Thursday, 2 January 2014


From the Curator's personal archives.

A fact sheet from 1964. Written by Larry Morrison.

Jellicoe Agates and Gemstones

People collect rocks for the same reason that they collect anything else.  They get a kick out of it.  There is no other type of collecting quite like it.  The investment is meagre, the raw material is for free and the rewards are abundant.

For the beginner, a few hours spent in a rock shop, a few days spent reading and he is all set to start.

In this heavily glaciated country, there are thousands of glacial deposits.  All contain Agates and Gem Stone material.  There is no rhyme or reason for these occurrences.  The glaciers tumbled the earth and deposited it helter skelter all over the area.

Rock and Gem collectors are warned that the rocks and gemstones, in nature's rock shop, are rough tumbled.  Invariably they are coated with limestone and are invariably mixed with the most unlikely looking material.  This has fooled many collectors.

The most drab looking material may turn out to be a beautiful looking Mocha Agate, or that old lump of limestone may be a Jade-like type of material.  There are thousands of acres of wilderness where there has never been a collector.

The shore line of the lakes are lined with material.  Gravel pits have yielded many a fine sample.  Hundreds of other good samples have vanished forever in the maws of highway crushers.  Someday and that may be soon, someone is going to find a diamond, or an emerald, or a ruby, and why not?

The glaciers brought it all here from some unknown location.  They brought fossils, they brought jade, dozens of kinds of agate, wood and many other kinds of rock that does not occur naturally in this area.  Some day someone will find something of spectacular value, because there has been little or no collecting in this district.


Trans-Canada Highway No. 11,  "Over the Top Route", cuts right through the centre of the favorable picking area.  Well surfaced gravel roads, every few miles, run north and south from the main highway.

(The following is fifty year old information so don't count on it being there in 2014)

The ROCK SHOP and INFORMATION CENTRE at JELLICOE is the focal point of the area.  Here on display are the many types of Agate and Rock found in the district.  Good over night camping facilities, adjacent to the ROCK SHOP are now available, together with groceries and other supplies necessary for the camper.

Beardmore, Geraldton and Long Lac are the larger communities in this district.  Good modern motels and eating places are located in these towns.

Letter to Larry Morrison from Department of Mines and Technical Surveys, 601 Booth Street, Ottawa, Ontario November 12, 1964

Dear Mr. Morrison:

Your samples and accompanying letters have been referred to me for reply.

Examination shows the specimens to be cut slices of various types of common agate, a cryptocrystalline variety of quartz.

No. 1 - Yellowish brown ( moss agate)
No. 2 - Greenish black ( clouded agate)
No. 3 - Reddish (Moss Agate)
No. 4 - Buff coloured ( banded)
No. 5 - Buff, greyish ( banded with specks of pyrite )
No. 6 - Bluish-grey (ruin agate )
No. 7 - Green (Plasma )
No. 8 - Greenish, blue (ruin agate)
No. 9 - Greenish (banded)
No. 10 - Greyish (Mocha)
No. 11 - Brown, This sample probably silicified wood.
No. 12 - Buff coloured ( eye agate )
No. 13 - Greenish, pink ( brecciated )

Yours truly,

C.H.R. Gauthier,

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