Agate Hunters Enjoy Collecting, Displaying Unique Finds

AgateA product development specialist at 3M in Minnesota, Thomas Allen Disselkamp possesses over 30 years of project management experience. In his spare time, Thomas Disselkamp enjoys a variety of hobbies, including vegetable gardening, woodworking, and agate hunting. Tom Disselkamp has an interesting collection of agates he and his family found in Minnesota, and most of these have been polished for a brilliant display.

A type of translucent banded crystalline quartz that comes in a host of colors, the agate often finds a home in the display cases of mineral collectors.

Although several countries sustain commercial mining operations, many collectors enjoy looking for agates themselves, usually in streams or near the ocean. This can prove challenging, as the attractive interior of an agate often hides behind a lumpy, neutral-colored exterior. Additionally, agates usually measure less than three inches in diameter.

A rotary tumbler comes in handy to polish raw agates. Using grit and polishing agents, the tumbler polishes the stones over the course of about a month in weeklong cycles. Polished agates hold strong visual appeal, whether put on display or used to create jewelry.

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