Great Lakes Stones at Beth Millner Jewelry
The Great Formation
The formation story of Great Lake stones feels like a mystical legend. It's hard to imagine ancient lava flowing through a notoriously frigid and snowy part of North America. However, around the time of continental formation, roughly 100 million years ago, the shifting of the continental plates caused molten lava to erupt.
The three main Lake Superior stones we work with are Lake Superior Agate, Copper Replacement Agate, and Michigan Greenstone. Each variety was formed by varying cooling scenarios of the lava and different mineral depositions. Sounds like the stuff of legends, eh? It's true!
When lava hardens into rock, gasses trapped inside escape, leaving holes in the rock. Over time, these holes are filled with various minerals and additional lava, forming Great Lakes gemstones!
Journey From Beach to Jewelry
Understanding that these gorgeous natural beauties are over 100 million years old adds even more wonder to their splendor. Rock and agate hunting is not an uncommon hobby where we live in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. No two stones look exactly alike and each is exhilarating to find and beautiful in their own way.
Lake Superior Agate
Most of our stones come from a couple of dedicated rock hounds up in the Keweenaw Peninsula who have made Lake Superior Gemstones their livelihood. They find and prepare each stone for its placement into a Beth Millner original design.
We do have a variety of Lake Superior Agates that were found and cut by Beth herself. Some were sourced from beaches right here in Marquette, Michigan, while others were found during her travels around the Lake Superior region. You can check out our Marquette Agates here.
Greenstones are the official gemstone of Michigan! This stone is also known as Chlorastrolite and is typically found on the beaches of Copper Country. Larger pieces are extremely hard to come by, we are lucky to be able to get our hands on some! It's known for its deep green hues and crystalline structures within that form the signature turtleback pattern.
Copper Replacement Agate
Since Michigan's Upper Peninsula is graced with an abundance of copper, the treasures that are copper banded agates can occasionally be found throughout the region. These rare beauties contain signature streaks and sections of copper throughout.
Turning Gemstones Into Jewelry
Beth often designs jewelry based on the stones themselves. Many of the designs feature trees springing from stones or as a part of rocky landscapes. Below, you can see some of her recent Lake Superior Agate designs!
Whether you find them on the beach or on our shelves, the beauty and wonder of Great Lakes Stones is absolutely amazing. Stay updated with all news and new jewelry on our Facebook and Instagram pages.