During the Devonian period Michigan was very different than it is now. It lay geographically near the equator and was covered by a warm shallow sea, which was home to large coral reefs. Fragments of those reefs live on in the Petoskey Stone, which can be found only in Michigan.
In its natural form it is plain and gray; indistinguishable from limestone rocks. But wet it with water or polish it, and the distinctive segments of coral fossil spring into view!
The word Petoskey is derived from the Odawa word Pah-toh-se-geh, which means "rising sun" or "rays of dawn". It was the name of a renowned chief of the Odawa Nation, and there is some dispute as to whether the stone was named for him or for the actual meaning of the word.
It was officially named the State Stone of Michigan in 1965; the first fossil ever so designated.
I made a trip today to Nawbin in Traverse City (my favorite bead & rock store) and the owner surprised me with a lovely selection of Petoskey Stone cabochons! Of course, they are now destined to be set in leather and turned into Earth Medallions. (for more about those, refer to the previous post.)
Here's a sampling!!