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MINERAL OF THE MONTH

March 2008: Lake Superior Agate

It has been quite some time since I designated the Lake Superior Agate as the mineral of the month. In honor of the museum founder, I am featuring his 5.5 agate as the mineral of the month. He found this agate at the base of Grand Sable Dunes in 1958. He had it for many years before he gathered up the courage to cut a slice off the end. I am glad he made that decision, so that I didn’t have to. I have always wondered when he cut the agate. While preparing this month’s webpage update, I noticed for the first time the date in the article that appeared in the Oscoda County News article about Axel and his big agate. The article was published in October of 1979 and appears to showing the agate before it was cut. Since Axel left Grand Marais in around 1984 to be closer to medical facilities for his ailing wife, he must have cut the agate sometime between 1979 and 1984. If this is true, he had the agate for over 20 years before he cut off the end. If any of you remember anything more about when he cut the agate, please give me a call at 906-494-2590 or send me an email at karen @ agatelady.com.

Axel with Big Agate

The first photo shows the carnelian eye pocket that Axel spotted from what he claimed was 50 feet away. The next photo shows that whole side, which is the opposite side from where Axel took the slice off the end. The third photo shows the conchoidal fractures on the top of the specimen. Although you certainly can tell that it is agate, you would not have expected the banding quality that was exposed with the cut, shown in the fourth photo.

Axel Agate Carnelian Eye
Back of agate
Conchoidal Fracture photo
Axel 5.5 pound agate photo

The last photo shows the agate face that resulted when Axel sliced off the end. Before it was cut, the agate weighed 5.5 pounds. Just for perspective, the cut face is 6” wide and 3” tall. The agate is also 4” deep. Over the last 10 years since opening the museum I have seen a lot of agates come off the beach. All in all, though, I still have not seen one that beats Axel’s 1958 wonder.



Mineral of the Month Archives

May 2007: Rainbow Fluorite

June 2007: Lake Superior Michipicoten Agate

July 2007: Labadorite

August 2007: Rain Flower Agate

Fall 2007: Malachite

December 2007: Nepheline Syenite

January 2008: Native Copper

February 2008: Amazonite

June 2012: Moqui Marbles

March 2008: Lake Superior Agate

April 2008: Shadow Agate

May 2008: Apohpylite

June 2008: Ocean Jasper

Summer 2008: Marra Mamba Tiger's Eye

September 2008: Mohawkite

October 2008: Mexican opal

November 2008: Prehnite

December 2008: Picture Jasper

January 2009: Sea Shell Jasper

February 2009: Polychrome Jasper

March 2009: Selenite Desert Rose

Spring 2009: Coyamito Agate

July 2009: Obsidian Needles

August 2009: Goethite

September 2009: Banded Iron Formation

Fall 2009: Fairburn Agate

March 2010: Fossilized Dinosaur Bone

April/May: 2010 Kentucky Agate

June 2010: Nantan Meteorite

July 2010: Mookaite Jasper

Aug/Sept 2010: Polyhedroid Agate

Fall 2010: Ammonite Fossil

Winter 2011: Argentina Condor Agate

Spring 2011: Petrfied Wood

September 2011: Petoskey Stones

January 2012: Mary Ellen Jasper

March 2012: Mexican Crazy Lace Agate

September 2012: Chlorastrolite Greenstone

March 2013: Jacobsville Sandstone

August 2013: Skip-an-Atom Agate

April 2014: Tiger's Eye


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Gitche Gumee Museum.
E21739 Brazel Street
Grand Marais, Michigan 49839

 


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