(NEXSTAR) — Looking at the mountains, it’s hard not to wonder what sort of rare minerals you might find in Colorado.
If you haven’t spent any time searching for gemstones, you may not know Colorado is home to several.
That includes aquamarine, a blue variety of the mineral beryl, according to the Colorado Geological Survey. Despite it being the state gemstone since 1971, you may not be able to find much on your own, since many of the areas where aquamarine is found are on land held by private entities.
You might also have a hard time finding amazonite, a microcline feldspar that is usually blue or green. While commonly found between Woodland Park and Lake George, the area is mostly private land or held by private entities.
We can’t overlook diamonds, either. Though there was a rough moment in history when diamonds were placed in an area of Colorado in the Great Diamond Hoax of 1872, diamonds are actually found in the state. North America’s first diamond was, in fact, the Kelsey Lake Mine in northern Colorado.
Also mined in Colorado is rhodochrosite. The reddish-pink gems have been found in the Sweet Home Mine in Park County, which was previously a silver mine, according to the Colorado Geological Survey.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Colorado is also home to Apache tears, which are small black stones of obsidian; gypsum; lazurite, the blue component of the gemstone lapis lazuli, which can be found in the Sawatch Range north of Crested Butte — one of the few sources in the world; peridot; pyrite, or “fools gold;” quartz; topaz; and turquoise.
If you want to explore some of Colorado’s minerals but don’t want to go digging, there are multiple museums with expansive displays, including the National Mining Hall of Fame, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and the Geology Museum at the Colorado School of Mines.