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California State Gemstone

Benitoite crystals - click to see all state gems & geological symbols
Benitoite crystals from San Benito County, California (actual crystal size is 1.5 cm) - photo © John Veevaert - Trinity Mineral Co. (used by permission).
See All Geological Symbols.

Benitoite

California designated benitoite as the official state gemstone in 1985. Benitoite is sometimes called the "blue diamond." First discovered near the headwaters of the San Benito River (hence the name) in 1907, benitoite is a very rare gem that ranges in color from a light transparent blue to dark, sapphire blue, or occasionally a violet shade.

Benitoite crystals - click to see all state gemstones & geo symbols
The largest benitoite crystal on this specimen is 1.7 cm across:
photo © John Veevaert - Trinity Mineral Co. (used by permission)

Benitoite (pronounced "ben-ee-toe-ite") was initially thought to be a sapphire, but after careful analysis was found to be a mineral new to science. Gem quality benitoite cyrstals are found only in California.

Source:
Benitoite crystal images: by John Veevaert
State Gemstone: California State Library
Links:
All Geological Symbols

    

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