The House Judiciary Committee Wednesday moved forward legislation to replace the current official gemstone, agate, with a specific species of oyster shell.

The bill changes the state gemstone from agate, which is found in Louisiana gravel, to the cabochon cut gemstone derived from the Crassostrea virginica mollusk and provides that agate instead become the state mineral.

House Bill 246 by Rep. Scott Simon, R-Abita Springs, notes that the species of oyster is found off the Louisiana coast. Simon’s bill originally designated LaPearlite as the state gemstone, but it’s trademarked and can’t be used.

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