Cherokee Rose

In the 1800s, gold was found in Georgia. Despite a decision in favor of the Cherokee Indians by the Supreme Court, President Andrew Jackson ignored the government’s treaties and ordered the removal of the Cherokees and other Indian tribes from their eastern homelands. Thousands died along this treacherous journey to Oklahoma, which would later be known as the Trail of Tears.

During this devastating journey, legend says the blood of the braves and tears of the maidens turned into stones in the shape of a Cherokee rose as they fell to earth.  This stone, the rose rock, is found almost exclusively in Oklahoma and is reminiscent of the flower native to the Cherokees’ eastern home.  

Scientifically, the rose rock, or barite rose, is a reddish-brown sandy crystal of barium sulfate. The crystals form into petal-like clusters that resemble a rose. These rosettes occurred in individual pieces in Garber sandstone deposited in the Permian period nearly 250 million years ago. They are concentrated in a narrow belt that extends 80 miles through central Oklahoma from Guthrie on the north to Pauls Valley on the south. The highest concentration of rose rocks in the world is in the Noble area