Regency Rose Plume Agate
The Regency Rose Area is located in north–east Oregon near Homedale, Idaho which appears in the upper right corner.
The Graveyard Point Plume Agate area is vast. There are claims on some of this area, but most of the area is not claimed. The following pictures and information refer to the area on the Beverly Marie claim that produces what is known as Regency Rose Plume Agate. The agate from this small area is known for its variety of colors. White, yellow, gold, orange, pink, red, and black colored plume can be found here. The name "Regency Rose" was given to the area by Bill Tallman (deceased) from the TeePee Rock Shop in Mancing, Idaho. He used this name to refer to the variety of colors possible in the agate. However, when he was mining, he found and extremely unusually large pocket of pink plume agate. Ever since then the name Regency Rose, in many people’s minds, refers to pink plume agate even though this was not the original intent of the name (from personal conversations with Bill Tallman). The Regency Rose area on the Beverly Marie claim covers 2-3 acres on the southern part of the claim. The basalt host rock slopes west to east on the claim with the west side of the claim at least 100 feet higher than the east side. Covering the whole area at one time was a silica rich bentonite clay. This has all been eroded away on the far west and east sides of the claim. The agate called "Regency Rose" is found in a basalt valley filled with this clay (see drawing).
This sketch is a simplification of the basalt valley.
The depth of this valley is unknown. The areas that have been mined are primarily on the east side of this hidden valley. Since the basalt has been protected from erosion by the clay, it is very rugged underneath. Sharp peaks of basalt with deep cracks exist under the smooth clay surface. Most of the agate found in the Graveyard Point area is found in straight cracks in the basalt. Some veins can be 30 to 40 feet in length with relatively parallel sides. The agate in the Regency Rose area is quite different in formation. Much of it forms in triangles and other shapes. Veins with parallel sides are present but generally do not travel as far in the basalt. It is as if a pile of rectangular basalt boulders of different sizes were dumped here and agate filled the space between them.
The plume formations in the Regency Rose agate are folded or bent in one direction. Nearly all the veins are vertical and the process of the agate formation is affected by gravity. The bending of the plume occurs in a downward direction in the deposit and can vary depending on the circumstances of its formation. The plume shapes are also broader or more spread out in one direction and thinner in the other direction.
This sketch depicts the bent plumes.
If the direction and form of the plumes can be identified in the rough, it is possible to cut the stone to create a desired affect. Pictured below are two cabochons. The cab on the left is cut to show the plume as broad or "bushy" as possible and the cab on the right is cut to show the plumes’ thin direction.
These cabs are cut to display This cabochon displays the "shadow effect."
different plume perspectives
Since the plumes are folded or tipped in one direction, a slab cut perpendicular to the seam will contain the bottom part of one plume and the top part of another. If adjacent plumes happen to be different color(s) or the tops of the plumes have a different color than the base, then a striking contrast can be achieved in the cab. In the cab pictured below, the pinkish-beige plume appears in front of a dark ghostly plume in the back. The curve of the plume causes the top part of the pinkish-beige plume to be cut away in the slab and the black plume behind it can be seen in the background. These two separate plumes in the rock were very similar. This black plume is the same pinkish-beige color on the other side. The affect is achieved by displaying one side of the base of one plume and the other side of the top of the second plume.
Another way of cutting the Regency Rose Plume Agate is to cut across the plume. If the plumes are dense, a lacey effect is achieved. Pictured below are a few slabs cut this way.
This slab depicts the "lacy effect."
Pink colored plumes at Graveyard Point are very rare. They are rare in the Regency Rose area also, even though the name has come to be associated with pink colored plumes. Of the rock that I have mined from this deposit, less than one tenth of one percent has had obvious pink plumes. This is just an estimate because the pink plumes tend to pop up when you least expect it. This cannot be illustrated better than by looking at the rock below. This does not look like a good rock. It is plane without much color or definition. Scroll over the picture and see what is on the other side! If there are any formational clues as to where in the deposit pink plumes may be concentrated, it is in what miners call "the pinches." This is where a vein gets narrow and ends or changes direction. Sometimes in the triangular veins or pockets a pink plume will show up near the point of the triangle.
This is a phenomenal agate in disguise.