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.