The 2022 agate hunting season was a little better than the 2021 season, which was better than the season in 2020. It became clear this year that there is still a large gap in skill between those who exert the effort to get up the learning curve, spend considerable time agate hunting, and maximize their … Continue reading "January 2023"
The 2021 agate hunting season was a little better than the 2020 season. It became clear this year that there is still a large gap in skill between those who exert the effort to get up the learning curve, spend considerable time agate hunting, and maximize their patience. One couple who has visited the museum … Continue reading "Customer Agate Finds – January 2022"
So far this season there have not been many great agates brought into the museum. I did receive an email from Jacqueline Schmidt, who is a Michigan transplant now living in Minnesota. She found this almost pound and a half Lake Superior agate in a farmer’s field. Because it was not found on a beach, … Continue reading "Customer Agate Finds – July 2021"
The first thing I must do is to apologize to Auden Lloyd (Northville, MI), and Carrie and Dan Wiersma (Appleton, WI), and Michael (no last name or home town was given). Auden visited the museum on August 3rd; Carrie and Dan on August 28th, and Michael on September 11th. I used my iPad to … Continue reading "Customer Agate Finds November 2020"
Well, not exactly. Since the museum has not been open, I do not have any customer agate photos to use in this web page update. Instead, I used my USB microscope camera to capture a few close-ups. I will start with some Lake Superior agate close-ups. The first is a candy striper, then a shadow … Continue reading "Customer Agate Finds May 2020"
It was another good year agate hunting in the Grand Marais area this past season. For the second year in a row, the ice break-up in spring resulted in a lot of rock on the beach. I was so busy this summer I did take photos of all the agates brought into the Gitche Gumee … Continue reading "Customer Agate Finds November 2019"
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 … Continue reading "Customer Agate Finds December 2018"
This has been an interesting summer of agate hunting in Grand Marais. There is more rock on the beach than there has been in several years. Despite the number of beach pebbles, there have not been as many agates brought into the museum as I expected. Perhaps people are finding them, but not just bringing … Continue reading "Customer Agate Finds August 2018"
As I said in the introduction on the home page, spring has not yet sprung in Grand Marais. There is still considerable snow and ice on the Lake Superior shoreline and the back roads around the Grand Marais area are not yet open. It is hard to determine when winter will loosen its grip on … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: April 2018"
The lack of ice flow on Lake Superior this past winter and spring definitely impacted the quality of agate hunting along the shoreline over the summer. Despite fewer agates being found, people still brought some nice agates into the museum. This first Lake Superior agate was found mid-August by Ann Blanchard, who is from Port … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: December 2017"
For the second year in a row there was little to no ice flow on Lake Superior. In other years the ice transports rocks around the basin and moves new rocks to our beach, including agates. The ice we did have moved back and forth at the end of spring and did dredge some rocks … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: July 2017"
Last year was not a great year for agate hunting, mostly due to the lack of ice flow on Lake Superior. It seems that the ice moves rocks around the basin and moves new rocks to our beach, including agates. Unfortunately, ice on Lake Superior is lacking again this year. Since there is almost no … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: March 2017"
Since the museum just opened the other day I have had a few customers bring agates in, but none that were worthy of posting photos for this update. So instead I took photos of some of the agates that I have in the museum’s gift shop. All the photos were taken with my USB microscope … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: June 2016"
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 … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Lake Superior Agate Close Up Photos November 2015"
Although the agate season is just beginning, I still have some great photos to share. Another agate hunter with whom I regularly correspond via email is David Schuder from Sedar Bay in the Keweenaw Peninsula. David and some of his cohorts appreciate all Lake Superior agates, but as he explains, “anyone can have a red … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Lake Superior Agate Close Up Photos June 2015"
With winter the museum is not open so I do not have any current customer agate finds. So for this month’s update I searched through my supply of close up photos of Lake Superior agates. Some of these pictures I took using either my USB microscope camera or my Nikon. Some are also cropped pictures … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Lake Superior Agate Close Up Photos February 2015"
The agate hunting this summer has been OK, but not great. We were expecting a superb summer due to the massive amounts of ice on Lake Superior last winter. It has been many years since we had a lot of ice. In fact, according to NOAA the ice coverage on Lake Superior is down 70 … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: September 2014"
Since winter has hit the Grand Marais area with a vengeance, there has been little to no agate hunting these past few months. Once in a while there is a minute patch of gravel drudged up by moving ice, especially during the early winter and early spring. Sure enough, when I was trekking down the … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: April 2014"
This has been a really weird year for agate hunting in Grand Marais. Since there was moving ice on Lake Superior last winter that brought new rock to our shore and dredged up other rock that was laying just off shore – rock hunting in the early spring was terrific. Since then we have had … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: November 2013"
Right after the icebergs melted, we had terrific agate hunting in the Grand Marais area. For the first time in several winters, we had floating ice on Lake Superior. As the shore ice forms, rocks become embedded in the ice. When the wind shifts, sometimes this shore ice breaks off and floats around Lake Superior … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: August 2013"
Since the museum has not been open, I only have one set of actual customer agate photos. Chris Cooper showed me the raw agate last summer that he physically extracted from basaltic rock in the Keweenaw Peninsula. Since this agate nodule had never been subjected to erosional forces (e.g. waves, ice, etc.). Notice how there … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: March 2013"
It has been a crazy summer. I have pictures of several customer agates below. I must admit that my camera has been having some issues with the way it is saving the image files, so I am not exactly certain which of the cards I kept with the names and dates of the agate finders … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: September 2012"
I have had a number of people stop by the museum in the last couple of weeks to show me some incredible agates. Several people have also sent me pictures via email. Let’s start with some agates found by Brian Wolbrink from Allendale, MI. He has been agate hunting for several years, but lately has … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: June 2012"
Given that beach rocks are still for the most part not accessible, I do not have any submissions for recent agate finds. However, Jeff Carlson submitted the following picture in early winter. He found this basaltic matrix rock with a carnelian agate pocket and other brecciated fill. The rock was found at on an undisclosed … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: March 2012"
This is the slow time of year for people to submit pictures of agate finds. Even this fall I did not receive very many emails. There are a few that I can feature in this update, though. The first is an interesting seam agate found in the Grand Marais area. It also has tubes, or … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: January 2012"
I have a variety of agate photos featured in this update’s “Customer Agate Finds.” First, here are a couple of shots of a Lake Superior agate found by Chris Cooper at the mouth of the Two Hearted River, located an hour and a half east of Grand Marais. Next are a couple of agates found … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Winter 2011"
Since I have not had time to implement a web page update for quite some time, I’ll include LOTS of customer agate finds. First, let’s start with one of my favorite agates found this summer. This candy striper was found by Andrea from Troy, MI. Next is a Becky B from Pittsburgh, PA She found … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: September 2011"
Since spring has sprung in Grand Marais, rockhounds have been out to hit the beach. Since I have not had time to do a web page in a while, I’ll include several agates for you rockhounds to drool over. First I’ll start by featuring the agates found by my friend, Dan Kinney, who lives in … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Spring 2011"
Early this fall I had a call from Shirley Schadle. She now lives with her husband in Grand Rapids, MI, but she grew up in Zambia, Africa. Her dad was a veterinarian there, so Shirley had a chance to look for agates near Victoria Falls as well as along the Luangwa River. She visited my … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Fall 2010"
There are several great agates to post in this month’s update. Let’s begin with a whopper 16 pound agate found decades ago by the grandmother of Paul Mihelcich near the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula, located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She knew it was agate because of a fracture that exposed the banding. It has … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: August and September 2010"
Summer is here so there have been a lot of customer agate finds. This first photo was sent to me from Jennifer Jackman. She and her husband love to agate hunt. You can see photos of their adventures at www.lakesuperiorrocks.net. Pictured below is a nice agate they found earlier this summer in the Munising area. The … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: July 2010"
Agates found by three different people will be featured this month. First, Victor Irving from Fulton, MI came in with this mostly white agate. Translucency is a very important thing to look for while agate hunting. This agate certainly proves just how translucent Lake Superior agates can be. The next agates were found by the … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: June 2010"
The rocks are plentiful at the current time due to a lot of spring storms that have, at least for now, pushed the rocks up onto the beach. Here are a couple of shots of an unusually colored moss agate that I found on Mother’s Day. John Lubor from Minnesota found this agate very early … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: April/May 2010"
Late last year I received an email from Tina Allera, from Canton, MI. They come to Grand Marais agate hunting every year. In her email, she says she loves looking at the other customer agate finds. Well her agates have now made the web page. She found all four of these agates right in town. … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: February 2010"
While at the Muskallonge Show in September at Deer Park, several people brought agates by to show me – all day long! Here are just a few. Susie Hales from Clare, MI showed me this 10 pound agate found near Grand Marais. She calls it the brain agate. Donna Sheehan from Cedar, MI displayed several … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Fall 2009"
This month I have several customer agate finds to entertain your rockhoundedness. Although the picture does not do the agate justice, a frequent visitor to the Grand Marais area found this bizarre agate that has amethyst bands as well as brecciated agate sections. He also found a fairly large carnelian agate – but the photo … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: September 2009"
The cool windy weather has tested agate hunters during the past month. There have been a few good days, though, and a few great agates found locally. The first one to be featured this month is a different looking brecciated agate found by Larry Feist of Grand Rapids, MI. A breccia is a fragmental rock … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: August 2009"
While I was at the Muskallonge Show a couple of weeks ago, a woman drove from the museum to Muskallonge to show me the following agate: I was so busy that I forgot to take a picture with her and the rock, and I forgot to get her name. However, it is such an unusual … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: July 2009"
While in Minnesota earlier this month, I went agate hunting with Kat and Ken from the Cuyuna Gem and Mineral Club. Kat Thomas showed me this cool eye agate that she found. She calls it her Owl Agate. One of the best local agate hunters is Mary Capogrossa. She has been busy this spring and … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Spring 2009"
I received an email a few weeks back from a Michigan Technologic University student, Phillip Schichtel. He is an avid agate hunter who looks on the beaches in the Keweenaw, as well as by his family’s cabin near Muskellunge Lake, located 20 miles east of Grand Marais. I must admit that he has found some … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: March 2009"
With our mountains of snow, agate hunting is at least a couple of months away. If I were to guess, unless there is a massive thaw, I don’t think anyone will be rockhounding our beaches until at least late April, if not May. So again to appease all you agate fans, I have included photos … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: February 2009"
I must be honest: there is way too much snow on the beach to agate hunt. However, I know that you rockhounds still want to look at pictures of agates. Thus, I have scanned in a couple of terrific Lake Superior agates for your enjoyment. The first is one that I purchased while in New … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: January 2009"
A couple of weeks ago I received a series of photos attached to an email from Todd Bird. When he purchased a house in Tawas, MI, this rock was left behind as a door stop. It is approximately 7.5” by 4” and weighs 5 pounds. Most of the specimen is translucent. There is banding throughout, … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: December 2008"
Agate hunting is soon to be done for the year. I haven’t had time to go out, but a few of my friends have been diehards and have found a few small agates as of late. The agate finds featured this month include some found by Adam Nothelfer, who is from the Lapeer area of … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: November 2008"
Although I think spring is the best time to agate hunt given that the recently melted icebergs dump their load of new rocks on the beach, there have been a lot of good finds this fall. I do agree that the fall storm waves mix the rocks and sometimes push new rocks up onto … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: October 2008"
Many of you who know me are aware that I do not get much time to go out agate hunting. However, when I do go out — especially when I go to Minnesota, I am able to put my knowledge to use. My poor eye sight requires that I get close to the rocks in … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: September 2008"
Since I was not in town for half of July, I have fewer customer agate find pictures. There are a couple, though. Actually, the first specimen is one that email pictures were sent to me by Dana Maudel, from McGregor, MN. She said in the email that her boyfriend found this specimen. I emailed back … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Summer 2008"
With the melting of the icebergs on the beach has come the early-season agate hunters. Mike Miller makes a return to the web page with his friend, Terry House — both from the Muskegon/Fruitport area. Terry House found this nearly half-pound nodular agate with well defined banding around a quartz center fill. Mike Miller found … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: May 2008"
Dan Kinney from Sault Sainte Marie, MI has made the web page again. If you remember, last summer he found the large brown agate, which he later donated to the museum. When he donated the agate, he said that he would just have to go out and find a bigger one. Well he did. Just … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: February 2008"
Although the Grand Marais area did have snow in December, the relatively warm lake temperatures allowed rockhounds to agate hunt during most of the month. This 3.3 ounce agate was found by Jody Patton, from Curtis. She and her husband, Jim, dropped it off a couple of weeks ago and asked me to face polish … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: January 2008"
The fall update features another reappearance from the original web page. Earl Johnson, from Newberry, MI, and his wife spend most of the summer in Grand Marais agate hunting. While they were on the beach, they spoke shortly with my friends, Gerald and Jill, who I go to Moose Lake with each July. Gerald, with … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Fall 2007"
Several great agates continue to come into the museum. Some of the rockhounds who were featured in the original web page, which was not archived in the new web page, have taken on the challenge to reappear. Mark and Lynn Boll from Amherst, WI are the first to accomplish this feat. Pictured are four of … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: August 2007"
The agate king so far this summer is Dan Kinney from Sault St. Marie. He found this ¾ pounder, half pounder, and two 1/3 pounders!. The latter two were found on a 20-mile trek near the Vermillion Light House. Since Dan doesn’t have a four-wheel drive, he had to walk 7 miles into the lake … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: July 2007"
I don’t know if it is the low Lake Superior water level, or the tremendous weather we have been having, but people have been finding some terrific agates this spring. Bryce Kucharek from Shingleton found 4 “keepers.” The top two are both shadow agates. The bottom right agate is a ¾ pound “fister.” The next … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: June 2007"
It has been difficult to decide what to include in this revamped web page from the original. I’ve gone back and forth on deciding whether to include all previous customer agate finds. In the end, I’ve decided to start anew. I would like to thank all of those who have been featured in previous years … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: May 2007"