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Friday, July 29, 2011

Gemstone Occurrences in Rhode Island

This is an amethyst scepter like those found at Diamond Hill
Photo by Rob Lavinsky

There is a greenish mica schist found in Warwick that has embedded in it red almandine garnets. In East Warwick you can find purple almandine garnets embedded in a silvery mica schist. Jamestown has staurolite crystals embedded in phyllite. Garnet-staurolite bearing schist can also be found under the Jamestown Bridge,

A discovery of beryl was recently reported in the magazine Rock and Gem on the western side of Narragansett Bay in the vicinity of the Jamestown Bridge in the pegmatites found in the area. It was also found at the end of the Cliffwalk in Newport.  The largest crystal found in Newport was about 6 cm in length and 1 cm in diameter along with several other smaller specimens.

There have been moonstones reported on the beaches of Rhode Island that continue into eastern Connecticut.  One of the beaches in Rhode Island is actually called Moonstone Beach.

The state stone is bowenite a variety of serpentine of the sub variety antigorite that has often been classified as a semi-precious stone that is cut into polished slabs or cabochons.  The Maoris of New Zealand have also used bowenite to make axes.  This stone is associated with limestone and was originally found in Lincoln.

Amethyst has been from several localities in Rhode Island notably however from Diamond Hill in Ashaway, Hopkinton in Washington County.  This mineral is accompanied by several other varieties of quarts.  At times the amethyst from this locality is found as rare scepter specimens.

A variety of Jasper veined with chalcedony is found in several localities in Cumberland, Providence County.  Chalcedony has also been found at the Conklin Quarry in Lincoln and another locality is Diamond Hill in Ashaway.  

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