State Nickname of Idaho
The Gem State
Idaho’s official nickname is the Gem State for its abundance of gems that are found in the state. The mountains contain veins of gold, silver, lead, zinc, cobalt, copper, and many other rare minerals. Some of these rare minerals are gems like star garnets (the state gem), jasper, opal, jade, topaz, zircon, and tourmaline.
In 1863, Congress designated
the Idaho Territory with the misunderstanding that Idaho was a Shoshone word meaning Gem of the
Mountains. In spite of the misunderstanding concerning the origin of the name the state continues to be
known as the “Gem State” and the “Gem of the Mountains”.