Gem Collection

New York hosts varieties of minerals that can be cut into attractive gemstones such as quartz, calcite, fluorite, sphalerite, moonstone, labradorite, and celestine. While New York has diverse geology, it is not known to have rocks that host precious gemstone deposits such as diamonds or emeralds.
calcite gem
This calcite crystal has been faceted into a gemstone


Example of labradorite which has been cut into a cabochon shape.

The term "gem" refers to inorganic materials that have been cut into faceted stones, cabochons, or beads, and organic materials such as coral and pearls which have not necessarily been modified from their natural state. The mineral collection of the New York State Museum contains one thousand specimens of gem material. The specimens are not mounted in jewelry and this collection does not contain carved mineral material.
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