Colorado's Gold Rush (1858-1861) and Silver Boom (1879-1893) made the Centennial State famous for most of the late 19th century as Americans raced to the Rockies attempting to strike it rich in the mountains.

Read More: History of Mount Elbert: Colorado’s Highest 14er

Gold and Silver were not the only items of value waiting to be discovered atop Colorado's highest peaks. By the 1880s several gemstones would also be uncovered along the Continental Divide in the state's Sawatch Range, and one would go on to be named Colorado's official gemstone.

The State Gemstone of Colorado

Colorado's state gemstone.
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Colorado's state gemstone is Aquamarine. If you, or someone you know, was born in March it's also the birthstone for the third month of the year. Aquamarine is a pale-blue to light-green gemstone from the Beryl family found in abundance in Colorado's southern Sawatch mountain range near the Continental Divide. It became the official gemstone of Colorado in 1971.

Colorado's Gem Mountain

Aquamarine was first discovered near the summit of Colorado's Mount Antero and Mount White in 1880. Mount Antero at 14,269 feet remains the site of one of America's highest elevated gem fields and holds one of the highest concentrations of Aquaramine in America. Thus, Mount Antero is known as 'Gem Mountain'. The North face of Mount Antero remains one of the best places to discover Aquamarine in Colorado, along with smoky quartz, blue topaz, and phenakite crystals.

Where is Mount Antero in Colorado?

Colorado's Gemstone mountain
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Colorado's Mount Antero is about 18 miles West of Nathrop, Colorado on the southern end of the Sawatch Range. Nearby peaks featuring Aquamarine gemstones (in lesser amounts) include Mount Baldwin, Mount Princeton, and Mount White.

MORE: The Story of ‘Tom’s Baby: The Largest Gold Nugget Ever Found in Colorado

Check out the largest gold nugget ever found in the state of Colorado. Find out how much it weighed, and how much it would be worth today. Keep going to check out the Coors Hall of Gems and Minerals in Colorado's Museum of Natural Science.

Gallery Credit: Wesley Adams

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Today we're looking at the true titans of Colorado. Behold the fourteen largest 14ers in the Centennial State.

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Join us for a virtual tour of the highest-named lake in the United States, found right here in Colorado. Youtuber Dave Spates shows us what it is like to hike through McCullough Gulch Trail to find our destination at 13,420 feet.

Gallery Credit: Wesley Adams

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