SALT LAKE CITY — Pop quiz.
What is Utah’s official state cooking pot?
The Dutch oven.
Did you know that Utah’s state centennial star is Dubhe, which is one of the seven bright stars composing the Big Dipper in the constellation of Ursa Major?
Utah even has a state grass, (Indian rice grass), a state firearm (the John M. Browning designed M1911 automatic) and state fish (the Bonneville cutthroat trout), so why not a state stone?
A legislative proposal to designate honeycomb calcite as the state stone does make sense.
Utah is, after all, the Beehive State and its state emblem, is well, the beehive.
Rep. Christine Watkins’ HB188 was endorsed unanimously Tuesday by the Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee. It passed the House 56-13 on Feb. 8.
Watkins, R-Price, said the stone is mined high in the mountains in Duchesne County, the only place in the world where it is found.
It is then finished and polished for use in jewelry and all manner of products, including for an entire bar at an establishment in Park City and for the beehive emblem on the first floor of the state Capitol.
“In the Duchesne city offices there is an entire case full of items made out of this,” Watkins said. “It is uniquely Duchesne County, uniquely Utah.”
Honeycomb calcite, which is 500 million years old, is also called amber onyx. It ranges in color from creamy pale yellow to a deep golden honey amber color.
It is marketed across the internet in a variety of products, including decorative items and even as tile because of how light sets off its translucent nature.
The stone was first discovered in the area by Floyd Anderson in 1995 and is now harvested by Shamrock Mining, in Hanna, which makes various products for worldwide distribution.