In April during spring break, friends Gerald and Jill Phillips and I drove down to Irvine, Kentucky to go agate hunting. We teamed up with Scott and Melinda Hardy to learn the tricks of the hunt. I must admit it is totally different than looking for Lake Superior agates.
First of all, you need a pair of fishing waders. Although they call them creeks, in my opinion they are rivers. Not only was the current swift, but we had to portage around deep holes on several occasions. As I also explain in the Mineral of the Month update this month, you search by using sound. When you find round rocks in the river, you hit them with a rock hammer or other metal object. The silica rocks have a certain “ping” sound, as compared to other river rocks.
I must admit that the river was beautiful. It had a brilliant aqua blue green color. We hunted for six hours walking upstream in the river where ever we could and down a four wheel trail on the way back to our car. It was certainly a good time.
Here is a shot of the river and a couple of shots of Melinda, Gerald, and Jill.
I have not yet cut any of the possible agates I found. However, I did buy quite a few from Scott Hardy. I have a great assortment for sale at the museum for prices that are far less than what you see on the internet. Here is one of the agates I purchased from Scott.
In addition to agates, there are a lot of other silicified rocks you can find in the river.