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United States

Although its  population  is  the  largest  consumer of coloured gemstones in the world  and even though some sixty different gems lie  beneath its soils, only a very small percentage of  the world’s gems are actually mined in the USA.    In fact nearly all of its mines are very small scale  and since the turn of the century it is reported that  its annual output has dropped by around 30%. There  are  several American  companies  which  own large scale gemstone mining operations in  different countries. However, when it comes to  the American’s home soil, most mining is run by  family owned businesses and gem clubs.

Of its 50 states only five have any serious mining  activities worth mentioning:

The San Carlos Apache reservation in Arizona  is  one  of  the  world’s  largest  Peridot  mining  areas. The region also yields a smaller amount  of Malachite and Turquoise. 

In California, most of its famous gem mines are  now closed, but they once produced reasonable  quantities  of  Quartz  and  Tourmaline.  Small  companies are still able to obtain “fee-to-dig”  licences  in  areas  where  commercial  mines  once stood.  California is also where Morganite  was first discovered.

In Montana, where there  were  once  fourteen  separate  Sapphire  mining  companies, today there are only around half a  dozen.

Oregon was once a state active in mining Opals, Agate and Jasper; today most of its mining  activities focus on Oregon Sunstone.

The state  gem of Utah is Topaz, athough historically, Utah  produced gem-quality Snowflake and Mahogany  Obsidian and some stunning Red Beryl.

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Topaz is the state gem of Utah.