Quartz became the official Georgia state gem on March 18, 1976 when work was completed on and House Resolution No. 517-1385 was formally adopted.
Though the resolution cited amethysts and clear quartz as particular varieties of interest, it did not exclusively select them to represent the State of Georgia. It's designation of the generic "quartz" was evidently meant to include the "wide variety of colors" found in the state.
Quartz is the second most abundant mineral on this planet and can be found among the mountains of Georgia in old mines and mine pits, in and along stream beds, in fields and hillsides.
The resolution, shown below offers explanation for the adoption of each of these symbols to represent the State of Georgia.
OFFICIAL STATE MINERAL, FOSSIL AND QUARTZ DESIGNATED.
No. 104 (House Resolution No. 517-1385).
Designating staurolite as the official State mineral, the shark tooth as the official State fossil and quartz as the official State gem; and for other purposes.
Whereas, Georgia has a wealth of minerals and gemstones; and
Whereas, staurolite is a mineral found in old crystalline rocks and is particularly well known and abundant in north Georgia; and
Whereas, staurolite crystals are known mostly as "Fairy Crosses" or "Fairy Stones", and generations after generations have collected them for good luck charms; and
Whereas, the shark tooth is a relatively common fossil in Georgia and in fossil form can be traced back 375,000,000 years; and
Whereas, the teeth are especially prized by fossil collectors and range in color from the more common blacks and grays to white, brown, blue and reddish brown; and
Whereas, quartz is the second most abundant mineral on Earth, and Georgia is blessed with a great deal of it in a wide variety of colors; and
Whereas, quartz is the amethyst that has been most used in jewelry, and clear quartz when faceted resembles diamond; and
Whereas, the importance of Georgia's minerals to the industrial growth and heritage of this State should be appropriately recognized.
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the General Assembly of Georgia that the following designations are hereby made:
(1) Staurolite is designated as the State of Georgia's official mineral.
(2) The shark tooth is designated as the State of Georgia's official fossil.
(3) Quartz is designated as the State of Georgia's official gem.
Approval Date: Approved March 18, 1976.
The following information was excerpted from the Code of Georgia, Title 50, Chapter 3, Article 3, Section 50-3-57.
TITLE 50. STATE GOVERNMENT
CHAPTER 3. STATE FLAG, SEAL, AND OTHER SYMBOLS
ARTICLE 3. OTHER STATE SYMBOLS
O.C.G.A. § 50-3-57 (2014)
§ 50-3-57. Official gem
Quartz is designated as the official Georgia state gem.
HISTORY: Ga. L. 1976, p. 567.
"GALILEO: Georgia Legislative Documents." GALILEO: Georgia Legislative Documents. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Aug. 2014. <http://neptune3.galib.uga.edu/ssp/cgi-bin/legis-idx.pl?sessionid=7f000001&type=law&byte=354851483>.
"LexisNexis® Custom Solution: Georgia Code Research Tool." LexisNexis® Custom Solution: Georgia Code Research Tool. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Aug. 2014. .
McPherson, Alan. "Georgia." State Geosymbols: Geological Symbols of the United States. Bloomington, Ind.: Authorhouse, 2011. 39. Print.
Shearer, Benjamin F. and Barbara S. State Names, Seals, Flags and Symbols: A Historical Guide Third Edition, Revised and Expanded. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 3 Sub edition, 2001.
Quartz: Geology.com - News and Information About Geology and Earth Science.
Quartz: International Colored Gemstone Association.
Quartz: Mindat.org, an online information resource dedicated to providing free mineralogical information to all.
The Mineral quartz: Minerals.net, started in 1996 by Hershel Friedman, is an interactive and educational guide to rocks, minerals, and gemstones.
The Quartz Page: Web site of mineral collector Amir C. Akhavan.
State gemstones: Complete list of official state gemstones from NETSTATE.COM
More symbols & emblems: Complete list of official Georgia state symbols from NETSTATE.COM.
State Geosymbols: Geological Symbols Of The 50 United States, Alan McPherson. 196 pages. Publisher: AuthorHouse Publishing (October 5, 2011)
From the tourmaline of Maine to the black coral of Hawaii, our state's official geological symbols or geosymbols are as uniquely diverse as the terrain and character of the 50 states themselves. In this reference book over 150 state geosymbols are presented with informative text that highlights their adoptive legislation, geologic and social history. Color photo montages add visual interest to the pages.
Crystal & Gem (Eyewitness Books), by R.F. Symes and R.R. Harding. 72 pages. Publisher: DK Dorling Kindersley (June 25, 2007) Reading level: Ages 9-12. Be an eyewitness to the stunning natural beauty of crystals of every size, shape, and color -- and their remarkable uses for everything from surgeons' scalpels to silicon chips. Full-color photos. Learn about the formation and practical uses of crystals, semiprecious stones, and precious metals. "The dazzling full-color photographs on uncluttered pages make this a visual treat."--School Library Journal. Clip-art CD included.
Gemstones (Smithsonian Handbooks), by Cally Hall. 160 pages. Publisher: DK Dorling Kindersley 2 edition (May 15, 2002) The Smithsonian Handbook of Gemstones is packed with more than 800 vivid full-colour photographs of more than 130 varieties of cut and uncut stones, organic gemstones and precious metals. With authoritative text, clear photography and a systematic approach, this concise guide to identification enables you to recognize each gemstone instantly.
Rock and Gem, by Ronald Louis Bonewit. 360 pages. Publisher: Covent Garden Books; 1st edition (2008) From glittering gemstones to fascinating minerals and fossils, Rock and Gem is an incredible celebration of the Earth's buried treasures. Including specially commissioned photographs of more than 450 illustrious specimens and information-rich text, this book illustrates each stone¹s unique characteristics and its relationship to humankind through the ages. About the Author With more than 40 years experience as a geologist, prospector, and gem cutter, Dr. Ronald L. Bonewitz provides a unique perspective on the subject.