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Paul Bunyan Plume Agate*



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 In Barstow, California in the late 60's, Robert Strapp and a friend discovered an agate that was so difficult to mine that he said you need "Paul Bunyan" & his Blue Ox to get the stuff off the mountain. Before that story was told to me by his son who was quite upset that I was getting it so wrong. I was telling the story of the telephone lineman who discovered it. Turns out that guy got his hands on some and named it "Mojave Red Agate" because I don't think anyone filed a claim on the site. Anyway, he told me his father ran <Strapp's rock shop> in the 60's and discovered the famous agate while prospecting with a friend. There was piles of Paul Bunyan slabs in the shop when it closed and he doesn't know what happened to all that rough Paul Bunyan his dad mined. He said that no one knew it would be worth money then - BAM- the Internet opened the rocks to the world. To get an idea of what an agate prospector does when he looks for float you need to understand when a seam agate is first formed, it is a solid tube (seam) and over millions of years of ground movement and shifting the seam breaks at stressed areas along it's length. Broken pieces and shards are pushed to the surface over the years and are spread out over an area from floods and so on. Those pieces are called float. The prospector looks for the area where the most float is and then digs there thinking he's close to where the seam is. He could dig countless times over the years and never find anything. Go to Prudent Man Agate Mining and watch the film of Steve Howard getting his gem (seam) out of the ground. If I remember right, he prospected for over 30 years before finding his dream. Anyway, Paul Bunyan agate has been mined out and the end of another rock hounds dream but the beginning of another rock legacy. Thanks Robert for your passion that lead you to this beautiful find.  -WET pic.-(3"x2"/1.6 oz./5mm thk) no fractures>>>great cutter

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