Customer Agate Finds December 2018

It was a good year agate hunting in the Grand Marais area this past season.  As some of you know, my theory about how most rocks reach the Grand Marais beach is due to shelf ice that breaks off shorelines all around Lake Superior with a change of wind direction and float around the lake during the winter.  Shelf ice forms early winter on top of rock piles and incorporate some of the pebbles into the bottom of the shelf ice.  In the spring, we get predominant northwest winds that blow the floating ice to the southeast shoreline, including the Grand Marais area.  Some years we have little to no ice floating on the big lake.  This past spring, though, there was A LOT of floating ice.  When the icebergs get blown up onto shore for the last time, they melt and dump their rocks.  So, this year there were more rocks on the beach than we have seen in many years.

When someone comes into the museum with an agate find, I sometimes ask permission to include photos on these web page updates.  If the customers say yes, I have them write their chosen personal information on the back of a business card.  I then date the card (to correspond with the date of the photos) and keep the cards until the next web page update.  During the craziness of the summer, sometimes I misplace some of these cards.   That is the case for this first set of photos.  Not only did the customer bring in some killer Lake Superior agates, but he also had a collection of meteorites, including one that fell in the last year or so in Hamburg, MI.  Many of the meteorites were picked up less than a half mile from where I lived prior to moving to Grand Marais.  If you are the person who showed me the meteorites and these agates, can you please email me at to give me your name (first name is OK).  I will then update this paragraph.

First, the meteorites……

Second, his agates……

On September 2nd, sixteen-year-old, Anna, from Alma, MI came into the museum with this awesome water-washed 8.4-ounce Lake Superior agate found in the Grand Marais area.  Anna was shy and did not want to be photographed.

On August 30th, Elias from Au Train, MI visited the Gitche Gumee Museum to show off this colorful Lake Superior agate.

Late summer the Evoy family displayed some of their agates.  This included Steve, Jade, and Lily – from Wolverine, MI.  They found several beautiful gems!

Nina Nyman, from Grand Marais, also did not want to be photographed.  But she was happy to show off her agates, including an 8.4 ouncer!

Another photo shy person, Karen Shreve, from Livonia, MI showed me her large, beautifully banded Laker on August 31st.  What incredible banding this agate has!

During the third week of August Brian and Keola Trudell, from Escanaba, MI, came into the museum with their find.  Keola found one of the few Lake Superior sagenite agates I saw all summer.

One of the better agates brought into the museum this summer was a 7.4 ouncer, found by Erin Vlietstra.  She is pictured with Mark.  They are from Kalamazoo, MI.

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