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The Last Word

Hidden Gems

In the Bible you will find gems of eternal value if you diligently search for them.

By Staci Schefka

I grew up in the state of Arizona, and one of my favorite childhood memories was rockhounding with my dad. This was not your typical rock hunt. We were looking for gemstones!

Beneath its sun-kissed landscapes dotted with cacti, the Arizona desert holds a treasure trove of rare gemstones. In fact, the state has a rich mining history and is still one of the largest producers of gemstones in the United States. For this reason, it is not uncommon to find amateur geologists digging in the dirt or rocks for one of these hidden treasures.

The Arizona state gemstone is the blue-green turquoise. The Native Americans make jewelry from it, which they sell to tourists. Other common gemstones include the green jade, red or orange garnet, and the opal with its kaleidoscopic array of colors. I particularly like the Apache Tear made from black obsidian, a volcanic glass.

My favorite

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