Underneath the expansive prairies of North Dakota sits a treasure trove of valuable diamonds that have long captivated gemologists and gem aficionados.

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North Dakota has its own distinct variety of gemstones just waiting to be found and enjoyed, even though it isn't as well-known as gem-rich places like the Appalachian Mountains or the Rocky Mountains.

Several valuable jewels, each with its own geological significance and a fascinating history, have been discovered amidst the state's rough landscape and undulating plains.

Here are a few of the most well-known gemstones found in North Dakota:

North Dakota Jade

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North Dakota jade has captivated gem lovers all around the globe with its breathtaking green color and extraordinary durability. Beloved for its ornamental and jewelry uses, this stunning gemstone is mainly found in the state's southwestern region.

The diversity of North Dakota Jade's coloring and patterns is a reflection of the state's extensive geological past.

Prairie Agate

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Prairie Agates are beautiful gemstones that can be found in North Dakota's sedimentary rocks. Prairie Agate's banded patterns and translucent appearance make it a show-stopper in a rainbow of colors, from earthy browns to blazing oranges and brilliant reds.

The artistic potential and inherent beauty of these jewels make them highly desirable to collectors and lapidaries.

Missouri River Diamonds

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Despite not being "real" diamonds, the tiny, polished stones discovered along the Missouri River's banks have been known as "Missouri River Diamonds." These glistening treasures, sometimes called "rock crystals," are really quartz crystals that the river's currents have worn down and polished over the years.

Missouri River Diamonds may not sparkle like a typical diamond, but they are irresistible in their own special way.

Petrified Wood

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Although not strictly a gemstone, the petrified wood discovered in the Badlands of North Dakota is nonetheless worth mentioning due to its geological importance and stunning natural beauty. Eventually, after millions of years of fossilization, the organic components of petrified wood are replaced by minerals, giving the material a stone-like appearance.

The exquisite patterns and vivid colors found in petrified wood make it a very desirable material for jewelry, decorations, and souvenirs.


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North Dakota's garnets, mainly almandine type, are found in metamorphic rocks like schist and gneiss. These small gems, ranging from grains to a few millimeters, display deep red to reddish-brown hues. While not typically used commercially due to their size, they hold geological significance.

The Sheyenne River Valley, particularly around Lisbon, is a notable area for garnet discoveries, where they're found in gravel deposits eroded from surrounding rocks.


A monument to the ongoing fascination of North Dakota’s geological past, these native stones, as well as others not listed here are admired for their beauty, researched for their geological significance, or fashioned into works of art.

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