Garage Sale this Friday and Saturday – Bring Your Own Bucket

Be sure to visit us for our upcoming Garage Sale August 30-31, 2019 and scoop up some amazing bargains by the pound. We are overrun with donated material from local rockhounds, and we are running out of storage space. This material is priced to sell! The rough lapidary material and yard rocks are at especially attractive prices.

We’re hoping to declutter the storage area and reduce the inventory we’ve accumulated not just this summer, but over the years. At a similar event for Memorial Day earlier this year, many of you suggested we should do another one – so here it is!

2019 Aug Garage Sale

This time we’ve got some interesting material we picked up from multiple sources. First and foremost, we’ve got excess zeolites from the late Rudy Tschernich, our former curator and author of “Zeolites of the World.” The museum hosts some of the finest zeolite specimens anywhere on display in the Northwest Gallery, but if you knew Rudy, you can imagine we have tons more from some of the best zeolite localities known, including Robertson Pit in Washington, the Goble area in northwest Oregon, countless basalt quarries in western Oregon, and even a few from India and Europe.

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Zeolites from Succor Creek and Rickreall, from the collection of Rudy Tschernich.

Rudy’s definitive book is available for free download as a PDF. By the time he retired, Rudy donated over 13,000 zeolites to the museum, and we probably have the finest collection anywhere. There are countless duplicates, however, so we’ve made about 100 available for sale this year.

In addition, super-volunteer Linda Harvey journeyed north to tackle famed mineral collector Bob Jackson’s storage area, where she picked up pounds of Spruce Ridge material. Bob’s claim up near Snoqualmie Pass in Washington has yielded amazing clusters of nicely terminated quartz crystals, with large pyrite crystals interspersed.

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Spruce Ridge quartz and pyrite plate from the collection of Bob Jackson.

Some of the clusters offered for sale will need to be cleaned; museum staff manning the garage sale can provide you with tips on the right kitchen chemicals to use.

On top of all that, we have taken in a few hundred pounds of material collected from the Nehalem River. This material includes a fine red jasper and some interesting agate.

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Quartz, jasper and agate from the lower Nehalem River.

Some drop by, bring a bucket, and go home with some interesting pieces. You’ll be supporting the museum and snagging some great collectibles.

What’s in the Box? Clammy Hands

What do you think the object on the left has in common with the three objects on the right? This question isn’t too hard to answer: they’re all fossilized clams. But why do they look so different?

Agatized Clams

The clam on the left is the mineralized shell of a clam from Coal Creek, Washington. After the clam died, its shell was encased in sedimentary rock; while that rock was forming, foreign minerals grew and replaced the original calcium carbonate the shell was created from when the clam was alive. (These replacement minerals are responsible for the dark color.)

The clams on the right, on the other hand, are agate molds of clam shell insides. They come from Green Creek in Washington. Their tops have been polished a bit to give them a nice shine, but the shapes are natural. After these clams died, agate filled in the insides of their shells, and the shells themselves dissolved away.

These fossil clams show just two of the many different modes of fossil preservation!

15,000 Year Old Agate Knife Found in Oregon

Orange Agate from Rimrock Draw Rockshelter Excavation - Bureau of Land Management Oregon held in hand.OPB Radio reported on the amazing archaeological discover of a knife carved from agate currently estimated from 15,000 years ago in Eastern Oregon, evidence of what could be the oldest human occupation west of the Rocky Mountains, shaking up many theories on North American human history.

Carved from clear orange agate, the stone knife has been described as a Swiss Army Knife of its day with a serrated point edge like a saw and a steep, flaked edge used to carve wood and scrape hides and cut meat from the bones of prey. Blood found on the stone has been tested and found to be Bison antiques, an ancient ancestor of the modern bison or buffalo in North America. Continue reading

Rice NW Museum honored for educational exhibits at the 2014 Denver Gem & Mineral Show

Julian Gray and Leslie Moclock with the Rice NW Museum case of agates at the 2014 Denver Gem & Mineral Show. This case won the Donna Chirnside Memorial Award for best educational case by a museum.

Thousands of people attended the Denver Gem & Mineral Show held the second weekend in September each year in Denver, Colorado. The theme of this year’s show was near and dear to the heart of the Rice NW Museum and Oregonians rockhounds: Agate. Agates are found in many places in Oregon and are well represented in the Rice NW Museum’s permanent exhibits. Curator Leslie Moclock selected about two dozen of the best agates and thundereggs from the museum’s collection for two temporary educational exhibits at the show September 12-14, 2014. Taking the museum to mineral collectors in attendance at shows is part of the museum’s outreach program.

Both exhibit cases were recognized for their excellence in educational content and quality of exhibition. The Denver Gem & Mineral Show Committee selected the Rice NW Museum’s case on the origin of agates for the Donna Chirnside Memorial Award honoring the best display by an institution at the show.  The Friends of Mineralogy, a group that promotes mineral education, awarded the Best Educational Case by an Institution Award to the Rice NW Museum case featuring thundereggs, Oregon’s State Rock.