Hello to all Agate fanciers,
I invite all the Agateers: miners, lapidaries, collectors, dealers and just plain rockhounds to come by for a visit at the great upcoming event in Canby, just east of Portland, Oregon. The ‘Portland Regional’ show is great partly because this show continues an historic tradition, now reopening in a new venue. Canby is just to the east of downtown. The ‘Regional’ is still the major show for Oregon rockhounds and for visitors from all over. The reason in part is that Oregon is one of the most agate rich areas in the world, situated over a string of calderas that begins to the south and runs all the way to the most recent, the Yellowstone National Monument. The outstanding Caldera in Oregon contains Three Fingers Butte and it is the source of the great variety of Owyhee picture jaspers with over 70 distinctive deposits. Just 20 or so miles to the south are the Morrisonite and Carrasite jasper deposits, Morrisonite is considered the finest gem jasper, The King of Jaspers. About 50 miles northeast of Three Fingers Butte and closer to Boise, Idaho, is the Graveyard plume agate deposit with many distinctive varieties. Regency Rose, mined by Gene Mueller and Jake Jacobitz, is the most famous for it’s color variety and there are exciting new deposits about ten miles to the East where Philip Stevenson is mining the Feather Ridge and the Linda Marie mines, both yielding very fine plumes.
Another famous area is around Eagle Rock in the Ochoco Mountains just east of Prineville. The landmark Eagle Rock is the source of a fine black plume and nearby are the ranches that produced Carey Plume, Neydiggger Plume and others. Behind the Ochoco reservoir is found the rare and beautiful Ochoco Rim Jasper. Down by Lebanon is the RockCastle rock shop where you can get the legendary carnelian agate from the Polly Drumond bed, Gary Green jasper and many other famed oregon agates and jaspers. Closer to Portland the Columbia River Gorge is the home of Biggs and Deschutes jaspers.
The state rock is the Thunderegg and the most famous area for great plume thundereggs is the Richardson Ranch and its immediate neighbors including the Kennedy Ranch. There are many more deposits of fine thundereggs scattered around Oregon in its numerous rhyolitic lava flows.
Portland also boasts the outstanding Rice Museum, just 12 miles east of Portland on Highway 26. This is just a scattering of the many great locations that made Oregon the place where the Rockhound bonanza began right after WWII, came to it’s full force between 1960 and 1990 and is still going strong today. The Portland Regional Rock and Gem show is hosted by the five Rockhound clubs still active around Portland.
Because of Oregon’s rich deposits of agates and jaspers and thundereggs the Portland Regional show offers great shopping and socializing for three days, October 12th through the 14th. If you can make it you will be able to get some real treasures. There are two collectors from out of state that I know will be dealers there, Philip Stephenson will be just back from his mines and I will be offering some fine polished specimens from my collection that I accumulated over the last fifty years.
I hope you will be able to be here for this exciting event.
On Friday the 13th of this month the doors will open for the Portland Regional Rock and Mineral Show and some people say it’s the best yearly all agate and jasper show in the US. I’ve never been to this show before but I’ll post a report when it’s over.
I’ve been spending this summer west of Portland in Hillsboro which is where the show will take place. I was very happy to be included as a dealer and I’ve gotten some very nice pieces to add to my already large inventory. I went over to Denver and got fine Condors from Ana de los Santos and Mark Boche, the first really fine Polyhedroid I’ve seen for a long time and some nice Mexican and Moroccan agates… oh, on and on!
These are just a few of my striking new offerings, I hope you can join me.
I just returned to my summer home near Portland after spending four days at the Denver Gem and Mineral Show and it was wonderful. I added many new agates and they should arrive here tomorrow.
I had the pleasure of meeting Tomasz Praszkiera in the Merchandise Mart. Tomasz is the head of Spirifer Minerals and he told me they are no longer handling agates and just continuing as mineral dealers. They were offering many fine Moroccan agates and Polish thundereggs.
Some early Lagunas and other Mexican agates came my way from Dr. John Leopold as well as the chance to select from his German collection.
I visited my friend Jeff Gallinger who had purchased the Hurst collection of German agates. I was surprised that there were two German collections to choose from since they are not easy to find.
Ana de los Santos and Mark Boche both provided choice Condor agates.
I was pleased to encounter Morrisonite slabs that the legendary miner, Jake Jacobitz, had sold to Betty Warrington in the late 1970s.
Polyhedroids were discovered in the dense jungles of Brazil in 1970 and mined briefly, the location was not found again and the available material is quite rare now. Imagine my surprise to find a real beauty.
Tom Wolfe Minerals has decided to stop carrying agate slabs to focus on cabochons and they were selling off some rare slabs such as wingate wash which delighted me.
I met many friends including Julian Grey, the director of the Rice Northwest Rock and Mineral Museum in Hillsboro, Oregon, and encountered the museum’s curator Leslie Moclock in the tent area outside the Coliseum.
These new agates will begin appearing in my stores at The Agate Trader in the next week or so.
I hope you have had a great summer and added some good agates to your collection.
September 3rd, 2017
See them at The Slab Shop!
My passion for collecting fine agate and jasper slabs began early in my life when a neighbor began teaching me to cut cabochons. I became a professional lapidary in 1974 and still have a complete shop. As I searched for fine rough for my production I also kept an eye out for fine rare slabs which went into my collection. The time has come for me to find new homes for these pieces and I am offering these 70 ‘never seen’ slabs in that spirit.
There are jaspers from the US and agates from the US, Mexico and Madagascar. There are also Morrisonite jasper slabs and a collection of plume agates from the Bishop Ranch near Alpine Texas. The earliest are two slabs from The Agate Mine in Bloody Basin, Arizona which were purchased at the mine by Hans Gamma in 1952!
I hope you enjoy this unique offering.
Apache Agate, Ex Collection Roger Pabian
I added two large offerings of Hans Gamma’s wonderful picture jasper cabs to The Cabochon Shop this May. Many of the cabochons are from rare jaspers and they are all identified. You can see pictures of all these varieties in Hans Gamma’s new book: Picture Jaspers of the Northwest. You can get a copy from Hans by visiting his website worldofjaspers.com.
I also posted eighteen Willow Creek jasper cabs in The Cabochon Shop. I cut them from an exceptional area in the deposit which was quickly exhausted. I liked it because the black strokes in the pale grey and tan backgrounds reminded me of the Sumi paintings made by Japanese Zen monks.
Now I’m settled in Oregon, my ETSY stores are open for business and new postings will be announced soon. Have a great summer,
I was a dealer at the Tucson Gem Show for two weeks. My room was in the Hotel Tucson (AKA The Inn Suites), the show of preference for many agate dealers.
Please send an email to TheAgateTrader@gmail.com with the word subscribe and I’ll gladly add your email address and name to our emailing list so that you can hear about new material added to our ETSY stores and our schedule of shows in the coming months.
HELLO FELLOW AGATEERS,
Here’s a group photo from the show at the Hotel Tucson. Andres Carillo (on the left below) brought me polished agates from the Coyamito ranch in Mexico and next to Andres is another friend, Joshua Ritter, who sold me some superb Fighting Blood agates from China. The rest of the group are also agate lovers.
In the next couple of days I’ll be opening a new offering in The Agate Shop with many new specimens from Mexico, China, Argentina and Morocco. One by one I’ll rejuvenate the rest of the stores in this order: jaspers, thundereggs, slabs and then cabochons. If you would like to be on my mailing list for announcements, send me a note on my contact page. I look forward to hearing from you.
From left to right: Andres Carillo (Mexico), Joshua Ritter (Germany), Fady Kamer (The Netherlands), Ricardo Birnie (Argentina), Thom Lane (US), Hannes Holzemann (Austria), Dave Polson (US), Cedrine and Jerry Schaber (US)
Here are a few photos of good friends at the 2016 EXPO, it was the best agate show of all times.
Other good friends I saw were Jeffery Anderson, Veronica Woods, Uwe Reir, Holger Quelmaltz, Hannes Holzmann, Alan Meltzer, Pat McMahan, Eugene and Brent Stewart, Ana de los Santos, Joshua Ritter, Roger Clark, Lorie Peterson and Steve Wheeler to name just a few.
Most photos by my famous sidekick, Norman Eberhardt.
I must mention that Dr. Goetze was kind enough to allow me to make a selection of my favorite thundereggs from his outstanding exhibition of the agates of Saxony. I also obtained some fine Moroccan agates from Joshua Ritter and many other fine pieces which will be appearing in my stores.
In the early days of rockhounding in America it seemed like there was an endless abundance of wonderful agates and jaspers. The hobby of making cabochons grew so large that it was second only to woodworking as the most popular hobby in the US. During that time the great agate discoveries were exploited freely and many were quickly exhausted. Beautiful material was usually cut into slabs and the slabs were used to produce cabochons. It is still possible to find slabs that were set aside by collectors or were never cut into cabochons but it was uncommon to cut a rock in half and polish the face. Toward the end of that period I was making my living cutting cabochons but I was also a collector and a painter and when I saw a slab that was highly artistic I rarely cut it into cabs, it went into my slab collection.
Those who wish to collect the fine early materials should recognize that for the moment it is still possible to collect fine slabs and they offer many advantages to a collector. They are easy to store and display and they are reasonably priced given their rarity and beauty. Slabs and half nodule specimens can be combined in a display with the heavier specimens in the foreground and slabs mounted on stands above and behind them.
A few dealers at today’s rock shows still offer fine polished slabs of the rare early materials but it is not often that one sees a specimen of great beauty that is a saw cut rock with a polished face.
Precision polishing of a flat surface requires special equipment and knowledge and that may have further lessened the interest in flat lapping during the cabochon era.