We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Why Is Montana Called the Treasure State?

By H. Lo
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
America Explained is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At America Explained, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Montana is a state of many nicknames, one of them being the Treasure State. The Treasure State, which also happens to be Montana’s official nickname, refers to the mineral resources, like gold and silver, found within the state. Eventually, continued mining led to the discovery of other minerals in the state, including copper, garnet and platinum. The mineral wealth of Montana is such an identifying factor of the state that it even extends to the state’s two official gemstones, which are agate and sapphire. The official state motto demonstrates the mineral wealth as well, reading Oro y Plata, which means “gold and silver” in Spanish.

Although the Treasure State is the official nickname of Montana, the state is also known by a variety of other nicknames, such as Big Sky Country. This nickname comes from Alfred Bertram Guthrie Jr.'s book Big Sky and refers to the state’s wide open landscape and immense skyline. It was the Montana State Highway Department that began using this nickname in the 1960s during a tourism promotion. The nickname gained traction and was even put on Montana state license plates; it's even on the state’s official quarter.

Alongside the Treasure State and Big Sky Country, other nicknames given to Montana over the years include Bonanza State, Land of Shining Mountains, and the Stubbed-Toe State. Just like the nickname Treasure State, Bonanza State reflects Montana's resources. Land of Shining Mountains refers to the sparkling snow on the Rocky Mountains in the state's west, but for some, it can also pertain to the minerals found there as well. Stubbed-Toe State is a rather unusual nickname and its origin, for the most part, is unknown. One speculation is that this nickname alludes to the mountains and their danger to hikers.

In general, state nicknames, along with other state symbols, are meant to instill pride in one’s own state and to promote the state to others. Montana’s state symbols celebrate the life and beauty of the state, from its animals to geographical features to its history. In addition to an official state nickname, Montana also has an official state animal, bird and fish, as well as a state flower, grass and tree. One state symbol in particular, the state seal, showcases the state’s pride in its landscape, displaying geographical features such as mountains, trees and the Missouri River. In the forefront of this landscape, the state seal also depicts the state’s farming background and important mining history with images of a pick, plow and shovel.

America Explained is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Logicfest — On Jun 09, 2014

@Markerrag -- that's a hard question to answer. Keep in mind that California and Montana are not the only states in the Union with rich and valuable mineral deposits. Alaska is one of those with plenty of minerals but it is sparse in population and let's not forget about the Dakotas.

Perhaps a lot of it has to do with the climate. Gold may have drawn people to California, but the wildly agreeable climate is the thing that made them say and has attracted people since then.

By Markerrag — On Jun 08, 2014

It is very odd how gold help California boom while Montana is one of the smallest in the nation in terms of population. Heck, Montana may boast even more valuable minerals than California. That being the case, why didn't the state boom like California did?

America Explained, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

America Explained, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.