South Carolina falls in the southeastern part of the United States and has massive deposits of granite, especially Blue Granite. Gemstones such as amethyst, garnet, beryl, quartz, “cats eye” and minerals such as zircon, sillimanite, and kyanite are also found in the state in various counties. Fossils are present in the most regions of the state.
The purple variety of the quartz crystal called amethyst was declared as the official state gemstones in 1969. The best samples of amethyst have been found in various locations around Abbeville County of South Carolina.
The towns of Antreville as well as Lowndesville in Abbeville County are a source for amethyst. The Ellis-Jones Mines situated at Due West in Abbeville County is another place where amethyst can be found.
Other locations where the gemstone is found are the Anderson County and in the town of Jonesville located in the Union County of South Carolina.
The Diamond Hill Mine is located just east of Sucession Lake near the town of Antreville and has produced some exceptional amethyst specimens.
While amethyst is the most highly valued variety of quartz in South Carolina, other varieties such as the smoky quartz and clear quartz can be found in the Greenville, Cherokee, Oconee, Spartanburg and York Counties as well.
This rare form of beryl can be found in the Amos Cunningham Farm on Beryl Hill located in Abbeville County. Other locations to find aquamarine are Anderson County and McCormick County. Aquamarine is one of the highly desired colors of beryl, with its light sky blue coloration.
McCormick County also has samples of the golden beryl that have been discovered.
Specimens of this highly desirable gem have been found in the Cherokee, Greenville, Spartanburg and York Counties.
There are quite a few places in South Carolina where you can find garnets, most prominently in Abbeville, Anderson, York and Greenville Counties.
This beautiful stone was called “blue daggers” by the early settlers in South Carolina. It is a crystalline type of silica oxide that is abundant in Greenville County. Henry’s Knob in northern York County is the site of the largest Kyanite deposit in the country.
Prehistoric shark fossil teeth can be found in the waters of the Cooper River located in the Berkeley County. Fossils are also found in the Martin-Marietta limestone quarries located in the Berkeley County.
Myrtle Beach, Hunting Island Beach and Edisto Beach are some of the more popular beaches where fossils can be found.
As with all of the southern states, a wide variety of different fossils can be found. In addition to finding prehistoric shark teeth, there are many types of invertebrates that lived during the Paleozoic, Cambrian, and Cretaceous periods. At times the entire state was covered in water, thus many marine fossils can be found throughout the state.
Dinosaur fossils have been unearthed at Donoho Creek Formations in northeast South Carolina. Wooly Mammoth fossils have also been found.