SiS: DEMING Thunderegg - BLOOD RED Baker Ranch Agate!

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  • Item Category: Natural History
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Feb 03, 2013
  • Channel: Auction House
The choice agate has one of the darkest, deepest shades of red you'll come across just before you get to purple!! It's a nice example of a Baker Ranch thunderegg agate nodule that actually opens up into a partial drusy cavity. The dark red center really shows what appear to be small needles and eyes in good light around the edges of the lens. Combine all that color with our mirror perfect polish and you've got a choice cabinet specimen!!

This is one of the newest offerings from the Sticks-in-Stones rockshop. It's a gorgeous agate nodule from the Baker Ranch Thunderegg mine south of Deming, New Mexico. These are some of the most colorful agate thunderegg nodules around. I've been doing some custom polishing work for one of the fellows that works the mine with the owner fairly regularly and he traded me a pile of uncut eggs for some recent work. I've been having a wonderful time cutting these little gems because they are so completely unpredictable. Many have plain crystal centers, but the best of them are either rich red, black or blue agates, while others are stalactite filled geodes or some combination of the two! One drusy variety is called a "cinnamon bowl" because of the dark red powdery crystals that line the exquisitely colored geode centers. The yield is fairly low on these eggs so the best ones fetch a high price, but

If you aren't familiar with thundereggs, they are a unique agate formation that occurs in the volcanic strata here in the Pacific Northwest and in a relatively smaller number of other western locations (Deming is the furthest east of any deposit I know of). Bubbles that formed in pyroclastic volcanic flows millions of years ago have been transformed into these unique agate nodules. They get their name from the Native American tribes of the area who tell the story of how the volcanos in the Cascade mountain range would war with one another, stealing the eggs from the thunderbird and hurling them great distances at each other.

To us lapidaries, they represent a cornucopia of unique and beautiful agate formations that are used in everything from jewelry to spheres. I like cutting them in half and polishing the best of them to show off the spectacular agate formations hidden inside. This particularly variety is quite a bit more expensive than the Pacific Northwest thundereggs, but they are worth it in my opinion. Each is unique and different, though each known bed of eggs follows some sort of predictable theme. In the Baker eggs - that theme reminds me of some of the fine fortification agates from further south in Mexico.

These eggs aren't often seen and the digging in this claim is done only a couple of times a year. This egg was cut in half with a diamond saw then ground and polished on a series of specially designed flat laps we built just for this purpose. The polish we achieve with this equipment is what really sets our stones apart! This one has a rich color pattern in a lovely fortification agate centered primarily in dark red colors . These collector grade solid agates are typically only found in the smaller nodules but this one is pretty good sized.

It measures about 2 7/8" across the polished face and weighs 0.28 lbs.

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