An exciting new area has been found at the southern end of the Pryor Mountains in Montana for Bear Canyon Agate. This material is very rare and it is unlikely that mining of significant quantities will ever be attempted due to the remote, rugged location and small percentage of banded nodules. The predominant colors are black and white in a fortification pattern, with nodules typically in the 1" to 2" range. It is reported that only 5 percent of the nodules contain banded agate. The percentage of quality agates is even lower.
The outcrop is about 12 to 15 miles--as the crow flies--from the classic Dryhead Agate location, but the look and coloration of the Bear Canyon Agate is very different from the Dryhead site. The exterior of the Bear Canyon nodules is very rough and of a uniformly charcoal gray color. Occasional nodules will have a tan secondary coating.
Most of the nodules are found as float material below the agate outcrops that lie high on the canyon walls. The Agate Works was fortunate to find a full-patterned nodule of 3.5 pounds. We will share pictures of this specimen once preparation has been completed.
An article on the Bear Canyon Agate site was featured in the July 2009 issue of Rock & Gem magazine; and a field trip was conducted in conjunction with the Northwest Federation of Mineralogical Societies show on August 3. The material featured on this site was collected by The Agate Works. We appreciate the efforts of the show organizers to share this new location with hundreds of rockhounds. Thank you!
PO Box 10634
Green Bay, WI 54307-0634