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.
Let customers speak for us1739 reviews
BMJ mixed metal pendants are my faves, but this one may be the new #1 in my collection. Sunflowers give off such a happy, cheerful vibe that I decided this was the piece that I wanted to wear to help me get through my first chemotherapy session. And you know what? It totally worked. My day sucked a little less wearing this little piece of sunshine. Thanks for sharing your creativity with us - I'll be your biggest fan for life!
I love how Beth's double-banded rings can make a bold statement but still feel light and fit so well. They're my go-to rings.
These are the best for polishing my jewelry
I recently purchased the hummingbird pendant and earrings. I absolutely love them and have gotten so many compliments. Very high quality.
Perfect birthday gift for my daughter-in-law :)
I love this pendant. My husband purchased it for my 50th birthday. We are Minnesotans and we love the UP. The fact that this stone is from the UP makes it very special. And I love that the pendant is reversable!
I love my new earrings, they are such a beautiful shape and color. They are a perfect addition to my Beth Milder collection of jewelry
I am so happy to have ordered this unique piece! as someone with metal allergies it is hard to find silver jewelry that doesn't cause me to break out and I have never had a problem through Beth Millner! Supporting a small local business is an added bonus!
Fifty years ago in September, I began my first semester at
Michigan Technological University.
Superior, its forests, rivers, and rock completely captured my mind and heart.
I return each year with my partner to continue to explore the beautiful, the wild, and epic of this place.
As a remembrance of all that it has meant, and continues to mean to me, I purchased your beautifully crafted “Two Hearted River” pendant.
Thank you to all of the artisans who contributed to this stunning piece.