Iowa is a beautiful state with plenty of outdoor activities to keep you busy. While you’re out enjoying all that the area has to offer, be sure to take some time to search for gemstones. There are many places in Iowa where you can find high-quality gems, and this guide will tell you where to look. So grab your binoculars and get ready to start hunting!
The Different Types of Gemstones Found in Iowa
Iowa is a state in the Midwest region of the United States. It is bordered by the Mississippi River to the east and the Missouri River to the west. The landscape of iowa is diverse, with rolling hills, prairies, and forests. Iowa is also home to a variety of gemstones. Agates, jaspers, and petrified wood can be found in the southwestern part of the state.
In central Iowa, quartz crystals can be found in some of the state’s caves. Iowa’s most famous gemstone is the Iowa diamond, which was discovered in 1856. More than 500 diamonds have been found in Iowa since then, making it one of the best states for diamond hunting.
The Economic Value of Iowan Gemstones
Although they are not as well-known as some of the other gemstones mined in Australia, Iowan gemstones are highly valued for their unique beauty. Found only in a small region of Western Australia, these stones are prized for their rare coloration and patterns.
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In addition to being used in jewelry, Iowan gemstones are also popular among collectors. As a result, they can fetch high prices on the open market. While the economic value of Iowan gemstones may be relatively small compared to other minerals, they nonetheless play an important role in the Australian economy.
History of the Iowan Gemstone Industry
Iowan has a long and rich history when it comes to gemstones. For centuries, the area was known for its abundance of high-quality rubies, sapphires, and other precious stones. In fact, it was the first place in Australia where commercial mining of gemstones took place.
The first Sapphire mine was established in Iowan in 1851, and Ruby followed shortly thereafter. Since then, the Iowan gemstone industry has continued to thrive, producing some of the finest gemstones in the world.
Where To Find Gemstones in Iowa?
1. Keokuk Geode Beds – Keokuk Geodes
The Keokuk Geode Beds are a popular destination for rock hunters in Iowa. The beds are located in the city of Keokuk, and they are known for their abundance of geodes. These igneous rocks have a hollow center that is lined with crystals, and they can be found in a variety of colors.
The beds are also home to other types of rocks, including quartzite and limestone. Visitors can explore the area on foot or by picnicking, and there are several commercial businesses that offer tours of the beds.
2. Bells Mill Park – Large black calcite crystals
Bells Mill Park is a local park in Iowa that is known for its large black calcite crystals. The calcite crystals are found in a rock quarry on the property, and they range in size from small chips to large boulders.
The black color of the calcite is due to the presence of iron in the crystal structure. Calcite is a fairly soft mineral, so the crystals are often broken or chipped. However, the largest crystals can be quite striking, and they are a popular destination for rock hounds and gem collectors.
3. Mount Pleasant – Gem-quality colored Chert
Mount Pleasant is home to some of the finest gem-quality colored chert in Iowa. This stone is found in a variety of colors, including red, green, blue, and purple. The stones are typically small, but they can be up to a foot in diameter.
The stones are used to make jewelry and other ornamental objects. They are also used in construction and for making sculptures.
4. Geode State Park – Geodes (no collecting allowed)
Geode State Park is located in southeast Iowa and is known for its geodes. A geode is a type of rock that contains a hollow cavity lined with crystals. The park is open year-round and visitors can hike, camp, picnict, and explore the geological features of the area. Geode State Park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, squirrels, and birds.
5. Muscatine – Agates, Chalcedony, Quartz crystals
Muscatine, Iowa is well-known for its production of pearl buttons. However, the city is also home to a variety of other minerals and gemstones. One of the most popular is chalcedony, a type of fine-grained quartz that comes in a wide range of colors.
Chalcedony can be found in agate, which is characterized by its striped or banded appearance. Other types of chalcedony include bloodstone, carnelian, and jasper. Muscatine is also a source of amethyst, citrine, and smoky quartz.
6. Bremer, Benton Counties – ‘Coldwater’ Agate
Coldwater agates are a type of gemstone found in the Bremer and Benton County area of Iowa. These agates typically have a white or pale blue color with bands or streaks of gray, brown, or black. Some Coldwater agates also have small cavities that are filled with crystals. The name “Coldwater” comes from the fact that these agates are often found near cold water sources, such as springs and streams.
7. Shell Rock – Lake Superior Agates
In the heart of northeast Iowa, near the town of Decorah, lies Shell Rock River. This river is well-known for its high quality agates – a type of semiprecious stone that is prized by collectors.
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Agates form when hot lava flow cools and hardens around pockets of gas. Over time, the outer layers of the lava flow erode away, revealing the beautiful bands of color that are characteristic of agates. TheShell Rock River is one of the best places in Iowa to find these gemstones.
Gem hunting is a popular activity in Iowa, and there are plenty of places to find gemstones around the state. If you’re interested in trying your hand at finding some gems, be sure to check out these locations. With a little luck, you may just find yourself with a bag full of beautiful stones!