RALEIGH — As the result of some intensive lobbying by a class of Onslow County fourth-graders, the state Senate voted 46-4 Monday night to make gold the official state mineral.
Sen. Harry Brown, a Republican from Jacksonville who is the bill's primary sponsor, said the students' teacher contacted him with the idea shortly after he visited the class and spoke about how a bill becomes law.
The students pointed out that North Carolina was the nation's top gold mining state until 1848, when gold was found in California.
If Brown's bill is approved by the House and signed by the governor, gold will join the steadily expanding list of state symbols.
Last year, legislators bowed to a request from some Currituck County elementary schoolers to enshrine the colonial Spanish mustang as North Carolina's official horse.