VERMILION
In
Chippewa County
Michigan

ONE OF THE BIGGEST AGATES EVER FOUND
ON THE SHORES OF LAKE SUPERIOR

BY PAUL PETOSKY

Saturday, September 8, 2007 was a very exciting day for Debbie Musielak of Shelldrake, MI when she and a friend of hers went agate hunting west of Vermilion. Debbie found a whopper!!! It weighs in at 3.84 pounds and is one of the biggest finds ever on the shores of Lake Superior. Agates over two pounds are very rare. It's estimated worth is around $2,000. And, NO, It's NOT FOR SALE!

Agates were formed over a billion years ago. Molten rock called magma came up spurting from splits in the earth's surface. This magma piled up in some areas as high a six miles in the sky. Inside of these flows, gas bubbles were trapped in magma as it cooled and then hardened. Ground water then carried a rich solution of dissolved silica and several other minerals and entered into these vesicles and crystallized until they were completely filled.

Later during the Great Ice Age (Quaternary Period) four major glaciations occurred, The Wisconsin, The Kansan, The Illinoian and The Nebraskan. The Wisconsin Glaciation also known as the Superior Lobe moved south over these old lava flows and washed away and then redeposited our Lake Superior Agates along it's way. Eventually, the glaciers melted and left behind a wonderful trail of Lake Superior Agates. Deposits of these rare semi-precious gemstones are found in Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

Story by Paul E. Petosky with permission from Ben & Debbie Musielak

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