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The Ellensburg Blue Agate

From The Nisqually Rockhounder, 4/01 by Ray Killian

Found only in the northwest corner of lower Kittitas Valley, near Ellensburg, is the unique stone known throughout America as the "Ellensburg Blue". This Agate is only found in a 20 to 25 miles radius from the town of Ellensburg. It is believed to have been deposited from the last glacial age. This is why one looks for the agate on the surface. Best time to look for the Agate is after the spring thaw or when farmers get their fields plowed, as both bring the Agates up to the surface.

What makes it unique and much sought after? The answers to this question can be summed up in several words, Scarcity, color range and variety, hardness and adaptability to variety of settings.

The scarcity of the stone is such that one to two ounces of cutting material in eight hour search of the rugged hills and fields where it occurs, is considered a good day's find. Occasionally one finds a stone of up to four ounces and over. Almost all of the land where Ellensburg Blues are found is posted private, or leased land and as such is closed to rock hunters except by special permission of the local rancher.

Color of the Ellensburg Blue ranges from the light, sky blue through a cornflower blue to almost purple royal blue. Clouds, streaks, or bands may occur in stones and graduates from nearly opaque to transparent.

The hardness of any stone is measured on Mohs scale of 1 to 10. One being talc and ten being diamond. Using this measurement, the Ellensburg Blue will test out at from 7.5 to 8.3 or harder on the scale.

Because of its singular qualities and limited quantity, Ellensburg Blue has been reclassified by many gemologists to be a precious gem. Therefore, should you decide to purchase an Ellensburg Blue, you will not only have a truly unique piece of jewelry, but also an investment that will no doubt increase in value quickly.

I wish to thank all the people of the Ellensburg Agate shop for all the information on this one-of-a-kind agate. They were very helpful in explaining all about this Blue Agate, color, where found and even gave a map as to where would be the best place to go for a first timer. I shall share all these with you.

If you are in the Ellensburg area and have some time stop by the shop. They have a large display of Ellensburg Blue, some very fine one of kind jewelry and unmounted stones. The shop also has jewelry findings and lots of other agates and jasper and many other types of stones.

Ellensburg Blue Agate