The agate hunting season in Grand Marais this year was a good one. Almost every day one or more people came into the museum to show off their beautiful finds. I also receive photos via email attachments. The end of June I received an email from someone asking if a series of rocks they found are agates. Below are three of these specimens – all Lake Superior agates of course.
In June Larry and Susan Hales visited the museum to show me four specimens. The red and white rock is a geode, which is rare to find on the Lake Superior beach since they usually do not survive the pounding of the waves.
David Schuder from the Keweenaw sent me photos of some of his summer finds. The first two photos show the cut side and raw side of a beautiful Laker. The third photo is an intricate Lake Superior agate with tubes, as well as some moss and sagenite structure. The structure in the fourth photo illustrates the impact that geothermal activity in the vicinity of the vesical pocket can have on agate formation.
Rod and Karen Thomas from Durano, MI visited the museum in June. They showed off an 18 ounce quartz ball agate that has some banding as well as eye formations. They also shared with me a beautiful Lake Superior agate they found a few years ago that they decided to cut since the raw specimen did not show much of the structure. Once cut, you can clearly see fortification banding as well as interesting center inclusions.
Jan Frederik Valkenberg Castro found the following agate in the mountains of the Dominican Republic. It is always awesome to see the similarities and differences that agates formed elsewhere in the world have as compared to Lake Superior agates.
In August as I was closing the museum one evening, a couple (Mandy and Taylor from Kalamazoo, MI) came in and asked me to tell them what an “A-GATE” is. I gave them a quick definition and convinced them to buy the new agate book, since they were interested in trying to find one. The next day they returned to the museum when Mandy showed me the first agate she ever found. She also explained that they had never heard of agates before and that they were on their honeymoon. I was excited for them and told her that the specimen she found was one of the nicest agates I saw all summer.
Finally, I would like to apologize to Steve Evoy and Susan Bitely who brought agates into the museum the beginning of July. Due to camera issues, I lost some of the photos that, unfortunately, were not able to be recovered. Thus, I could not include these photos in this update.