While quartz can be found in many colors, such as rose quartz and blue quartz, amethyst and clear quartz are designated as the state gems. The crystals are hexagonal and generally come to a point, Stubbs said.
When faceted, clear quartz resembles a diamond. Clear quartz is also called “rock crystal” or “ice crystal,” from the Greek word for ice, “krystallos.” It is said the Greeks believed the crystal was water that had frozen so hard, it could never be thawed.
Amethyst begins as a light pinkish-violet crystal and can turn deep purple because of iron and aluminum impurities. Its name comes from the ancient Greek word, “methustos,” which means “intoxicated.” The belief was that this gem protected its carrier from drunkenness and ancient Greeks and Romans wore amethysts around their necks and made drinking containers from it to prevent extreme intoxication. It is still commonly used in jewelry for its enchanting color.
Millions of years ago, the southern half of Georgia was covered by ocean waters. As a result, Georgia’s Coastal Plain region, which stretches south along the fall line from Columbus to Macon and Augusta, is home to an abundance of shark tooth fossils.
Shark teeth are usually black and gray but are sometimes white, brown and blue. They can be traced back in Georgia to 375 million years and are one of the most sought-after fossils for collectors.
The shark’s tooth played an important role in the lives of Native Americans in the past, said Steven Beasley, president of Peach State Archaeological Society. Shark teeth were a means of survival. There is evidence that the early Native Americans sharpened sharks’ teeth, probably for hunting and defense, and drilled holes in the fossils for ornamental or religious purposes.
“Indians did use shark teeth as decoration and tools,” he said.
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