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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: January 21, 2021 02:26 PM
From: Representative Thomas L. Mehaffie, III
To: All House members
Subject: Designating Amethyst as the Official State Gemstone and Celestite as the Official State mineral
In the near future, Representative Tina Pickett and I plan to re-introduce former HB1282, legislation designating Amethyst as the official state gemstone of Pennsylvania, and to establish Celestite as the state mineral of Pennsylvania. Amethyst, a beautiful purple gem has several unique connections to our state befitting this designation.

Pennsylvania is well known for its variety of vast mineral deposits and the mines that work them. Among these is quartz, the most beautiful type of which is the vibrant, purple gemstone, Amethyst.

Amethyst is also the focal point of the tiara used to crown the winner of the Miss Pennsylvania pageant. The crown and the Amethyst gemstones featured in it have many unique connections to the state of Pennsylvania. The crown was commissioned by the state's organization of jewelers, the Pennsylvania Jewelers Association and hand made by a Pennsylvania jeweler. The crown is encrusted with 92 carats of Amethyst, all donated by jewelers throughout the State. The focal point of the crown's design was inspired by the Keystone shape, paying homage to the State's nickname. This, fittingly, inspired the placement of the 37 carat Keystone shape Amethyst gemstone at the center of the Miss Pennsylvania crown.

Coincidentally, the state plant of Pennsylvania is Penngift Crownvetch, commonly known as "Purple Crown." How fitting that Pennsylvania is represented by the beauty of the attractive purple blooms of the state plant "Purple Crown" and the radiant purple Amethyst gemstones of the "Purple Crown" worn by Miss Pennsylvania.

The official symbols of the Commonwealth are important because they help to differentiate our state from others. Most states have an official state dog, tree and flower, etc.; all of which help to show what is important to that state.

I believe that denoting Celestite, more commonly referred to as Celestine, as the state mineral will not only pique the interest of school children across the state to learn more about Pennsylvania and its rich environment, but will also help educate the public about a uniquely beautiful mineral.

Celestine, which is found across Pennsylvania, is pale blue in color and is famous for its colorful combination of minerals. The name itself comes from the Latin word for "celestial" and alludes to the typical bluish color. It was first discovered here in Pennsylvania in 1791 and is also found worldwide.

We hope you will join us in cosponsoring this legislation, thank you.

Introduced as HB777