Wonders of Wyoming, Dave Walsh

wyoming jadeth  photo courtesy of rocksofwyoming.BlogSpot.com

Dave Walsh 4 Jan ’16

This Wonder ranges in color from black, through green, even white.   And it’s very official.

The 1930’s and 1940’s were the “glory days” for this Wonder of Wyoming.  It’s much-publicized discovery around Lander sparked a “gold rush” of sorts, that didn’t match California’s in size, but certainly matched it in intensity and enthusiasm.  It wasn’t gold these latter-day prospectors were after, it was a gemstone called nephrite.  Ranging in colors through the earth-tones, it’s most famous for its green variety.  And don’t be fooled, there’s only one true form, the form found in Wyoming.

Other minerals have taken its name, including amazonite, californite, aventurine, and most notably, serpentine.  But what we have in Wyoming, in fact, a mineral the State Legislature and Governor Stan Hathaway named our official gemstone, is nephrite.

Of course, you usually don’t walk into a rock shop and see a beautiful worked-piece of stone labeled “nephrite”.  What you will find, if you’re lucky, is a lovely stone of various colors, but all with one thing in common.

You are looking at Wyoming Jade, the official gemstone of this state, and a true Wonder of Wyoming.