It may surprise some people, but there are many types of agate and jasper that are pretty valuable. Agates have always been considered “semi-precious” but on the really low end scale of value. Not any more. Two things have happened, almost all the material there is has been found and dug out, and the best of the best has become scarcer as the material was cut up and polished into finished stones.
I started collecting rocks when I was 3 years old and never lost the fascination for them. Today, thanks to ebay, field trips and rockhound powwows, I have an extensive collection of the best of the best from all over the world and many beautiful cabachons cut from it. Some of the moss and plume agates, you would have to see to believe.
So when I take my daily exercise hike up the mountainside behind my home, you can see why the common rocks laying around wouldn’t hold any interest for me. After so many of those hikes, though, I found myself wanting something new to look at, and so started looking more closely at the granite and quartz and shists. And what do you know. There’s some pretty interesting stuff laying around after all.
Today I brought back a piece of plain quartz that, when I turn it over, had crystals laced on the underside, and a chunk of granite that was somewhat decomposed, filled with shiny black crystals of some unknown mineral. Several days ago I found what looks like a couple small dog turds but proved to be limb casts, petrified wood in other words. Those and other specimens are forming a line along the top rail of my deck now, along with a nice, very ancient square spike about a foot long that dates to the 1860′s. No, none of it is anything worth setting in a ring, but they are pretty neat to look at.
A bit back I found a small chunk of milky-clear agate, and I’ve been finding a few small flakes of similar rock here and there that may have been chipped off to form a spearhead. Native Americans roamed these hills long before we ever came here. Who knows what discoveries lie ahead?
It’s easy in any situation to become so used to looking at it that we don’t really see it anymore. Take a fresh view, there’s treasures all around you, just waiting to be seen.