This ancient rock is born of fire and ice. A semi precious gemstone formed in the voids left by volcanic gas pockets that failed to surface before the host rock hardened. It is thought that silica rich fluids flowed through these spaces and formed Lake Superior Agates.

This process occurred over 1 billion years ago, making them one of the oldest agates on the planet. The distribution is a more recent one. Huge Glaciers, up to a mile thick broke away the softer host rock surrounding the very hard and resistant agates, releasing them to be carried in a South-Southwest direction away from Lake Superior. You can find glacial deposits containing Lakers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas!

These agates occur  in a wide range of colors and patterns. The most familiar are the red  fortification agates. Alternating bands of bright red and white produce a stunning and valuable stone. Red is the result of a high iron content and its oxidation.

Depending on what minerals were contained in the original void and the pattern produced, Lakers are often categorized into several appearance categories… Fortification Agate, Paint Agate, Water-level Agate, Eye Agate, Tube Agate, Moss Agate, Plume Agate, and a few others. Like a snowflake, you will rarely find two Lakers the same! 

Looking for and finding Agates is a challenging and rewarding endeavor. The glacial till of the Lake Superior region will occasionally produce an Agate of exceptional quality and beauty. I’ll polish and photograph these rare beauty’s, sharing the best of this fascinating rock from Northern Minnesota!

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