Gitche Gumee Handcrafted Jewelry
Lake Superior Agate Pendants & Jewelry
Q: "Where can I find Upper Peninsula Agate Jewelry?"
A: Right here at Gitche Gumee Handcrafted Jewelry located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula!
Welcome to Gitche Gumee Handcrafted Jewelry and my Upper Peninsula Agate Jewelry. My name is Gina Harman and I was born and raised in Escanaba, MI and moved to Newberry in 1991. It wasn't much later when my husband and I discovered the wonders of Lake Superior. Along with making jewelry and being an avid agate hunter, I am a artist, graphics designer, web designer, photographer, and I produce videos.
We began our search for Upper Peninsula Agates in 1993 and didn't have a lot of luck at the beginning. It took quite a few visits and a lot of backpacks full of rocks (that I thought were agates) until I found some real, banded agates. Since these early times, we have found hundreds, but it wasn't til years later that I found a big beauty.
My Happy Dance Agate
In 2016, I spent 3 nights and 4 days out on the beaches of Lake Superior. I was accompanied by my husband Chris Harman, Kellie Nightlinger and Scott Harding. We camped directly out on the beach, no campground necessary. Anyone can do this, just make sure you visit the DNR and ask for a, “Camp Registration Card”. They ask for backpackers and campers to stay at least 1 mile away from any campgrounds. “The campsite or adjacent area must not be posted "No Camping." A camp registration card must be prominently posted at the campsite for the duration of the stay.” - Michigan DNR.
If you ever have the opportunity to do this, by all means do it! The sounds of the waves will lull you to sleep, aurora borealis may greet you as you take a night stroll and there’s nothing like bacon in a pan over the morning over a fire.
To tell the truth, I wasn’t feeling great that September and the last day I was there I almost didn’t go looking that morning, but I pushed myself. So glad I did...here is My Happy Dance Agate Story.
The agate above was found on September 17th of 2016 when I was walking with a friend Scott, showing him how to go look for agates. I guided him over to the smaller dry rocks to get that agate "eye" going - the smaller agates, the more of a chance you will find one. Well it was as if God said to me, "Gina, don't forget about the water!" So I turned around, went 2 steps in and saw just a quarter size of banding showing (the far right of the rock above). Well that looks pretty cool, I am sure it is at least golf ball sized!
I dug with my hand, and dug, and could feel the weight of something much larger in my hand. I looked at Scott and said, “Oh my God, I can’t look!” I reached out my hand towards my friend as I turned away in literal shock. Scott yelled, “Oh my God!” I then knew it had to look pretty good.
I turned to look at my new found rock that has waited over 1.2 billion years for me to find it and smiled. Then I looked down the beach towards my husband, he was at least 1/2 mile down the shore. “Chris! Chris! Chris!”, Scott followed suit. FINALLY we got his attention while he slowly - I mean slowly walked back and picked up pebbles! He finally got to us and saw the big find. He loved it. Then we did the same thing to get Kellie’s attention and she was also happy with my new treasure. When you find a nice agate, that's when you do, "The Happy Dance", I know I did!!
So if you feel like taking an adventure for a few hours, a day or maybe 3 nights, let yourself get used to looking for that agate banding, set your eyes for the yellow, orange and rust red parallel bands caused by iron oxide stains, this is the main makeup of Lake Superior Agates, and by all means, if you find one - doesn’t matter the size, do a Happy Dance. Before you know it, you’ll get hooked and become a great agate hunter. Everytime I go to Lake Superior I learn something new about rockhounding and I thank God for Gitche Gumee!
To learn about the steps taken to make these agate pendants, please visit the About the Process page.
♦ About the Process
We plan to reopen our fine arts gallery in 2021, date to be announced in the spring. Thank you for visiting.
Please visit our main art website at: www.velvetgreencreations.com