A new Gem and Mineral exhibit was installed in the Museum this year, which highlights some of the gems and minerals located in the State of Connecticut.
Connecticut’s State Mineral is the Almandine Garnet. According to the State of CT’s website: “Connecticut is one of the finest sources in the world of the almandine garnet, named the state mineral by the 1977 General Assembly. An ancient gem, it was named “garnata” in the 13th century by Albertus Magnus and was known as the “Carbuncle” in its likeness to a small, red-hot coal.”
Because of this type of garnet’s hardness, it was used as an abrasive, which was very important to local industries as a base for grinding wheels, saws, and a better cutting quality of sandpaper. Garnets are also used to make jewelry and in other decorative applications. Normally, these small nuggets are deep red in color and embedded in granite, schists, or other hard materials. Garnets have been found in many parts of the Town of Canton.
The Dyer Farm, just off Route 44 in Canton, was the location of a Zinc/Lead Mine. The largeAmethyst/Quartz specimen, which sits on top of the exhibit case, in the Museum, was donated by David Repp, who found it there when he was ten years old. It is a very large piece with large spears of Milky Quartz on top of a beautiful layer of Purple Amethyst.
Minerals found in the Town of Canton include, but are not limited to: Beryl, Copper, Galena, Amethyst, Almandine Garnet, Lead, and Colorless and Milky Quartz.