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A group of Oklahoma school children think it is high time one of the state’s naturally occurring gems gets official recognition—and State Senator Kathleen Wilcoxson is working to make sure the gem and the students have a chance to shine. She’s filed legislation to make Selenite Crystal the state’s official gemstone.
The proposal came to Sen. Wilcoxson from 105 students in the third through sixth grade at Bryant and Red Oak schools. The students are part of the Moore School District’s Gifted and Talented program known as S.E.A.R.C.H., which stands for “Students Experiencing Appropriate Research and Creative Happenings.”
“I am so impressed with these children. They had done their research and found that 15 states already have an official gemstone. They proposed Selenite Crystal of Oklahoma’s Great Salt Plains to be Oklahoma’s official gemstone because of its unique characteristics,” said Wilcoxson, R-OKC.
Selenite is a crystallized form of gypsum, taking on the characteristics of its environment. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, iron oxide in the soil gives the crystals their reddish to chocolate brown color. Sand and clay particles are included within the crystal, often forming a unique “hourglass” shape.
Sen. David Myers, R-Ponca City, will serve as co-author of the measure. Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, R-Moore and Rep. Jeff Hickman, R-Woodward will serve as House authors.
“What an incredible lesson for these students. They’ve learned about geology, geography, research and state government. I’m hopeful they’ll be able to see their proposal make it all the way to the Governor’s desk during the 2005 legislative session,” Wilcoxson said.
The 2005 session formally gets underway on February 7.