Lake Superior Agate: History, How To Find, Polishing


lake superior agate stone

Photo credit: Lech Darski

It is common for people to be astounded by the beautiful Lake Superior Agate rocks. These rocks have deep reds, oranges, and yellows, which give them their unique appearance. While most of these rocks are small, you can get rocks that weigh over twenty pounds.

The shape, texture, and appearance of Lake Superior Agates have made this type of stone very popular. Today, we’ll take a closer look at how this rock was created, how to turn it into jewelry, and some of the properties people claim this rock possess.

How Did Lake Superior Agate Get Made

Let’s start by looking at how these rocks got formed. Billions of years ago, tectonic forces caused plate splits, which resulted in a depression occurring in modern Lake Superior. Lava flowed up through the ground. Eventually, the lava started to cool, and thousands of tiny bubbles formed in its surface.

The groundwater then moved through the lava, bringing in multiple elements like iron and quartz into the lava. It was the concentration of iron and how that iron got oxidized that affects the coloration of the rock. The next stage was glacial movements. Glaciers moved along the lake, breaking off the rocks as they traveled through. Under the glaciers, the rocks became polished into the rounded stones seen today. The glacier also helped spread the stones throughout the North America area, where they can be found today.

Because they are often found at rocky beaches, the erosion from the ocean has helped contribute to their smooth exterior. Now that we know a little more about how these rocks were formed let’s look at how you can find them.

How To Find Lake Superior Agate

Many people want to find some Lake Superior Agate to add to their collection of precious stones. But where is the best place to look for these rocks and how do you find them? Being spread by glacial movements have made these rocks available in many areas.

You can easily find the agate in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kansas and even in Thunder Bay in Canada. You have a chance of finding these stones at any rocky beach in these areas. These rocks are easily identifiable because they appear to be shinier than other rocks in the area. You should also look for the distinctive colorations that make these rocks so desirable for collectors. You might even notice that the stone appears to have a pitted surface.

Finally, these rocks tend to be roughly circular, with the quartz colors resembling tree rings. Now that we know how to find the agate stones let’s look at what you can do with the specimens you do find.

Using Agate To Make Jewelry

Due to their unique appearance, many people are keen to transform the agate they find into memorable pieces. For example, depending on the size of the piece, you might be able to do something creative with the rocks, like creating bookends. However, it is most famous for small stones to be turned into pieces of jewelry. This process will require you to find the right stone, with most agate lacking the quality that is necessary to create a great jewelry item.

Once you find the right rock, you will need to polish it until the pits on its surface are removed, making it feel smoother. You should also notice the rock reflecting more light. To make sure they don’t damage the stone, jewelers may spend days polishing the stone.

Also, depending on the size of the rock, you might need to cut it into shape. This can be difficult because agate is a hard rock, even harder than the lava which once created them. That’s why it might be a good idea to work with a professional jeweler to make sure that the result meets your expectations. 

History: Folklore Of Lake Superior Agate

This type of stone has played many significant roles throughout history, with many ancient races ascribing special meanings to agate. For example, in ancient Mesopotamia, people used to engrave seals into the stone. They did this to make the stones into symbols of power.

Also, in ancient Rome, agate was believed to help you heal faster. That’s why doctors made mortar and pestles from them so that the healing abilities could be transferred into their herb mixtures. Some of the beliefs about the metaphysical properties possessed by agate continue into the present day.

Metaphysical Properties of Lake Superior Agate

Some people believe that rocks have metaphysical properties that you can use to improve your life. For example, it’s thought that this type of stone can help to bring both physical and emotional balance into your life. Qualities like courage, concentration, and clarity are believed to stem from this stone.

Also, it’s thought that this can help you transform negative emotions into more positive ones, turning resentment into forgiveness. Some people even believe that giving a necklace made from agate to a child will stop the child from falling and help them dispel their fears. Another common metaphysical property ascribed to agate is the ability to remove blockages from your chakra levels. More specific features may be possessed by the stone, depending on its coloration.

Lake Superior Agate has been admired for generations for its distinct colors and shiny surface. For this reason, people have turned it into necklaces, rings, and other pieces of jewelry. While the stones used for these jewelry pieces might only be small, they can have a considerable impact.

Hopefully, you now know a little more about how this rock was formed and the difficulties of turning it into a piece of jewelry. By understanding these complexities, you will be able to appreciate its beauty even more. We also talked about how to find the stone, looking at the best locations and how to distinguish it from other rocks.

So, head to one of these locations and try to find your own Lake Superior Agate stone today.


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