If you were along the Oregon Coast over the past couple weeks, you would find an agate collector’s dream.
According to the The News Guard: Regional News, recent storms in a series this winter have exposed rock beds along the coastline as the sand is washed away by the high waves and current. This makes agate hunting there hot right now.
Laura Joki, Lincoln City rockhound and owner of the Rock Your World Rock Shop, 3203 SE Highway 101, broke down what makes an agate an agate.
“Silica is the second most common element, and that’s what agates are made of,” Joki said. “An agate is crypto-crystalline quartz or quartz in which the crystals are too small to see with the naked eye, even with a microscope hand lens. They are interconnected. Almost woven together.”
Agates are formed in ocean seams called amydales—bubbles formed during volcanic lava flow. The available silicas form into agate and jasper from surrounding volcanic materials, Joki said.
She added that from the 1930s to the 1950s, a particular form of agate, known as a sagenite agate, was considered valuable.
The article also noted that there are fossils, chert, jasper, petrified wood, and zeolites to be found along the exposed shoreline.
Several of our members stay and travel to the coast often, so if you find some oceanside treasure, bring it to our meetings and events for identification and sharing.
We are fortunate this year to have Marli Miller speaking about her book “Roadside Geology of Oregon” at the Portland Regional show in Hillsboro, Oregon on Friday and Saturday.
Marli Miller is a senior instructor and researcher in the Dept. of Geological Sciences at the University of Oregon, where she’s been since 1997. Most recently, she completed a complete rewrite of the book Road-side Geology of Oregon (Published by Mountain Press in Missoula), which provided the inspiration for her presentation. Her primary interests lie in in the fields of regional and structural geology. She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in geology at the University of Washington in 1987 and 1992 respectively and a B.A. in geology at Colorado College in 1982. As a photographer, she concentrates on geological images, and contributes regularly to textbooks, museum exhibits, journals, and teaching collections of other instructors. Her website offers free downloads of more than 2000 images for non-commercial use. Marli is scheduled to speak Friday and Saturday of the show.
Julian Gray will speak about his book “Minerals of Georgia” at the Portland Regional show in Hillsboro, Oregon on Sunday at 3:00 pm. He is the executive director of the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals, in Hillsboro, Oregon and the former curator of the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, Georgia. A Georgia native, Julian studied at Georgia State University where he earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in geology. Julian has worked with the United States Geological Survey and a number of commercial laboratories and environmental consulting firms. Continue reading “Meet the Authors Events at Portland Regional Gem and Mineral Show”→
Last Saturday we gathered at the FG Senior Center in anticipation of our first field trip of the year. The men told stories of past hunts and mother load finds while the newbies listened raptly and the old timers nodded. Yes… this was going to be a trip to the promised land of treasure hunting. A real adventure.
Our Field Trip Chairman, Brian True, passed around a sign in sheet and explained some of the rules. No digging in the creek bed, sign out before leaving and be out by 4 PM when the gate would be closed and locked again. There were other details, but those were the important ones. Then, at 8 AM sharp, we began our caravan to Clear Creek.
More members were waiting at the entrance when we arrived. The gate was opened, and we all drove in. At the first large clearing, we stopped and had another rules review and sign-in for everyone who wasn’t at the parking lot earlier. Brian did a great job and was clear and thorough about what to do, where to go and when to be out. He really took charge of things, and with the help of his dad, Dave, the day went great. Poor Dave though… he was often called away from the dig sites to check on the gates. It seems they were being locked by loggers, who were still working in the area. When they would leave, they would lock the gate behind themselves (like they always did). Dave spent a good portion of his day making sure no one was locked in. Thanks, Dave. Continue reading “Field Trip to Clear Creek Saturday, 13 April”→