I haven’t been to a gem show in many years, so when I received a notice of a show in Puyallup (pronounced pyoo·a·luhp), a town an hour south of me, I thought taking a drive and seeing some gems and minerals would be a nice change of pace. The show was in one building at The Washington State Fair grounds.
There was quite a bit to take in and a few beautiful or interesting things caught my eye. One in particular was serpentine mined in Washington state.
Apparently Washington has a wealth of mineral resources. Mike Rhea from Rockhound Resource has this to say..
The state is divided by the Cascades, with beautiful ocean beaches noted for their agate hunting to the west, and large basaltic lava flows to the east which are largely responsible for much of the fossilized and petrified wood found in the region.
Due to the relatively recent and extensive volcanic activity in the area, Washington State is one of the best states in the entire U.S. for rockhounding. The basalt flows fossilized vast forests, creating enormous amounts of fossilized and opalized wood, and the void spaces left by gas pockets in the lava flows created countless agates and jaspers which are now highly sought after by rockhounds from all over the world.
The best places to rockhound in Washington are Pacific Ocean beaches, river and stream gravels, and countless mines found across the state. In particular, the beaches around Olympic National Park are famous for their beautiful agates, and the Horse Heaven Hills area produces many specimens of opalized wood.Mike Rhea, Rockhound Resource
I did take a few treasures home, including some small pieces of amazonite, abalone, presiolite, labradorite, a purple stone called Phosphosiderite and some serpentine. I took home a bag of serpentine pieces from the Washington mine as well as a nice raw edge standing piece.
I saw some beautiful gems and minerals, talked to some lovely people, and brought home a few treasures. What a fun trip!