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Posts posted by Haderly

  1. On 4/27/2019 at 8:17 AM, Morlock said:

    Good looking material. Any idea how the tubes formed?  Always wanted to stop by burro creek but never did. Figured after all the years of collecting, most of the good stuff was gone.

    I've never researched how tube agates formed. I know some are formed like straws (stalagtites) but those don't change direction. The ones here are completely random in direction and constantly change direction. It would be similar to tubes left behind by shipworms but that area is all volcanic so I don't think their formation is biological. Perhaps they are Helictites but that is a pure guess.

    As for the good material being gone, it mostly is in the areas where everyone goes. If you are willing to walk and drive into the more remote areas, you can still find good material. Most people go to the proven areas and don't venture any further so there is still plenty of untouched areas. 

  2. Does it have a brass look to it like the first picture? Based on the first picture I would guess it is pyrite. A good research resource is https://www.mindat.org/ You can go to the region or sometimes the actual quarry/mine and see what has been found there. Often they will even have pictures of actual rocks/minerals that have been found in that location. That website is also a great resource for finding new places to look. 

    • Like 1
  3. 14 hours ago, rylan said:

    Sorry if I’m annoying 

    You will be fine here. The only people that get annoying are the ones that think they know everything and refuse to listen, learn and research. There are plenty of knowledge people here that are happy to help with questions. 

    • Like 2
  4. Then prairie agate would fit. If you find any Lake Superior agates you may hold off on polishing them. The LSA purest collectors like them more in their natural state. Some do an oil treatment to make the colors stand out without physically altering them.

  5. The striped one in the single photo looks similar to prairie agates. Really hard to tell from pictures especially without knowing the location. With small beach/river pebbles it is almost impossible to ID from pictures even knowing the location. It never hurts to start with a cheap tumbler and see if you enjoy polishing rocks. They will look better polished than dry and you won't be out a bunch of money if you decide that it is not something you want to do.

  6. Been to Opal Hill and it was a major pain for what you get. I have seen some nice stuff from there but what I found was not very good. I did have better luck searching in the outskirts of the mine. The best piece I found there came from the road as you start up the hill.

  7. 1 hour ago, Morlock said:

    Just out of curiosity, what does top grade rough sell for?


    That is truly a hard question and if you check around you will see a huge range in pricing. I like to mine and hate to sell so any excess I don’t keep I pass on to a friend to sell so I am not the best person to ask. In rough you will mostly see commercial grade being sold at around $30/lb. The price all depends on who is selling it and how good it really is. As for top grade  it is mostly sold by the piece and the price is based on potential. Most top grade pieces are at least worked enough to show the potential in order to justify the cost. The best of the best pieces are almost always held aside to be finished since a finished stone will be worth far more than the rough or windowed piece. Never trust someone selling mine run material since no one ever sells material without highgrading the best pieces out. Finished top grade pieces start at $10/ct and upwards of $100/ct for truly exceptional pieces. These are the rarity and commercial grade is by far less expensive. I have hundreds of pounds of rough and I would guess I only have a few pounds of what I would consider top grade. Granted 99% of it has not been worked so hard telling what is hiding in the stones. Also as supply decreases the new top grade takes the place of what was once thought of as lower grade. This is easily seen in new dealers that have never seen true highgrade material.

    • Like 1
  8. 26 minutes ago, Morlock said:

    Great pics. Were most of them found on the surface or did you have to dig for them?

    I'd like to see how they would come out if cabbed.

    Thanks for posting.

    A few surface finds but most of them are from hardrock mining in rhyolite. We did hit one potato patch where we were just digging them one after another out of soft dirt. That ended very quickly once we got down 12 inches to bedrock. All hand tools since it is remote and we have to pack everything in and out. Cabbing them rarely turns out very good. You have to get as much chalcedony off the fire layer to get the brightest color. Since it is a botryoidal cabbing tends to grind the top off the bubbles or leaves excess chalcedony. The best way is the carve them following the nature contours of the fire.

    • Like 1
  9. 10 hours ago, d_day said:

    I’ve found one piece of reddish chalcedony that had one tiny spot of actual fire. I sometimes wonder if that’s where the confusion comes from. 

    We find heaps of white, brown and red chalcedony right alongside the good fire agate. Some people think that if it comes from the same location then it all can be called fire agate. Fire agate is a defining characteristic and without fire it is just chalcedony regardless of the base color. Then you have the scammers that pray on peoples ignorance and sell all sorts of stuff under faults names.

  10. Tom you think the smell of the rendering plant was bad at Manzanita. I did some engineering work for them and had to do a site walk. It was so bad I almost did not get through it. The survey crew was praying that we did not need to send them back there.

    Unfortunately I only managed to get to Manzanita a couple times before it closed. We have gone to Canyon Speedway quite a bit but have not been there lately.

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