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Lake Superior Agates, Gemstones & Rocks
Part 3 - Identifying More Beach Rocks & Minerals

Eye Agate from Lake Superior Beach
Here's an Eye Agate my neice found at Little Girl's Point


How to tell Lake Superior Agates from Rocks that look like Agates

In a previous page, Part 1, I offered pictures and descriptions of common beach rocks found on Lake Superior beaches. In a seccond page, Part 2, I show some beach rocks & minerals, and some agates, that can be polished into attractive gemstones. In this page, Part 3, I continue to show and describe more varieties of rocks and minerals that make attractive gemstones. I also show here some recent agate finds and some agate-wanna-bes that some will mistakenly identify as an agate.

My identification and descriptions rely on a variety of sources, all of which are listed in the recommended agate & beach rock books section at the bottom of this page. The book "Rocks & Minerals" by Bob and Dan Lynch was particularly helpful because of the huge amount of color pictures of various specimens. The "Lake Superior Rock Picker's Guide" by Kevin Gauthier and Bruce Mueller provided some helpful supplementary information, as did my reference books by Susan Robinson and Sparky Stensaas. Karen Brzys booklet on "Understanding and Finding Agates" was helpful in identifying true agates from agate first cousins or agate wanna-bes.

Clicking on the small images shown here will bring up a larger view in a separate window. By the way, if you want to print out any of these larger images, just *right click* on the image and choose "copy image" to copy it to your hard drive. Once there you can click on it and print it out.

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Agate Cousins - Agate Wanna-Bees

water level agate

Water Level Agate?

I initially thought this was a water level agate but because the bands appear more opaque rather than translucent I think not. The bands are formed like they do in an agate but the crystals of the bands are so small they are opaque.

 

 

basalt with quartz band

Basalt with Quartz fill

Here's another example of a banded rock that isn't an agate. Quartz has filled a seam in a basalt rock.

 

 

jasper quartzjasper quartz agatejasper quartz

Quartz-Jasper

Here's three quartz occlusions where jasper has been fused with quartz with some agate-like banding around the margins. Some would consider these true agates.

banded gneiss

Banded Gneiss

Here is another example of opaque bands formed in a metamorphic rock. Gneiss is abundant in the Upper Peninsula beaches.

banded chalcedony

Quartz-Chalcedony Bands

Here we have translucent bands alternating with some that look more opaque. However from what I understand exists with a true agate, the bands are too broad. So I'd say this is another wanna-be.

Prehnite

prehniteprehniteprehnite

I believe these specimens are prehnite. The specimen on the far right may have some copper staining.

jasperjasperlite

Jasper

These rocks are Jasper, a microcrystaline form of quartz that has been stained, usually by iron ore. The rock on the right is Jasperlite with bands of iron ore.

Jasper with Calcite fill

jasper with quartz inclusions

 


This Jasper rock has calcite inclusions.

Slate

slateslate

 

These banded rocks are slate, another metamorphic rock. Originally a layered sedimentary rock but was later subjected to heat and pressure to fuse the layers together. Slate are smooth and usually flat. Make good skipping stones.

chertchert

Chert

I think these interesting rocks are chert.

 

Lake Superior Agate?

Agates

Here's a real Lake Superior Agate. See some more Lake Superior Beach Agates here.

Want to See More Agates - Go Here for pix from the Lake Superior Agate Museum.

lake superior agate

arrow See more Lake Superior Agate Pictures plus some advice on using tumbling pellets to tumble and polish agates.

arrow Black River Harbor Agate Hunting - pictures and video.

 




Books on Lake Superior Agate Hunting & Rock Picking

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Understanding and Finding Agates
Lake Superior Rocks & Minerals: A Field Guide to the Lake Superior Area

Recommended by a SuperiorTrails friend & rock hound, this new guide has actual photographs of various rocks and minerals found on Lake Superior beaches. Co-author Bob Lynch is owner of Agate City Rocks and Gifts in Two Harbors Minnesota

Agate Hunting DVD
DVD: How to Find Agates

Karen Brzys. Director, Gitchee Gumee Agate & History Museum, has created this comprehensive tutorial to finding agates. Includes over 750 photographs and diagrams.

Is this an AgateIs this an Agate?: An illustrated guide to Lake Superior's beach stones Michigan

This is required handbook for rock pickers who love to comb Lake Superior beaches looking for pretty rocks and hoping to find an agate. Identifies some of the UP's best rock picking beaches.

Lake Superior Rock Pickers GuideLake Superior Rock Picker's Guide

Here is another book recommended by a Superior Trails reader and rock hound who was able to identify over 50 rocks found on the beach using this guide by Kevin Gauthier and Bruce Mueller. Also included are tips for polishing the stones and rock. Kevin and Bruce also publish a similar guide for Lake Michigan rocks.

Agate Hunting on Lake Superior BeachesAgate Hunting Made Easy: How to Really Find Lake Superior Agates

My wife Jo found this agate hunters book while traveling in the UP and thought it would help her find her first Lake Superior Agate. It is full of tips for agate hunting (and rock picking) and has some very good color photographs of a number of agate variations as well as photos of the other kinds of rocks you'll find on Lake Superior beaches.

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rock pickers guide to lake superiors north shore Rock Pickers Guide to
Lake Superior's North Shore

Sparky's guide covers what north shore beaches to comb, a bit of history on the formation of the various rocks found on beaches, and helpful information and pictures on identifying beach rocks and minerals.

Agate IdentificationAgates of Lake Superior

See more recommendations on guides and books on Lake Superior Rocks, Minerals & Agates

 

 

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burlington bay beach
Best Agate and Rock Picking Beaches around Lake Superior

Rock On Festival - Lake Superior Agates

Agate collections on saleThe 2017 10th Annual Rock On Agate Festival will be held held Sept 9 & 10th at Muskallonge Lake State Park.

We had a great time at last year's festival. My wife Jo found 5 agates on the beach and is now an addicted agate hound!.

Links for Rock Picking on Lake Superior Beachs and information on Agates and Rocks found around Lake Superior

- Minnesota's State Gem: The Lake Superior Agate

- Minnesota Rocks - Minnesota Geological Society (pdf file)

- Bob's Rock Shop - Online 'Zine for Rock Hounds

- Rock Identification Key - By Don Peck on Rockhounds.com
(I just recently found this site. The key looks real neat and am looking forward to using it on my mystery rocks)

For a nice introduction to rock tumbling, see Cheralyn Maturi's Minnesota Iron Range Website

Marie Frazier, who lives in central Minnesota, has created a number of unique jewelry items from Lake Superior Agates and other gemstones. See her Lake Superior Agate Jewelry Website here.

Continuing your Travel & Trekking
  Around Lake Superior
Superior Trails Lake Superior Circle Tour

The big holiday season attraction around Lake Superior is Duluth's Bentleyville Tour of Lights, one of the largest outdoor holiday lights displays in the USA. See more Duluth Holiday events here.



SuperiorTrails.com - Reinhold Development - 2017

Mobile-Friendly Lake Superior Circle Tour Travel Planner


bentleyville tour of lights
Duluth's amazing Bentleyville Duluth Christmas Lights Village opens Nov 18, 2017

gooseberry falls park Winter - Minnesota
Winter - Michigan UP
Winter - Wisconsin
Winter - Sault Ste Marie


Canal Park Brewery Beer Garden
Enjoying lake breezes and views at the Canal Park Brewery Beer Garden - Canal Park.

Best Burgers in Duluth
Follow our Hunt for the
Best Burgers & Pubs in Duluth, Minnesota.

Pride of Baltimore II Tall ShipTall Ships Duluth Festival is coming in 2016

 

Madeline Island Big  Bay Park
Enjoying the great swimming Beach Big Bay State Park on Madeline Island

Devils Island Lighthouse Apostle Islands
See the lighthouses on an Apostle Islands Cruise.

burlington bay beach
Best Agate and Rock Picking Beaches around Lake Superior

books and guides on hiking and camping
Hiking and Camping Guides & Books

Travel Information



lake superior road map of the circle tour
Lake Superior Circle Tour Road Map & Guide to Travel Attractions around Lake Superior.

How to recognize Lake Superior Agates and Beach Rocks.Lake Superior Agate?

Snow &
Weather Reports

Regional Weather from the Weather Channel

See our Directory of our favorite Upper Peninsula Scenic and Recreation areas.Upper Peninsula Porcupine Mountains

Walking along Canal Park Drive Duluth's Canal Park, Shopping and Entertainment District

Understanding and Finding Agates
Our Reviews of the best guides to Lake Superior Agates and Beach Rocks



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Agate collections on sale
At the Lake Superior Agate Festival

basalt with quartz band
Agate Imposters - Agate Wanna-bees

Visiting the amazing Bayfield Ice Caves and
Lake Superior Ice Caves.Bayfield Lake Superior Ice Caves

Golf Courses Around Lake Superior
See our
Reviews of golf courses around Lake Superior

bay furnace campground upper peninsula
Lake Superior Camping
& Campground Directory

Camping along the Lake Superior Circle Drive.