Rocks and specimens from Missouri

Missouri’s State Mineral

On July 21, 1967, the mineral galena was adopted as the official mineral of Missouri. Galena is the major source of lead ore, and the recognition of this mineral by the state legislature was to emphasize Missouri’s status as the nation’s top producer of lead. Galena is dark gray in color and breaks into small cubes. Mining of galena has flourished in the Joplin-Granby area of southwest Missouri, and rich deposits have been located in such places as Crawford, Washington, Iron and Reynolds counties. (RSMo 10.047)

Source: http://sos.mo.gov/symbols/symbols.asp?symbol=mineral

The specimen pictured is from the Southeast Missouri Mining District in Reynolds County, MO.

Missouri’s State Dinosaur

Hypsibema missouriense is a type of dinosaur called a Hadrosaur or “duck-billed” dinosaur. It was a herbivore with jaws that contained over 1,000 teeth. Hypsibema had evolved specialized teeth to handle the tough, fibrous vegetation of the time. This dinosaur lived in Missouri during the Late Cretaceous Period. Hypsibema was first discovered in 1942 by Dan Stewart, near the town of Glen Allen, MO, and became the state’s official dinosaur on July 9, 2004 (RsMo 10.095) A reconstruction of Missouri’s State Dinosaur can be seen at the Bollinger Museum of Natural History in Marble Hill, MO. Source: Secretary of State webpage, http://sos.mo.gov/symbols/symbols.asp?symbol=dino

Missouri’s State Fossil

The crinoid became the state’s official fossil on June 16, 1989, after a group of Lee’s Summit school students worked through the legislative process to promote it as a state symbol. The crinoid (Delocrinus missouriensis) is a mineralization of an animal which, because of its plant-like appearance, was called the “sea lily.” Related to the starfish and sand dollar, the crinoid lived in the ocean that once covered Missouri. There are about 600 species alive in the ocean today. (RSMo 10.090) Source: http://sos.mo.gov/symbols/symbols.asp?symbol=fossil Note to people who live in Kansas: Kansas does not have an official state gem, mineral, rock, or fossil. If you would like to change this, you can contact one of your representatives and get one. I suggest Niobrara Chalk, as in Rock Chalk Jayhawks.


The Mozarkite Society of Lincoln, MO is having their annual rock show right now, from September 19-21. There is FREE admission! It is at the Lincoln City Park, Shelter House, behind Casey’s. Hours: Fri 9-5, Sat 9-4, Sun 9-4. Go to www.mozarkite.com for more information.

Mozarkite is a variety of quartz that comes in many colors including red, pink, purple, blue, and white, usually in pretty swirls.  The name comes from Missouri and Ozarks, which is where mozarkite is often found.  It is considered a semiprecious stone because it has a hardness of 7.5-7.75 on the Mohs scale, making it hard enough to be polished and made into jewelry.  Mozarkite has been Missouri’s state rock ever since 1967.

Purple and blue mozarkite in an irregularly shaped rock and two polished green and purple mozarkite cabochons

Photos from the Mozarkite Society of Lincoln. http://www.mozarkite.com/samples.htm