Gems found throughout the midwestern region of the United States are extra interesting. Many of them have multiple uses outside of centerpieces for fabulous jewelry. The next time you're in this area, think outside of the box of what you know about the following minerals.
While fluorite has been the state gemstone of Illinois since 1965, the last fluorite mine in Illinois was closed in 1995. That doesn't prevent Illinois jewelry makes from displaying their state pride by using the gemstone in their work. While fluorite is used extensively as an industrial mineral in everything from cookware to steel, the gorgeous color of this gem adds elegance to any piece of jewelry.
Second in popularity only to quartz, this stone has been used to adorn people for thousands of years. Many believe that fluorite is associated with the 3rd eye and can be used as a meditation stone. A fluorite pendant would be perfect for both an accessory and meditation.
If you are a lover of truly unique jewelry, then Michigan Chlorastrolite (or Michigan Greenstone) is right up your alley. This gorgeous green gem features a turtle shell pattern—just like that of a petoskey, another well-know stone from Michigan—and is only found on the Keweenaw Peninsula and Isle Royale.
Many Michigan jewelry designers favor pairing the Michigan greenstone with silver, another element native to the state. Greenstones are quite rare overall, and can come in both dark green and dark blue. Any piece would make a unique addition to your jewelry box.
Unlike other agates found around the world, the Lake Superior agate of Minnesota has a noticeably richer red, orange and yellow color. This deep coloring is caused by the oxidation of iron, which makes sense as the Lake Superior area is rich with the metal.
The most prized Lake Superior agates are also, of course, the rarest. Finding an "eye agate" with perfect, round "eyes" or bands along the surface of the stone does not occur often. However, it isn't as difficult to find parallel-banded agates, and they still make for a glorious center piece.
Most often when we think of flint, it is as a tool to start a fire. But if you are a jewelry designer in Ohio, you know better. The state gemstone comes in a large variety of colors including the gray that most associate with this stone. From green to blue to pink and yellow as well as black and white, this type of quartz is durable and takes a polish well.
Once used as buhrstones for milling grain and in various weapons, Ohio flint has been used to create ornaments and jewelry for just as long. A single piece can contain a variety of colors, which makes working with it—and wearing it—especially enjoyable.
Many gemstones found in the midwest have double uses. It's interesting to think that your flint ring could double as a fire starter or your fluorite necklace could improve your concentration. Regardless, taking time to peruse midwestern jewelry shops can result in some rare finds to take home with you.