agate collecting

How I Began Collecting Plume Agates

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When I was a cabochon cutter in the late 1900’s I felt that plume agates were ideal for jewelry because most jewelers prefer to work on a smaller scale. Their frequent transparency and delicacy of pattern makes plume agates ideal for earrings, rings for the finger and so on. Here are some rings from my selection of antique agate jewelry in The Jewelry Shop that show how well suited plume agates are for fine jewelry.

I began to search for plume agates to cut but the ones I found seemed very rare and special to me and soon I decided I’d rather collect them than cut them.  I was living near Boston in those years and the market there was more interested in precious opal, tourmaline and other boring stuff like that… it was frustrating because I preferred to cut cabs with pictures in them.  As a result I still have my plume agate collection which after many years is now for sale.

I hope you will enjoy the talk I gave at The Celebration of Agates in Minnesota in 2012, it shows fine examples of plume agates from six different states in the western US.