Flint, a variety of quartz, is a hard and durable mineral. This was known to William Shakespeare when he wrote ''Romeo and Juliet,'' and it was known to Native American Indians who were making tools from flint at the same time. Flint can be worked into a variety of forms, and its surfaces will take a high polish. Small amounts of impurities commonly give a wide variety of colors to flint: red, pink, green, blue, yellow, gray, white, black. Some combinations of these colors in a piece of flint are considered to be very attractive. Native American Indians, both prehistoric and historic, used flint to make a wide variety of tools, weapons and ceremonial pieces. Skilled workers started with coarse pieces of flint and fashioned such implements as knives, scrapers, projectile points and pipes. Later, early American settlers used flint for various objects such as millstones and rifle flints. Today, artists use flint extensively in making attractive pieces of jewelry. In 1965, the Ohio General Assembly named flint Ohio's official gemstone.
<blockquote>This 'Flint Ridge' must have been as valuable to the Indians...as the coal and iron mines of Ohio and Pennsylvania are to the white men of the present day.</blockquote><blockquote>Henry Howe, 1888</blockquote>