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Virginia State Rock

Nelsonite - the state rock of Virginia. These specimens were collected in the late 90's from near Bryant, Virginia. Photo contributed by David Lipscomb  / Virginia Rock Shop (use permitted with attribution).

Official State Rock of Virginia

On July 1, 2016, Nelsonite was designated the official state rock of Virginia thanks to the efforts of Michelle Stanislaus and her classmates at Piedmont Virginia Community College, who convinced legislators to adopt the speckled rock as a project for their Political Science and Geology classes.  All State Rocks

Nelsonite is named for Nelson County, Virginia where it was first found near Roseland in central Virginia. Nelsonite was a key economic resource in the early 1900's; it was mined as a source of titanium (used in paint pigments and steel alloys), and calcium phosphate (used in artificial teeth and agricultural fertilizer).

Nelsonite is a distinctive igneous rock composed primarily of the minerals ilmenite and apatite. This speckled tan, black and white rock is found in Nelson, Amherst, and Roanoke Counties of Virginia.

Code of Virginia: 2016 SESSION, § 1-510
CONTRIBUTORS: Content for this article was submitted by David Lipscomb  / Virginia Rock Shop