State Gemstone

Aquamarine and quartz from Chaffee County

Aquamarine and quartz from Chaffee County, specimen provided by Dave Bunk, photograph by Jeff Scovil

The mountain peaks of Mount Antero and Mount White in Chaffee County, Colorado are among the finest localities known for gem quality aquamarine. They are also among the highest in elevation — at 13,000 to 14,200 feet. The granite rock of these peaks contains pegmatite bodies that are characterized by large miarolitic cavities containing the gem quality aquamarine crystals. The cavities are found through a vertical area of a mere 500 feet. The crystals in these cavities range in color from light blue to pale blue and deep aquamarine green, and in size from very small to 6 cm in length.

Aquamarine specimen from Mount Baldwin

Aquamarine specimen from Mount Baldwin specimen provided by Dave Bunk, photograph by Jeff Scovil

The aquamarine was adopted as the official state gemstone on April 30, 1971, by an act of the General Assembly. Citation: House Bill 1104, 1971; Colorado Revised Statute 24-80-912.