Alabama is a southeastern state of the United States and has a wide range of gemstones, minerals and fossils owing to the geological structure of the state. Alabama consists of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rock formations giving rise to numerous minerals and stones such as hematite, quartz, pyrite, agate, beryl, garnets, onyx, tourmaline, clay, marble, limestone, copper, galena, fossils and many more.
Star Blue Quartz
Many different gemstones can be found in various localities of Alabama. 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.
Although quartz itself is a very common mineral, it is rarely found in a blue variety like the star blue quartz.
Beryl can be found in Alabama within the Piedmont area and within mica schists and pegmatites. Most of the beryl found in Alabama is a light green color and is associated with other mineral deposits that also produce tourmalines and quartz.
The gemstones varieties such as aquamarine and emerald can be found in Coosa County in central Alabama. Coosa county is probably the best county in the state to search for a variety of different gems and minerals and is a very popular areas for rockhounds.
Beautiful tourmaline specimens can be found in Micaville located in Cleburne County, Opelika located in Chambers County and in Rockford located in Coosa County. This location also produces feldspar, muscovite, and pegmatites.
Black tourmalines have been found north of Auburn.
is present in the Counties of Blount and near the Jackson city located in Clarke County.
Among minerals found in Alabama, Hematite which is a red colored iron ore is mainly found in the Birmingham area of the Red Mountain Formations that lies between the central and the northeastern Alabama. Counties that are covered in this region are Cherokee, DeKalb, Blount, Jefferson, Etowah and Tuscaloosa. Hematite was declared as Alabama’s official state mineral in the year 1967.
Marble is the official state rock. Rich deposits of marble are found in the town of Sylacauga which is located in the Talladega County of Alabama. The place is often called as ‘the Marble City’ and the marble from the site is popularly known as the Sylacauga marble. The depth of the deposit is around 600 feet and the marble here is pure white and crystalline.
Clay and the Cleburne Counties of Alabama are locations where copper is found. The counties have enormous deposits of sulfide within which the copper is found and occurs as copper iron sulfide, which may be worth mining commercially, but of little interest to collectors.
Other Gems and Minerals in Alabama
Garnets have been found in colors of deep red and black in places in Clay County and Cleburne County of Alabama. The localities such as Hollytree and Garth that lie in Jackson County of Alabama have agates in various colors. Another area to look for agate in Alabama is Blount County. Jasper is known to be available in Blount County also.
Also Read: Gems and Minerals in Georgia
And: Gems and Minerals in Florida
Basilosaurus Cetoides Fossils
This is a fossil of a whale like reptile that was designated as the official state fossil in the year 1984. It is also known as the king of lizards. The fossils of basilosaurus can be found in the counties of Washington, Clarke and Choctaw.
There are an abundance of prehistoric fossils that can be found all throughout Alabama. These are primarily marine fossils associated with the Gulf of Mexico that can now be found in many parts of the state, not just along the coastline. Various types of vertebrates, fish, clams, trilobites, and corals can be located within Alabama. Often the best collecting site are found along lakeshores and along river channels where bare ground is exposed and fossils can be easily seen.