November 21, 2016

Ramshorn Plume Agate pt. 1

The Quartzsite show is just around the corner and those of you who are planning on visiting for the first time are in for an unusual experience. The Quartzsite show is a unique rock show as you never know what you might find there, (referring to all the shows as a group). The following is a story of Ramshorn Plume Agate and how the Quartzsite show adds to the richness of the lapidary world.
About 20 years ago my good friend Jake, Darroll Jacobitz, and I were walking around the Pow Wow in Quartzsite Arizona. We were both dealers in this show and we're taking a break walking around to see what we could find. We came across a young man selling small quantities of rock mostly from Wyoming. Jake and I noticed a box of slabs with a strong green outside that looked very similar to some of the vein agate and limb casts that Jake and I collect every year in the Wiggins Fork area of Wyoming. While the slabs looked similar to agate we collected at Wiggins Fork, it had beautiful gold plumes on a dark green bass with clear agate on top. We asked the young man if it was from Wiggins Fork and he said no. It was from Ramshorn Mountain.
Wiggins Fork and Ramshorn Mountain are part of the same mountain range that extends out of the southeast corner of Yellowstone Park. Agate veins of different types and limb casts can be found throughout this area. Ramshorn Mountain is directly north of Dubois Wyoming and the Wiggins Fork collecting area is further north at the junction of Wiggins and Frontier creeks. The agate found in these mountains is mostly found between the 9 and 10,000 foot level of elevation.The agate looked very nice so we continued to ask questions. It turns out that the agate was found by the young man's father while hunting and he was at the deposit several times when he was a boy between 8 and 12 years old. All of the rock he was selling came from his father who had passed on. He could not remember where the deposit was and the only information he could provide us was that the it was found on Ramshorn Mountain close to the tree line in elevation. Jake and I decided to try and find it.