The Gem State
Idaho is known as “The Gem State” thanks to our abundant minerals and long history of support for the mining industry. Our state is large and geologically diverse, which means our state’s mining industry supports a wide variety of industries, companies and products with materials first mined right here in Idaho. According to the Idaho Geological Survey: From A for acanthite to Z for zoisite, over 240 different minerals have been identified in Idaho. The state can claim world class specimens of vivianite, pyromorphite, cerussite, smokey quartz, aquamarine, ilvaite, and other minerals. Many of these unusual specimens are rare and today cherished exclusively in museums, private collections, and the wares of gem dealers. One fabulous exception to this limited availability is the official state gem, the “Star Garnet,” a beautiful stone found in some abundance only in Idaho and India.
Did You Know?
- A single wind turbine can contain 335 tons of steel, 4.7 tons of copper, 3 tons of aluminum, and 700-plus pounds of rare earth minerals, as well as zinc, molybdenum and concrete.
- Solar energy technology relies on a range of minerals including silver, copper, gallium, tellurium and rare earth minerals.
- CAT scans contain a variety of minerals, including tungsten, copper, lead, silver, chlorine, aluminum and gold.
- Platinum is used in advanced electronics, fuel cells and in pollution control devices for cars.
(From the website Minerals Make Life)