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Vermont State Mineral

Talc Effective date: May 28, 1992
Vermont state mineral
Vermont State Mineral: Talc

House Bill No. 678, cosponsored by Representatives Michael Obuchowski and Sean Campbell, called for the adoption of an official state gem (grossular garnet), and official state mineral (talc), and an official state rock (marble).

The proposal was made by Sue Hadden and sanctioned by Vermont mineralogical societies, clubs, geologists (including the recently retired State Geologist Charles Ratté), geology teachers, and industrialists within the mining industry.

"Just as the state has honored the hermit thrush, red clover, and sugar maple, it should honor its unique geologic heritage by naming a state gem, rock, and mineral and join the 95% of the other 50 states to have done so."

(Hadden 29)

Talc was considered a good choice for the official state mineral because;

  • At the time, 20% of the combined United States—Canadian output was produced in Vermont, ranking the state second only to Montana.
  • Soapstone, so important historically to Vermont's growth (and comfort!) is composed primarily of talc.

The United State Geological Survey (USGS) tells us that "U.S. talc is used in the production of ceramics (the main domestic use), paint, paper (for improving several paper qualities and in recycling processes), plastics (as a functional filler, providing rigidity to the plastic), roofing, rubber, cosmetics, flooring, caulking, and agricultural applications. As examples, talc is used in the ceramic substrate of catalytic convertors, and is found in wire and cable insulation, auto body putty, asphalt shingles, caulks, sealants, joint compounds, foam packaging, animal feed, pharmaceuticals, chewing gum, candy, gaskets, hoses, belts, flooring (providing softness and flexibility), insecticide carriers, and of course, baby and body powders. Thus, talc is a part of everyday life."

Talc, the State Mineral, is metamorphic in origin, formed in thin slivers of ocean crust left here after the continents collided. Generally found in southwestern Vermont, it is green in color and very soft.

In 1990, Vermont ranked second only to California among the states which produce talc.

Ground talc is used in plastics, paper, rubber and paint.

------- from Office of the Secretary of State,
Vermont Legislative Directory and State Manual,
Biennial Session, 1993-1994, p. 25.

Though two largest producers are mentioned above, Montana and California, they were declared in different years. Regardless of the number one producer, the consensus was that Vermont was the second biggest producer of talc at the time.

Evidently, as the legislative process proceeded, there were no objections to declaring talc the state mineral.

But some dust was kicked up about naming marble the state rock!


Hadden, Sue H. "Proposal to the Vermont State Legislature to Name a State Gem, Rock, and Mineral." Quarterly Newsletter of the Vermont Geological Society. 19.1 (1992): 29. Print.
The United State of America. United State Geological Survey (USGS). U.S. Talc—Baby Powder and Much More. USGS, 2002. Print.
"Vermont Statutes Annotated." LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.. LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc., n.d. Web. 22 Feb 2012. .
"Vermont Emblems, Facts and Figures." Vermont Department of Libraries. State of Vermont, n.d. Web. 22 Feb 2012. .
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.

Additional Information

Vermont state mineral
Vermont State Mineral: Talc in form of talcum powder
Licensed under the
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Welcome to Industrial Minerals of Vermont: 200 Years and Going Strong: by Diane Conrad and Diane Vanacek (early 1990s), with portions updated in 2005 by Sarah King.

U.S. Talc—Baby Powder and Much Moreadobe document: U.S. Geological Survey fact sheet 0065-00 Version 1.0.

Talc Investigations in Vermontadobe document: U.S. Geological Survey circular "Talc investigations in Vermont, preliminary report"; 1951; CIR; 95; Chidester, A. H.; Billings, M. P.; Cady, W. M.

State minerals: Complete list of official state minerals from NETSTATE.COM.

More symbols & emblems: Complete list of official Vermont state symbols from NETSTATE.COM.

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