southwest. And gemstones continue to be prized in the United States where there are so many to choose from. You've got not only your Oregon Sunstone (also known as labradorite feldspar) known for its coppery to reddish-brown color and adventurescence, but Oregon fire opal also exists with its fiery yellow and red hues with green and brown fluorescence. Then there's Arizona turquoise which appears in beautiful blues and greens, and Arizona peridot which has gorgeous green colors and was loved and mistaken for emerald by Cleopatra. Montana sapphire is a beloved gem for its shades of blue and colors of the rainbow (except red– that’s ruby). We can’t forget Colorado rhodochrosite which has a Greek translation for “rose color” due to its rich rosy shades of pink and red.
Last but not least, is Arizona’s Ant Hill garnet which gets its name from garnet appearing beside anthills. This situation is caused by ants encountering garnet while digging their tunnels. These industrious insects then move them up to the surface to get them out of the way. Miners would discover this and know that nature’s treasures lie below.
Whether it's garnet, sunstone, fire opal or any other gem mentioned, they're all beloved American gemstones that are great to behold or collect!