Brief History of Baker Ranch & Baker Egg Mine

Baker Ranch was the old name given to the general area that these thundereggs were collected, though there are several thunderegg collection sites within "Baker Ranch". One of the better-known mines of this area is The Baker Egg Mine which produces a variety of colorful thundereggs. The Baker Egg Mine is located in Luna County, about 28 miles southwest of Deming, New Mexico. This mine is famous for its colorful thundereggs. The thundereggs and mine were discovered and established in the 1950s, around 1954, by Eddie Lindburg. It’s also been said that Joseph Tavernier was out prospecting with Mr. Lindberg when the egg deposit was discovered. The original mine name seems to have disappeared to the winds of history, once Paul “the Geode Kid” Colburn, changed the mine from a placer claim to a lode claim, and renamed it the Bake Egg Lode Mine.

Baker Egg agate (also known as Baker Ranch agate) is a type of agate that formed as thundereggs (lithophysae) from a primarily rhyolite-perlite host rock. These thundereggs are unique in that they exhibit vibrant coloration typically only found in agate nodules (amygdaloids). Thundereggs are rarely found in any other color than white, blue or grey-blue, yet Baker Egg Mine produces mixtures of red, yellow, black, white and, in rare cases, green agate. This is due to the unique geologic history of the area, where rhyolitic lava deposits were disrupted by a mixture of geologic forces and the introduction of basaltic and andesitic lava flows over millions of years. These additional lava flows likely provided the minerals necessary for the variety of coloration found in Baker Egg agates (thundereggs).

 The eggs have been mined from the surface down to sixty feet. They are commonly formed in smaller pockets, as opposed to a larger flow. As any miner knows, the mine is constantly changing and the Baker Egg mine is no exception. The two new locations within the mine, the “popcorn bed” and “Kryptonite hole” are example with the popcorn bed on the baker claim having a clay white matrix, and the Kryptonite hole has green perlite attached to the matrix. Current mining is currently happening further up the claim on the north side, and is producing eggs with changing colors, darker Amethyst, and more Sagenite inside. A typical egg is about three inches in size.

Eddie and Emma Lindberg sold the claim to Paul “the Geode Kid” Colburn and Christopher Blackwell in 1975. The Geode Kid maintained ownership of the Baker Egg Mine up until his passing in 2013. The Geode Kid, devoted his life to mining and sharing the knowledge he learned over those fifty years. He spent four years writing his book, The Formation of Thundereggs, (Lithophysae), in addition to publishing four additional books on his mining adventures.  Paul and Christopher additionally opened up The Basin Range Volcanics Geolapidary Museum in 1984, as a place to process their mined material and house Paul’s collection. The shop and museum have grown multiple times, with both Paul and Christopher designing new buildings.

Christopher is still involved with the shop and still co-owns the Bake Egg Lode mine, and after the death of Paul, the Geode Kid, Paul’s ownership stake passed on to Loren Seng, then to the current owner, Jeremiah Roach.

The mine is still currently active but is closed to the public. Seconds, or rough tailings, can be purchased at the shop. Paul’s books are also available to purchase at the shop.

The Gem Shop would like to extend a special thank you to Don Roach for taking time to answer our plethora of questions regarding the history of Baker Ranch Thundereggs and their mining. We strongly suggest anyone who is ever in the Deming, New Mexico area check out the Basin Range Volcanics Geolapidary Museum located at 6235 Stirrup Rd SE Deming NM 88030.