Staurolite was voted state mineral by the legislature in 1976. It is a red brown to black, mostly opaque, nesosilicate mineral with a white streak. It is in the monoclinic crystal system and has a hardness of 7- 7.5. It has an extremely complex chemical formula;
Magnesium, zinc and manganese substitute in the iron site and trivalent iron can substitute for aluminum.
The crystals of staurolite often occurs twinned in a characteristic cross-shape, called penetration twinning.
The legend of the fairy stones (or fairy crosses)
“Many hundreds of years, fairies were dancing around a spring of water, playing with naiads and wood nymphs, when an elfin messenger arrived from a city far away. He brought news of the death of Christ. When these creatures of the forest heard the story of the crucifixion, they wept. As their tears fell upon the earth, they crystallized to form beautiful crosses“.
Staurolite is a regional metamorphic mineral of intermediate to high grade. It occurs with almandine garnet, micas, kyanite; as well as albite, biotite, and sillimanite in gneiss and schist of regional metamorphic rocks.