The Gem State

Updated February 23, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

The Question:

Which state is known as the "Gem State"?

The Answer:

In addition to being known as the "Spud State" and the "Panhandle State", Idaho is also referred to as the "Gem State". Ironically, though Idaho produces more than one fifth of all the silver mined in the U.S., its only native gemstone is garnet, which it does not produce in large quantities.

The nickname actually existed long before the land which was to become Idaho was formally designated a U.S. territory. "Idaho" was at that time believed to mean, in an unspecified American Indian language, "Gem of the Mountains" - a claim later found to be fictitious.

If you'd like more information on Idaho, check out its entry in our almanac.

-The Fact Monster

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