Gallery: Agua Nueva Agate II
The Rancho Agua Nueva lies in a remote area of Chihuahua, about 150 miles south of El Paso, Texas, and borders the south side of Rancho Coyamito. Used as a cattle ranch since the late 1600s, Rancho Agua Nueva boasts the typical Spanish-style ranch house that once served as a religious chapel to the local people. A fruit orchard is featured in front of the hacienda. Rancho Agua Nueva has produced a wide variety of agates. In the early 1970’s, Rancho Agua Nueva produced flat nodules that ranged in size up to 6 inches in width and length. The nodules contained vivid shades of yellow, orange, lavender, blue, pink, and green (42 Cross).
In the late 1970s, thicker agate veins were mined and portions of the veins consisted of golden brown moss agate. Purple and yellow agate bands dominated, but white, beige, and pink agate could also be found. Shortly after the vein agate production began, nodules of banded agate were mined in the same vicinity but at higher elevations on Cerro de la Aguja. The nodules contained bands of lavender, purple, gold, and yellow, and typically graded inward to lighter hues of pale blue and white. Most were hollow and lined with gray druzy and weighted anywhere from 1 to 15 pounds. This material was marketed as “New Laguna” in an attempt to use the Laguna Agate reputation. In 1995 The Gem Shop owner, Eugene Mueller, filed the claim Mi Sueño. This mining operation yielded over 1,000 pounds of agate. Gene continued to mine Agua Nueva through 2008, until tumultuous and dangerous political conditions in Mexico forced him to stop.