May 29, 2015

2 Agates

This is a story about 2 agates. The story illustrates some of the problems of identification, origin, misinformation, and dealing with Mexican agates.
This is the first agate. It is an Agua Nueva seam agate that Gene mined from the Mi Sueno claim in 2006. He was there when this agate came out of the ground. On this mining operation, Gene used an excavator owned by Marin Carrillo. He was also using two of his ranch workers as miners to help me. Because there is a lot of average agates produced here, Gene had the practice of selecting one rock per day and putting it in a separate pile. This agate went into that pile.

Below is agate #2. It was purchased one year later in 2007 as part of a "lot" or batch of Laguna Agate from the owner of the Diana Laguna Agate claim. He was a cattle man and had cowboys working for him all over the Laguna Agate deposits. According to Armondo all of his cowboys had instructions to bring any agates they "happen to find" to him. He paid them a small amount of money for the agate they brought him. From the cowboy's point of view this was just a small bonus for doing their regular work. No attention was given to quality and most of the agate delivered was of low quality. He would wait until he had a substantial amount of rock (1000 lbs or more) and then offer it for sale as a "lot". He would emphatically declare all the agate came from his Diana claim whether or not it did. Agate #2 was in a batch of agate Gene purchased from him in 2007. He told Gene there was some new vein agate in the batch and even offered to take him to the deposit!

Agates #1 and #2 fit together perfectly and are pieces of the same Àguà Nueva vein. If Gene had not purchased the lot, agate #2 would have been sold as a Laguna Vein Agate. Gene's workers took this agate (among others) while working for him at Agua Nueva, later sold them to the owner of the Diana claim who then sold them to him a year later.  Characteristics aside, it is difficult to know for certain where a Mexican agate comes from without first hand knowledge.